Today I have decided to feature my Alma Mater Hardin-Simmons University. Founded in 1891 near Abilene, Texas Hardin-Simmons. Affiliated with the Baptist General Convention, HSU has been dedicated to an education enlightened by faith since its earliest days. At a cap of 2,500 students HSU is able to provide a quality education and focus on helping individual students reach their potential. Personally, I believe that I not only received a good education but also developed as a person. One of the benefits of a small school is that students are people and not just numbers. I hope you enjoy today’s tribute to my Alma Mater. My computer is down so the pictures today are from HSU’s website.
HSU’s campus is known as the 40 acres. Originally the campus was 40 acres today it has grown to over 200 acres. HSU is the only school in Texas that offers a doctorate in Physical Therapy. The chapel in the Logsdon School of Theology features the beautiful stained glass window pictured above. The stained glass features a cross, an open Bible, and a dove. The cross represents the centrality and Lordship of Christ in the lives of believers. The open Bible is a reminder that the we are guided by the authority of scripture. The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit.
One of the most notable traditions at HSU is the “World Famous Cowboy Band“. Founded in 1923 the band was all male until the late 1990’s. HSU has the oldest accredited school of music in Texas. The Cowboy Band known for its legendary antics is more of a marching stage or show band. The band has preformed in numerous parades world wide, rodeos, and presidential inauguration. The band’s trade mark “Cow Step” supposedly started because they had to share a practice field with the Six White Horses. The “Cow Step” is pictured above. Couldn’t find a good video featuring the “Cow Step” but did find a couple featuring the Cowboy Band.
This was taken at the 2006 West Texas Fair and Rodeo parade in Abilene. The quality is poor but you can see the band in action. Notice 2 band boys serenade bystanders. One of the traditions I enjoyed as a student at HSU was when the Band Boys (it was still all male back then) would come to our dorms and serenade us with their own version of Christmas songs.
The video is a promotional video for HSU done a couple of years ago. I believe the music was preformed by the HSU Cowboy Band. The song is “Hey Baby”.
The famed Six White Horses began in the late 1920’s when Will “Sheriff” Watson decided to ride his white horse in front of the Cowboy Band. It was so popular that it was expanded to include all 6 flags of Texas. Students were chosen to carry the 6 flags of Texas (Spain, France, Mexico, Texas, Confederate and U.S.) and an HSU tradition was born. In 1962, Dr. W.O. “Doc” Beazley took over the helm of the 6 White Horses. Under Doc’s 36-year tenure the program grew. Doc also authored 11 books featuring the White Horses. The Horses are popular with school children.
In 1948 the HSU Cowboy football team set an NCAA record by appearing in 4 post-season football games in one year. HSU won 3 and tied the 4th game. In 1949, the NCAA instituted the rule limiting teams to only one bowl game per year. HSU alum and former Chicago Bear Clyde “Bulldog” Turner and is a member of Pro Football Hall of Fame. Not bad for a school that went 27 years (1964-1989) without a football team.
In the center of campus sits the Purple and Gold fire hydrant that supposedly marks the grave of Fritz, aka “Dam-It”. Fritz was a dog that belonged to Gib Sandefer, son of President J.D. “Prexie” Sandefer. From 1916-1920 Fritz served as the unofficial college mascot. After his death a funeral service was held on campus that even drew national media attention. One interesting thing about the fire hydrant it that it is supposed to mark the grave of Fritz, however over the years it has been moved several times. Somehow I doubt the grave has been moved.