Hardin-Simmons University

Hardin-Simmons University (or HSU) is a private Baptist university located in Abilene, Texas.


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 original land was donated to the university by rancher C.W. Merchant. 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.

The University has been associated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas since 1941. Its students come from diverse backgrounds and a variety of Christian denominations. With an approximate enrollment of 2,400 students, the student-to-teacher ratio is 13:1.

As fully accredited university, Hardin-Simmons offers six undergraduate degrees with 70 majors, and seven graduate degrees with 18 programs. Pre-professional programs include dentistry, engineering, medicine, law, pharmacology, and seminary. The school also offers a doctorate in physical therapy - the first in Texas which is open to private citizens.

Mission statement

Hardin-Simmons University is to be a community dedicated to providing excellence in education enlightened by Christian faith and values.


1892 - 1894 Rev. W.C. Friley
1894 - 1898 Dr. George O. Thatcher
1898 - 1901 Dr. O.C. Pope
1901 - 1902 Rev. C.R. Hairfield
1902 - 1909 Dr. Oscar H. 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
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

Awards / Distinctions



Notable Alumni

External links


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