What began as an idea in the heart of our Founding Fathers led to Houston Baptist College’s establishment in 1960. With a strong foundation to build upon, the institution has become the renowned, national, comprehensive University it is today. Keeping Christian principles at the forefront, the University has retained its character as it has grown.

As we celebrate the Diamond Anniversary, we’re truly celebrating each of you. Students, alumni, supporters, parents, friends, faculty and staff, you are the heart of HCU. We look to the past with gratitude and pride, and we look to the future with eager anticipation.


The Rev. Billy Graham speaks at the inaugural HBC Convocation in 1963.


Students experience “A Higher Education,” combining scholarship, Christian beliefs and student life.

HCU History Timeline


Houston developer Frank Sharp offers to sell 390 acres of land near the Southwest Freeway to the Union Baptist Association College Committee.


1983 The Atwood II building opens; HCU junior Rickie Thompson becomes the first NCAA National Champion in University history by winning in the high jump competition.


Construction begins on the Cullen Science II building to accommodate growth.


The Glasscock Gymnasium is dedicated.


A new campus entrance is constructed on Fondren Road using stately columns and architectural elements formed from the same Texas granite as the 10 columns given by the Morris family.


Dr. Edward Doug Hodo is named the second president of HBU.


The former men’s gymnastics team becomes #1 in the nation in NCAA competition.


The former women’s gymnastics team earns a national championship.


Groundbreaking ceremonies are held for the Hinton Academic Center, a new centerpiece of the campus.


A groundbreaking for the Baugh Center is held; students move into the newly constructed Husky Village Apartments on campus.


The Bible in America Museum (now the Dunham Bible Museum) opens to the public.


The “Legacy Evening with Lady Margaret Thatcher” brings the former prime minister of Great Britain to HBU; the M. Catharine Mest Wing is added to the women’s dormitories.


General Norman Schwarzkopf is the featured speaker for the Spirit of Excellence Dinner.


The iconic Ornogah yearbook wins first place with distinction from the Associated Collegiate Press, the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association, and the Baptist Press Association, as well as a silver medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.


HCU is named one of 200 “Colleges of Distinction” nationwide.


Dr. Robert Bryan Sloan is named the third president of HBU.


The Joella & Stewart Morris Cultural Arts Center is dedicated; the Honors College begins.


Dr. Sloan and the HCU Board of Trustees adopt “The Ten Pillars,” a 12-Year vision for the future of the University; the University Academic Center and Hodo Residence College (formerly the Lake House) opens.


Construction is completed on the $1.5 million Sherry and Jim Smith Letourneau Organ in Belin Chapel.


Dr. Don Looser, vice president emeritus, publishes “An Act of Providence: A History of Houston Christian University, 1960-2010”; former President George W. Bush speaks at the Spirit of Excellence Gala.


HCU is fully admitted back into NCAA Division I Athletics membership and announces acceptance into the Southland Conference.


The first-ever home football game is played in Husky Stadium on Dunham Field; the McNair Plaza is constructed.


HCU dedicates the Belin Tower, named for Dr. & Mrs. J. Bruce Belin, Jr.; HCU announces the Archie W. Dunham College of Business, named following a $15 million gift from Christian business leader Archie Dunham and his wife, Linda.


HCU offers its first doctoral program, the Doctor of Education in Executive Educational Leadership, making HCU a national, comprehensive university; the McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise, named for philanthropists Janice and Robert C. McNair, is established.


HCU launches the Pampell Online Division, named for benefactor Pinky Pampell.


Sherry and Jim Smith, Sr. provide $20 million toward the construction of classroom and laboratory facilities to be utilized by the College of Science and Engineering and the School of Nursing and Allied Health.


A ceremonial groundbreaking is held for the Morris Family Center for Law and Liberty thanks to a more than $10 million gift from the Joella and Stewart Morris Foundation.




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Collecting Photos and Memories

Submit your HBU/HBC photos and memories to be shared throughout the anniversary year!

Submit Your Old Photos and Memories