Honorary Doctorate Conferred Upon Former First Lady
On May 13, 2022 Hardin-Simmons University celebrated its spring commencement with a morning and afternoon ceremony. During the morning ceremony, an honorary doctorate was conferred upon Mrs. Carol Hall, the former first lady of HSU. The Doctor of Humane Letters is an honorary degree awarded to individuals associated with HSU who have distinguished themselves through humanitarian and philanthropic contributions to society.
Carol Jean Bardin Hall has a long relationship with Hardin-Simmons University. She attended Hardin-Simmons University from 1965 to 1967, later returning to HSU as the first lady while her husband, Dr. Lanny Hall, served as University President.
Mrs. Hall earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education in guidance counseling and student services from the University of North Texas. Her professional career in education includes teaching, as a guidance counselor, and as a consultant for the Region XI Education Service Center. She served as a Vice President of Education Services, Inc., and Owner of Executive Suites.
Mrs. Hall is an active member of her community as demonstrated by her current and past volunteer service in several community organizations and boards including Noah Project, Eunice Chambliss Hospitality House, Cancer Services Network of Tarrant County, Mental Health Association, Women’s Club, Leadership Texas, and the Texas Legislative Wives Club. She was named a Yellow Rose of Texas by Governor Mark White, and the Woman of Outstanding Achievement from the Abilene Branch of American Association of University Women.
Always a gracious hostess, Mrs. Hall continues to be instrumental in the HSU Round Table, which has raised funds for the Lucille Sandefer Endowed Scholarship program, led the effort to install the Gallery of HSU Presidents, and the restoration of the Olsen House on the HSU campus. She is an Honorary Ex-Cowgirl of HSU’s Ex-Cowgirl Association.
In addition to her civic involvement, she is active in the churches where she has been a member. She was ordained as a deacon at First Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, served as a teacher and director in College and Career Department at Birdville Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, and is an active member at First Baptist Church in Abilene.
She is married to Dr. Lanny Hall, President Emeritus of HSU. The Halls have two children, Chad Hall (deceased) and Lana Hall McCutchen, who is an alumna of HSU. Her grandchildren are Lilly McCutchen, who graduated during the same ceremony with her bachelor’s degree in exercise science, and Ada McCutchen.