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UniversityCourseStudents Enrolled
Texas Christian UniversitySpring 2011Nature of GivingDepartments: Honors ColloquiumRon Pitcock21 students
Texas Christian UniversitySpring 2012Nature of GivingDepartments: Honors ColloquiumRon Pitcock25 students
Texas Christian UniversitySpring 2013Nature of GivingDepartments: Honors ColloquiumRon Pitcock29 students
Texas Christian UniversitySpring 2014Nature of GivingDepartments: Honors ColloquiumRon Pitcock28 students
Texas Christian UniversitySpring 2015Nature of GivingDepartments: Honors ColloquiumRon Pitcock22 students
Texas Christian UniversitySpring 2016Nature of GivingDepartments: Honors ColloquiumRon Pitcock29 students
Texas Christian UniversityFall 2016Nature of GivingDepartments: Honors ColloquiumRon Pitcock20 students
Texas Christian UniversitySpring 2017Nature of GivingDepartments: Honors ColloquiumRon Pitcock18 students
Texas Christian UniversitySpring 2018Nature of GivingDepartments: Honors ColloquiumRon Pitcock27 students
Texas Christian UniversitySpring 2020Giving and PhilanthropyDepartments: Honors ColloquiumRon Pitcock20 students
Texas Christian UniversitySpring 2021Giving and PhilanthropyDepartments: Honors ColloquiumRon Pitcock18 students
Texas Christian UniversitySpring 2022Nature of GivingDepartments: Honors ColloquiumRon Pitcock18 students

Nature of Giving
Taught by Ron Pitcock
Department of Honors Colloquium

Ron Pitcock is the Interim Dean of the John V. Roach Honors College and the J. Vaughn and Evelyn H. Wilson Honors Fellow at Texas Christian University, where he also serves as the Director of Prestigious Scholarships. He earned his A.B. at Wabash College, M.A. at Indiana State University, and his Ph.D. in English and American Literature, with specializations in American Rhetoric, Literacy, and Culture, at the University of Kentucky.

At TCU, Dr. Pitcock has taught an array of undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on rhetoric, writing, literacy, and literature. His research examines issues in writing pedagogy and nineteenth-century US literacy. In recent years, Dr. Pitcock has pursued efforts to enhance the teaching and learning that Honors students experience at TCU. In 2003, Dr. Pitcock was named “Honors Professor of the Year” at TCU. In 2002, he received the “Promising Researcher Award” from the National Council of Teachers of English. Most recently, Dr. Pitcock received the 2010 Wassenich Award for Mentoring in the TCU Community. TCU students also voted Dr. Pitcock as recipient of the 2009 TCU Inspirational Professor Award presented by EECU. Dr. Pitcock has received teaching awards at the University of Kentucky, Indiana State University, and TCU; citations from the Conference on College Communication and Composition; and fellowships given by Pew Charitable Trusts. In 2012, The Princeton Review named Dr. Pitcock as one of the Best 300 Professors in the United States.

The obituary assignment: Professor has students write their own obituaries and connect the language to their philanthropic statements composed at the beginning of the course.

Students write letters to donors

Philanthropy Fridays – not on the official schedule but students expected to be there

Syllabus lists all grants made by past TCU classes

Class reads “Okay” poem from the Ambassadors Conference

Talk about locations at TCU related to philanthropy (“You are connected to this topic”)

Great job of engaging donors in the class, many come as guest speakers


Latest News

October 26, 2022

TCU Gives Day

July 13, 2021

Honors Students Help Secure $50,000 in Funding for Nonprofit at National Conference

September 14, 2020

Teaching the art and science of philanthropy: Students learning to give

Student Testimonials

I’m so grateful that, with your help, I was able to experience the joy of giving. I learned that there are no requirements to be a giver. You don’t have to make a certain amount of money or be in a position of power; anyone can give, and even the smallest gifts can make a difference.

Sophia CoussouleTexas Christian University

I never considered the possibilities beyond this semester and this course. Obviously the purpose of the course was to responsibly donate funds to non-profits, but the objective did not stop there. This course was designed to inspire and teach us how to lead philanthropic lives. There is no winning or losing – to think so is selfish. This course is not about what I want but about what organizations are capable of doing and what they need to do it. I wish everyone could take this class. I know my life has been changed for the better, and none of this would have been possible without your generosity. From the bottom of my heart, I truly thank you.

Houston McCulloughTexas Christian University

Thank you so much for contributing to the best class I have taken at TCU. Most classes require you to work hard to secure a good grade, but this class requires you to work hard so you can tangibly change lives for the better. Know that your donation not only went to amazing nonprofits, but also went towards molding the character of our class and shaping the future of philanthropy. I now know the true joy of giving and plan to continue giving for the rest of my life.

Madelyn CarterTexas Christian University

The Nature of Giving course at TCU will have monumental impact on my life and the lives of those around me for many years to come. You indirectly raised up 17 more people to habitually give their money away to those in need. The 17 people in my class will teach their kids and their grandkids to do the same… and domino effect never ends.

Bo ProckTexas Christian University

Before the class, I did not realize the level of commitment a donor must make in order to give well. From late nights sifting through briefing documents to mind boggling moments in front of Form 990s, I learned how to give wisely and rationally. However, I also learned how to give with heart. If there is no greater joy than giving, then to discover that early on is such a privilege. This learning experience would not have been possible without your willingness to trust us with a donation, and I am so grateful for your heart to impart these lessons on the next generation.

Mikaela MillerTexas Christian University

The reality is that each organization in our top fifteen was completely worthy of receiving funding. However, the purpose of this class is not to give money to every good organization. The purpose is not to give to organizations that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Rather, the purpose is for us to learn how much impact certain amounts of money can make. The purpose is for use to wrestle with and debate values, results, missions, and finances. It is for us to learn that giving wisely is hard. I fully believe that now. Never before have I been in a position to give a way such a large sum of money to an organization and this experience confirmed my belief that giving, at its core, is sacrificial. While this class required much of us, working with my classmates as a foundation for a semester grew me as an individual. It is hard enough to get a group of eighteen individuals to agree on anything but when you add $100,000 coupled with strong passions to the mix, it could be a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, through the guidance of Dr. Pitcock and the design of this course, it instead became a recipe for tremendous success.

Bailey SnyderTexas Christian University

My experience in this course changed my perspective on giving. It allowed me to realized real good was possible through strategic and responsible giving.

Jack Sewell