Ed Schollmaier, longtime TCU donor and Fort Worth philanthropist, has died at age 87

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One of TCU’s most well known supporters and a longtime philanthropic leader in Fort Worth has passed away.

Ed Schollmaier died early Thursday morning, TCU officials confirmed. He was 87.

“On behalf of the Horned Frog family, we are profoundly saddened by the passing of our mentor and friend, Ed Schollmaier,” TCU chancellor Victor Boschini said in a statement. “Ed was truly a visionary for the future of Texas Christian University, which had a profound and lasting impact on the TCU campus and community. He was a driving force in our expansion and deserves the credit for many of the advancements made in our physical footprint over the past few decades. Many people are familiar with his and his late wife Rae’s most public-facing contribution, the gift that led to the naming of the Schollmaier Arena.

“This is a personal loss for my family; he was an important mentor for me, like I know he was to many. Ed was a tireless fan, always thinking bigger than himself. He was the shining example of an amazing person who ‘adopted’ TCU and made indelible contributions to this city, to our University and to me personally that will live on for years. We are so very fortunate to have been a part of his life.”

Schollmaier, the former CEO of Alcon Laboratories, Inc., served as a TCU trustee since 1996. He is best known for being the lead donor of TCU’s $72 million renovation to its basketball arena in 2015 which is now called Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena.

Schollmaier was an avid college basketball fan, sitting courtside at every TCU home game.

“Ed Schollmaier made an unbelievable impact as a leader in the TCU and Fort Worth communities,” TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati said in a statement. “Over the course of his 25 years on our Board of Trustees, which included serving on and chairing several committees, Mr. Schollmaier had a tremendous passion for basketball.

“ ... We will always be eternally grateful for how Mr. Schollmaier positively affected so many lives within our athletics program and on campus. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Schollmaier grew up in Cincinnati and earned an MBA from Harvard. Fort Worth became his home when he moved here with his late wife Rae to take a promotion with Alcon. That’s when he grew an affinity for TCU and the city.

Schollmaier has been recognized as an honorary alumnus and an honorary letterman by TCU. He and Rae also were honored with TCU’s Horizon Award and the Royal Purple Award.