HSU responds to Sandefer request to have name removed from campus buildings

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Hardin-Simmons University HSU

Hardin-Simmons University HSU

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) says they are focused on their students in the wake of a major donor family announcing that they no longer want to be associated with the school.

In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, HSU says:

We are aware of and have made contact with Jeff Sandefer, but haven’t spoken to him directly, about his concerns. Hardin-Simmons University will continue to work toward a resolution with the Sandefer family. While we continue to respect the concerns the Sandefer family has raised, our priority as a faith-based institution has always been and will continue to be ensuring our students are prepared to learn, grow and lead – personally, professionally and spiritually. This is where our attention is currently focused, particularly in light of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and our commitment to keeping Hardin-Simmons University’s campus community safe and healthy.

The statement comes on the heels of Jeff Sandefer requesting last week that his family’s name be removed from all buildings on campus and that his great-grandfather’s remains be relocated to “a more suitable resting place.”

In a public letter issued Friday, Sandefer says he believes HSU is “headed for financial and spiritual bankruptcy” as a result of “poor leadership, unwise financial decisions and a disregard for HSU faculty, students and alumni” the letter states.

*Editor’s note: HSU amended their statement saying they made contact with Sandefer, but have not spoken to him. (3/18/2020)

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