HSU’s Oldest Alumnus Turns 107

March 10, 2021 Jaidyn Kamplain, Staff Writer

On January 17, Hardin-Simmons alumnus Elvin Howell celebrated his 107th birthday, making him the oldest alum to date.

Originally from Snyder, Texas, Mr. Howell attended Hardin-Simmons University in the mid-1930s and was very involved. While at Hardin-Simmons, he played football and ran track, and served as Vice President of his class one year and President another year. He was also involved in the HSU intramural council, physical education club, and the H-S club on campus.

Mr. Howell met Rena Mildred Southern, an HSU cowgirl, and they fell in love. They got married shortly after.  After graduating in 1937, the couple moved to Kermit, Texas, where they lived for a few years before Mr. Howell enlisted in the US Navy during WWII. He served his country bravely until the war ended. He then began a career of teaching, coaching, and school administration in Amarillo and Tulia. Mr. Howell ended his career after his years of being an elementary school principal.

Elvin Howell has been regarded as an educator and coach who inspired many students and cared deeply about them. Swisher County News released an article this January discussing the great impact he had as an educator in Tulia.

Mr. Howell is now residing in the Carillon Senior Living in Lubbock, Texas. Mr. Howell has spent the last few years enjoying the game of bridge, 42, and dominoes. When he turned 103, Mr. Howell went ziplining in Palo Duro Canyon with fellow residents.

Although the family could not celebrate in their usual fashion due to COVID-19 restrictions, the family visited Mr. Howell at Carillon after months of not being able to see him in person, which led to a heartwarming reunion with his family.