James Cash ’69, a leader in sports, community and education, cemented his place in TCU history Friday. On the same day the university dedicated his statue in front of the Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena, Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. presented him with an Honorary Doctor of Science, honoris causa.
“Through your courage and determination, you used your experiences and perspectives to move TCU — and other organizations you touched — forward,” Chancellor Boschini said at the statue dedication.
Cash was the first Black student-athlete at TCU, was the first Black basketball player in the Southwest Conference, and has continued his leadership throughout his life.
“TCU helped me accomplish more than others thought possible, by teaching me to care more than others thought wise, which empowered me to take more risk than others thought was safe,” Cash’s quote reads on the plaque of his statue.
Following his bachelor’s at TCU, Cash earned master's and doctorate degrees at Purdue. He joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 1976. Now the James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, he taught in each of the school’s major programs and, in 1985, became the first Black faculty member to receive tenure. Chancellor Boschini and several members of the TCU Board of Trustees traveled to attend the ceremony for Cash when he was honored by the university by the naming of Cash House, a renovated building on the campus of the Harvard Business School.
Cash is on the board of directors of several corporations, including General Electric; The Chubb Corporation; Phase Forward, Inc.; Walmart; and Veracode. He also served on the board at Microsoft. In 2003, Cash joined the Boston Celtics' ownership group, where he helped launch community-based initiatives focusing on racism and racial inequality.
At TCU, Cash, an Academic All-American, was named First Team All-Southwest Conference in 1968 when he led TCU to the 1968 Southwest Conference championship. One of five players in program history with at least 1,000 points and 800 rebounds, Cash's jersey is one of only four retired at TCU.
“Your achievements on this campus were just the beginning of what would become an extraordinary career,” Chancellor Boschini said. “For TCU students, you are the ultimate role model for ethical leadership and responsible citizenship.”
The statue of Cash was dedicated Nov. 11 at a ceremony hosted by TCU Athletics welcoming Cash’s family and teammates, Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker, Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks, TCU Board of Trustee President Mark Johnson, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Jeremiah Donati, TCU Basketball Coach Jamie Dixon and many other TCU leaders and alumni. The statue was borne from one of seven recommendations presented to the Board of Trustees following the Race & Reconciliation Initiative’s First Year Survey Report in April 2021. The recommendations, all of which were unanimously approved by the Board, included the suggestion to commemorate the efforts of underrepresented groups who contributed to TCU’s development as an educational step toward creating a more inclusive community. Rather than removing statues or other items, TCU has committed to honoring its diverse Horned Frogs through telling a more complete story.
The Cash event was accompanied by a panel discussion with Cash, History in the Making: The Impact of James Cash at TCU and Beyond, hosted by RRI. Read more on the panel from TCU Magazine, watch the full ceremony, and tune in to a special episode of the Reconcile This! podcast.