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'Comrades True' Invest in TCU's Future

The Carters with their granddaughter

The Carters enjoy a show with granddaughter Charlotte.

For Susan and James H. Carter III, "Mem'ries Sweet, Comrades True" is more than a phrase from their alma mater. TCU continues to play an active role in the lives of these Class of 1968 graduates, with Horned Frogs athletic events around the country giving the Connecticut couple opportunities to maintain lifelong friendships and rekindle old ones. That ongoing connection prompted them to provide for the University in their will, earmarking specific amounts for three programs.

James says no epiphanies preceded their decision to make a bequest to TCU. "There was never a moment where we said, 'Wow, TCU gave us so much, we have to give something back.' It was far more subtle and evolutionary."

James Carter and Susan Havran met in Dr. Frank Reuter's American history class their sophomore year at TCU. Although James was a business major and a bit of partier, he eventually won over the more focused, music-minded Susan. They married their senior year and recently crossed the 50-year threshold. After graduate school and a corporate career, James opened his own management consulting firm, which he led the last 20 years of his career. Susan stayed home to raise their family, then launched her own marketing research business, eventually becoming one of the nation's most sought-after forecasters of consumer trends.

"We've been fortunate to have accumulated enough to cover our expected future needs and leave a nice legacy for our family — and still have a bit left over," James explains. "We're not overly philanthropic, so when we considered giving, it needed to deliver on some touchpoints: We wanted it to be something we're passionate about, we wanted to see it make a difference and we wanted to ensure the dollars were spent productively — not on big overhead costs.

"With a little reflection, we realized TCU met those criteria: We bleed purple; we could direct our money to the places on campus we most cared about; and looking at the campus today, it's obvious that donor funds are being put to positive use," he concludes. "Frankly, the final point that gave us 'permission' to pull the trigger was that TCU helped us structure the gift in such a way that it matched up with our personal financial planning and comfort level."

To learn how you, like the Carters, can make an impact at TCU, contact TCU Gift Planning at 817.257.7299 or