Ode to Fall

When the sizzle of summer finally fizzles, it means one thing for my family: camping season. From late September through early December, we pack up every other weekend to get away from the city and cellphone reception, slow down and enjoy the great outdoors.
    This tradition was engrained in me from an early age. I fondly remember my parents pulling up to the school at dismissal on Friday in the Wagoneer with our pop-up attached.
    One of our favorite spots to venture on the weekends has always been Lake Mineral Wells State Park. Its convenient location, 35 miles outside of Fort Worth, and the incredible hiking, rock climbing and kayaking opportunities are the main reasons we’ve always loved to visit.
     That’s why when we settled on the theme for this year’s fall style feature (Fall Fashion Camp, page 44), Lake Mineral Wells State Park was the obvious choice. Our objective was to prove that experiencing nature doesn’t have to mean sacrificing luxury. I think it will come as a surprise to most of you that Chanel does make boots that can be worn hiking.
     More commonly, however, fall means the beginning of football season to most. My husband and I, both being TCU alumni, have been to some incredible games over the last few years, including a trip to Pasadena to see the 2011 Rose Bowl victory.
      A lot has changed at TCU since I graduated in 2001. Much of that transformation can be attributed to TCU’s director of intercollegiate athletics, Chris Del Conte. Since his arrival in 2009, there has been a $164-million renovation of Amon G. Carter Stadium, the opening of the Jane Justin Field House at Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Stadium and a new baseball performance center to be opened this fall. Daniel-Meyer Coliseum is also currently receiving $60 million worth of improvements to its interior design and exterior façade.
     So why is the success of  TCU athletics so vital to the university? Del Conte says, “So think about it like this: If you have a house, the athletics department is the front porch, the university is the main house, and the alumni association is the back porch, and you’re always inviting people in.”
     Since Del Conte’s arrival, TCU athletics will have invested more than $230 million in facility upgrades by 2015. To read more about his accomplishments, turn to page 56.
     Enjoy these cooler temperatures whether you are making memories around the campfire at one of the beautiful Texas state parks or having great times enjoying Texas football.
 Hopefully I’ll see you at the first TCU home game!

Jennifer Casseday-Blair
Executive Editor