A Marine's legacyBenjamin Schmidt of San Antonio spent just three semesters at Texas Christian University, but he has given the school a long-term commitment.And it's due to his service to the nation as a Marine, which lasted a few short years but gave him an avenue for giving even more than the priceless gift of his life for his fellow Americans.Schmidt, a Marine sniper, was killed Oct. 6, 2011, while on patrol in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, according to the TCU news website. (www.newsevents.tcu.edu/2635.asp) He was 24 and on his second deployment to Afghanistan, where he had volunteered to go.Before leaving for the second time, Schmidt told his family he wanted to return to TCU and become a history professor; in case he didn't make it back, he wanted half the money from his life insurance policy to provide a scholarship fund in the history department, the Star-Telegram's Susan McFarland reported Monday. (bit.ly/Oh0ONe)But Teresa and Dr. David Schmidt didn't stop at fulfilling their son's wish. They also donated $100,000 for an endowed professorship. It will fittingly be called the Lance Cpl. Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt Endowed Professorship in History.David Schmidt has been the San Antonio Spurs' team physician for 20 years. He and his wife were recognized at TCU's Oct. 6 football game against Iowa State. It was the first anniversary of LCpl. Schmidt's death."We wanted to be around the people that he loved," David Schmidt was quoted as saying. "The TCU family embraced us. It was a perfect place for our family to be."The goal is to raise $1 million for the professorship.Donations can be sent to LCpl Benjamin W. Schmidt Professorship, Office of University Development, Texas Christian University, TCU Box 297044, Fort Worth, TX 76129. Gifts can be made online at www.makeagift.tcu.edu, designated to the Benjamin W. Schmidt Professorship.Arlington's tourismPlenty of tourist attractions might call it an exaggeration to say that "Arlington is the best vacation spot in the country," as is claimed at experiencearlington.org.But plenty of folks apparently are coming and spending their money in Arlington all the same.The city took in more than $50 million in sales taxes during the last fiscal year, and Mayor Robert Cluck called tourism a key factor, Susan Schrock reported Thursday.How much of that came from visitors in 2011 isn't certain yet. But out-of-towners spent $593 million in Arlington in 2010, according to the news report.Special events at Cowboys Stadium, the Texas Rangers' playoff run to the 2011 World Series and increased development in the central part of the city and around the University of Texas at Arlington almost certainly contributed to sales tax growth. And the trend will probably continue, even though the Rangers are done for this season. Cowboys Stadium has Baylor vs. Texas Tech football scheduled for Nov. 24, with NCAA men's basketball regional tournament games on March 29 and 31. (Tickets go on sale today, bit.ly/R44Hnb.) Even better will be the men's Final Four at Cowboys Stadium in 2014.UTA's new College Park Center also will be bringing folks to town, for college volleyball and basketball, as well as events like the Unashamed Tour Oct. 27 and Saturday Night Live's Seth Meyers Nov. 19.Shrock reported that Experience Arlington, which promotes the city, plans to go after more international visitors. A big drawing card is Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, who already was a rock star in his native Japan, then won 16 games, with 221 strikeouts this year for Texas.Arlington does have some challenges as a vacation destination. Insufficient hotel rooms, for one. Chaotic cab service, too, as was evident after the September Alabama-Michigan football game at Cowboys Stadium. That public transit system to the entertainment district that some of us fantasize about might mean less parking revenue -- but it could attract a whole stream of new visitors willing to send those sales tax receipts even higher.