Yearly, student leaders and the Reunion Class that is being
honored gather to pay tribute to some of the early leaders and benefactors
The leaders include Dr. and Mrs. James Simmons, the first
major donor and a New York Baptist pastor whose name is a part of the
university; their son, Dr. Robert Simmons, who continued support to the
college; Dr. and Mrs. O. C. Pope, an early day president (1898-1901); and Dr.
and Mrs. Jefferson Davis Sandefer. Sandefer served for 31 years (1909-1940) as
president, longer than any other leader of HSU.
Director of Alumni Relations and Vice President for
Advancement Britt Jones is helping organize the event.
“Student leaders will join with alumni and students in
presenting a meaningful and polished tribute to the founders of HSU upon whose
shoulders we now stand,” Jones said.
Student Government President Erin Hagood will be presiding.
Current student body members lead this observance, including a memorial prayer
led by a Baptist Student representative and the observance concludes with
a stirring rendition of taps, followed by the HSU anthem.
2017 marks the 80th Founders Day ceremony. The first
observance, held in April of 1938, was broadcast by radio station KRBC. The
practice of presenting medallions to 50-year graduates was begun in 1967.
Medallions are now presented at a Golden Reunion Luncheon which follows the
The Golden Reunion Chapel Service which includes the
Founders Day Observance is being held in Logsdon Chapel as part of the
usual weekly chapel series. The entire HSU community is invited.
“This year, the Founders Day Observance is incorporated into
the Golden Reunion Chapel. The returning graduates are recognized in chapel and
are greeted by student leaders,” Jones said
The entire Golden Reunion, including the Chapel Service, is
sponsored by the HSU Alumni Association.
“The people honored today – members of the class of 1967 and
the founding leaders – have paved the way, with the Lord’s blessing, for today’s
students to have the opportunity for a remarkable HSU experience. Together, we
can continue to thank our Lord Jesus for how His hand still blesses
Hardin-Simmons. And today’s students can emulate the Golden Reunion class
members by remaining connected for life to HSU,” Jones said.
Dr. Gene Hendrix will be speaking the Founders Day chapel.
“I’m excited about the reunion and honored to be asked to
speak at chapel. It brings back memories of working chapels for Central Staging
– setting up and running sound or follow spots,” Hendrix said.