The purple and gold fire hydrant stands in memory of Fritz, better
known as “Dam-it,” the dog that served as the unofficial college mascot
from 1916 to 1920. Fritz belonged to Gib Sandefer, son of President San-
defer. When Fritz died in 1920, a funeral service was held on campus,
which drew national media attention.
In 1902, shortly after earning his PhD from Yale University, Dr. Julius
Olsen came to Simmons College with the intention of teaching on the
“frontier” only briefly. However, he remained at HSU for 40 years. He
served as the first dean of arts and sciences and was also a professor
of sciences and mathematics. Olsen became known as one of the most
distinguished scholars and scientists of the Southwest.
Built in the 1920s by Dr. Olsen for his family, the Olsen House is now
an Abilene Historic Landmark. Dr. Olsen’s father, a cabinetmaker from
Norway, assisted in the construction of the home. Family members
lived in the home until the 1990s when it was turned over to HSU.
The Hardin-Simmons Anthem was written in 1917. Though the school
was little known then, those words were prophetic, as through the
years, HSU has indeed become famous through the accomplishments
of her students, alumni, faculty, and staff, both on and off the campus.
Hardin-Simmons, hail to thee,
for famous are thy halls;
Long may thy worth increase,
long live thy noble cause.
Great are thy victories
o’er land and over sea;
Fair daughter of the West,
we love and honor thee.