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Inspiring the Future With a Gift

Jane Strauss Northern

The education Jane Strauss Northern '72 (center front) received and experiences she had while a student at TCU made a major impact on her adventurous life.

Jane Strauss Northern '72 says study abroad experiences and inspirational TCU professors prompted her to establish a gift in her will that will help the University's liberal arts professors' travel and study to enhance their scholarship and teaching.

"When I was a recent graduate from TCU, I was privileged to participate in a study abroad program at the University of London that changed my life," she explains. "My hope is that our liberal arts faculty can experience the same epiphany I experienced.

"University-level faculty have a tremendous influence in shaping values students will carry the rest of their lives," she adds. "I hope the experiences my gift provides can help them inspire their students as I was inspired."

Jane's inspiration started not long after she became a Horned Frog. She chose TCU because it was far enough from her hometown of San Angelo while also large enough to offer opportunities and activities she wouldn't otherwise have experienced.

"I had a couple of teachers in the English lit department who taught me to look deeper, then look again," she recalls. "In the history department, Dr. Marguerite Potter taught Russian history in a spellbinding, take-no-prisoners style. I don't remember where Dr. Potter studied, but she must have spent time in Russia to be able to communicate Russian history from her heart!"

Jane Strauss Northern

Giving back is Jane's passion. She is giving back to TCU with a gift that will support professors' travel and study.

Those classes did more than mesmerize students, Jane says. "TCU prepared me for adulthood and taught me that hard work really does bring results."

The results are evident in the volunteer work Jane — now a Virginian — has done since graduation. "The community got behind a United Way day care project I was working on, and we got it built without a mortgage, doubling the number of children served," she explains. "Since retiring, I've worked with an arm of my church that helps low-income and homeless people obtain birth certificates and IDs. Last year, we helped more than 2,200 people obtain their documents."

She says her heart is warmed by the TCU Magazine stories she reads that highlight ways TCU students also are working to make the world a better place.

"When I read the magazine, a theme runs throughout the interviews with students. So many of them are going into fields to serve instead of to accumulate. I can't think of another institution with that focus. It filters down to every aspect of a student's life. I think that TCU is unique in this, and I want to support it."