By Ellie Ratliff, Sports Editor
Hardin-Simmons University has a rich, unique history that not many people know of. Students choose HSU for the community and Christ-centered education, but our history should be recognized. There are many things that make our school stand out.
Our school was founded back in 1891, which was made possible by James B. Simmons, our first substantial donor. But not everyone knows that James B. Simmons was an abolitionist. He worked to help newly freed slaves gain an education right after the Civil War. In a time when racism ran rampant in the South, James B. Simmons stood up for what was right and founded a Christian school for freedman in Virginia. He later assisted the founding of six other similar schools! He dedicated his life to serving others and had a giving, compassionate spirit.
Another fact that not everyone knows is that James B. Simmons is actually buried on HSU’s campus, along with his wife, Mary Simmons. They wished that their “very ashes may witness for Christian Education.” Their legacy lives on through HSU faculty, students and alumni.
HSU also had the first ever living college mascot. When HSU was still known as Simmons College in 1916, Dam-it the dog became the school’s mascot. He was beloved by the students and became part of HSU’s tradition. He too is buried on campus by the pond.
Our football program also has rich tradition going back all the way to 1897, making us one of the oldest football programs in Texas.
HSU’s world famous Cowboy Band was formed just after World War I, contributing to the western tradition our school is known for. They did in fact travel and perform around the world and were well known.
HSU’s graduate program was founded back in 1926 and has been continually growing.
HSU obviously has some unique history, which contributes to the special community that we have today. We are blessed to attend HSU. Go Cowboys!