News + Events

FHU Announces $100.5 Million Campaign for Next Era

Henderson, TN - Dec 09, 2021

Having celebrated its 150th anniversary last year, Freed-Hardeman University is now looking to the future. FHU President David R. Shannon announced at the annual benefit dinner Dec. 3, 2021, that FHU has embarked on a $100,550,000 campaign to ensure the university’s future for the next 150 years.

The most ambitious fund-raising effort in the university’s history, FHU NEXT is well on its way to success. The quiet phase of the campaign has resulted in more than $83 million in cash and pledges in the past year and a half.

“We are beyond grateful for every donor and for the diligent efforts of Vice President of Community Engagement Dave Clouse and his staff,” Shannon said. “We look forward to completing this campaign, and we pledge to use these funds to serve our students and honor our God.”

To celebrate the university’s past, FHU NEXT builds on its rich heritage and significant accomplishments to reach higher than ever before. FHU NEXT is comprised of four vital areas: kingdom, academics, experience and affordability.

“Our vision is larger than this world,” Shannon said. “Our ultimate goal is to impact the kingdom and strengthen the church for His glory.” To accomplish this, the campaign includes hiring the best Christian faculty and creating flexibility to meet market demands for new academic programs. It also stresses growing the endowed scholarship fund, as well as greater accessibility for students of color. “To emphasize the importance of God’s plan for man’s salvation, a new birth through Jesus, we plan to incorporate a baptistry fountain into one of the building renovations,” Shannon said.

Perennially recognized as a top-tier college of distinction and leader in Christian education, FHU prepares students for their next steps, whether career or graduate school. New programs in emerging markets, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, computer analytics and computer engineering, will be part of the new ATPI Center for Digital Innovation. 

Building on FHU’s service to the church, a Doctor of Ministry will be established to provide a service-oriented terminal degree in ministry. Combining scholarship and research, the D. Min. will be directed in a practical way to help the church. The FHU NEXT campaign will provide faculty and scholarships for this endeavor. An upgraded photography studio, classroom and storage space are included for photography majors, one of FHU’s fastest growing programs.

Brown-Kopel Business Center, the campus’ most often utilized academic building, will be refurbished to enhance the learning environment for students. An endowment fund to provide seed money for new academic programs will be established, so the university can better respond to market and student needs. In addition, the university’s current software systems will be updated.

FHU NEXT will also fund projects to move students’ campus experience to the next level. The current student center will be completely renovated and will house the ATPI Center for Digital Innovation. The facility will be renamed to honor Dr. Elizabeth Saunders, FHU’s first Black graduate, first Black faculty member and celebrated outstanding citizen of Henderson and Chester County. Plans also call for a new cafeteria to be located between Gardner Center and Brown-Kopel Business Center.

Loyd Auditorium, home of daily chapel and almost every large gathering on campus, will be renovated. New seating, flooring and paint, along with exterior improvements, additional restrooms and an elevator, are planned for the building that was completed in 1976.

All residence halls will receive upgrades. In addition, to meet the needs of FHU’s record-setting enrollment, Paul Gray Hall will be totally renovated to once again serve as a men’s dormitory. This project is a priority, according to Shannon.

To meet the long-standing need for additional exercise and recreation space, an outdoor intramural complex will provide fields for softball, soccer and flag football. An indoor intramural complex will include basketball and volleyball courts, as well as dressing areas, restrooms and a parking lot. The current weight room will be enlarged. 

Intercollegiate athletic projects include new artificial turf and drainage for the baseball field, field and drainage improvements for the softball and soccer fields, refinishing of the basketball court, parking lot repair and improved signage.

To maintain tuition stability, additional gifts will be sought for the university’s annual fund, Bible teaching program, the annual benefit dinner and the President’s Council.

“This campaign and these projects have been prayerfully considered,” Shannon said. “They are based on three biblical principles: God is owner of all, Psalm 24:1; we are stewards, not owners, Matthew 25:14-30; and we are blessed to bless others, Galatians 6:10.”



The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson, Memphis and Dickson, FHU offers bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees.