John J. Keeter, Jr. 2017-2018 Alumni Award Winners Announced

Charles and Carlene Spicer will recieve the Alumni Service Award


Carlene Spicer ('59, '91) and her late husband, Charles Spicer ('52), will be receiving the John J. Keeter, Jr. Alumni Award for their service and commitment to the betterment of HSU. This Service Award is the highest honor that can be bestowed on HSU alumni.

"It is bittersweet receiving this award since Charles is not here to accept it with me. He was a big part of our support of Hardin-Simmons University. Still, receiving the Keeter Award is the finest honor I can imagine," said Carlene Spicer.

The Spicers will be receiving this award based on their lifelong dedication to Abilene and Hardin-Simmons University.

Charles served on the HSU Board of Development and HSU Alumni Association Board, chairing both boards during his tenure. He also served 39 years as a deacon at First Baptist Church of Abilene.

Carlene was a member of the A Cappella Choir, University Trio, Sigma Tau Delta and Alpha Chi national honor societies, Baptist Student Union, and The Brand staff while at HSU. She served as an Instructor of English for Hardin-Simmons from 1992 to 1999. Carlene now serves as a member of the Alumni Association Board, the Academic Foundation, the HSU Fellowship, the John G. Hardin Society, and the Presidents Club. She is also a member of the Ex-Cowgirls, the Cowboy Club, and is a Sigma Alpha Iota Patroness. She is an active participant at First Baptist, where she is a deacon, Chairman of the Bereavement Committee, and teaches an adult ladies' Sunday school class.

"I am grateful for many years as a part of the HSU family and overwhelmed that two humble transfer students could receive the highest award that the University can bestow," said Carlene.

Hardin-Simmons will be honoring Carlene and Charles at the Alumni Awards Banquet on October 27 at 6:30 p.m.

For more information on the Alumni Awards, visit


  • A Princeton Review Best Western College
  • Council for Christian Colleges & Universities  
  • Center for Student Opportunity: Promoting a College-Bound Culture
  • US News Best Colleges
  • Military Friendly
  • Colleges of Distinction
  • College Choice Best Christian Colleges and University
  • University and College Accountability Network