Dr. Virginia Armstrong
University Professor – Christian Advocate
Dr. Virginia Armstrong has had a distinguished career. Teaching political science at Hardin-Simmons University and at Houston Christian University, she has brought constitutional law alive for her students and inspired countless students to appreciate Judeo-Christian values and the importance of knowing the richness and depth of the founding principles of our great nation.
Virginia was born on a college campus. Her father was Dean and Registrar at what is now Tarleton State University and her first home, provided to her parents by the college, was in the middle of the college campus. After her first grade, the family moved to Canyon, where her father designed and directed the sociology program for West Texas State University. That campus became a backyard playground for Virginia and her childhood friends.
With both her father and mother being dedicated Christians and Biblically based professors and leaders in their respective fields of sociology and history, young Virginia’s life, from birth, immersed her in an understanding of what is now the nation’s Culture Wars. She was taught that a university is a unique place, one intended by God to be dedicated to discovering and honoring His Truth, and that Higher Education is divinely-required to function as the custodian of this Truth and the transmitter of Truth to future generations.
During her public school years, she participated in piano, concert and marching band, debate and persuasive speaking, and basketball. She was in National Who’s Who, directed the senior play, edited the high school newspaper, and was president of the National Honor Society. She was also active in her church’s music program, singing in the choir and playing the piano and organ as needed.
Virginia graduated valedictorian of her Canyon High School class and received her bachelor’s degree with special honors in the social sciences from West Texas State University (the first time such an honors degree had been granted). While there, she was an active member of the Delta Zeta national sorority.
She continued her education with graduate school in Lubbock. Upon the completion of her M.A., an opportunity to teach came when HSU’s new president, Dr. Elwin Skiles, hired her as Instructor of Political Science. Continuing graduate school, she excelled in her Ph.D. degree at Texas Tech.
Before arriving at HSU, Virginia had already met and started dating the love of her life, Gerry Armstrong. They were married in Canyon’s First Methodist Church in what many “Canyonites” viewed as the fairytale wedding of their time.
Gerry entered graduate school immediately, earning his M.B.A., which resulted in his being hired by HSU as its first truly professional Chief Financial Aid Officer.
Teaching from 1968 to 2002 at Hardin-Simmons, Virginia served with distinction as Director and Senior Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science. Upon retirement, Armstrong became the president and co-founder (with her husband, Gerry) of the Blackstone Institute. She also serves as National Director of Eagle Forum’s Law and Worldview program and holds the unique post of Affiliate Professor of Constitutional Apologetics at HCA. Her graduate school teaching focuses on audiences outside the university campus. She also actively contributes to several constitutional/judicial reform efforts.
The Eagle Forum has twice granted her its National Service Award. She received the Liberty Bell Award from the Abilene, Texas, Young Lawyers Association and was a finalist for the Texas Liberty Bell Award, in addition to winning numerous other scholarly and professional honors.
Dr. Armstrong designed and directed the new “Christianity Confronting the Culture Initiative (CCC).” The CCC is an alliance sponsored by the Blackstone Institute, Houston Christian University, and the National Eagle Forum. The long-range goal of the CCC is to arm American patriots with the power of knowledge necessary to confront the culture on behalf of the Judeo-Christian worldview.
In 2022, the CCC introduced a Blackstonian Moot Court program modeled after the statewide collegiate program, which Dr. Armstrong led in founding while at HSU and chaired in the early 1990s.
For many years, she and Gerry, were active in Abilene Bible Church, where they served in numerous capacities. In a very sudden and stunning “life earthquake,” God took Gerry home to heaven during Thanksgiving of 2013. Virginia is now an active member of Lytle South Baptist Church. Anchored to her faith and her academic endeavors, Dr. Armstrong has and continues to lead a fulfilling life.
In recognition of her significant career accomplishments, and for her positive influence on students in the classroom and beyond, Hardin-Simmons University proudly inducts Dr. Virginia Armstrong into the HSU Hall of Leaders.