HBU 60th Anniversary Timeline

The News Magazine of HCU

1957 Houston developer Frank Sharp offers to sell 390 acres of land near the Southwest Freeway to the Union Baptist Association College Committee

1960 Following several years of work by HBU’s founding fathers, and pledges of support, Houston Baptist College is chartered

1962 Dr. William Harwood Hinton is named the first president of Houston Baptist College; construction begins on the Brown Administrative Complex

1963 Houston Baptist College accepts its first class and welcomes the Rev. Billy Graham for the inaugural convocation;  the Reuben Philips Residence College for Men and the Rebecca Bates Philips Residence College for Women open

1964 The Frank and Lucille Sharp Gymnasium and the Atwood I building are dedicated

1967 President Hinton awards the first 59 diplomas to the graduating class of Houston Baptist College

1968 The Moody Library opens

1969 Dr. Stewart Morris Sr., founding father, and Joella Morris give 10 granite pillars to the University; the statuesque pillars were salvaged from the historic Galveston County Courthouse that survived the hurricane of 1900; Mingo becomes the University mascot

1971 Memorial Hospital (Hermann) announces the purchase of a tract of land on the southwest side of campus

1973 The institution’s name is officially changed to Houston Baptist University; five academic colleges are formed

1975 A $1 million grant from the Cullen Foundation paves the way for the Cullen Science Center

1976 The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation provides a grant to construct The Mabee Teaching Theater

1977 The Master of Business Administration program, the University’s first graduate offering, begins

1978 Marilyn McAdams Sibley, former professor and department chair, publishes an early history of HBU: “To Benefit a University: The Union Baptist Association College Property Committee, 1958-1975”

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

1984 Construction begins on the Cullen Science II building to accommodate growth

1985 The Glasscock Gymnasium is dedicated

1986 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

1987 Dr. Edward Doug Hodo is named the second president of HBU

1989 The former men’s gymnastics team becomes #1 in the nation in NCAA competition

1990 The former women’s gymnastics team earns a national championship

1995 Groundbreaking ceremonies are held for the Hinton Academic Center, a new centerpiece of the campus

1997 A groundbreaking for the Baugh Center is held; students move into the newly constructed Husky Village Apartments on campus

1998 The Bible in America Museum (now the Dunham Bible Museum) opens to the public

1999 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

2001 General Norman Schwarzkopf is the featured speaker for the Spirit of Excellence Gala

2002 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

2005 HBU is ranked among “Best Universities” offering master’s degrees in the Western Region by U.S. News & World Report; US Representative J.C. Watts speaks at the Spirit of Excellence Gala

2006 Dr. Robert Bryan Sloan is named the third president of HBU

2007 The Joella & Stewart Morris Cultural Arts Center, with the Dunham Theater and Belin Chapel, is dedicated; the Honors College begins

2008 Dr. Sloan and the HBU 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

2009 Construction is completed on the $1.5 million Sherry and Jim Smith Letourneau Organ in Belin Chapel

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

2011 HBU is fully admitted back into NCAA Division I Athletics membership and announces acceptance into the Southland Conference

2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, Dr. Charles Krauthammer, speaks at the Spirit of Excellence Gala

2014 The first-ever home football game is played in Husky Stadium on Dunham Field; the McNair Plaza is constructed; legendary coach Lou Holtz speaks at the Spirit of Excellence Gala

2015 HBU dedicates the Belin Tower, named for Dr. & Mrs. J. Bruce Belin, Jr.; HBU announces the Archie W. Dunham College of Business, named following a $15 million gift from Christian business leader Archie Dunham and his wife, Linda

2016 HBU offers its first doctoral program, the Doctor of Education in Executive Educational Leadership, making HBU a national, comprehensive university; the McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise, named for philanthropists Janice and Robert C. McNair, is established; Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan speaks at the Spirit of Excellence Gala

2017 HBU launches the Pampell Online Division, named for benefactor Pinky Pampell

2018 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; “Fixer Upper” star Chip Gaines speaks at the Spirit of Excellence Gala

2019 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

2020 HBU celebrates 60 years and record-setting enrollment, along with academic program growth