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Embracing the TCU Connection

Laura and Tod MillerAccuse Laura and Tod Miller '79 of being "TCU-centric" and they won't deny it.

Case in point: The Miller family holds season tickets for virtually every Horned Frogs athletics team. They faithfully attend fine arts events too. And their sons, Jay '08 and Scott '12, followed in their footsteps, earning degrees from the Neeley School of Business "TCU has been the centerpoint of our lives for over 40 years," Tod explains.

That's why it seemed natural to provide funds to endow the Miller Family Scholarship through their estates. Both have enjoyed long careers in the North Texas banking industry, and Tod's experience on the trust side prompted them to include TCU in their wills. "Tod's parents paid ‘full freight' for him," Laura says teasingly, "but I earned a scholarship and so did our sons. Helping smart, deserving students go through TCU is one way we can give back."

Providing gifts through their estates gives donors like Tod and Laura an opportunity to shape TCU for years to come, notes Merrilee Kuylen, senior director of gift planning. "TCU has been an important part of many alums' lives," she points out. "Gifts in their wills offer them a chance to help new generations and support the University in perpetuity."

Keeping close ties

Laura and Tod married in May 1979, exactly one week after earning their bachelor of business administration degrees from the University. The pair met on a blind date as freshmen. They lived on campus all four years: playing intramural sports, leading student organizations and participating in the Greek system: Tod in Lambda Chi Alpha and Laura in Chi Omega.

Those purple ties remain tight. Laura served on the TCU Board of Trustees and as president of the TCU Alumni Association. "TCU is still the center of our social life," she adds. "Our closest friends are all from TCU!"

Laura and Tod are strong supporters of the teacher-scholar model that has long distinguished a TCU education. They're also proud of their alma mater's maturation into a prominent national university. "A lot of things have changed at TCU since we started in 1975, but many important elements and traditions have stayed the same or gotten better," Tod notes. "We're confident that there are outstanding people who continue to lead our university," Laura adds.

It was important to the Millers to foster a spirit of philanthropy in their sons, so they discussed the charitable aspects of their estate plans with them. "We wanted them to embrace it too; to feel like they have ownership," Laura explains.

The fact that both sons married Horned Frog brides may increase the chances that the close relationship with the University will continue. "That TCU connection is something everyone in our family enjoys," Tod concludes.