TCU went on the road this week to continue its 150th anniversary celebration by unveiling a mural honoring 2008 graduate Katherine Beattie, a producer/writer for the popular TV show NCIS.
The unveiling featured the second in a nationwide series of hand-painted, large-scale murals highlighting notable Horned Frogs who found personal and professional inspiration while attending TCU.
The first mural in the series was unveiled last fall in New York City and spotlighted actor John Devereaux, a TCU alum who has toured with the hit musical Hamilton. Other mural subjects and locations will be announced soon, with the final mural debuting in Fort Worth this fall.
The portraits are part of TCU’s “Lead On: Celebrating 150 Years of TCU” campaign and are being installed in select U.S. cities to recognize outstanding individuals who represent the power of TCU alumni “leading on” in extraordinary ways.
Beattie, who suffers from cerebral palsy, not only parlayed her experience at TCU’s Bob Schieffer College of Communication into a successful career in the entertainment industry but dealt with her disability by becoming an accomplished wheelchair athlete. The first woman to land a backflip using a wheelchair, Beattie was profiled last fall by TCU Magazine.
“Katherine is inspiring, and she represents what we believe is the power of all Horned Frogs: We find our passion and pursue it,” said TCU Chancellor Victor J. BoschinJr. “In corporations, in classrooms, in operating rooms, and even on screens large and small, you’ll find Horned Frogs leading on.”
Beattie credits TCU and the mentorship of her professors with sparking her interest in becoming a writer. Aside from writing classes, she says, what prepared her most for a career in television was learning how to find her voice, have an idea, and stand up for it.
“I am so grateful to everyone at TCU for broadening my worldview, helping me develop empathy, and tapping into the person I wanted to be,” said Beattie. “It is so meaningful to be celebrated like this and to know that I am viewed as a leader in my community. As one of just a few disabled people working behind the camera in Hollywood, I get to create authentic characters and write storylines that celebrate disability as part of natural human diversity, not something that is sad or tragic.”
The mural featuring Beattie is 56 feet high and 32 feet wide. It is located at Hollywood Boulevard and North Gower Street on the side of the iconic Fonda Theatre. The bold mural, painted in TCU’s signature purple, is accented with the sesquicentennial year creative featuring a prismatic purple sunrise gradient. It features a photo-realistic portrait of Beattie and unique, dynamic lettering featuring her inspiring quote: “Live a life story worth telling.”