|Motto||An Education Enlightened by Faith|
|Affiliation||Baptist General Convention of Texas|
|Endowment||US$ 87.1 million|
|Campus||Urban, 209 acres (0.85 km2)|
|Colors||Purple and Gold|
|NCAA Division III – ASC|
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. It was the first school of higher education established west of Fort Worth. The school was renamed Simmons College in 1892 in honor of an early contributor, James B. Simmons. By 1907 it claimed an enrollment of 524 and a staff of 49. In 1925, it became Simmons University. It was renamed 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.
- 1892–1894 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.
- 1940–1940 Dr. Lucian Q. Campbell (acting president)
- 1940–1943 Dr. William R. White
- 1943–1953 Dr. Rupert N. Richardson–Wrote the personal reflection, 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
- 2009–2016 Dr. Lanny Hall
- 2016– Eric Bruntmyer J.D.
HSU 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'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.
Western Heritage Days
Western Heritage Days is an annual celebration of the heritage and way of life in the American frontier that has occurred since the Abilene Centennial Celebration in 1981. The event is held on the HSU campus and includes activities such as trick roping, pit branding, chuck wagon snacks, and a small farm animal petting area. The activities have become a fun educational opportunity for Abilene-area elementary school-aged children.
Hardin–Simmons was a member of the Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association from 1941 to 1961, during which time the football team won three conference championships. For the first 15 years that HSU restarted its football program (1990–2005), the Hardin–Simmons Cowboy football team had the best winning percentage (77.4%) of all Texan college football programs.
Hardin–Simmons is a Division 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). Women's soccer has been HSU's most successful athletic program with 19 ASC Conference Championships in the 1996-2016 period, and an NCAA Division III National Championship title in 2010.
- 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
- Owen J. Baggett - American pilot famous for shooting down an aircraft with his pistol
- Earl Bennett — former NFL football player
- Dan Blocker — attended one year before transferring to Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Played the role of 'Hoss' on the 1960s American TV show Bonanza
- Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson — poker legend
- Omar Burleson – represented Abilene in the United States Congress from Texas's 17th congressional district from 1947-1978.
- 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
- Gene Cockrell — American football player
- 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, long-time partner of Oprah Winfrey
- Jeff Iorg — president of the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
- Jack T. Martin — American collegiate basketball player/coach, former Brevast Brigadier General Texas Air National Guard
- W. Francis McBeth — composer
- Bob McChesney — American football player
- Mildred Paxton Moody – journalist, preservationist, and First Lady of Texas, 1927–1931
- 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 former president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Rupert N. Richardson — president of Hardin–Simmons from 1943–1953
- Harold Stephens — professional football 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 City, Arizona
- B. W. Aston, historian
- Wayne Millner (1913–1976), American football player
- Rupert N. Richardson, historian
- 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.
- Hardin–Simmons University Academic Style Guide. January 1, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- Directory of Abilene, Texas, 1907–08. Fort Worth, Texas: The Fort Worth Directory Company. 1907. p. viii. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Hardin-Simmons University" (accessed January 8, 2007).
- "Graduate Programs". hsutx.edu. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
- "Best Colleges". US News & World Report. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- "2017 Best Colleges: Region by Region". Princeton Review. Princeton Review. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- Timothy Chipp, "HSU goes back in time for 35th Western Heritage Day", Abilene Reporter News, April 20, 2017
- "Conference Champions". cfbdatawarehouse.com.
- McFarland, John (29 August 2005). "HSU Boasts Best Team in Texas". Archived from the original on 2007-08-15. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
- "All-Time Conference Champions, Division Champions, NCAA Participants, TIAA Records" (PDF). March 29, 2017.
- "Div III Women's Soccer Championship History". April 3, 2018.
- "Hardin-Simmons University". Soylent Communications. Retrieved 24 August 2010.