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TCU announces new endowed faculty appointments with gifts from the Bezos Family Foundation and the late Dr. Ronald E. Moore

Dr. Ronald E. Moore (left) and Mike and Jackie Bezos (right)

Campaign gifts support TCU’s teacher-scholar model and acknowledge academic excellence, research achievements and leadership of Dr. Jan Lacina and Dr. Frederick W. Gooding, Jr.

Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. today announced two new endowed faculty appointments made possible by generous philanthropic investments in support of Texas Christian University’s exemplary faculty research and teaching. The newly endowed positions are the Bezos Family Foundation Endowed Chair for Early Childhood Education in the College of Education and the Dr. Ronald E. Moore Professorship in Humanities in the John V. Roach Honors College.

These gifts support Lead On: A Campaign for TCU, the university’s most ambitious philanthropic campaign in its nearly 150-year history. The $1 billion goal of this campaign will strengthen TCU’s people and programs. More than 48,300 donors have contributed over $725 million in support of the campaign to date. These endowed positions build upon the recently announced $5 million gift to endow the Marilyn and Morgan Davies Dean of Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences.

“Endowed positions attract eminent national and international scholars who infuse content with context, cultivating a depth and breadth of understanding in a culture that nurtures creative and intellectual thinking. These two gifts help acknowledge and recognize these outstanding professionals,” Chancellor Boschini said. “TCU seeks out professors who are passionate about teaching and conducting research. These teacher-scholars challenge and invest in their students’ personal growth, forging connections that have been and will continue to be at the center of the TCU experience.” 

Bezos Family Foundation Endowed Chair for Early Childhood Education

Dr. Jan Lacina will be the inaugural holder of the Bezos Family Foundation Endowed Chair for Early Childhood Education.

The Bezos Family Foundation Chair will enhance the intellectual climate of the university while serving as an advocate in the field of education and a recognized academic leader to faculty colleagues and students. The Bezos Family Foundation is a private, independent foundation established in 2000 by Jackie and Mike Bezos along with their family. 

“Our foundation’s mission is to invest in the science of learning and the experiences that youth from birth through high school need to pursue their own path for success,” said Jackie Bezos, president of the Bezos Family Foundation. “Our goal with this investment in TCU’s College of Education is to bolster faculty leadership in the critical field of early childhood education and learning. Dr. Jan Lacina is an esteemed leader and we are delighted to have her serve as the inaugural holder of this chair. We look forward to following her progress and are confident in the positive difference she will continue to make for children, families and the future.”

Dr. Lacina, professor and associate dean of graduate studies in the College of Education, began her career as an early childhood teacher in Texas. Her teaching and research focus on literacy leadership, preparing globally minded literacy teachers and ways to use children’s literature in reading/writing instruction.

She has served in numerous leadership positions within higher education, such as interim dean, early childhood program coordinator, and post baccalaureate graduate program coordinator. She has served since 2011 as associate dean for graduate studies in TCU’s College of Education.

Dr. Lacina is an accomplished author and editor; she has authored more than 100 publications, including four books. She has served as associate editor and then editor-in-chief for the Journal of Research in Childhood Education. She served as co-editor of the journal The Reading Teacher from June 2015-2021, published by the International Literacy Association, and currently serves as associate editor for The Journal of Early Childhood Education. She serves on the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Research in Childhood Education, and she serves on the editorial board for the United Kingdom Literacy Association journal, Literacy.Dr. Lacina earned her Ph.D. at the University of Kansas, M.Ed. at Texas Woman’s University and B.S. at Baylor University. 

Dr. Ronald E. Moore Professorship in Humanities in the John V. Roach Honors College

Dr. Frederick W. Gooding, Jr. has been named the inaugural holder of the Dr. Ronald E. Moore Honors Professorship in Humanities.

Dr. Ronald E. Moore (1939-2016) was a Fort Worth-based philanthropist, health care executive, publisher, poet and musician. He funded this position through an estate gift to honor a distinguished teacher and scholar in the humanities. Moore, a TCU graduate, was a lifelong friend of the university. He had previously established and helped endow five scholarships at TCU as well as the Moore Symposium in Philosophy, the Frances Moore Choral Hall and the Mimir Chamber Music Festival in the TCU School of Music.

“We are gratified and proud that Dr. Frederick W. Gooding, Jr. has been chosen as the inaugural holder of the Dr. Ronald E. Moore Professorship in Humanities in the John V. Roach Honors College at TCU,” the Moore family said. “Dr. Gooding embodies the spirit of challenging bright minds to take a closer look at complex issues that impact our society, inviting the best of our humanity to come forward as we learn to create a more harmonious world. His voice is needed now, and we look forward to seeing his work in the spotlight at TCU.” 

Dr. Gooding, associate professor of African-American studies, is an accomplished scholar who recently completed a senior research fellowship at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. His work with the National Gallery will inform a general interest book provisionally titled Black Statues: Where We Stand on Race Within Our Capital Space. The book will consider the underexplored iconography and meaning of Black public history by examining Black statues as barometers of political power within Washington, D.C.

Dr. Gooding has been an important member of the TCU community, chairing the 28-member committee to advance the Race & Reconciliation Initiative. The committee led an intensive academic examination of the university’s history, uncovering documents and artifacts, and sharing what they learned along the way. In the classroom, Dr. Gooding emphasizes student agency and engagement. His courses are dedicated to fostering the independent investigation of truth.

Dr. Gooding is also the author of two recent books: Black Oscars: From Mammy to Minny, What the Academy Awards Tell Us about African Americans and American Dream Deferred: Black Federal Workers in Washington, D.C., 1941-1981, and chairs the Race & Reconciliation Initiative. Gooding earned a Ph.D. in American history at Georgetown University, an M.A. in Latin American Studies and a J.D. at the University of New Mexico and a B.A. in philosophy at Morehouse College.