Houston Baptist University (HBU) is a private Baptist university founded in 1960. It is located in Sharpstown Section 3A, within the Southwest Management District (formerly Greater Sharpstown) in Houston, Texas, near the Southwest Freeway. The Cultural Arts Center houses three museums: the Dunham Bible Museum, the Museum of American Architecture and Decorative Arts, and the Museum of Southern History.
Houston Baptist College was created by action of the Baptist General Convention of Texas on November 15, 1960, culminating many years of work and study. The aim of the college founders was the establishment of a Christian college of the highest order in the city of Houston that stressed quality of life and higher education.
In 1952, the Union Baptist Association authorized a committee to study the possibility of locating a Baptist college in Houston. With the assistance and encouragement of the Education Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the committee conducted a survey in 1955. Acting upon information obtained with the endorsement of the Education Commission, the Association approved the concept of establishing a new college. In 1956, the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas approved a recommendation that Houston Baptists be given assurance that the Convention would support such a college when the College Committee of the Union Baptist Association had succeeded in acquiring both (1) a satisfactory site for a campus of at least 100 acres, and (2) a minimum corpus of at least $3 million. Of this sum, one and one-half million dollars would constitute a nucleus endowment fund; $1.5 million would be designated for a physical plant. The Union Baptist Association accepted these conditions and endorsed the requirements set up by the state Baptist convention.
In 1957, a Houston land developer, Frank Sharp, offered to sell Union Baptist Association 390 acres (1.6 km2) in southwest Houston for the construction of a college. The Board of Governors of Rice University agreed to lend most of the money needed with the land as collateral. To complete the funding, twenty-five business men, since called "founders", pledged to be responsible for $10,000 each. Therefore, by 1958, a campus site of 196 acres (0.79 km2) was acquired in southwest Houston, and, in 1960, the initial financial goal of repaying the loan was reached as a result of a campaign among the churches. Much of the land was used to build for-profit housing, much of which included the development that will later become the seeds for the Sharpstown community, and the Memorial-Hermann Southwest hospital, land that is still property of HBU.
In 1960, the Baptist General Convention of Texas in its annual session at Lubbock, Texas, elected the first Board of Trustees. This board in session in Houston, Texas, on November 15, 1960, approved and signed the college charter. The next day, this charter was ratified and recorded with the Secretary of State in Austin. The way was then cleared to select administrative officers, develop a suitable physical plant, and design an appropriate academic program. Dr. W. H. Hinton began service as the first president of the college on July 1, 1962.
The college opened in September 1963 with a freshman class of 193 students, a cluster of new buildings, and a teaching staff of 30 faculty. A new class was added each year until the college attained a four-year program in 1966-67. By then, the full-time faculty had grown to 54 members, serving an enrollment of approximately nine hundred undergraduate students. Among the faculty was historian Marilyn McAdams Sibley, who received her Ph.D. from Rice University.
A history of the university's first 50 years was published in 2010. An Act of Providence: Houston Baptist University 1960–2010, written by Vice President Emeritus Dr. Don Looser, was awarded the Institutional History Award in 2011.
A wide variety of undergraduate majors are offered and pre-professional programs range from Biblical Languages to Nursing. All classes are faculty-taught and more than half the classes have fewer than 20 students. HBU also offers graduate programs in business, Christian counseling, psychology, the liberal arts, visual arts, and education.
The Reuben & Rebecca Bates Philips Residence Colleges for Men and Women are two separate residence hall facilities for freshmen, with each serving one gender. The Sadie & Doug Hodo Residence College is the largest single residential building on campus that houses both genders on opposing sides of the building. Husky Village, seven apartment buildings with various layouts, are usually reserved for the university and house mostly upper classmen and staff.
80 Community Life and Worship Credits (CLW Credits) are required for graduation from HBU. Transfer students are also allotted 0.75 CLW Credits for each credit hour transferred into the university. CLW Credits may be accrued from a variety of opportunities including: campus service, a weekly traditional chapel service known as Convocation, a weekly student-led contemporary worship service known as Quest, small group Bible studies, lecture series and through the Assisting Communities Through Students office which coordinates community service and volunteer work in the Houston community. The on-campus "Community Life and Worship" biyearly magazine lists the different opportunities through which students may earn CLW Credits. The spiritual life office also awards Credits for students who participate in church or university sponsored mission trips. Read more about HBU's CLW program.
Houston Baptist is a member of the Southland Conference. They joined the league in 2013. From 2008–2013, Houston Baptist competed as a member of the Great West Conference, winning the league's final championship at the 2013 GWC Baseball Tournament. The Great West, which had previously been a football-only conference, expanded on July 10, 2008, to become an all-sports conference. HBU accepted an invitation to join the newly expanded conference along with NJIT, North Dakota, South Dakota, University of Texas–Pan American and Utah Valley University.
HBU, which was a member of NCAA Division I until moving to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in 1989, began its transition back to Division I in 2007-08. The Huskies field teams in 17 sports.
Men: Basketball, Baseball, Football, Soccer, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, Cross-Country, Golf
Women: Basketball, Softball, Volleyball, Beach Volleyball, Soccer, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country, Golf
The HBU baseball team participated in the 2015 NCAA Baseball Tournament, winning the Southland Conference Tournament championship in Sugar Land, Texas, and advanced to the Houston Regional, hosted by the University of Houston.
Women's soccer participated in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, winning the Southland Conference Tournament championship in Beaumont, Texas, before falling to No. 5 Texas A&M in the first round.
Women's soccer made their second appearance in the NCAA tournament in 2016 after winning the Southland Conference Tournament championship in Corpus Christi, Texas. They fell to No. 1 Stanford in the first round.
During the 2016 Southland Conference Women's Basketball Tournament, senior Anna Strickland posted 21 points, 31 rebounds, eight assists, and seven blocked shots in the Huskies' first-round loss to Lamar University. Her 31 rebounds broke the Southland Conference single-game record, established a new tournament record, and were the most rebounds in Division I women's basketball in 2016. Strickland's all-around stat sheet has not been achieved in men's or women's Division I basketball or the NBA in the past twenty years.
Two student athletes have earned CoSIDA Academic All-American status: volleyball's Allison Doerpinghaus and men's soccer's Bryan Brody. Both students earned the honor in 2015. They join numerous student-athletes who have earned CoSIDA Academic All-District and academic all-conference honors, and numerous Academic All-American at the NIAA level.
Notable NCAA D-1 athletic achievements:
Notable NAIA athletic achievements:
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