Each year, Hardin-Simmons honors our alumni and former students. Awards are given for outstanding achievements in either their careers, their community, or their dedication to HSU. If you know of an alum who meets the criteria for one of our awards, please click here to nominate them. Our award categories are:
The Alumni Service Award is the highest alumni honor HSU can bestow. It has been presented since 1943 to former student(s) who has contributed the most in his or her field of endeavor toward the betterment of HSU, or who has rendered the greatest service to the University. Awards are selected by a committee whose members are established by a campus leadership role.
This award, given since 1970, is presented to alumni whose personal and professional accomplishments are exemplary of the ideals and aims of the University and thus bring honor to HSU. Awards are selected by a committee whose members are established by a campus leadership role.
Recipients of the Outstanding Young Alumni Award have achieved a significant level of distinction within their chosen field or have brought extraordinary benefit to the world. They reflect the quality and caliber of today’s HSU students and alumni. At the time of their selection, recipients have graduated from Hardin-Simmons not more than 20 years prior and are not over the age of 45.
The Athletics Hall of Fame honors former athletes and coaches who made a significant contribution to HSU and the athletics program. They are selected at least 10 years after completing their HSU playing career (after five years for coaches), by a committee including current and former HSU athletes from various sports.
2022 Alumni Award Recipients
John J. Keeter, Jr. Alumni Service Award
|Frances (Kesner) Renfroe ’60
Frances (Kesner) Renfroe graduated from HSU in 1960 with her BA in Mathematics. After graduation, Ms. Renfroe taught in the public school system for 32 years, in both Rochelle, TX, and San Angelo, TX.
In 1992, Frances returned to Hardin-Simmons as a math professor and served in that capacity until 2005, investing in the lives of many students along the way. She was named Faculty Member of the Year in 2005.
As a student at HSU, Frances was very involved in campus life, as a class officer, as a member of the Cowgirls (president her senior year), as the associate editor of the 1959 Bronco, as a member of Alpha Chi, and as a participant in intramural sports.
Frances has continued to invest in HSU after retirement. She has served as a student teacher supervisor, Academic Foundation board member, HSU Fellowship officer, Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Ex-Cowgirls officer. She gives back to HSU through her service on the Board of Development and as a member of the John G. Hardin Society. In 2022, Frances was recognized as the Retired Faculty Member of the Year.
Distinguished Alumni Award
|Dr. Melvin Blackaby ’88
Melvin Blackaby graduated from Hardin-Simmons University with his Bachelor of Arts in History in 1988. He went on to complete his MDiv in 1991 and PhD in 1997, both from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. Blackaby has been pastoring churches in Texas, Canada, and Georgia since 1992. Currently, he is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church Jonesboro in Jonesboro, GA; a position he has held since 2008.
In addition to pastoring, Blackaby has co-authored several books including Experiencing God Together: God’s Plan to Touch Your World, Your Church Experiencing God Together, and What’s So Spiritual about Your Gifts. Even though Blackaby has had the opportunity to write books and speak internationally, his first love is the local church.
|Cara (Cagle) Naizer ’92/’94
Cara Naizer graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Education and Vocal Performance in 1992 and a Master of Music in conducting in 1994, both from Hardin-Simmons University.
In the spring of 2022, Cara retired from full-time teaching as the Director of Choral Activities and Fine Arts Department Chair at Cooper High School in Abilene. During her 28 years of teaching, she also served Madison Middle School and Clyde ISD choral departments.
Cara frequently serves as clinician and UIL adjudicator across the state and mentor to young choral musicians. She maintains memberships in several professional organizations, including the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Choral Directors Association, the Texas Music Adjudicators Association and Sigma Alpha Iota.
Naizer has been named a teacher of the year four times. Most recently, the Fine Arts Teacher of the Year in 2022 by the Abilene Education Foundation.
|Louis Revor ’94
Louis Revor has worked at Raytheon Intelligence and Space for over 25 years, currently serving as Director for Digital Technologies Engineering Solutions. A highlight of Revor’s career was serving as Associate Architect for the National System for Geospatial Intelligence Consolidated Library.
Revor graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in 1994 with his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science. He went on to complete a Master of Science in Mathematics from the University of North Texas in 1996.
Louis has remained connected to HSU through service on various boards including Cowboy Band Foundation, Board of Young Associates, Board of Development, and currently as a member of the Board of Trustees.
While at Raytheon, Louis has received numerous awards, including the 2022 Director Talent Pool, Engineer of the Quarter, and technical Honors in 2005 and 2009.
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Kassia (Jackson) Krone ’09/’11
Dr. Kassia Krone received her B.A. in English education in 2009 and her M.A. in English in 2011 from HSU. She received her Ph.D. from Texas Christian University.
Kassia is currently an Assistant Professor of Composition at Friends University, where she also serves as General Education chair and co-chair of Friends’ Diversity Council. She is the co-author of Yours in Filial Regard: The Civil War Letters of a Texas Family and the author of her forthcoming book, Hollywood’s Monstrous Moms: Depictions of Disability and Motherhood. Her work is also featured in Mississippi Quarterly. While at HSU she was active on the Graduate Student Council, serving as president 2010-2011.
|Molly Moser ’10
Molly graduated from HSU in 2010 with a B.B.S in communication. Currently, Molly is the manager of the Abilene Convention Center, where she oversees and coordinates the comprehensive administrative and operational activities of the Abilene Convention Center. She was awarded the Hero of Tourism designation by The Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2014, 2015, and 2019. Molly is the Board Chair of the Day Nursery of Abilene Board of Directors, a Loaned Executive for the United Way of Abilene, and a designated member of the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors. While a student at HSU, Molly was active in Sigma Alpha and the NSO steering committee.
Robbyn (Tribbey) Reid ’09/’11
Robbyn received her B.B.A. in 2009 and her MBA in 2011 from HSU. Before earning her graduate degree, Robbyn was employed by Double Eagle Development in Fort Worth, which began her career in oil and gas accounting and finance. In 2017, Robbyn decided it was time to pursue her lifelong goal of owning her own business. Part of a team, Robbyn developed, built, managed, and maintained an 81-unit senior apartment complex in Granbury, TX called The Residence at Legacy Park. While at HSU, Robbyn was awarded the Academic Foundation Medal, Outstanding Finance Student of the Year, and the Koreen & Lee Hemphill Service Award.
HSU Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees
Click through to see the most recent Hall of Fame inductees.