TCU Burnett School of Medicine “Topping Out” ceremony


Daniel Pullin, TCU President, signing the beam at the “Topping Out” ceremony. (Mason Claire Gillingwater/Staff Writer)

By Mason Gillingwater, Staff Writer

Medical students, construction site workers, TCU staff and donors came together to honor the construction of the new Burnett School of Medicine at the “Topping Out” ceremony on Tuesday, April 18.

Attendees congregated in the unfinished building, where they could witness the progress of construction while seeing the vision come to life. As guests entered the ceremony, they received a purple marker to sign one of two white beams. These beams will be a part of the building’s infrastructure and visible to all who visit the medical school once construction is complete in the summer of 2024. 

During the ceremony, attendees sat in an open area that will soon be transformed into classrooms where medical students can study diagrams and articulate research.

Those who helped make the building of the Burnett School of Medicine possible remarked that the school holds endless promise and hopes to help advance health care here in Fort Worth and nationwide.

“Our students will be working in free clinics, homeless clinics and immigrant clinics and are really about giving back to the community,” said Judy Bernas, senior associate dean and chief of communications and strategies officer.

Bernas believes the students will be woven into the community after working in the four big community centers in Fort Worth, where they partake in safety education and health prevention.

With the new location of the Burnett School of Medicine, “they will be able to spread those roots out and reach deeper into the community,” Bernas said.

The Burnett School of Medicine also plans to collaborate across every area of TCU.

“We have a graduate certificate in business and health care through the Neeley School of Business,” President Daniel Pullin said.

The certificate program is open to any M.D. student. The innovation coming out of the medical school is well suited for entrepreneurial activity when considering “new treatment, services, and medical devices” to improve the nature of health care, Pullin said.

The “Topping Out” ceremony not only symbolized the commitment The Burnett School of Medicine has to giving back to the community but how Horned Frogs will continue to make a difference in the world.