As part of the TCU Diverse History Project, WGST students researched histories of gender and sexuality on campus. These timelines are designed to provide viewers with an overview of their research topics as they relate to our university and the themes and values of our department. To view these timelines, simply click one of the tabs below to display the content.


The following timelines were created by TCU faculty and students. WGST would especially like to thank Amanda Peterson, Noelle Flores, Fred Trevino, Paige Pohl, Layne Craig, and Priscilla Tate for their work on creating and editing these timelines for our department. WGST also welcomes new contributions! If you would like to use the WGST Diverse History Project assignment template in your fall 2021 class, email us at!

Before the Beginning

In March 1971, Gloria Steinem visited TCU and gave a lecture that made a series of recommendations to help TCU participate in the feminist revolution of the 1970s. The first two recommendations: Institute a women’s studies program and offer a women’s studies section in the library. Steinem also suggested that students demand change to their curriculum: “[Students] can review existing courses for examples of racism and sexism in the professors’ heads and in the textbooks alike […] Students on some campuses are then free to boycott those classes, demonstrate outside the professors’ houses, or otherwise make life difficult…”

Click here to see the October-November 1974 issue of Image.


An Early Class on Women, Gender, and Sexuality

In spring 1975, Dr. Sandra Carey in the Department of Sociology offered a course called “The Sociology of Sex Roles,” which was controversial enough to warrant coverage in The Daily Skiff, and covered topics like the social construction of gender and “homosexuality.” Read the article here.

From Nov. 1, 1974 issue of The Skiff (p. 3)



Our Beginnings

Picture of jean Giles-Sims

Priscilla Tate, one of the founders of Women’s Studies at TCU

Beginning in 1979, Jean Giles-Sims (Sociology) and Priscilla Tate (English), pushed to start a Women´s Studies program at TCU to recover women´s presence in history, art, and literature, to be a space to explore women´s issues on and off campus, and to give a platform for research in the area of Women´s Studies. It would be 15 years until the program launched in 1994.


What's in a Name?

In 1992, a committee of faculty developing the proposal for the new interdisciplinary minor in women’s studies debated the merits of “women’s studies” versus “gender studies,” ultimately deciding on the former.

A watermark from the original Women’s Studies Program


The Founding of Women's Studies at TCU

Picture of Jean Giles SImsThe Women’s Studies Program officially begins, and Jean Giles Sims is named first director.


The First Women's Studies Course

In 1995, Introduction to Women´s Studies is offered for the first time, co-taught by Dr. Jean Giles-Sims and Dr. Priscilla Tate. By 2006, the course was offered in both fall and spring semesters.


New Directions

Picture of Claudia CampClaudia Camp (Religion) becomes director, 3-year term set for directors.


Senior Capstone

In 2002, the WGST Senior Capstone shifted from a focus on feminist theories to “real world” knowledge and applications. In 2006, graduating seniors begin to showcase their work in the course. The class is now the WGST Advanced Seminar, where students develop, implement, and present community action projects that are meant to address real-life gender justice issues on campus and in the community.



New Directions

picture of Joanne Green

Joanne Green (Political Science) becomes director


Graduate Certificate

In 2004, Women’s Studies launched the graduate certificate program, admitting 12 students in its first year and developing a class in Feminist Theories and Methodologies. The certificate program now enrolls around 50 students from AddRan, Brite Divinity School, Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the College of Education. In 2018, the certificate program launched a new class: Feminist Inquiry: Theory & Praxis. Graduate students serve on WGST committees and each year, one is honored with a graduate research award.

2019 WGST Graduate Certificate Students at the ENGL/HIST Hooding Ceremony




2005 saw the addition of 15 new WOST-approved classes; the first TCU production of The Vagina Monologues; and a lecture by Alexandra Robbins, author of Pledged, which allowed Women’s Studies to expand awareness of the program and partner with Panhellenic


New Directions

Karen Steele (English) becomes director



An Emphasis in WOST

Women’s Studies launches the emphasis, which requires one fewer course than the minor and broadens the program’s reach on campus.


Queer Ideas at TCU

In 2008, Dr. Bonnie Blackwell offered one of the first LGBTQ-themed undergraduate courses at TCU, LGBTQ Authors and Themes in the English Department, and in 2014 it was approved for WGST credit. Dr. Kylo-Patrick Hart first offered the FTDM class Queer Theory/LGBT Film in 2011. In 2018, Women & Gender Studies launched the course Queer Theories, taught by Dr. Nino Testa, as part of a new curriculum for the recently approved major in WGST.


Wise Woman Award Launches

In 2008, WGST launched The Jean Giles-Sims Wise Woman Award, which is presented to the faculty member who best exemplifies the principles of Women and Gender Studies and helps to further gender justice on campus. The award recognizes faculty contributions both inside and outside of the classroom and has been given to faculty from across the university.


New Directions

Laura Prestwood (IDM) becomes director, first director from outside AddRan College of Liberal Arts

A Feminist Archive

Documentation of the Program’s history begins as WOST minor student Paige Pohle writes her final paper in the Senior Capstone course on the history of the Women’s Studies at TCU.

New Directions

Theresa Gaul (English) begins the first of two terms as director


Faculty Research Award Launches

WGST launches the Claudia V. Camp Faculty Research and Creativity Award. Named for one of the founders of Women’s Studies, this award is a one-year honorary appointment that recognizes excellence in scholarship and creative activity on women and gender by an affiliated faculty member in Women and Gender Studies at TCU.


What's in a Name?

In 2014 the faculty vote to change the name to “Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies,” but ultimately adopt “Women & Gender Studies” at the suggestion of the Office of the Provost.


Laying the Groundwork for Change

WGST undergoes an external review which recommends the hire of full-time faculty and staff, the development of a major, and a refocus of curriculum. In August, WGST hires its first full-time staff person, an Associate Director, Dr. Nino Testa. In September, Katherine Spillar (’75) visits TCU as a WGST Green Chair, speaking to hundreds of people across campus about her work with the Feminist Majority Foundation, Ms. Magazine, reproductive rights, and feminist activism.




A Year of Growth

TCU approves both bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in Women & Gender Studies. WGST moves to the new School of Interdisciplinary Studies and becomes the Department of Women & Gender Studies.


New Directions

Jeannine Gailey (Sociology) is named director of Women and Gender Studies. After the program moves to the new School of Interdisciplinary Studies and becomes a department, Gailey becomes the inaugural chair of the Department of Women & Gender Studies.


25 Years of Women & Gender Studies

The fall 2019 theme semester, “Looking Back, Moving Forward” celebrates 25 years of Women & Gender Studies/Women’s Studies at TCU.


Gay Rights Icon Morris Kight Graduates from TCU

Morris Kight, TCU class of 1942, is responsible for organizing the first city-permitted, street-closing gay pride parade in the world. In1970, he, along with the Committee for Homosexual Freedom, successfully applied for a permit in Los Angeles to hold the parade. This was significant at a time when LAPD were notoriously anti-gay and did not want this event to happen; it was the first time a major U.S. city was forced to use its resources for a gay community event. The parade was held on June 28, 1970 (the same weekend as the NYC pride march commemorating the first anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. The NTC march was not city-permitted). In the following years, Kight, who was also a labor organizer and anti-war activist, led important boycotts of anti-gay companies, including the famous Coors boycott. Kight also founded or worked with nearly every gay organization in Los Angeles. The corner of Hollywood Blvd and McCadden Place in Hollywood is named Morris Kight Square.

A biography of Kight was set to appear on TCU’s homepage for Pride Month (June) 2021, but university leadership nixed the story at the last minute giving no reason for the cancelation.

Listen to an audio biography of Morris Kight by Dr. Nino Testa. 



First Course Addressing Homosexuality is Offered at TCU

In the spring of 1975, Dr. Sandra Carey in the Department of Sociology offered a course called “The Sociology of Sex Roles.” Dr. Carey told The Skiff that homosexuality would be addressed in the course, but it’s main focus would be “the influence of biology and socialization on men and women.”

The Skiff from 11/1/1974 –


Chancellor Moudy’s Anti-Gay Comments

In an article covering the religious debate over homosexuality, Chancellor James Moudy is quoted making multiple overtly anti-gay comments. His comments reflect the university’s policies and attitudes toward gay employees and students on campus. Moudy stated, “TCU does not knowingly admit, employ, or retain overt homosexuals.” Dean of Students, Elizabeth Proffer, clarified what would happen to known homosexuals on campus: “if someone participated in homosexual activity in the public’s eye or has homosexual relations in on campus housing and is caught, the person may be prohibited from reenrolling.”

Skiff article from April 26, 1978 –


AIDS Awareness on Campus

In October of 1988, Planned Parenthood of North Texas sponsored an exhibition entitled “Understanding AIDS” in the Student Center Lounge. The following spring, Jim Werth, a junior psychology major, organized a panel discussion to bring further AIDS awareness to campus. The panel was made up of four people who had AIDS, a nurse who treated patients with AIDS and the coordinator of volunteer services for AIDS patients. After the panel discussion, Werth went on to establish the AIDS Awareness, Information and Discussion Society (AAIDS). It became an official student organization the following semester, and they continued to support AIDS awareness efforts on campus.

1989 Yearbook –

April 7, 1989 issue of The Skiff -Article about the panel

September 22, 1989 issue of The Skiff – mentions AAIDS student group forming



Students Are Hesitant to Form a Gay Student Organization

In an article from The Skiff discussing gay student organizations at other Texas universities, several gay and lesbian students at TCU deny the need and desire for such an organization at TCU. Many cited fears that they’d be harassed on campus if they formed an official student organization and said the group would do more harm than good.

April 27, 1989 issue of The Skiff –


First LGBT Student Group Forms on Campus

In March of 1993, a small group of LGBT students started informally meeting off campus at the Wesley Foundation house. About a year later, they decided to apply to become an official student organization. Their group was approved and on April 28, 1994, and they became the first official LGBT student group on campus. However, they were still cautious of meeting openly on campus, so they continued to meet at the Wesley Foundation house. An ad was placed in The Skiff each week saying to contact Priscilla Tate, the faculty advisor, for the location of the meeting and more information on the group.

Click here to listen to an audio history of the TCU Triangle.


Ad in September 29, 1994 Skiff


First Pride Prom

On April 28, 2001, eQ Alliance, a student organization for LGBTQ+ students and allies, held their first Pride Prom. The event was held so that all students could attend a social function where they could be themselves without fear of discrimination. After the success of the first prom, with nearly 80 students attending, this became an annual event for the eQ Alliance.


Proposal to Offer Same-Sex Benefits to TCU Faculty

In response to SMU being the latest university to extend benefits to same-sex partners of its employees, a proposal was put forward to the TCU Cabinet to approve a policy that would offer similar benefits at TCU. The proposal, which was modeled heavily after SMU’s policies, included tuition benefits and health, life and accident insurance for same-sex partners of TCU employees. TCU implemented this policy on January 1, 2005.

October 11, 2001 issue of The Skiff


First LGBT-Themed Undergraduate Class is Offered

In fall of 2008, Dr. Bonnie Blackwell offered the first course dedicated to LGBT material. It was called “LGBT Authors and Themes” and it covered “themes of sexual identity in literature by authors from antiquity to the present.” It served as an upper-level English elective and in 2014 it was approved for WGST credit.

2008 catalog –


Chancellor Boschini Cancels Plans for LGBTQ+ Student Housing

Following a national uproar online, Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. cancels TCU’s plans to reserve a block of rooms in a campus apartment complex for gay and straight students wanting to learn about issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. Boschini claimed the national attention did not drive his decision, instead citing feedback from TCU students, faculty, alumni, and others as the primary reason for the change of plans. “Their theory was,” according to Boschini, “it’s splitting students up instead of uniting them.”

Read the full article about this decision here.

October 12, 2009

Spectrum Rebrands the Drag Show

Spectrum, QUOTA (TCU’s graduate LGBTQUIA+ group), and Triota (TCU’s Women and Gender Studies Honor Society) host the first annual Spectrum Drag Show. The event featured local drag queen Kiana Lee as MC and included performances by Sapphire Davenport, Chanel St. John, Andre Versace, Addison L. Foster, and Mulan Alexander. In addition to the drag performances, the event also included an hour of feminist karaoke.

Read more here!

February 2017

TCU Marches: 2019 Fort Worth Pride

TCU students, faculty, and staff came together to march in the 2019 Fort Worth Pride Parade.

September 2019

TCU Celebrates National Coming Out Day

TCU students and staff celebrated National Coming Out Day on Friday, October 11, 2019.

October 11, 2019


The following is the history of TCU Triangle, the first LGBTQ+ student organization on campus. Click here to listen to an audio version of this timeline that was presented by Marilyn Downing during the TCU Feminist and Queer History Tour in Fall 2019.




First Meeting

A group of TCU LGBTQ+ students met at the Wesley Foundation house for the first time in March of 1993. This provided a safe space for students, off campus, where they could fully be themselves and provide support to one another. While they were not yet an official student organization, the support from the Wesley Foundation showed that a campus religious organization was willing to accept LGBTQ+ students in a time when many religious groups would not.

March 1993

Allies Panel

In 1993, the Division of Student Affairs created Allies, a group of faculty and staff members who supported the needs of LGBTQ+ students on campus. On October 18, 1993, the Allies sponsored a panel that allowed five LGBTQ+ students to share their experiences with 60 faculty members. The goal was to help faculty better understand how to support their LGBTQ+ students and create a space for open dialogue on campus. Click here to read the full article.

From Oct. 20, 1993 issue of The Skiff

October 18, 1993

Becoming an Official Group

The TCU Triangle became the first official LGBTQ+ student organization on April 28, 1994. They were still cautious of meeting openly on campus, so they continued to meet off campus at the Wesley Foundation house. An ad was placed in the Skiff each week saying to contact Priscilla Tate, the faculty advisor, for the location of the meeting and more information on the group. Click here to see the full Skiff issue.

Ad from Sept. 29, 1994 issue of The Skiff (p. 2)

April 28, 1994

Formation of the Student Allies Group

A student branch of the Allies was formed in the fall of 1994. They met weekly and worked closely with the Triangle to find ways to effectively show their support. In Spring of 1995, the Student Allies became an official student organization with Andy Fort as their faculty advisor.

Student Allies in the 1999 Yearbook (p. 301)

Check out the full yearbook here!

Fall 1994

A Resolution for Support

Sophomore Thomas Graca brought forward a resolution to the Student House of Representatives asking the House to recognize the Triangle’s rights as a student organization after their publicity materials were vandalized and destroyed. Student representatives claimed the purpose of the resolution was unclear, so many representatives ended up voting based on if they personally supported the existence of the LGBTQ+ group. The resolution failed to pass with a vote of 28-17 with 19 members abstaining their vote.

From Sept. 29, 1994 issue of The Skiff

Click here to see the full issue.

September 28, 1994

A New Resolution

A week later, the House passed a new resolution to reaffirm the rights of all student organizations on campus. This came as a response to the failed Triangle resolution as well as incidents of racial slurs and vandalism committed against other student organizations on campus. The resolution aimed to show that the House supported the rights of all student organizations at the university. See the full Skiff issue here.

From Oct. 5, 1994 issue of The Skiff

October 4, 1994

Support from the Multicultural Committee

The Multicultural Committee, a group set up to diversify cultural awareness on campus, decided to support the Triangle in Fall of 1995. The Triangle hoped that the committee’s support would help increase acceptance and visibility on campus. On October 11, 1995, the Multicultural Committee sponsored its first event for the Triangle: TCU’s first National Coming Out Day celebration.

The Multicultural Committee in the 1999 Yearbook


Click here to see the full yearbook.

Fall 1995

eQ Alliance

Because they worked so closely with one another, the Triangle and Student Allies decided to merge into a new group called the eQ Alliance. Marcy Paul served as their faculty advisor and they became an official student organization in the fall of 2000. Click here to see the full issue.

From Oct. 11, 2000 issue of The Skiff

Fall 2000

Gloria Steinem Visits TCU


Gloria Steinem started the conversation on childcare at TCU. During her visit to campus in the early 70s, she made 11 suggestions on feminist actions that TCU could take. One of these suggestions outlined the establishment of an on-campus childcare center that would serve faculty, staff and students.

October-November 1974 issue of Image

March 17, 1971

First Childcare Proposal Submitted by the Home Economics Department

The Home Economics Department built their proposal around suggestions from the College of Nursing, the School of Education, and the Departments of Psychology, Religion, Sociology, and Speech and Hearing. They proposed creating an on-campus day care center that offered half-day and full-day care. While the university seemed to be interested in the proposal, it was denied due to lack of funding and space on campus for such a facility.

Image from January 24, 1974 issue of The Skiff

July 1973

AddRan Committee on Women’s Programs Creates a Day Care Subcommittee

The AddRan Committee on Women’s Programs, a group that advocated for a women’s studies program and women’s issues on campus, created this subcommittee to focus specifically on the childcare issue. They conducted a survey about the need for childcare on campus and reported 140 potential children that could use the center and overwhelming support from faculty.


Survey mentioned in March 3, 1987 issue of The Skiff


Social Work Course Addresses Childcare Issue

In the Spring 1987 semester, Professor Linda Moore’s “Community Organization” course was centered around advocating for day care services on campus. The class sent out a survey to over 400 faculty members, with at least a quarter of them responding that they could use or would support such a facility on campus. The students in the course worked toward creating a formal proposal for their final project which suggested a sliding-scale payment system where the price of on-campus childcare services would be adjusted by income.

March 3, 1987 issue of The Skiff –


“Community Intervention” Course Conducts New Survey

The Department of Social Work continued to advocate for childcare on campus. In Spring of 1994 the “Community Intervention” class conducted an updated survey about the need for childcare on campus. They found that 504 faculty and staff members would support the project and 151 families that would utilize such a facility on campus. At this time, the class was investigating building a new facility on campus to house the program.

Image from April 14, 1994 issue of The Skiff


“Generalist Practice with Communities” Course Researches Past Childcare Efforts and Conducts New Survey

Students in Professor David Jenkins’ “Generalist Practice with Communities” class focused their local activist project on previous childcare initiatives at TCU. Students found that there was little evidence of the previous efforts on campus and had to conduct interviews with faculty to document the history of the issue. They also conducted a yet another survey to assess the current need for childcare. They found that 30 professors could currently use such a service, but many others who said they would’ve used one in the past if it was offered when their kids were younger. The students found that many of the previous initiatives got shut down because they weren’t relevant enough for undergraduate students which was the university’s prime focus. They attempted to solve this by proposing a day care facility that was partially run by undergraduate students in the School of Education and the Department of Social Work for class credit or volunteer hours.

Image from April 26, 2001 issue of The Skiff


Formal Childcare Committee Officially Revives Childcare Initiative on Campus

Linda Moore, now the Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, led a committee which was putting together a new childcare proposal. Moore, who had now been involved in childcare initiatives for over a decade, said the previous proposals were never denied, but simply ignored. Chancellor Ferrari claimed that finances were why he was hesitant to support previous proposals. At the end of 2002, the childcare committee issued a survey to SGA, GSS and the Faculty Senate. They found that 38% of faculty, staff and students would benefit from on-campus childcare. They created a new proposal after researching and visiting other childcare facilities at peer and aspirational universities including University of North Texas, Texas Women’s University, Dallas Baptist University, Duke University and Vanderbilt University.

Image from September 27, 2002 issue of The Skiff

November 27, 2002 issue of The Skiff  –


Camp Fire Program Helps Connect TCU Faculty to Affordable Childcare

The first childcare assistance services were offered for faculty in 2011 through a partnership with Camp Fire USA. Camp Fire was a third-party facilitator that helped connect TCU faculty to affordable childcare in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This service was extended to graduate students in 2014, but ultimately discontinued in 2017 because not enough people were utilizing the service.

TCU 360 article from February 18, 2010 –


New Proposal Targets Low-Income Student-Parents

2019 GSS president, Tim Ballingall, created a childcare proposal targeted at low-income students. Ballingall proposed that TCU apply for grant through the Department of Education that provides a childcare subsidy for students who were also eligible for the Pell Grant. While his proposal got support from all major governing bodies on campus and multiple academic departments, it was ultimately denied under the assumption that it would only benefit an extremely small percentage of students at TCU.

2019 Tim’s proposal –



Graduate Student Senate Committee for Student-Parents

The recently expanded Graduate Student Senate created a subcommittee dedicated to serving the needs of student-parents on campus. When Ballingall’s term as GSS President ended, he passed along his research to this committee in hopes that they would continue to advocate for childcare on campus.


Manless/Womanless Wedding

In the early 20th century, students sometimes performed elaborate same-sex wedding rituals in drag, such as the 1904 Manless Wedding pictured here. A 1918 Skiff article describes a Womanless Wedding sponsored by the Domestic Science Department, which “proved to be one of the funniest and most ludicrous things that has ever happened in the University…there were a number of handsome men, and also some of the boys who were dressed as girls made exceptionally beautiful girls.” The bride, Miss Henerey Fussell, and groom, Judge Raley, had a full wedding party and exchanged vows. There are records of these festivities through the 1940s. It is worth noting that these events were common and celebrated events throughout the US South, and that they existed at the same time that co-called “cross-dressing” ordinances, including one here in Fort Worth, criminalized forms of drag that were considered deviant or lewd.

Click here to see photo archive and here to read the full article from 1918.



TCU Founder's Son, Joseph Lynn Clark, Dresses in Yellowface for a Womanless Wedding

Joseph Lynn Clark, the son of TCU founder Randolph Clark and alumnus of TCU (Class of 1906), dressed in drag for a womanless wedding at Sam Houston State University, where he was a professor of History. According to historian Craig Thompson Friend,  blackface and minstrelsy were common in Womanless Weddings as a way of affirming the power of White masculinity (228). To see the uncensored photograph of Joseph Lynn Clark, click here (content warning: anti-Asian racism and minstrelsy).


Straight Students at Gay Bars

In two features on gay life at TCU, a former student shares his experience feeling like the only gay man on TCU’s campus for a year and a half. This feature is followed by a story detailing a group of straight TCU women who regularly go to gay clubs in Dallas for fun, but dread the Friday night drag show. The article describes the drag queens as oddities and focuses on the straight student experience of escaping from TCU to the exoticized gay bars. Click here to read the full piece.


April 1973

Local Drag as Oddity for TCU Students

The TCU publication etCetera profiles a drag show at the Fort Worth gay bar The Other Place, starring Bette Sheba, the drag persona of Ricky Knerr. The article refers to Knerr as a “manwoman,” but Knerr is queerly defiant: “You can call me a queer in a dress, man in panty hose, whatever, I don’t care.” He explains the tricks of the trade and insists that he loves being a man who loves men but loves putting on a show that is “more flashy Las Vegas showgirl types.” That year, Ricky Knerr won entertainer of the year in Texas. The author remarks, “Coming to a gay bar, the straight person will find normal appearing people…there is nothing about their outward appearance that tells the viewer if the patron is heterosexual or homosexual.” Click here for more.

March 1981

Drag as Homecoming Activity

In the fall of ’83, a Daily Skiff showcases different parties happening throughout the week of Homecoming. One event, titled “Mr. Drag Queen Contests” is for “males only” and offers $150 in prizes for the best performers. Click here for more.

October 1983

Drag at Stonewall: Correcting the Record

At an event organized by Betty Benison for her human sexuality class, Michael Smerick Jr., the president of Tarrant County Gay Alliance, discusses the history of gay liberation citing the 1969 Stonewall riots and the role that drag queens, not gay men, played in the rebellion against police violence. Street queens, like Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, identified as drag queens but were not stage performers; instead, we now refer to them as trans women.

Click here to see more.


A Night in Wonderland

The 7th Annual Drag Show, “A Night in Wonderland,” sponsored by the TCU Gay-Straight Alliance hosted more than 130 people at the BLUU and featured local performers Zimora Davenport and Eliott Puckett (known as Eliott with two Ts on the 13th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race), raising money for Youth First Texas, an LGBTQ youth organization. Click here to read the full article.

November 2014

Spectrum Rebrands Drag Show

Spectrum, QUOTA (then TCU’s graduate LGBTQIA+ group), and Triota (TCU’s Women and Gender Studies Honor Society) host the first rebranded Spectrum Drag Show. The event featured local drag queen Kiana Lee as MC and included performances by Sapphire Davenport, Chanel St. John, Andre Versace, Addison L. Foster, and Mulan Alexander. In addition to the drag performances, the event also included an hour of feminist karaoke.

Read more here!

February 2017

New Milestones

TCU’s current LGBTQIA+ organization Spectrum put on “A Night of Drag” which was an event that set the bar high for future drag shows or events at TCU. With a crowd of 350, it successfully raised money for LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S., an organization that offers assistance to youth and families in Fort Worth. Read the full article here.

March 2019

Drag Queen Story Hour Cancelled on Campus

WGST held a three-day “Critical Drag Residency” with LaWhore Vagistan aka Dr. Kareem Khubchandani and Lola Von Miramar aka Dr. Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes as well as other experts on drag. One event, “Crafting Your Drag” helped students conceptualize performances for the 2020 Spectrum Drag Show, which was eventually canceled due to Covid-19. The Residency was also meant to include a Drag Queen Story Hour event, featuring the co-creator of this program, Michelle Tea, and performer Maria von Clapp (the persona of WGST’s Dr. Nino Testa). However, this event was cancelled by university leadership. Read more here.

October 2019

Queer Art of Drag

Dr. Nino Testa taught the first academic course at TCU focused on the art of drag. Students developed their own drag personas and recorded their own drag performances to be screened during Spectrum’s annual “Night of Drag.” Due to Covid-19, a small number of students attended a live show, with student performance screened between the professional performances, and the entire show was livestreamed to the community.

Watch the show here.

Spring 2021

Anti-Drag Bills in Texas Legislature

During the current legislative session (spring 2023), Texas lawmakers have introduced nearly a dozen bills that seek to criminalize drag in front of children, defund libraries that offer drag programming, and otherwise classify drag as obscene. One such bill, HB 1266, was penned by Fort Worth Representative Nate Schatzline, seen below appearing at an event in drag.


Special Spots Provided for Disabled Students

This small blurb in the Daily Skiff describes how disabled students at TCU will now be provided with accessible parking spots near their dorms and classes. They must submit their schedule to the security office in order to make sure the spots are reserved. It explains that it applies to those who attend day classes or evening classes.

Read the full piece here.

February 12, 1954

Founding Starpoint School

Starpoint School is a laboratory school where the faculty and staff are committed to the ideal that all children can learn.

Starpoint was founded as the tangible dream of M.J. and Alice Neeley. Their dream was to have a school where children with learning differences could thrive academically and could be taught by aspiring educators. This dream was formulated as they watched their grandson struggle academically. The Neeleys were determined that teachers should be trained to help children with special needs and, in 1966, Mr. and Mrs. Neeley initiated a laboratory school on the TCU Campus, Starpoint School, for that purpose.

At Starpoint, the Neeleys wished to provide training for teachers in order to facilitate suitable academic experiences for all children with learning differences. In keeping with the original intent of the Neeleys, Starpoint School remains as an active educational laboratory where TCU faculty, staff and students are afforded the opportunity to observe, study, research and participate in a quality educational program for young children with academic difficulties.

To memorialize and celebrate Mrs. Neeley’s efforts, as well as the TCU College of Education’s dedication to children with disabilities, the Alice S. Neeley Special Education Institute was established in the spring of 2005 to continue her efforts.

For more information about Starpoint School, click here.


Law Helps the Handicapped

The article mentions how the students aren’t fighting to make an ‘A’ in the class but to be able to make it to class at all. Students in wheelchairs were struggling to get into buildings because doors weren’t wide enough. However, the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 forced colleges and universities to remove any obstacles students may face in accessing buildings. This article quotes Dallas Dickinson, “the administrator in charge of the program for the handicapped,”: “there’s a lot of vagueness in the regulations if the campus is to be made equally accessible to all people with handicaps, then our cost figure will be incalculable. …But that’s not the intent of the law as anyone reads it.”

Click here to see the full issue.

February 9, 1978

TCU Angers Disabled Student

In the same issue, the paper ran an interview with a disabled TCU student Jim Shiel, a 22-year-old who seriously considered hiring a lawyer when his basic needs for his wheelchair were not accommodated, making him feel like he was living a “Second-class citizenry life.” The campus had no ramps, torn-up sidewalks, and inadequate parking spaces, which caused Jim to miss most of his classes throughout the semester. Jim was assured that adjustments would be made on campus, but changes never happened.

Read the full piece here.

February 9, 1978

Personal Testimony on Accessibility Barriers

In 2019, TCU alumna Michelle Franke spoke to current TCU students about her experiences at TCU in the 1980s. When she arrived at orientation in 1982, the university did not have accessible dorm rooms or bathrooms, so accommodations had to be built for her. If Franke had a class on an upper floor, the class would have to be moved or she would have to drop it because elevators were uncommon in campus buildings. Her experience was that TCU worked with her needs, but she had to ask for and often create solutions to issues from test-taking in class to having a caregiver during the night.


TCU and the Americans with Disabilities Act

This Daily Skiff piece explains how schools had to make changes once the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 and new ADA building codes were implemented in 1992. The ADA extended protections for disabled people in education, employment, and civic participation, and the act required TCU to formalize its accessibility services and extend its physical renovation work. One of the main jobs of TCU’s Student Disability Services Office is to ensure compliance with the ADA. This article also detailed some resistance to the law at TCU.  Don Palmer, a physical services architect, said, “The law says we must make reasonable accommodations, but is installing elevators, handrails, and pressure-sensitive doors in every building on campus for only a handful of disabled students reasonable?”

Read the full article here.

March 6, 1992


KinderFrogs School, Tarrant County’s only early-intervention educational program for children ages 18 months to six years with Down Syndrome and other developmental delays, was created in 2000 in response to a 1999 appeal from the Fort Worth community and the energy and commitment of a group of dedicated parents. Currently, no other early-intervention program for these children exists in Fort Worth or the surrounding areas.

KinderFrogs serves 35 children in three classrooms and each classroom employs a teacher who has a
graduate degree in Special Education and two instructional teacher assistants. The student-teacher ratio is about 3:1.


The College of Education at TCU is the only teacher preparation program in the United States that operates two laboratory schools in special education: Starpoint School and KinderFrogs School. KinderFrogs School serves as an on-campus training site for TCU students in the College of Education and other university programs. TCU students are an active and vital part of KinderFrogs School as observers, practice teachers, classroom aides and beginning educational researchers. TCU professors are also available to offer their expertise and knowledge to KinderFrogs staff and students.

Click here to listen TCU’s Ying Wang explain more about the history of TCU’s College of Education.

For more about KinderFrogs, click here.


Faculty Senate Urges Reed Elevator Addition

Stressing the importance of accessibility on campus, the TCU Faculty Senate demanded the construction of an elevator in Reed Hall so that accessing the building’s lower level would be possible for all individuals. The resolution to add an elevator was passed with a vote of 19-10, but the Senate was asked to rewrite their proposal so that it would not include a halt on all other construction projects on campus.
To read more, click here.
March 10, 1995

Mia Mingus Lecture

Writer, educator, and trainer for transformative and disability justice, Mia Mingus

In a 2018 lecture, Mia Mingus, a writer, educator, and trainer for transformative and disability justice, explained, “I don’t just want technical and logistical access. I don’t just want inclusion, I want liberatory access… I want us to not only be able to be part of spaces but for us to be able to fully engage in spaces. I don’t just want us to get a seat at someone else’s table, I want us to be able to build something more magnificent than a table, together with our accomplices.” Too often in TCU’s history, the university has reacted to outside pressure or circumstances rather than working proactively to fully include disabled students, employees, and visitors. We can do better as educators, feminists, and allies to build something better for future disabled folks on our campus.

To read more about Mia Mingus and her work on transformative and disability justice, check out her blog, “Leaving Evidence.”


Laurel Cunningham on Recent Campus Accessibility Developments

In a 2019 campus talk, TCU Student Disability Services coordinator Laurel Cunningham explained that around 10% of students on campus work with the Student Disability Services Office, and she noted that the vast majority of those students deal with invisible disabilities. Some recent accessibility-related events connect to this population; for example, in 2016, the Faculty Senate took up the idea of a testing center that would centralize testing accommodations for all students. This idea is still being researched and debated. Beginning in 2015, TCU’s Student Government Association prioritized mental health as an area of concern and outreach across campus. In 2019, a proliferation of emotional support animals at TCU led to a new campus policy that requires stronger registration and vetting for service animals.

For more on accessibility, accommodations, and the experiences of students with learning disabilities at TCU, read Monica Dziak’s 2016 article for TCU 360, “Students with Learning Disabilities Feel Well Accommodated at TCU.”


Planned Parenthood Representative Visits TCU

Planned Parenthood representative Joyce Penninger, R.N. visited TCU on October 10, 1971. She informed residents of Pete Wright and Waits halls about Planned Parenthood’s three primary service types: medical, family life education, and abortion counseling. While the Fort Worth clinic performed no abortions, they made referrals to trusted agencies in states where abortion was legal. Penninger noted that, since the start of the academic year, “a number of students from TCU” visited Planned Parenthood for abortion counseling but many arrived too late in their pregnancies. The representative encouraged students to visit if they were in need of any of their services, saying they shouldn’t feel embarrassed or pressured.

Image from October 13, 1971 issue of The Skiff. Read the full story here.

October 10, 1971

AWS Survey Shows Students Want More Information on Sexual Health Resources

The TCU Association of Women Students distributed a questionnaire to discover what information students lacked. Some 500 women students completed the survey. Concerns reported in the September 7, 1972 Skiff included bringing awareness and necessary action to racial disparities in educational achievement and a lack of information on birth control and treatment of STDs.

Image from September 7, 1921 issue of The Skiff. Full story here.

September 1972

Campus Ministers Approve of Roe v. Wade Decision

In January 1973, three TCU campus ministers proclaimed their support of the Supreme Court’s recent decision on Roe v. Wade. Ray Martin, Paul Jones, and Father M. Gayland Pool cited both individual rights of choice and Christian ethics in their approval.

Image from January 31, 1973 issue of The Skiff – full story here.

January 1973

TCU Sophomore Shares Abortion Story

On March 8, 1973, an anonymous TCU sophomore shared her abortion story through a Skiff article. Overall, she said that she felt no moral responsibility but that the process leading up to the abortion did cause emotional strain, especially as she couldn’t discuss the decision with her family. The student pointed out that she couldn’t take off school to go on maternity leave, and she wouldn’t want to be pressured into marriage. She knew abortion was the right decision for her, and said she felt no guilt or regret.

Image from March 8, 1973 issues of The Skiff. Full story here.

March 8, 1973

Weddington and Schlafly Visit TCU to Debate Abortion Rights

On January 26, 1988, Sarah Weddington, the defense attorney of “Jane Roe”, and Phyllis Schlafly, a prominent anti-abortion activist, visited TCU to debate topics brought forth with the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case. Weddington argued for a woman’s right to privacy while her opponent focused on a fetus’ right to life, which she stated begins at conception. The TCU Forums Committee hosted the debate not with the intent of determining a winner, but to encourage students to think critically about each side.

Image from January 27, 1988 issue of The Skiff 

January 22, 1988 issue of The Skiff – full story here.

January 26, 1988

Student Columnist Lays Out Abortion Arguments

In a Skiff article published on January 24, 1989, a TCU student broke down the common arguments, as well as the rebuttals and counterarguments, of both sides of the abortion debate. The columnist concluded that “neither side has all the answers” but called for legal action and answers to the primary questions surrounding the debate.

Image from January 24, 1989 issue of The Skiff.

January 24, 1989

TCU Student Won't Go Back to "Archaic" Ways

On November 21, 1989, a TCU student columnist wrote an article addressing Randall Terry, then leader of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, and those that share his views. The columnist proclaimed that there won’t be a return to the “archaic and judgmental” ways and that they would support the marginalized, including those desiring an abortion, no matter the reason.

Image from September 21, 1989 issue of The Skiff.

September 21, 1989

Students, Faculty, and an Alumnus Share Opinions on the Potential Overturn of Roe v. Wade

On November 18, 1991, TCU students, faculty, and an alumnus shared their opinions on the potential overturn of Roe v Wade, and most disapproved. In a Skiff article responding to Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court appointment and the threat it posed to abortion rights, many cited issues with the potential overturn of the Supreme Court case. These included general disapproval, inconsistency of abortion laws determined by states, the continuation of illegal abortions, and a disregard for bodily autonomy. While most expressed views supporting the initial Supreme Court decision, one student denounced abortion in any circumstance.

Image from November 18, 1991 issue of The Skiff. Read the full story here.

November 18, 1991

Health Center and Counseling Center Representatives Endorse Planned Parenthood

Representatives of the TCU Health Center and Counseling Center endorsed the services of Planned Parenthood in a September 2, 1994 Skiff article. The two, a clinical psychologist and a women’s health practitioner, shared that college students frequently fail to use contraceptives because of a lack of education, not resources. The Health Center representative listed contraceptives provided by TCU but also endorsed the services of Fort Worth Planned Parenthood for any student desiring to go elsewhere. The article listed services including IUD implants, vasectomies, pregnancy screenings, counseling, and providing information on legal options for pregnancies.

Image from September 2, 1994 issue of The Skiff.

September 2, 1994

“Students For Life” Founded on Campus

Senior Melinda Castro founded the TCU Students for Life, gaining university approval on February 15, 2008. The group, based on Christian values and a desire to “protect the sanctity of life’,’ planned weekly prayer meetings, as well as prayer vigils and “sidewalk counseling” outside of Planned Parenthood. This organization is active at TCU today.

Image from Students For Life Engage page.

February 26, 2008 issue of The Skiff.

February 15, 2008

SB 8 and The March for Reproductive Rights

Photo: Amanda Peterson

On Saturday, October 2, 2021, TCU students participated in the local march for reproductive justice. The march was one of many that happened in Texas and across the nation in response to recent anti-abortion legislation. In 2021 alone, over 600 abortion restrictions were introduced in 47 states, including Texas. In September 2021, the Texas anti-abortion law SB 8 officially went into effect. SB 8 essentially bans abortion after six weeks of gestation, before many even know they are pregnant. In addition, the anti-abortion bill also allows any private citizen in Texas, or elsewhere, to sue anyone who performs an abortion in the state or anyone who aids or abets or intends to aid or abet someone in getting an abortion in Texas – including anyone who provided financial assistance or transportation to a clinic. These private citizens, commonly referred to as “abortion bounty hunters,” stand to profit a minimum of $10,000 per claim in these civil suits. Further, SB 8 makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott publicly refused to support adding these exceptions, instead insisting that Texas would work to eliminate rape rather than allow victims to access a legal abortion; relatedly, 14,656 cases of rape were reported in Texas in 2019, likely a grave undercount as many sexual assaults go unreported. Texas SB 8 is the most restrictive piece of anti-abortion legislation since Roe v. Wade in 1973, though, according to the most recent PEW Research Center survey, 59% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

For more about SB 8, check out this Texas Monthly article or this NPR piece.

October 2, 2021