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Hardin-Simmons University

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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. 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.

Notable alumni

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Shawn Edamura — Voted Most Eligible Bachelor of DFW 2014
  • 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 current president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Rupert N. Richardson — president of Hardin-Simmons from 1943–1953
  • Byron Roberts Sr. — professional baseball player
  • 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, Arizona

Notable faculty

  • B W Aston, historian
  • Rupert N. Richardson, historian
  • Kristin Isaacson, cello, double bass professor