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Gifts that keep on giving

Class gifts still enhance life at TMI

Class of 2014 wall sculpture.jpg
For at least the past 50 years, TMI students have raised funds and made contributions to their school as a parting gift, usually announced at graduation.
For the class of 2021, it’s a life-size statue of a panther for the planned outdoor recreation area. Many other gifts have been art pieces that still grace the campus, such as the metal wall sculpture commissioned for the class of 2014 that adorns the Ayres Hall arcade with symbols of the school’s spiritual and historic roots. The design was determined by class officers with the help of TMI Art Teacher Allan Rupe ’80 and was fabricated by metal sculptor Casey Tennison of CT Metalworks Inc., whose family includes several TMI alumni -- father-in-law Charles Jerome Kerr '66, aunt Dana Gardner Wilson '76 and stepfather Marrs McLean Bowman '61.
The artwork depicts a merging of the Episcopal and TMI shields, the latter based on the inverted cross of St. Peter and the school’s classic crest, with an excerpt from the beloved school hymn, “For the Splendor of Creation,” by Carl P. Daw Jr.
Other art gifts include a miniature sculpture of “The Thinker,” by Auguste Rodin, given by the class of 2002 and kept in Jones Library; a watercolor painting of “Old Main” at the Alamo Heights campus, commissioned from award-winning local artist Hal Sims by the class of 1985 and displayed in the Alumni Welcome Center on the second floor of Ayres Hall; and spirit murals painted for the class of 2001 in the gyms of Frost Athletic Center.
Class of 1985 Hal Sims painting of Old Main.jpg
By consulting publications, files and alumni, the Alumni Relations Office has begun to compile a list of class gifts. So far, the following have been documented:
1971 — Gate on natatorium at Alamo Heights campus
Gate in daylight.jpg
1979 — Restoration of a World War II-era artillery piece (an Army-surplus 37 mm antitank gun acquired by the school during the late 1940s. Until the mid-1970s, TMI cadets were given tactical training not only with individual but crew-served weapons.)
1985 — Hal Sims painting of “Old Main” (above)
1993 — Centennial marker (celebrating the school’s 100th anniversary and incorpating the cornice from “Old Main” into a part of the current campus)
1998 — Cross at top of Johnston Amphitheater
Class of 1998 amphitheater cross.jpg
2001 — Spirit murals for gyms in Frost Athletic Center
2005 — Contribution toward gym sound system and student scholarships
2010 — Contribution toward Roger Kramer Observatory and Virgil Espino Telescope, honoring two longtime TMI science teachers, to which alumni Patrick Garcia ‘72 and the Vaughan brothers Curtis ‘69, George ‘75, Richard ‘79 and Robert ‘72 also made generous donations
Class of 2009 observatory (2).jpg
2012 — Contributions toward campus WiFi installation and Senior Lounge furnishings in Jones Library
2013 — Four water-bottle refilling stations in Coates Hall and Frost Athletic Center to reduce use of disposable plastic bottles
2017 — Contribution toward future construction, since applied to the Walker Innovation Center
2018 — Contribution toward the Cafe 18 student snack bar, named in honor of the class of 2018
Class of 2018 Cafe 18.JPG
2019 — Contribution toward production of The Muse student literary magazine
The Muse 2020.jpg
2020 — Contribution toward an expansion of Cafe 18 (outdoor seating area)
2021 — Panther sculpture for future Panther Park outdoor recreation area
Class of 2021 Panther Park.png
We know there are more class gifts unrecorded here and would like to know when the tradition began and to compile a full list. Every class gift adds something special to the campus and to our community’s experience of it...but many weren’t documented in school publications because they were announced after yearbooks and student newspapers had gone to press. And while some have plaques that establish them as class gifts, other contributions didn’t lend themselves to marking in this way. Some were used at the Alamo Heights campus and couldn’t be moved in 1989 to the present campus, and some were part of TMI until the end of their useful life. All were appreciated and should be remembered with thanks.
If your class gift is not on the list above, please let us know what it was at advancement@tmi-sa.org so we can create a complete list to be linked to the
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