|Motto||An Education Enlightened by Faith|
|Affiliation||Baptist General Convention of Texas|
|Location||Abilene, Texas, United States|
|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.
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'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 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).
|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||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.|
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 Texan college football program from any division.
Chapel of the Charles Logsdon School of Theology