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TCU School of Medicine named in honor of Anne Burnett Marion

The Fort Worth native and philanthropist was committed to supporting the future of medical education.

Texas Christian University announced Monday that the School of Medicine will be named the Anne Burnett Marion School of Medicine, honoring the late Fort Worth native and philanthropist who was committed to supporting the future of medical education.

“I couldn’t ask for a better individual to name our school, a very impressive woman needless to say,” said Stuart D. Flynn, the founding dean of the TCU School of Medicine.

In addition to the naming of the school, the university announced a second $25 million gift from Marion and the Burnett Foundation to the Anne W. Marion Endowment in support of the TCU School of Medicine operations.

The first $25 million gift in September 2020 through the Burnett Foundation was pivotal for the TCU School of Medicine. It established the Anne W. Marion Endowment to permanently support the students, faculty and programming of the school.

Marion was an honorary trustee of TCU. Before she died in February 2020 she said: “I am inspired by the vision of the School of Medicine to transform medical education. This school is bringing considerable advances and innovations that are reshaping curriculum and preparing its graduates to better serve the community. I am pleased to make this gift.”

The name of the school — which will be known as the Burnett School of Medicine — is going to give the school an identity, Flynn said.

“Depending on the individual who the school is named after, it sends a very loud and clear message to that community,” Flynn said. “And so to have Anne Marion’s name attached to this school, who’s iconic in North Texas and definitely iconic in Fort Worth, that’s a very powerful connection, and one that invokes immense pride.”

Jonah Schmitz, a first-year student at the Burnett School of Medicine, feels the sense of pride that comes with the name.

“It’s super exciting that the school is going to be named after someone who had a clear understanding of the value of community, and how organizations, both in and outside of medicine, create happy and healthy communities,” Schmitz said.

First-year medical student Kailie McGee said the naming of the school after Marion is inspiring.

“Strong women like Miss Marion makes for strong girls,” McGee said.

“This leads to strong communities, leaders and solutions, and she [Marion] has proved time and time again that women can be and are dynamic and powerful leaders,” McGee said. “The gravity of her effect on Fort Worth is immeasurable, especially on the women at our school.”

The $50 million endowment is unrestricted and will fund a variety of efforts, from staff and faculty hires to scholarships to curricular design, Flynn said.

“During her lifetime, Anne Marion’s support of the university through her service as a trustee and her philanthropy played a vital role in strengthening TCU’s academic profile and reputation,” TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. said in a press release. “Her investment of $50 million in our School of Medicine enhances her legacy and will have a momentous influence on TCU for the next 150 years.”

Flynn said part of the medical school’s mission is to train the next generation of physicians to be “facile” with the changes that occur in medicine each day and to be leaders in some of those innovations.

“Medical knowledge now doubles every 70 days. If you’re not staying on top of that wave, training the next generation, you fall out of it,” Flynn said. “We not only don’t want to fall out of it, we want to make sure our students are right on top of it. A gift like this allows us to continue to push that envelope.”

And the funds will have an impact on the Fort Worth community.

Part of the Burnett School of Medicine’s curriculum involves students using their skills in the Fort Worth community with clinical partners.

“So funds that will come from this gift can then be used in those communities, which are underserved communities where we offer care, we teach and do other programs to help students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to do some of the things that we can do with them,” said Flynn. He added, “It’s very linear to go from a gift like this, to how it impacts the Fort Worth community.”

The Burnett School of Medicine’s first class of medical students started in July 2019. The fourth class began in July 2022, bringing the school to full enrollment of 240 students.

TCU is opening a new campus in Fort Worth’s medical district for the Burnett School of Medicine. The school will soon be located in the city’s Near Southside neighborhood and will house 240 medical students as well as hundreds of faculty and staff.

Officials expect the four-story, approximately 100,000-square-foot building to be completed in 2024.

“Miss Marion’s legacy is always going to be tied to our school, which makes it even better that she is a woman and that pioneer role model for not only the women in our school, but the women in our community and outside of our community,” McGee said.

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