Big Country Roots: Hardin-Simmons University

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB)- From the beginning, Hardin Simmons University was a place unlike any other. While the founding is an instrumental part in it’s legacy, the stories that have been told over the years are what gives the university it’s unique charm. 
 
“The first animal was Dammit the Dog or Fritz on Sundays and he would walk around campus and he became the loving mascot of the student body.When he died there was a funeral procession and we’ve got photos and it’s in the yearbook of the kids mourning this poor dog.”
 
That’s what Mary Burke, an employee at Hardin Simmons University, said was the first big story in the university long history.
 
“Then Gilbert the Goose that’s here now, I’ve heard a lot of stories about how he ended up on campus and it’s not exactly kosher. But he’s here now and the kids love him and the staff an faculty adore him.”
 
But it was during the war days that the university’s stories became even more interesting.
 
“Boys have come back from war, they’re back in school and the campus isn’t hooked up to public sewer lines yet so you’re still using outhouses and some of the guys weren’t happy with that so to speed up the process they took some explosives that they brought back from war and blew up the outhouses in the middle of the night.”
 
And what’s a college football game without a prank, one that would most likely elicit serious repercussions today.
 
“They were playing Texas Tech in football and Tech lost and HSU won and the Cowboy band kidnapped the band members from Tech and took silver nitrate and branded HSU on the Tech kids forehead with silver nitrate.”
 
Here’s to the students of Hardin-Simmons and the legacy and stories that they continue to create.
 

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