FHU Begins 145th School Year with Tolling of the Bell

AUGUST 22, 2013

As Master of the Bell, Hoyt Kirk, former Freed-Hardeman University teacher and coach, rang the bell 14 times to signify the beginning of the 2013-14 school year at FHU Aug. 21 in Loyd Auditorium.


The bell is used for ceremonial occasions and at the start of each school year, it is rung once for each decade of the school’s existence. This is FHU’s 145th academic year.
Before the tolling of the bell, John Law, vice chairman of the university’s board of trustees, issued a challenge to current students. He asked them to protect their minds, guard their hearts, and secure their paths. Student Government Association president Tyler Sheetz, accepted the challenge on behalf of the students.

Kirk coached basketball and baseball and served as the director of Mid-South Youth Camp during his 30 years at FHU. He joined the Freed-Hardeman faculty in 1963 after a stint of high school coaching in Oran, Mo. He had earned degrees from David Lipscomb College and George Peabody College after four years in the United States Navy. He began his career at Freed-Hardeman as the assistant to long-time basketball coach Dick Stewart and became the head coach in 1968. Over the next 30 years, he became an associate professor in the health, physical education and recreation department, directed intramurals, added baseball to his coaching duties, and sponsored the Griffins, a gymnastics performance group. In the summers, he directed Mid-South Youth Camp and taught children’s swim classes. Today, he and his wife Barbara live in Linden, Tenn., where he has preached for the Linden Church of Christ for more than 30 years.

“We’re family and I’m happy to see you,” Kirk told students. He talked about his time at the university and said he hopes they enjoy their years at FHU as much as he did. “I’m indebted to the great teachings of Freed-Hardeman,” he said. “I’m indebted to my friends I met at this university. I’m indebted to this university because of the experiences it let me have here.”


tolling of the bell 2013

Coach Hoyt Kirk tolls the bell 14 times Aug. 21 at Freed-Hardeman University to officially open the school's 145th academic year.