Ann Louden's Legacy written by makenzie stallo

Ann Louden walked through her storage unit, dropping off boxes.

It’s filled with the countless files that catalogue three decades of work at TCU.

“You open a file drawer and there’s a file for everything I’ve ever done,” Louden said. “I was wallowing in emotion by walking into a storage unit.”

Each file details a project: where it took place, the organization details and – what’s most important to Louden – the people involved.

“That’s what’s made this place so important to me,” Louden said. “The people I’ve met have become friends, they’ve become relationships that have mattered to me professionally, and they’ve benefitted TCU which is the main goal.”

She’s leaving for a new adventure at Adelphi University in New York.

All photos courtesy of Victoria Reneau.

History at TCU

Louden never intended to make a home at TCU. She originally planned to work here temporarily as a mean to finance her way to law school.

She heard about the school through a friend and said, through him, it left a positive imprint in her mind.

She took a job as assistant alumni director, and got promoted to alumni director within a year, the youngest ever for the Texas/Arkansas region.

Three decades later, she holds three titles: chancellor’s associate for strategic partnerships, director of the Center for Connection Culture, and chair of Frogs for the Cure.

She estimates in her time here that she has sent over 730,000 emails and conducted around 2,000 meetings. She’s held over a dozen titles and brought numerous new programs to campus including the Center for Connection Culture and many alumni programs.

“I think if I could say I feel proud about anything its creating new programs,” Louden said. “Every one of those programs I’ve been involved in has brought me a lot of pleasure.”

Frogs for the Cure and History with Cancer

Louden is probably most recognized for her work with Frogs for the Cure.

Louden serves as the chair for the organization that partners with TCU Athletics to benefit a non-profit cause. For the first 11 years the organization worked with Susan G. Komen – the first in the nation to do so. They began partnering with Cancer Care Services in 2016.

The partnership with Cancer Care Services created a shift to all cancers rather than just breast cancer.

She said Frogs for the Cure made the change because she realized many students had cancer stories that weren’t breast cancer.

“We had students come to TCU because they knew this was a place where their cancer stories would be revered and honored,” Louden said. “We wanted to be part of their journey.”

Louden was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 after a routine mammogram.

“I remember sitting in a parking lot in my car in Dallas thinking that I couldn’t drive back to Fort Worth because if I did all of the things I knew about my ordinary days wouldn’t be ordinary anymore.”

Louden used her drive to overcome and help others as her motivation for Frogs for the Cure.

At the final Frogs for the Cure Celebration on Feb. 16, survivors, music video participants and volunteers all gathered to honor the success of the organization, but to also honor Louden herself.

Many gave speeches sharing stories of their time working with Frogs for the Cure and praising Louden for all she has done.

TCU senior Connor Roe said he was happy they get to graduate together. “There is such a legacy left here,” he said.

Melanie Wilson, CEO of Cancer Care Services told Ann: “My life is definitely better because you entered it.”

Musician and TCU alum Tim Halperin said Louden is “excellent in everything she does.”

Halperin, who provided the music for the first three Frogs for the Cure music videos, said he was proud to be part of this TCU experience.

“After the first couple of times I was around the cancer survivors in this community and saw the way they approached life, the zest they had for it, and the way they showed appreciation to those around them when the gift is what they gave to us, that was enough for me to want to be part of it,” said Halperin.

Frogs for the Cure began doing music videos in 2010 to bring their message to new communities.

“The music videos have created a sense of engagement and compassion that we couldn’t have any other way,” Louden said.

The videos have featured music from TCU alumni musicians and Josh Groban.

Louden said she is proud of how the initiative has grown and the amount of student and staff engagement.

“We started with four or five people, and I look back now and think of the thousands of people who have been involved.”

One of those volunteers was Victoria Reneau.

Reneau met Louden when she was a first-year student and took a leadership seminar that Louden was teaching. Reneau said she and Louden became acquaintances from the course. Some time later, she went to Louden looking for ways to get involved.

Louden introduced her to Frogs for the Cure. Five years later and Reneau is still a passionate volunteer and a great friend of Ann’s.

“I had the opportunity to develop those new skills and really figure out what I was capable of,” said Reneau. “She pushed me to things I never would have done.”

Reneau said even though the departure will be sad, she is just happy that she had such a good friend to spend time with.

“How lucky am I to have somebody in my life that makes saying goodbye so difficult,” Reneau said.

Louden (right) and Reneau (left) at a Frogs for the Cure video shoot.

Next Chapter

As her last day on campus approaches, Louden is excited to move forward in New York.

She will be balancing two full-time jobs. At Adelphi University, she will be serving as Special Assistant to the President, a position that was created for her. She is also starting her own non-profit consulting firm. Her first client is the Gladney Center for Adoption.

Louden said the Gladney Center is close to her heart because it’s through the center that she adopted her daughter.

“I would not have a family without the Gladney Center,” she said. “My life is forever changed because of them.”

She said although she is excited for her move, it was bittersweet to decide to leave TCU.

“If I was going to do this, I might as well go really big, and New York City has always been a dream of mine,” Louden said.

When thinking of her own legacy, Louden said she hopes she has just made a difference.

“I want to have touched lives so that people experience the power of being engaged in higher education and also find their own place as a volunteer,” she said.


When thinking of her own legacy, Louden said she hopes she has just made a difference.

“I want to have touched lives so that people experience the power of being engaged in higher education and also find their own place as a volunteer,” she said.

Her legacy will live on, however, in the people she is leaving behind.

She said she will return from time to time to participate in events and visit her daughter Carey, a first-year.

“For me to pass on my purple clothes and my purple traditions is a little less painful with someone in my family that’s here and that I can come back to see,” Louden said.

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