School code: 3962
School code: 1230
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FHU students have the opportunity to continue their learning outside the classroom with a semester abroad.
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Henderson, TN is a small town that is full of charm and has an atmosphere of Southern hospitality. While most events are held on campus, if you're looking to get off campus, it's a short drive to both Memphis or Nashville, Tennessee.
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"Freed has allowed me to pursue both of my interests in life all in one place. Not many college students get the opportunity to oversee a mission trip to South America with their professors and be published for undergraduate research all in the same year."
Class of 2014 • Majoring In Biochemistry and Bible
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FHU has a history of talented student athletes and coaches who have helped make FHU Athletics what they are today. Check out who these students are and what accomplishments they've made. Know someone who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame? Use the nomination form below to tell us about it.
FHU welcomes visiting teams. Find a campus map, local lodging and more in our FHU Athletics Visitor's Guide.
FHU offers two major opportunities to support Lion athletics that also benefit you! The FHU Lion Backers and the Sports Advisory Council Benefit Dinner are great ways to give back.
For the latest news and updates, follow FHU Athletics on all social media outlets
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.
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Dr. E. Claude Gardner, 13th president of Freed-Hardeman University, died Sunday afternoon, Dec. 31, 2017, in Jackson, Tennessee. He would have celebrated his 93rd birthday Jan. 16, 2018.
Current FHU President David Shannon said, “Dr. Gardner left an indelible mark on this institution. He led with strong authority while embodying compassion. His wisdom and success were bathed in godliness and faithfulness. For many of us, his blessings were not only institutional, but also personal. He knew our names and followed us beyond graduation. I am deeply grateful for his personal invitation to attend FHU in the ‘80s and will never find words to express what it meant to be welcomed back by him last year.”
A mainstay of the university and of Henderson and Chester County for half a century, Gardner had lived and worked in Henderson since 1949 when he joined the faculty as chairman of the Department of Education and Psychology and as a Bible teacher. In the ensuing years, he became the registrar, dean, vice president, president, chancellor and president emeritus. He retired as chancellor in 1992.
During Gardner’s tenure as president, the college went from junior college to university status and began offering master’s degrees. The school experienced remarkable growth in enrollment and more than a dozen key buildings were added to the campus.
He was also very active in Henderson and Chester County civic affairs. He was a founder of the Chester County Senior Citizens, Chester County Chamber of Commerce and Chester County Crime Stoppers. He also served as a director of Chester County Bank.
Dr. Milton Sewell, who followed Gardner as president of FHU, said, “I have known Bro. Gardner for more than 60 years. He was an outstanding Christian gentleman and a visionary. He was committed to God and His church, his family, Freed-Hardeman and the Henderson community. As president, he was committed to excellence and what was best for students. He will be missed by so many of us who loved and appreciated him.”
Former FHU President Joe Wiley said. “The depth and breadth of Dr. Gardner’s knowledge of Freed-Hardeman were extraordinary, beginning with his time here as a student in the 1940s and continuing into the 1990s. He led the university through a period of considerable growth in all areas.”
Gardner was also a gospel preacher for most of his life. He preached his first sermon at age 15. Throughout his life, he preached at many congregations in this country as well as abroad. He conducted more than 375 gospel meetings. He was also a frequent contributor to various periodicals associated with churches of Christ, writing approximately 500 articles and eight books.
Gardner was preceded in death by his wife Delorese Tatum Gardner who died in 2001 after more than 50 years of marriage and by his second wife Glenda Jacobs Gardner who died in 2016, his brothers: Stanley, Don and Albert, and sister Ethel Jordan.
He is survived by four children: Phyllis (Sam) Hester, Becky (Larry) Cyr, Claudia Goodson, and David (Pat) Gardner; six grandchildren: Kristen Hester (Jeremy) Hicks; Beth Cyr (Julio) Rivas and Adam (Tosha) Cyr; and Nick (Cait), Bennett (fiancé Julie) and Madison Gardner; and three great-grandchildren, Tessa Beth Moore, Tucker Cyr and Breanne Gardner.
Funeral services will be conducted Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, at 2 p.m. in Loyd Auditorium on the FHU campus. Visitation will be Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, 4-9 p.m. at the Henderson Church of Christ and Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in Loyd Auditorium. Memorials may be made to the E. Claude and Delorese Gardner Scholarship at FHU.
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