The Story Behind TCU’s Tulips

Tulips at Texas Christian University
Tulips at Texas Christian University | Image by Texas Christian University

The hundreds of tulips that dot Texas Christian University’s campus are not a natural phenomenon but the result of a single person’s desire to beautify the school.

Mary Beasley, a former member of the school’s board of trustees, is the reason tulips saturate the campus each spring. She is responsible for creating the $800,000 Mary Evans Beasley Endowment Fund for Campus Beautification.

Around $50,000 from the fund is used annually to purchase seeds, water the flowers, and rotate the beds. Although tulips are perennials and can return each year, they can be finicky when the environment is not exactly right. Erik Trevino, the director of landscaping and grounds at TCU, said he and his team must change out the flowers multiple times each year. The process, he said, is resource-intensive.

“It costs a lot of money to do that… So, it was her investment years ago that keeps our campus beautiful,” said Trevino, per NBC 5 DFW.

Thanks to the $800,000 in support, TCU has the necessary funding to maintain its tulip program for 36 years. While Beasley died in 2005 at the age of 102, her legacy will live on for decades through the campus tulips.

“I love seeing the tulips across campus. It brings me joy and reminds me every day of the constant care TCU devotes to keeping both campus and students bright and thriving. It’s no surprise that my mom always makes her best effort to visit me in the spring. I’m sure she just misses me and doesn’t care about the tulips at all…,” joked student Colleen Wyrick, per a TCU blog last month.

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