Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University

Infobox University
name=Abilene Christian University

president=Royce Money
endowment=US$279,735,000 [cite news | last = | first = | coauthors = | title =College and University Endowments Over $250-Million, 2007 | work =Chronicle of Higher Education | pages =28 | language = | publisher = | date =2008-08-29 | url = | accessdate = ]
campus=Urban, 208 acres (842,000 m²)
affiliation=Churches of Christ
website= [http://www.acu.edu www.acu.edu]

Abilene Christian University (ACU) is a private university located in Abilene, Texas, affiliated with Churches of Christ. ACU was founded in 1906, as Childers Classical Institute. ACU has an annual enrollment of about 5,000 students from across the United States and 60 nations.


Abilene Christian University grew from an idea held by A. B. Barret and Charles Roberson to form a school in West Texas. The Church of Christ in Abilene agreed to back the project. J. W. Childers sold Barret land and a large house west of the town and lowered the price with the stipulation that the school would be named in his honor. Childers Classical Institute opened in the fall of 1906, with 25 students.

When Jesse P. Sewell became president of the institute in 1912, the school began using "Abilene Christian College" on all its printed material. In 1920, the school paid the Childers family $4,000 and formally changed the name.

"The Optimist", the university's student-run newspaper, was founded in 1912. The "Prickly Pear", the school yearbook, was founded in 1916. The campus literary-arts magazine (now "The Shinnery Review", formerly "The Pickwicker") has been in production since 1933.

In 1927, with the help of a $75,000 contribution from the city of Abilene, the board of trustees purchased 680 acres (2.8 km²) northeast of Abilene. In addition, residents donated 75 acres (304,000 m²) of adjoining land. The new campus opened in the fall of 1929.

From the time of its founding to the present, the university has been governed by a board of trustees made up of members of the Churches of Christ. Abilene Christian University is the largest organization in the United States that has time set aside each day for chapel. Chapel attendance is required, absent an approved exemption, and those students failing to meet the requirement over a period of more than one semester may be subject to suspension. [ [http://www.acu.edu/campusoffices/spiritualformation/chapel/info/policy.html Attendance Policy - Abilene Christian University ] ]

Abilene Christian University first received school accreditation in 1971 when it became an accredited member of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. [http://www.sacscoc.org/dtails.asp?instid=10880 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools: Abilene Christian University] institutional profile]

On February 22, 1976 the name was changed to Abilene Christian University. The school celebrated its centennial in the 2005-06 school year.

Amberton University, previously Amber University, was created as an extension campus of Abilene Christian University. It was launched in Mesquite, Texas in 1971, moving to Garland, Texas in 1974. It became a separate institution as Amber University in 1982, and was rechristened Amberton University in 2001. Like Abilene Christian University, Amberton remains affiliated with the Churches of Christ.

On February 26, 2008, it was announced that all incoming freshman classes would receive a free Apple iPhone or an iPod Touch. This decision was the result of a study to find out the viability of iPhone and iPod for academic purposes. ACU was reported as the first university in the nation to embrace this opportunity to further education through the accelerating communication movement. [ [http://www.acu.edu/news/2008/080225_iphone.html "ACU first university in nation to provide iPhone or iPod Touch to all incoming freshmen,"] February 26, 2008.]

An extensive history of the university and its involvement in the world has been consolidated into a single volume work by Dr. John C. Stevens, a former ACU president. The book is called [http://www.bible.acu.edu/acupress/pg.asp?ID=39 "No Ordinary University"] .

Mission statement

"The mission of Abilene Christian University is to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world."


* Sing Song. Since 1957, this annual competition in mid-February has featured student groups of 30-100 people, singing themed "a cappella" medleys, usually satirical. Originating as a fund-raiser for the school, the modern event has developed into a major show for which each group assembles costumes related to their act's theme, such as weight loss, Coca Cola, Adam and Eve, or forest fires. Often the costumes involve a mid-performance quick-change to a second costume — such as the 1987 acts in which grapes turned into raisins or bananas peeled to reveal Carmen Miranda — or elaborate choreography within the risers, as when the 1983 freshman class act recreated a Pac-Man screen and manipulated their costumes so that the character appeared to move around the screen. [http://www.acu.edu/acu-today/fall2000/cover01.html "ACU Traditions, from A to Z,"] "ACU Today", Fall 2000.] [http://www.acu.edu/events/singsong/index.html Sing Song] official site.]
* Summit. Referred to as Lectureship until the 2008 school year. Begun in 1918, this annual program gathers thousands of attendees for lectures and workshops on religious topics connected with a biblical theme that changes each year. After many years of following directly after Sing Song, the lectureship moved in 2006 to a September event, in part to spread out the events that bring the most visitors to campus and also to take advantage of the more stable autumn climate, as winter storms and rain had hindered attendance on multiple occasions.
*Spring Break Campaigns. Hundreds of students participate each year in missionary or community-service programs of 7-10 days in various parts of the United States and, some years, other nearby countries. [http://www.acu.edu/acu-today/fall2000/cover01.html "ACU Traditions, from A to Z,"] "ACU Today", Fall 2000.]
*Welcome Week. Modeled on a program at Baylor University, this event for the integration of incoming first-year and transfer students provides small-group study programs, social activities, and information fairs in the week preceding the beginning of the fall semester.
*Homecoming. Like most residential U.S. universities, the campus hosts a celebration each fall for alumni to return for a parade, class-year and organizational reunions, and musical theater. [http://www.acu.edu/acu-today/fall2000/cover01.html "ACU Traditions, from A to Z,"] "ACU Today", Fall 2000.]


*Abilene Christian has been in the Lone Star Conference (LSC) of Division II of the NCAA since 1973. In 2007, the conference included 33 ACU current and former student athletes in its 75-member all-sports team commemorating the conference's 75th anniversary. [http://www.acu.edu/acutoday/documents/2007summer/Sports_s07.pdf "Wildcats lead way as LSC honors all-time top performers,"] "ACU Today", Summer 2007, p.32. Retrieved 2008-09-22.] Overall, ACU is fourth in NCAA history in team national championships won with 53, trailing only UCLA, Stanford and USC.Fact|date=September 2008
* The Wildcats were NAIA national football champions in 1973 and 1977. Fact|date=September 2008 Nine ACU football players were included in the LSC's 75th-anniversary list of top players in conference history. Also in 2007, ACU posted one of the greatest offensive seasons in NCAA Division II football history, leading the nation in scoring and in points per game.Fact|date=September 2008 At the close of the previous season, the Wildcats were ranked No. 20 in the nation in the American Football Coaches' Association Top 25 poll for Division II teams.Fact|date=September 2008
* The men's track program has won 15 outdoor national track championships: four when competing in the NAIA and eleven in NCAA Division II. In indoor competition, the program has won nine national championships: one in NAIA and eight in NCAA Division II.Fact|date=September 2008
* Ove Johansson kicked the longest field goal in college football history (69 yards) in 1976, 6 yards longer than the current NFL record.Fact|date=September 2008
* Olympic athletes from ACU include Bobby Joe Morrow, three-time 1956 gold medal winner; Earl Young, 1960 Olympic gold medalist in the 4x400 relay; Billy Olson, who made the 1980 and 1988 U.S. teams but did not compete in 1980 due to President Carter's decision to boycott the Games; Yolande Straughn, who competed in 1988 for Barbados; and *James Browne, 1988 competitor for Antigua.

ocial clubs

The school has a number of student organizations called "social clubs" that are equivalent to a fraternity or sorority on other college campuses; chapters of national Hellenic societies, however, are not permitted. The main goal of these social clubs is to help in service to the surrounding communities and the school itself.Fact|date=September 2008 Clubs also participate in intramural sports and Sing Song.

Current social clubs include the men's groups Frater Sodalis, Galaxy, Gamma Sigma Phi, Pi Kappa, Sub T-16, and Trojans; and women's clubs Ko Jo Kai, Sigma Theta Chi, Alpha "Kai" Omega (not to be confused with Alpha Kai Omega), Delta Theta, and GATA.


*Allen Booker Barret (1906-08)
*H. C. Darden (1908-09)
*Robertson Lafayette Whiteside(1909-11)
*James F. Cox (1911-12)ref|1
*Jesse Parker Sewell (1912-1924)
*Batsell Baxter (1924-1932)
*James F. Cox (1932-1940)
*Don H. Morris (1940-1969)
*John C. Stevens (1969-1981)
*William J. Teague (1981-1991)
*Royce Money (1991-present)

Notable alumni

*Gordon Bethune, former CEO of Continental Airlines
*James Browne, Olympic long jumper from Antigua
*Nelson Coates, Emmy-nominated film production designer [http://www.cinema.com/articles/1510/antwone-fisher-about-the-cast.phtml "Antwone Fisher": About the Cast and Crew,] Cinema.com. Retrieved 2008-09-22.] [http://www.acu.edu/academics/cas/jmc/about/events/gutenberg/more.html List of Gutenberg Award winners,] Abilene Christian University. Retrieved 2008-09-22.] [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0167655/ Nelson Coates] in Internet Movie Database]
*Randall "Tex" Cobb, professional boxer, actor
*Bonnie Curtis, film producer
*Jody Dean, news anchor of KTVT-TV, Dallas, Texas
*Holly Dunn, country music artist, painter
*James Hill, professional football player
*Robert D. Hunter, member of the Texas House of Representatives, District 71, (1986-2006)
*Jeff Knipp, film production designer
*John Layfield, professional wrestler
*David Leeson (1978), co-winner of 2004 Pulitzer Prize (previously nominated in 1986, 1990, and 1995)Jay DeFoore. [http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/newswire/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000479800 "Leeson, Diaz Meyer Of DMN And LAT's Cole Win Photo Pulitzers,"] "Photo District News" Online, April 5, 2004. Retrieved Aug. 6, 2007.] and winner of the Edward R. Murrow and National Headliner AwardsACU press release. [http://www.acu.edu/events/news/archives2004/040714_leeson.html "Pulitzer Prize-winning alumnus David Leeson wins Murrow, Headliner awards,"] July 19, 2004. Retrieved Aug. 6, 2007.]
*Cindi Love, executive director of Metropolitan Community ChurchLoretta Fulton. [http://www.texnews.com/1998/2001/local/face0311.html "Gay Christians face tough choices: Churches deal with question in different ways,"] "Abilene Reporter-News", March 11, 2001. Retrieved Aug. 6, 2007.] Metropolitan Community Church press release. [http://www.wfn.org/2005/01/msg00113.html "Dr. Cindi Love Is New Executive Director of Metropolitan Community,"] "Worldwide Faith News", January 18, 2005. Retrieved Aug. 6, 2007.]
*Max Lucado, best-selling Christian author
*Danieal Manning, professional football player
*Bobby Joe Morrow, Olympic sprinter, won three gold medals in the 1956 Games
*Wilbert Montgomery, professional football player
*Billy Olson, Olympic pole vaulter (1988 Summer Olympics, U.S. team for boycotted 1980 Summer Olympics); held several world records, including first 19-foot indoor pole vault — vaulted for AHS and ACU [http://www.acu.edu/centennial/profiles/billy_olson.html ACU Centennial: Billy Olson] ] Ted Dunnam. [http://www.acu.edu/events/news/000625-arnvaulted.html "Coaching by Hood vaulted ACU over top,"] "Abilene Reporter-News", June 25, 2000.] [http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/rankings/men/pvusranking.pdf All-Time U.S. Rankings — Men’s Pole Vault] , ranked #1 in the world for 1982.] Frank Litsky. [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40616FF385F0C718EDDAB0894DA484D81&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fO%2fOlympic%20Games&oref=slogin "Billy Olson is inching ahead on way to a 19-foot vault,"] "The New York Times", February 22, 1982, page C6, column 1 (late city final edition).] Al Pickett. [http://www.texnews.com/1998/1999/sports/star1224.html "Abilene has produced more than its share of stars,"] Abilene Reporter-News, December 24, 1999.]
*Cline Paden (1947), Church of Christ missionary, founder of Sunset International Bible Institute in Lubbock
*Ted Poe, former Harris County, Texas, judge; member of the United States House of Representatives
*Kevin Price, host of the Houston Business Show on CNN 650 and publisher of [HoustonBusiness.com "Houston Business Review"]
*Jack Scott, California state senator
*Jeev Milkha Singh (1996), professional golfer from India [http://www.telegraphindia.com/1061104/asp/opinion/story_6955314.asp "Carry on, Jeev,"] "The Telegraph" (Calcutta, India), November 4, 2006. Retrieved 2008-09-22.]
*R. Gerald Turner, president of Southern Methodist University
*Aaron Watson, country music singer
*Allen Wilson, football coach
*Earl Young, 1960 Olympic gold medal winner in 4X400 relay
*Paul Stelzer, Co-Director of the Heart Valve Center and a senior surgeon in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital, and a Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, whose experience with the Ross procedure is considered among the most extensive in the world. [ [http://www.rossregistry.net/ontheweb.htm Ross Registry] ]

Notable former students

*Ronnie Dunn, singer and songwriter - one half of Brooks & Dunn
*Daniel Johnston, singer and songwriter - attended ACU in his first year of college

Notable professors

*Everett Ferguson, Patristics scholar and noted author
*Douglas A. Foster, Professor of Church History, editor of the "Stone-Campbell Encyclopedia"
*Arlie J. Hoover, History Scholar and Noted Author
*Gary D. McCaleb, professor of management and founder of Center for Building Community; former mayor of Abilene


External links

* [http://www.acu.edu ACU official site]


*ref|1 When James Cox's wife became ill, his brother, Alonzo B. Cox, filled in for him to finish the term.

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