FHU 150th Logo

You are invited to join Freed-Hardeman in celebrating 150 years of educating young people in Henderson during the 2019-20 school year. The historic year begins with Tolling of the Bell, Aug. 21, 2019, signaling the opening of the 150th year, and concludes with spring commencement, May 16, 2020. Join us in celebrating both God’s enduring blessings and the thousands who have helped shape today’s FHU.

150th Celebration Schedule

The 2019-20 academic year will mark the 150th year of educating young people in Henderson. You are invited to be part of the following events and celebrate FHU’s heritage and God’s blessings.

August 17 - Welcome Home: New Students Arrive

August 21 - Tolling of the Bell: Fall Semeseter Begins; Rededication of Restored Hardeman House

September 27 - 29 - RUSH: Collision Courses

November 8 - Founders' Day Celebration; Rededication of Restored Old Main

November 8 - 10 - Homecoming

December 6 - Annual Benefit Dinner with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

December 13 - December Graduation

January 22 - Spring Semester Begins

February 2- 7 - Annual Bible Lectureship

April 3 - 4 - Makin' Music

May 16 - May Graduation

Celebrate Your Place in History

FHU traces its history to the 1869 establishment of Henderson Male and Female Institute, located on Main Street on what is currently referred to as the Milan-Sitka property. History professor Dr. Greg Massey has spent years researching and writing this account of FHU’s past. His meaningful book not only gives facts but also provides a glimpse into the people who created and sustained the university. This edition will include beautifully designed pages with historic photographs.

Catch a Glimpse

As the first book chronicling the entirety of FHU’s history is produced, you can add your or your family’s name in it. For a gift of $250, your name will be included and you will be among the first to receive a copy of this extraordinary book when it is printed in 2020. This limited opportunity is available only to early respondents.

A book like this has never before been produced and may never be again. Permanently etch your name in this historic piece of FHU memorabilia by responding at fhu.edu/dreams.

Chapter One

“From Masonic Institute to Christian College: Higher Education in Henderson, Tennessee 1869-1897”

The history of education in Henderson begins with one woman teaching in a one-room school on the corner of Main and Cason streets. When that school failed, the Tennessee legislature granted Henderson businessmen a charter for the Henderson Male and Female Institute in 1869. The school, built on the northwest corner of Main Street and White Avenue, is eventually purchased by the local Christian Church which changes its name to West Tennessee Christian College, marking the first time the school is labeled explicitly religious.

Chapter Five

“A College Campus Is Born: 1928-1939”

With the construction of Oakland Hall for women, the college turns its focus to building a residence hall for men. Paul Gray Hall is completed in 1929. To further enhance the college campus atmosphere, intercollegiate sports and social clubs, along with other student activities, make their debut.

Chapter Nine

“Recovery and Renewal: Freed-Hardeman College, 1950-1959”

Under the steady hand of President H.A. Dixon and the enthusiastic recruiting of W.A. Bradfield, FHC builds enrollment once again. It’s a heady time: intercollegiate athletics after a wartime hiatus, state approval of the teacher education program, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation as a junior college and the beginning of Mid-South Youth Camp. FHC is “teaching how to live and how to make a living.”

Purchase 150th Book

This fall, Freed-Hardeman University will celebrate its 150-year anniversary. This historic milestone is a testament to both God’s enduring blessings and to the thousands who have helped shape today’s FHU.

For a gift of $250, you can have your or your family’s name inscribed in the book. You will also be among the first to receive a copy of this extraordinary book when it is printed next spring. This is a limited opportunity, available only to early respondents. If you’d like to have your name included, please let us know today.

FHU Historical Column

Join us in celebrating the history of Freed-Hardeman University by reading our Historical Columns that can be found weekly in the Chester County Independent.


Share your memories - everyday moments with friends or big events with the whole campus - by making a horizontal phone video of them. When you submit them (thus giving your permission for use), they will become part of a virtual video scrapbook at fhu.edu.

Video submissions (five minutes or less) can be sent to alumni@fhu.edu through Monday, May 11. Regardless of the amount of time you were a student, we want to hear from you.