HSU was established in 1891 as a private, coeducational, liberal arts
university. Affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and
accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association
of Colleges and Schools, students of all faiths, ethnicities, races, and
walks of life are welcome.
The bell hanging in this tower originally served as a timepiece for
the campus. Located in the tower of Old Main, the first building on
campus, the bell was rung to awaken students and to remind them
of class times. The 700-pound masterpiece was also rung on special
occasions such as outstanding athletic victories, and it could be heard
a mile away from campus. Mrs. Lucile Sandefer, the wife of long-time
university president Dr. J.D. Sandefer, secured the building of the tower
to preserve the history and significance of the bell.
The cannon, a.k.a. Arizona Bill, is a tribute to the HSU students who left
the safety of their classrooms in the early 1900s to fight in World War I. It
was christened Arizona Bill in memory of Kenneth Burns, an HSU student
who was killed during WWI as he carried a message through heavy
weapons fire. This cannon was used during the Spanish American War
as well as WWI and was refurbished and dedicated in 1958. The paved
area around the cannon makes up the Fort Babe Shaw Memorial and is
inscribed with the names of 13 HSU alumni who died during WWI.
The Centennial Square was built to celebrate the 100th birthday of
HSU. The senior class of 1991 placed a time capsule under the plaza.
Written on the bricks embedded in the plaza are the names of many
proud HSU alumni and friends. It is encircled by the Alumni Wall which
displays the names of all HSU graduates since 1895.
History & Traditions