|Motto||An Education Enlightened by Faith|
|Religious affiliation||Baptist General Convention of Texas|
|Location||Abilene, Texas, USA|
|Campus||Urban, 209 acres (0.85 km2)|
|Colors||Purple and Gold|
|Athletics||NCAA Division III American Southwest Conference|
|Mascot||Cowboy / Cowgirl|
Hardin–Simmons University was founded as Abilene Baptist College in 1891 by the Sweetwater Baptist Association and a group of cattlemen and pastors who sought to bring Christian higher education to the Southwest. The purpose of the school would be "to lead students to Christ, teach them of Christ, and train them for Christ." The original land was donated to the university by rancher C.W. Merchant. HSU was the first school of higher education established west of Fort Worth. The college was renamed Simmons College in 1892 in honor of an early contributor, James B. Simmons. In 1925, it became Simmons University. It was renamed to Hardin–Simmons University in 1934 in honor of Mary and John G. Hardin, who were also major contributors. The University has been associated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas since 1941.
West Texas Historical Association
The West Texas Historical Association, which met for 22 years on the Hardin-Simmons campus, was chartered on April 19, 1924, at the Taylor County Courthouse in Abilene. Royston Campbell Crane, Sr., an attorney from Sweetwater, the seat of Nolan County, first proposed establishment of the association. He was the son of William Carey Crane, an historian who had served as a president of Baptist-affiliated Baylor University in Waco. Six Abilene residents were also influential in the formation of the group: Rupert N. Richardson, later president of Hardin-Simmons; William Curry Holden, then of Methodist-affiliated McMurry College and later first president of the Museum of Texas Tech University in Lubbock; L.G. Kennamer of Abilene Christian University, a Church of Christ institution; and J.M. Radford, Laura J.D. Scarborough, and B.E. Glammery. Other strong supporters of the movement included James W. Hunt and Jefferson D. Sandefer, then the presidents of McMurry and Hardin-Simmons (then called Simmons College). From the original 24 members, the organization grew in 60 years to nearly 400, including 127 libraries. The original officers were Crane, president; Richardson, secretary, and Scarborough, treasurer. In 1929, the association received a 50-year charter of incorporation from the state. In 1998, after B W Aston, historian at Hardin-Simmons, left the position of WTHA executive director, the association moved to Texas Tech and became integral to the Southwest Collection.
HSU is a fully accredited university and offers six undergraduate degrees with 70 majors, and seven graduate degrees with 18 programs. Pre-professional programs include dentistry, engineering, medicine, law, pharmacology, physical therapy, and seminary. HSU offers courses in geography, Greek, Hebrew, humanities, and physical sciences, as well. The university offers a doctorate in physical therapy, the first in Texas which is open to private citizens, as well as Doctor of Education, Doctor of Ministry and a Doctor of Science degrees.
HSU students come from diverse backgrounds and a variety of Christian denominations. With an approximate enrollment of 2,500 students, the student-to-teacher ratio is 14:1.
HSU is a community dedicated to providing excellence in education enlightened by Christian faith and values.
HSU's Student Activities host an event on campus almost every week of the semester, including concerts, movie nights, dances, game nights, pool parties, SMORES cookouts, volleyball tournaments, and much more. The basement of the Student Center is a place for students to hang out and relax. It is complete with giant flat-screen TVs, cutting-edge gaming systems, bowling, pool, and ping-pong, all which can be used for free.
Hardin-Simmons offers numerous opportunities to get involved: All-School SING, Campus Recreations, Greek Life, Six White Horses, Student Congress, Student Activities, International Club, International Student Fellowship, The Brand, The Bronco, intramurals and recreation sports, various academic clubs, the World Famous Cowboy Band, Spurs Dance Team, and HSU Cheerleaders.
Several opportunities also exist for students to minister to each other and to the extended Christian community at HSU. Chapel services are held weekly for the entire student body. Neighborhood outreach programs are also available in which students can participate. Baptist Student Ministries (BSM) offers free noon lunches for students every Wednesday. The BSM provides possibilities for students to get involved in Bible study groups and go on mission trips, in addition to hosting concerts and other campus events.
Hardin-Simmons was a member of the Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association from 1941-1961. The football team won two conference championships and one co-championship.
Since the start of the American Southwest Conference play in 1997, the Hardin-Simmons athletic program has been the most dominant all-around sports program in the conference, with 56 ASC team titles. In December 2010, Hardin-Simmon's women's soccer team won the school's first national championship in their Division III history. HSU claims 674 players who were named to academic All-ASC teams, 49 ASC Coach of the Year titles for HSU coaches, 43 players have been named ASC Player of the Year, 20 players were named ASC Freshman of the Year, and three athletes have been named ASC male or female athlete of the Year in the American Southwest Conference.
On a regional and national scale, HSU has had 39 first team All-Americans and 72 overall All-Americans, in addition to having 37 teams advance to NCAA Championship play, one national Player of the Year, four national Player of the Year finalists, one Texas Woman of the Year, 76 academic All-District selections, 28 academic All-Americans, and 119 All-Region performers.
Hardin-Simmons is a D-III school and offers 18 varsity sports for men and women, including: football, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer (men/women), tennis (men/women), basketball (men/women), cross country (men/women), track (men/women), and golf (men/women).
|1892–1894||The Rev. W. C. Friley|
|1894–1898||Dr. George O. Thatcher|
|1898–1901||Dr. O.C. Pope|
|1901–1902||The Rev. C.R. Hairfield|
|1902–1909||Dr. Oscar Henry Cooper|
|1909–1940||Dr. Jefferson Davis Sandefer, Sr.|
|1940||Dr. Lucian Q. Campbell (acting president)|
|1940–1943||Dr. William R. White|
|1943–1953||Dr. Rupert N. Richardson, historian of West Texas. Richardson wrote his personal reflection entitled Famous Are Thy Halls: Hardin–Simmons University As I Have Known It (1964).|
|1953–1962||Dr. Evan Allard Reiff|
|1962–1963||Dr. George L. Graham (interim)|
|1963–1966||Dr. James H. Landes|
|1966–1977||Dr. Elwin L. Skiles|
|1977–1991||Dr. Jesse C. Fletcher|
|1991–2001||Dr. Lanny Hall|
|2001–2008||Dr. W. Craig Turner|
|2009-||Dr. Lanny Hall|
Awards / distinctions
For the first 15 years that HSU restarted its football program (1990–2005), the Hardin-Simmons Cowboy Football team holds the distinction of having the best winning percentage (77.4%) of any Texas college football program from any division.
- Naim Ateek — Palestinian theologian
- John Leland Atwood — former chief engineer for North American Aviation, instrumental in the production of the P-51 Mustang and B-25 Mitchell
- Pat Batten — former NFL football player
- Earl Bennett — former NFL football player
- Dan Blocker — played the role of 'Hoss' on the 1960s American TV show Bonanza
- Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson — poker legend
- Victor G. Carrillo — outgoing member of the Railroad Commission of Texas, former Taylor County judge
- Harvey Catchings — former NBA basketball player
- Matt Chandler - pastor of Village Church and president of Acts 29 Network
- Don Collier — western film and television actor
- Roy Crane — cartoonist (Wash Tubbs, Captain Easy)
- Jack Graham — pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention
- Stedman Graham — businessman and speaker
- Jeff Iorg — president of the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
- W. Francis McBeth — composer
- Fess Parker — portrayed Davy Crockett in the Davy Crockett miniseries on Walt Disney's ABC miniseries and Daniel Boone on NBC's Daniel Boone
- Leighton Paige Patterson — former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and current president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Rupert N. Richardson — president of Hardin-Simmons from 1943–1953
- Byron Roberts Sr. — professional baseball player
- Clyde "Bulldog" Turner — member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Will Wagner — head football coach at Angelo State University
- George E. "Buddy" West — former Texas state representative
- Willis Whitfield — inventor of the cleanroom
- Phil Wilson — former Secretary of State of Texas
- C.V. Wood — entrepreneur who relocated London Bridge to Lake Havasu, Arizona
Chapel of the Charles Logsdon School of Theology
- As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
- Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Hardin-Simmons University" http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/HH/kbh2.html (accessed January 8, 2007).
- "Ernest Wallace, "West Texas Historical Association"". tshaonline.org. Archived from the original on 2007-07-30. Retrieved October 10, 2009.
- John McFarland (August 29, 2005). "HSU Boasts Best Team in Texas". Archived from the original on 2007-08-15. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
- "Hardin-Simmons University". Soylent Communications. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
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- Search the Hardin–Simmons yearbooks, the Bronco