The “Why” of Fall Break By: Haleigh Smith

Have you ever wondered why we have a fall break? Besides the obvious reason that it is nice to have a weekend off, what if I told you it was a tradition fought for by one of our very own professors, Dr. B.W. Aston?


According to a copy of The Brand from 1996, HSU Student Congress began working to secure a fall break for Hardin-Simmons University. In October of 1998, Lanie Walker, who was an editor for The Brand, expressed to the student body that fall break was soon approaching. She suggested that “a day away from the world” would allow students to rest and regain their energy, creativity and focus in order to better and face the world.


Dr. Aston taught and served the University from 1967 to 2002, when he retired. He was a man with many titles such as chairman of the HSU History Department, vice president and president of Faculty, named Faculty Member of the Year and interim dean of the College of Arts of Sciences. During his time at HSU, he passionately and consistently petitioned for a fall break which finally became policy because of his tireless efforts.


He believed that students needed a break after midterm exams and the facility needed time to grade them. He strongly felt that HSU should embrace a fall break because many other universities were doing the same for their students. He was known for speaking at least once a year in a HSU Faculty Meeting as an advocate for a fall break. He argued that since the spring semester had a week long break plus others, HSU should get one for the fall even if it was just a long weekend.


When Dr. B. W. Aston retired, it was only fitting to honor him by naming the HSU fall break after such a beloved man who served the HSU family with love and care for so many years. Dr. Aston died on March 25, 2010.