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HCNHS Strategic Plan

The mission of Harris College is to impact global health through equitable, accessible and inclusive education, scholarship and innovation.

Faculty fulfill this mission by offering a dynamic curriculum that is responsive to the local and global communities. Students are prepared for a variety of professional roles, including clinical and generalist practice, teaching, or further study in graduate programs. Faculty provide exemplary education in the context of the highest standards, preparing students to enter careers that will benefit society.

At Harris College, our vision is to transform global health.

Charles Houston Harris portrait

Dr. Charles Houston Harris

The history of Harris College is intertwined with the growth and advancement of Fort Worth and TCU. The etymology of the Harris College name is associated with Fort Worth physician Dr. Charles Houston Harris, who opened a hospital, the Harris Sanitarium, along with an allied school of nursing at 1028 5th Avenue just north of Rosedale Street in 1912. This was one of the original healthcare facilities in what is now Fort Worth’s medical district. In 1937 Dr. Harris established a trust to purchase the Methodist Hospital located at 300 West Cannon Street in Fort Worth, which was subsequently renamed the Harris Memorial Methodist Hospital. Dr. Harris moved his previous hospital to the new site along with the Harris School of Nursing.

On May 31, 1946 TCU President Dr. M.E. Sadler and Dr. Harris signed a contract that created an affiliation between the rebranded Harris College of Nursing and TCU, establishing a baccalaureate nursing program at the university. The affiliation was a partnership between Harris Methodist Hospital and TCU through contracts with the board of trustees for each institution.  The founding Dean of Harris College was Lucy Harris. To facilitate financial operations of the college, in 1946 Dr. Harris established the Charles H. Harris Trust with First National Bank of Fort Worth, which provided annual funds to finance the operations of the college. In 1984, the Harris College of Nursing disbanded from its relationship with Harris Methodist Hospital and officially merged with TCU. The university took on the existing debts of the college, along with the annual income from the Charles H. Harris Trust which was used to underwrite the operational budget of the college.

At the turn of the new millennium, TCU initiated a reorganization of colleges, schools and programs at the university. In 2000, the Harris College of Nursing was rebranded to the Harris School of Nursing. A new college was formed at TCU, consisting of the Harris School of Nursing, the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, the Department of Social Work, and the Department of Kinesiology. In 2002 the School of Nurse Anesthesia was created and added to the college. This new entity, called the College of Health & Human Sciences, created historical synergy.  The Department of Kinesiology, which houses programs in physical education, manifests deep connections to TCU. Courses and degrees in physical education were originally housed in the AddRan College of Liberal Arts, TCU’s founding college, and date back to at least 1905. The history of Communication Sciences & Disorders at TCU originated in 1947, when courses in speech correction were offered in Ed Landreth Hall. Social work at TCU was established in 1975, when it began as a program within the Department of Sociology of the College of Arts and Sciences.

In 2005, the college was rebranded to the Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences, reflecting the historical ties of the college to Dr. Harris, whose trust continues to provide annual financial support to underwrite the operations of TCU Nursing. Today, the Davies School of Communication Sciences & Disorders, the Department of Kinesiology, TCU Nursing, the School of Nurse Anesthesia and the Department of Social Work comprise the five academic units of Harris College.


Harris L. The Harris College of Nursing: Five Decades of Struggle for a Cause. 1973, Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press.

TCU Magazine Archives

TCU Skiff: Cost of Football Team: Only Two Branches of Study and Research at Columbia Cost More. Volume IV, 15: December 16, 1905.

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