On Thursday, September 5, Hardin-Simmons University will host our Academic Convocation celebrating the beginning of HSU’s 128th academic year.

This celebration, held in HSU’s Behrens Auditorium at 9:30 a.m., is free and open to the public. Off-campus guests are invited to check-in at the counter in the Behrens Auditorium Foyer. To ensure priority seating, off-campus guests may reserve their spot by clicking this link.

Photo of Randy LewisThis year’s featured speaker is Mr. Randy Lewis, Founder and President of the Nogwog Fund (, Author of No Greatness Without Goodness, he is the former senior vice president of Walgreens and a passionate advocate for people with disabilities in the workforce.

After his son, Austin, received a diagnosis of autism, Mr. Lewis devoted his life and career to creating a path for people with disabilities to become contributing members of businesses as valuable employees. He developed a model that included people with disabilities and the success of his initiatives has impacted employers in the United States and around the globe.

Mr. Lewis’s mission and work complements our own vision at Hardin-Simmons to provide services for children diagnosed with autism and dyslexia while also training families, caregivers, and teachers – both current and future.

In addition to the Convocation Service, there are two other special events occurring:

An Abilene Area Pastor and Minister Prayer Breakfast will take place at 7:30 a.m. in Room 108 of the Moody Student Center. There is no cost for this event, but reservations are required (by September 3) and seating is limited. Abilene Area Pastors and Ministers may reserve a spot by clicking this link.

A luncheon for area disability service providers, educators, employers, and community leaders will take place at 11:30 a.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Johnson Building. Reservations are required (by September 3) and tickets are $10 each. To reserve a ticket, please use this link.

We hope you will consider joining HSU in celebrating our new academic year. We are looking forward to a great year at HSU, and with the upcoming grand opening of the Houston-Lantrip Center for Learning and Literacy in October, I believe Convocation speaker will be of particular interest.

For more information or questions about any of HSU’s Convocation activities, please contact James Stone, Special Assistant to the President, at or 325-670-1258.