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A student sings the TCU alma mater for the #TCUtogether social media project
A student sings the TCU alma mater for the #TCUtogether social media project

It’s the most beautiful time of year on the TCU campus; the grass is a new shade of green and the tulips wave gently in the breeze. There’s not a human in sight.

This is the new normal at TCU: online classes; virtual campus tours; employees working from home; campus events postponed until summer or cancelled completely.

Learning goes on, and so does commencement

By March 23, professors transitioned all classes—more than 3,000 courses—online. The university granted extensions for taking classes as pass/no credit. Teleconferencing has enabled faculty to continue the kind of face-to-face education TCU is known for.

For students who were unable to return to campus following the extended spring break, TCU Housing & Residence Life provided a personalized pack and ship program, sending books, computers and essentials like medications to the homes of more than 500 students.

Plans for a traditional commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 are currently in place for August 8. Chancellor Boschini announced the date in a heartfelt March 27 video, promising to include the well-loved traditional senior toast. The chancellor’s popular weekly videos continue to reassure the Frog family that there’s plenty to look forward to.

Campus is quiet, but still a home

Residential students who were unable to return home after spring break are still living in dormitories with social distance guidelines in place. TCU’s Market Square provides three meals daily to students, as well as weekly boxes of fresh produce. Through What2Do@TCU, Student Activities still offers a hub of entertainment and well-being options for Horned Frogs—all experienced virtually from a distance. The Brown-Lupton University Health Center is fully staffed, operational and prepared to care for students.

At least 1,300 TCU employees have registered through TCU Human Resources to work remotely. Only essential personnel are still coming to campus, with lunches provided daily on a rotation to allow for safe social distancing. More than 7,000 lunches have been served over the past several weeks to those still working on campus.

April is usually a peak month for campus tours for prospective students, so the TCU Office of Admission is making sure virtual tours and Zoom appointments with counselors and faculty members are forging those new Horned Frog relationships.

Look for the helpers

As the current healthcare crisis unfolds, TCU is doing what it can to take an active role as a community partner. Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences has donated boxes of personal protective equipment (PPE) to area hospitals.

And true to their mission of creating physicians with empathy, The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine is conducting a PPE drive through April 20, and a virtual blood drive through May 31.

On Fridays we still wear purple

Students, faculty/staff and alumni have connected to the university in myriad creative ways. As Frogs prepared to work from home, the Office of Admission provided a tutorial on how to use TCU campus photos as Zoom backgrounds. Music and musical theatre students from the College of Fine Arts collaborated on social media to sing a heartfelt sharable Alma Mater that perfectly illustrates the theme of coming together in separation. And Horned Frogs can turn to social media any time they’d like to hear the Robert Carr Chapel carillon bells chime.

Listeners may want to have a tissue ready.

In a time of uncertainty, the coronavirus has made one thing certain. If there was ever a time for Horned Frogs to take stock of what truly matters, the billboards popping up around Fort Worth last week express what every member of the TCU knows:

Wherever we may go, our hearts are here.

Stay updated and check in using the hashtag #TCUtogether.

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