The people who hold TCU’s endowed chairs help shape the university


Josh Willie

Frog Fountain, October 2022. (Josh Willie/Staff Writer)

By Josh Willie, Staff Writer

TCU added several endowed chairs this academic year as part of its long-term strategy to strengthen its faculty and enhance its reputation.

The chairs came from endowment gifts to the university’s “Lead On” campaign, which hopes to grow TCU’s endowment to $1 billion. So far, the campaign has received more than $750 million in donations.

“Endowed chairs and professorships are important resources in attracting and retaining talented faculty who are committed to the teacher-scholar model,” said Michelle Clark, associate vice chancellor and advancement strategy and administration. Clark works with the advancement office and helps run the donor program.

For the 2022-2023 academic year, one dean, five department chairs and four professors received endowed chairs.

Endowed positions highlight those who have challenged students and have had a long-term status in the university, helping attract and retain preeminent scholars and rising academic stars, according to TCU University Advancement.

Endowment gifts continue to grow and these donations allow donors to create a legacy. 

“Donors who endow scholarships with gifts ranging from $100,000 to $1 million or more may name the scholarship,” Clark said. “Endowed chairs and professorships are important resources in attracting and retaining talented faculty who are committed to the teacher-scholar model.”

TCU offers many different ways to give back including a gift with cash, a gift in your will and through charitable trusts. 

With the growing student population at TCU, faculty and staff work hard to create a comfortable learning environment. 

In schools such as the AddRan College of Liberal Arts, Anne Burnett Marion School of Medicine and the Bob Schieffer College of Communication, professors who have played a crucial role in forming TCU’s success are recognized for their achievements each year.

Wassenich Family Endowed Chair

Honors College Dean Ron Pitcock holds the Wassenich Family Endowed Chair. 

The Wassenich family has played a pivotal role in shaping TCU and the lives of students, especially in the Honors College, Pitcock said.


Ron Pitcock, Dean of John V. Roach Honors College and Wassenich Family Endowed Chair. (Photo by TCU Marketing & Communication/James Anger)

“The Wassenich family represents the best of TCU,” he said.  “I am thankful for the values they model on a daily basis and their generosity in establishing a chair that will allow me to continue developing courses, experiences, and research that challenge and motivate TCU students.” 

Pitcock has developed a new admissions process for recruiting highly-motivated honors students, according to the John V. Roach Honors College.

Teresa Ann Carter King Chair

The Dean of the College of Fine Arts Amy Tully holds the Teresa Ann Carter King Chair.

“TCU has amazingly strong alumni and donor community who value exceptional leadership and outstanding academic achievements,” Tully said. “All of the newly endowed professors and administrators represent those qualities; therefore, their achievements are worth honoring and celebrating.” She credits the donor program for recognizing this fleet of people.

Amy H. Tully, dean of TCU’s College of Fine Arts. Tully was named the new Fine Arts dean in March 2022 and began her new role at TCU on May 31, 2022. (Photo by TCU Marketing and Communication/James Anger)

Tully, who joined TCU in the summer, said she is happy to be involved in this college and TCU as a whole.

“This is our time to showcase our talents and celebrate the arts on campus and in the community,” Tully said.

Tully said she wants to play a pivotal role to elevate fine arts at the university and in the Fort Worth community.

“I look forward to collaborating with the faculty and students in the College of Fine Arts to develop a vision of what the future of the arts will be at TCU,” Tully said. “I’ve already had a few opportunities to connect with the Fort Worth arts community and I am looking forward to working in partnership with the many distinguished arts organizations in the Metroplex area.”

Bloxom Foundation Professor of Sports Entrepreneurship

Antonio Banos, who holds the Bloxom Foundation Professor of Sports Entrepreneurship at the Neeley School of Business, is the associate director in the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Neeley.

Banos also runs the Neeley Name, Image and Likeness program and course curriculum.

“The class is open to all students across TCU and focuses 100% on NIL,” Banos said. “The program is composed of workshops, 1-on-1 sessions, consultations, and skill development seminars. My specific focus is assisting students and student-athletes who want to be entrepreneurial in the NIL space.”

Banos believes that the students, leadership and overall sense of community are what make teaching at TCU so special.

When it comes to teaching style and getting students involved, Banos has a heavy focus on application and implementation. 

“It is all about content mastery, not just grades,” Banos said. “Some of my students might get exhausted when I don’t accept their work unless they turn in what is representative of their full potential.”

Ann M. Jones Endowed Chair in Special Education

Audrey Sorrells, Ann M. Jones Endowed Chair in Special Education in the College of Education, is a professor of special education and director of Alice Neeley Special Education Research and Service Institute. Sorrells was recognized for her special contributions and performance.

“Personally, my endowment has come from my long-time work and commitment to care for the persons with disabilities,” Sorrells said. “I constantly think about equal opportunity for learning and success for these individuals, and there should be opportunities for all individuals with disabilities.”

Sorrells has been an educator for 40 years and has taught at all levels. She has spent the last 25 years at the University of Texas at Austin. She has experienced teaching students in high-risk schools in both rural and suburban areas.

“I have embraced the TCU scholar model,” Sorrells said. “I believe that the most effective teaching styles are the professors that are able to engage their students in direct facilitation.”

When it comes to adopting a specific teaching style, Sorrells wants to expose ideas and bigger issues that will promote discussion. 

Sorrells wants to lead the change and continue to prepare future educators and leaders who are caring, compassionate and competent to ensure quality education and experiences. In her role at TCU, she is hoping to serve as someone who can lead our institute in creating and sustaining high-quality research in education.

Sorrells’ bookshelf, located in her office. (Josh Willie/Staff Writer)

Sorrells said everything on her bookshelf is there for a reason, and each artifact has a story. From awards of recognition to quotes that remind her of her daughter, she has an artifact for everything.

Deedie Potter Rose Chair of Art History

Jamin An, assistant professor and Deedie Potter Rose Chair of Art History, said he is thrilled to join the art history faculty at TCU.

Holding a high position at the School of Art, An explained why the program is so special to him.

“The School of Art’s tradition of excellence and commitment to inclusion and access especially attracted me to the program,” An said.

Through close work with students, An wishes to build their skills in the humanities as well as emerging artist practitioners. He wants to take his students to see art museums around Fort Worth to accelerate their passions. 

An strives to help his student’s current motivations or future paths. He wants to cultivate essential skills for thinking and acting compassionately, critically and equitably. 

“I look forward to marshaling this platform and its resources to enhance the undergraduate and graduate School of Art experience and also propel my own research,” An said. 

Each endowed chair possesses unique features that help shape what TCU is today.