Thank God for B.W Aston. By: Alex Guillory
As the end of October draws nearer, Hardin-Simmons students begin to have a unique buzz about them. They are getting excited for the infamous “Fall Break.” Our beloved one Friday off in the Fall semester is the day that all students have longed for since September.
In 2007 Elyse Hahne, a staff reporter for The Brand, wrote a story on the origins of HSU’s beloved “Fall Break,” This week, I would like to bring this story back into the spotlight.
The late Dr. B.W. Aston served as a chair of the Hardin-Simmons History Department from 1972-1992, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts from 2000-2001, and the head of the Rupert Richardson Research Center from 1981-2002. These are only a few of his notable contributions to Hardin-Simmons.
Dr. Aston advocated for Hardin-Simmons students to get an entire week off in the Fall semester to match the week off they have for Spring Break. “He noticed that sports were important to student life, and therefore the break must be on an out-of-town game day.” (The Brand (Abilene, Texas), Vol. 96, No. 4, Ed. 1, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007 Page: 2 of 10) Dr. Aston insisted that this day off would take the stress off the student-athletes because they wouldn’t be missing class, allowing more of the student body to attend the out-of-town game.
Hardin-Simmons did not approve of Dr. Aston’s proposition to give students a week-long break in the fall because “there are a specific number of days that students have to be in school and HSU administration prefers to give students a longer Christmas Break.” (The Brand (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 96, No. 4, Ed. 1, Tuesday, Oct.r 16, 2007 Page: 2 of 10)
While Dr. Aston was upset that he couldn’t win the week off for his students, he was still thankful that HSU agreed to grant the students one Friday off in the middle of the semester. “...HSU named the one-day-long fall break after the man who campaigned for years to lengthen it to a week.” (The Brand (Abilene, Texas), Vol. 96, No. 4, Ed. 1, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007 Page: 2 of 10)
So remember, we have Dr. Aston to thank for our upcoming fall break that allows us to go home and spend time with our families and friends or go out of town to support the fall sports teams.