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Hardin-Simmons University

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Hardin-Simmons University

Hardin-Simmons University
Motto An Education Enlightened by Faith
Established 1891
Type Private
Religious affiliation Baptist General Convention of Texas
Endowment US$87.1 million[1]
Students 2,435
Undergraduates 1,997
Postgraduates 438
Doctoral students 73
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 (HSU) is a private Baptist university located in Abilene, Texas, United States.


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 once again renamed to Hardin–Simmons University in 1934 in honor of Mary and John G. Hardin who were also major contributors.[2] 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 twenty-two 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 sixty 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.[3]


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 [1]

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.

Mission statement

HSU is a community dedicated to providing excellence in education enlightened by Christian faith and values.

Campus Life

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 Rec Sports, Various Academic Clubs, The World Famous Cowboy Band, Spurs Dance Team, and HSU Cheerleaders.

There are also several opportunities 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 for students to participate in. 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 2 conference championships and 1 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, 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.[4]

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

Campus Gallery

External links

  • Hardin–Simmons University
  • Hardin–Simmons University Athletics
  • Hardin–Simmons University Library
  • Logsdon Seminary
  • Search the Hardin–Simmons yearbooks, the Bronco
  • [2]


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