TCU takes NYC: Murals of alumni leaders help celebrate 150 years


John Devereaux on 25th Street in front of the completed mural. Photo by Jacquelyn Gozdowiak

By Matt Salotti, Staff Writer

TCU is celebrating its 150th anniversary by recognizing alumni who are everyday leaders.

The idea that everyone can lead is at the heart of TCU’s “Lead On” initiative. The university has commissioned a series of murals, featuring alumni, that will be unveiled across the country, with the final one in Fort Worth.

John Devereaux, who earned a BFA 2012, and now tours and performs in the show “Hamilton: An American Musical” is featured in the first mural. Located on 25th Street between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan, the mural is 15 feet wide and 32 feet high.

It is painted in TCU purple and features a portrait of Devereaux and the quote: “The stage is a platform for joy.”

The mural of John Devereaux, which reads “The stage is a platform for joy.” Photo by: Jacquelyn Gozdowiak

“John is amazing, and he represents what we believe is the power of all Horned Frogs: We find our passion and pursue it,” said TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. “In corporations, in classrooms, in operating rooms and even on stages, you’ll find Horned Frogs leading on.”

Last Spring, Devereaux came back to Fort Worth to perform in “Hamilton” at the Bass Performance Hall. 

“It just brought back great memories,” Devereaux said. “I feel such a connection with Fort Worth because this is where I really took things seriously, as an actor, for the first time.” 

Video by Haeven Gibbons and JD Pells. Originally published Spring 2022.

Devereaux said his many experiences at TCU, as well the people there, were what prompted him to pursue his career in the performing arts. In addition to “Hamilton,” he has appeared in performances of “RENT” and “Dreamgirls.”

Devereaux said his life would be completely different if not for the experiences he had at TCU.

“I am so grateful to everyone at TCU for nurturing and expanding my gifts,” Devereaux said. “It is so meaningful to be celebrated like this and to know that I am viewed as a leader in my community. I truly believe that the stage is a platform for joy. I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me, and I pray that my shoulders will be strong to hold those who will stand on mine.”

The next mural will not be unveiled until February of 2023. It will feature TCU alumni Katherine Beattie. Beattie has worked as both a writer and producer for NBC’s NCIS. She is also the first woman to land a backflip while using a wheelchair.

The following murals and their subjects have yet to be announced. However, the final one will be in Fort Worth.