Harding University: Wikis


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Harding University
Harding University Logo (Trademark of Harding University)
Motto "Developing Christian Servants"
Established 1924
Type Private
Endowment $80.9 million[1]
President David B. Burks
Faculty 217
Students 6,108
Location Searcy, AR, USA
Campus Rural, 200 acres (800,000 m²)
Colors Black and Gold
Nickname Bison
Affiliations Churches of Christ
Website www.harding.edu

Harding University is located in Searcy, Arkansas, in the United States, about 50 miles (80 km) north-east of Little Rock. It is a private liberal arts Christian university associated with the Churches of Christ. The university takes its name from James A. Harding.

The school was founded in 1924 as Harding College in Morrilton, Arkansas and moved a decade later to the campus of the defunct Galloway Women's College in Searcy. Today, the University contains forty-four buildings, a graduate school of religion in Memphis, and satellite campuses in North Little Rock and Bentonville.[2] The student body of 6,100 students (including graduate students and all satellite campuses) represents all fifty states and forty-nine foreign countries.[3]

Harding University also operates Camp Tahkodah in Floral, Arkansas, Harding Academy in Searcy, and the Harding University Graduate School of Religion in Memphis, Tennessee.


University Presidents

  • J.N. Armstrong 1924-1936
  • George S. Benson 1936-1965
  • Clifton L. Ganus Jr. 1965-1987
  • David B. Burks 1987-present



Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts
    The Administration Building of Harding University
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Bachelor of Ministry
  • Bachelor of Music Education
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Social Work

Graduate Degrees

(See also degrees offered by Harding University Graduate School of Religion.)

  • Master of Education
  • Master of Arts major:
    • Teaching
  • Master of Science majors include the following:
    • Counseling
    • Education
    • Marriage and Family Therapy
    • Mental Health Counseling
    • Physician Assistant Studies
    • Speech Language Pathology
  • Educational Specialist majors include the following:
    • Professional Counseling
    • Educational Leadership

Doctoral Degree

Professional Degree

  • (approved by the Higher Learning Commission, pre-candidacy status awarded by ACPE, spring 2007)

American Studies Institute

The Harding American Studies Institute is designed to supplement students' academic training and promote "a complete understanding of the institutions, values, and ideas of liberty and democracy."[1] In doing so, the ASI exhibits a generally conservative political stance, focused on going "back to the fundamental values that made this country great." The formal roots of this program date back to 1953, when Harding formed the School of American Studies.

Prior to the formal foundation of the ASI, Harding was also involved in the production of a series of animated cartoons extolling the virtues of free-market capitalism. This, too, forms a precursor to the political conservatism that has characterized the ASI. This series, including 1948's "Make Mine Freedom" (which, ironically, portrays activities not permitted by Harding's code of conduct at the time) and "Going Places", as well as 1951's "Meet King Joe", were all produced by John Southerland Productions as part of a concerted propaganda program to fight against the perceived threats of communism at the beginning of the Cold War using popular media. The animations portray mainstream American values, some of which might now be considered politically "liberal," yet at the time, they were meant to contrast with the values of Soviet and Maoist socialism. The initiative represented a central concern of Harding president George S. Benson, who believed that fighting socialism was a moral imperative, causing him to abandon the pacifism and political disengagement championed by founding influences James A. Harding and David Lipscomb, reversing the university's course and setting it on its current conservative political trajectory.

Currently, the ASI sponsors a number of programs aimed at promoting these values. These include entrepreneurial and leadership programs, a distinguished student honors program, the Belden Center for Private Enterprise Education, and participation in the Walton Scholars Program, which brings in qualified students from Hispanic countries to Arkansas colleges and universities.

Lecture series

One of the most visible aspects of the American Studies Institute is the distinguished lecturer program. In keeping with Harding University's current conservative political and religious leanings, the American Studies Institute invites distinguished lecturers to speak on campus on a regular basis. Typically, there are four lectures in an academic year. Speakers in the Lecture Series have included the following:

Heritage Center on Harding University campus

Speakers for the 2007/2008 academic year

Speakers for the 2008/2009 academic year

International programs

Harding offers several study abroad opportunities. International campuses are located in Italy, Greece, England, Australia, Chile, France/Switzerland and Zambia. Almost 30% of students from graduating classes have participated in one of these programs.


The campus comprises 44 buildings located on 200 acres (0.81 km2) near the center of Searcy.

The heart of the campus includes the Benson Auditorium, which hosts daily chapel and sits facing the McInteer Bible Building. Brackett Library, the American Studies Building (Education and English departments) and the American Heritage Center (hotel and offices) frame a grassy central commons area upon which can be found several paths, a fountain, and a bell tower made out of bricks from the institution that once stood there: Galloway Women's College. Notable additions in recent years have included several dormitories. Expansions of the cafeteria, student center, art department, American Heritage Center, along with the addition of the Bible building, came with the closing of the road that once ran through that part of campus. It is now a pedestrian mall.

After years of playing in the Ganus Athletic Center, Harding's basketball teams moved back to the Rhodes Memorial Field House, an imposing round-topped airplane hangar from WWII. The "old gym" as it was once called was retrofitted to accentuate the already deafening acoustics of the facility, which has worked to the advantage of the home team. The campus also has extensive intramural sports facilities.

The campus lies roughly between Race Street and the Beebe-Capps Expressway and includes several other minor thoroughfares, the campus of Harding Academy, a retirement home, and portions of surrounding neighborhoods.

Student life

The Original Harding College Arch

Most students participate in local Churches of Christ, social clubs, spiritual devotionals, and intramural sports. Each weekday morning students attend chapel, a 30 minute devotional session. Chapel presentations are usually led by students or faculty, but special events and guest speakers take place on a regular basis.

Social clubs

Currently there are 13 women's clubs and 14 men's social clubs at Harding. Social clubs are open to all academically eligible students and serve as some of the university's most visible student-led organizations. While less than half of students are social club members, the clubs are a prominent part of student life.

The social club induction process begins when clubs host "mixers" in the fall to recruit new members. Prospective members then complete a "visitation," which requires that they meet and interview every current member of the club. The membership process culminates in Club Week, when each prospective member bonds with the other members of the club through a series of scheduled activities throughout the week.

At the end of the week, potential members are scored, and if their efforts are sufficient, they are accepted into the club. Once a student is accepted into the club, they attend biweekly meetings and can participate in club-sponsored sports, service projects, and Spring Sing.

Spring Sing

Spring Sing is an annual musical production held during Easter Weekend, featuring performances by the social clubs. It is widely attended by current and prospective students, alumni, and Searcy residents. Typically, over 10,000 people attend the show. Each year, an overall theme is selected, and each club develops music and dance routines for the show. Rehearsals begin as early as January.

Spring Sing also features two hosts, two hostesses, and a general song and dance ensemble, with these roles chosen by audition. The ensemble performs to music played by the University Jazz Band.

Each club act is judged, and according to their performance, each club is awarded a certain amount of money. The clubs then donate this money to charities of their choice.

Honor Societies

Harding is a member of many collegiate honor societies and is the current headquarters of the Alpha Chi Honor Society. [4]

University Policies and Code of Conduct

According to Harding’s Student Handbook, "Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of morality, integrity, orderliness and personal honor." In keeping with this expectation, Harding has a number of rules that were designed to foster these standards on campus.

Chapel and Bible class attendance are mandatory for students who are taking at least 8 hours for credit in a given semester. Additionally, students must complete at least 8 hours of Bible courses in order to complete the Liberal Arts curriculum. "First Time In College" (FTIC) students must take a survey course in New Testament during the fall of their first year, followed by a survey of the Old Testament in the spring.

Students who live on campus (a majority of students) are required to be in their dorms by midnight during the week and 1 a.m. on weekends. Except in certain circumstances, men and women are not allowed to visit one another's dorm rooms.

Harding has a no-smoking policy on campus. Disciplinary action may be taken against students who smoke off campus, and illegal drugs are prohibited both on and off campus. The consumption of alcohol is also prohibited for students and faculty both on and off campus. A violation of this policy usually results in expulsion for one semester. Exceptions to this rule have been made for missionaries participating in communion services in countries where "partaking of the cup" includes wine. (Searcy is in White County, which is a dry county.)

Harding requires faculty to dress professionally when attending class, chapel, lyceum and American Studies programs.

Students and faculty may not participate in any sexual activity outside of traditional marriage, including homosexual behavior. The use or display of pornography is prohibited.


Harding competes in intercollegiate athletics at the NCAA Division-II level in the Gulf South Conference (GSC) and offers numerous intramural athletic opportunities.

Men's Sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Lacrosse

Women's Sports

  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball


  • First Security Stadium (football, capacity 6,500)
  • Ganus Athletic Center (training)
  • Jerry Moore Field (baseball)
  • Rhodes Field House (basketball/volleyball, capacity 4,000)

Recent Accomplishments

Harding has competed in the GSC since 2000 and in the NCAA since 1997.

The track and field and cross country teams have enjoyed consistent success in recent years under head coach Steve Guymon, earning multiple GSC and Division-II South Region championships during his tenure. The volleyball program has also been exceptionally strong under head coach Keith Giboney, winning six consecutive GSC West championships from 2002-2007.

The men's basketball program, led by coach Jeff Morgan, has been successful since moving to the NCAA, reaching the Division II Tournament twice during his tenure: for the first time in school history in 2003, and more recently in 2008. Entering the 2009-10 season, Coach Morgan has compiled a 289-192 record in 17 seasons.

Backed by the "Rhodes Rowdies," HU men's basketball has averaged approximately 2,000 in home attendance since joining the NCAA, a figure which would typically be greater than that of one-third of Division-I teams [5]. The Bisons ranked 13th in home attendance in the 2007-2008 season, averaging 1,931 per home game. Entering the 2008-09 season, Harding owned seven of the top ten single-game attendance records in GSC basketball history. The Bisons have led the conference in average home attendance in each season since joining the GSC.

Harding's football program has enjoyed occasional success since joining the NCAA, having an overall winning record of 66-60 through the 2008 season. The team has recently been known for a prolific pass-oriented offense, ranking #2 in Division II for the 2008 regular season with 380.6 yards (348.0 m) passing per game. Despite their passing success, the 2008 team was overcome by the GSC's second-worst scoring defense, leaving the Bisons with a 2-9 record.

The football program has the highest average home attendance among Harding's team sports. The football Bisons drew an average of 3,680 fans in 2008, ranking in the top third of Division II teams (48th out of 144) [6].

Notable alumni

  • Tamera Alexander: Bethany House and Thomas Nelson author of historical Christian fiction
  • Jimmy Allen: evangelist, author, and professor
  • Roxanne Beck: singer and actor formerly known as Ann Ulrey.
  • David Campbell: producer of cartoon features, including Doug
  • Sarah Hudson-Pierce: author of inspirational books, book publisher, journalist, television host


External links


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