Dr. Robert Sloan on HBU's core values, successes and plans to come

Almost exactly one year ago, on September 9, 2021, the final draft of The Ten Pillars 2030 was completed, and on Sept. 21, 2021, the vision document was adopted by the HBU Board of Trustees.

The original Ten Pillars (subtitled Faith and Reason in a Great City) was inaugurated in 2008. Drafted after many listening sessions in which faculty, staff, students, and alumni shared their hopes and dreams for the institution, it provided great focus for HBU during the next 12 plus years.

That vision document was called The Ten Pillars because of the iconic pillars on our campus, retrieved by our founder Dr. Stewart Morris after the old courthouse in Galveston County was replaced. Those pillars provided shelter and support during Galveston’s “storm of the century” in 1900, when many lives were lost and much property destroyed.

Today, in The Ten Pillars 2030, these pillars still represent the strength of our core convictions and the unchanging commitments that provide shelter in the swirling winds of the 21st century.

Alongside our Preamble, our Board now refers to three Foundational Documents, including our “Statement of Mission,” “Scripture and a Christian Worldview,” and “Ten Core Convictions.” These documents represent the central beliefs of the University and express our unwavering commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in a world filled with turmoil.

Much was accomplished by God’s grace under the focus of the first Ten Pillars document. During those early listening sessions, our faculty, staff, students, and alumni shared their aspirations for HBU to grow as a university, to consider adding other schools and colleges, to develop doctoral programs, and to expand varsity athletic programs and return to the NCAA. They also expressed the need for additional campus facilities, including classrooms, offices, student housing, and much more.

The years that followed saw the achievement of many of those dreams. We’ve added an Honors College, online programming, and a School of Engineering, which is growing dramatically and now part of our College of Science and Engineering. We have developed in virtually all the ways hoped for, so that the physical campus has greatly expanded, and we are now classified as a national, comprehensive university. We also have 17 sports competing in NCAA Division I athletics.

And the faculty and staff of HBU! I do not know of a Christian university anywhere with the level of academic and professional excellence integrated with the depth of spiritual Christian commitment that you will find here.

I’ve mentioned only a few of the many things accomplished—and there’s so much more to come. For example, next week on September 15, we will celebrate the grand opening of The Morris Family Center for Law & Liberty, a project dreamed about, planned, and started during the first Ten Pillars era and now being completed under The Ten Pillars 2030. This replica of Independence Hall provides more classroom and office space and serves as an outstanding learning venue for campus visitors. It also speaks volumes about our commitment to freedom and the rule of law as embodied in the American experiment.

Planning and fundraising are already underway for other significant projects, including athletic facilities and especially the construction of the Sherry and Jim Smith STEM and Nursing Building. We will also soon roll out a growth campaign to expand our residential campus to some 4,200 students and our online population to 5,800. Growth to 10,000 students will extend the influence of the HBU experience and expand the reputation of our academic excellence as a university of Christian integrity.

Stay tuned! The next days and weeks will see some exciting announcements for all of us who love and admire this great university.

Dr. Robert Sloan, HBU President