Get Abilene Christian College essential facts below. View Videos or join the Abilene Christian College discussion. Add Abilene Christian College to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Abilene Christian University grew from an idea held by A.B. Barret and Charles Roberson to form a school in West Texas. The Churches 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. It initially included a lower school starting in the seventh grade.
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-produced newspaper, was founded in 1912. The Prickly Pear, the school yearbook, was founded in 1916. The JMC Network, a converged student media operation, was created in 2008 to produce all student-led news media. 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 (280 ha) northeast of Abilene. In addition, residents donated 75 acres (30 ha) of adjoining land. The new campus opened in the fall of 1929.
ACU's Onstead-Packer Bible Studies Building, Chapel on the Hill and Tower of Light seen from Faubus Fountain Lake
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 has historically been the largest organization in the United States that has time set aside each class 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.
The university was officially segregated, for white students only, until 1961.
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 22, 1976, the name was changed to Abilene Christian University. The university celebrated its centennial in the 2005-06 school year. In July 2015, the university signed a lease for an expansion campus located in Addison, Texas. Called ACU Dallas, the new campus began offering several new graduate programs, including an MBA and Ed.D. in organizational leadership.
The school established an NPR station, KACU, in 1986. Initially, the community was concerned that the school might use the station for proselytizing, and for the station's first ten years, an advisory board composed of community members served to monitor the station against this possibility. On October 18, 2008, the school hosted a live broadcast of NPR's long-running A Prairie Home Companion radio show from the campus' Moody Coliseum.
On Wednesday, August 23, 2017 the NCAA Board of Directors voted to pass ACU through to full Division 1 status, thus making them eligible for postseason play.
The Prickly Pear. Beginning in 1916, this was the title for Abilene Christian University's (formerly Abilene Christian College) yearbook. The name was taken from Opuntia, a species of cactus native to the Abilene and West Texas area, commonly referred to as "prickly pear". The Prickly Pear ceased publication in 2009.
Sing Song. Since 1956, this annual competition in mid-February has featured student groups of 30-100 people, singing themed a cappellamedleys, usually satirical. Originating as a fundraiser 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 Peter Pan, the British Royal Guard, 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. The men of Galaxy and the women of Sigma Theta Chi currently hold the records for most wins of a men's club and women's club, respectively.
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.
Wildcat Week. Formerly called Welcome Week, 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.
Chapel. ACU is one of the few Christian colleges that maintains daily required chapel for all undergraduate, full-time students. Chapel is a 30-minute praise and worship time, usually with a featured speaker. Typically, no classes or meetings are scheduled during this half-hour. There are, however, opportunities for chapel exemptions that allow students to need less than the standard 55 chapel credits per semester.
School colors. The colors purple and white have long been the colors of ACU, standing for the royalty and purity of Christ, respectively.
On February 26, 2008, ACU announced that all incoming freshman classes would receive a free AppleiPhone 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 use of the new generation of smartphone technologies. In February, 2009, ACU hosted more than 400 academics and technologists from 31 states and 8 countries for its first ConnectEd Summit on mobile learning. Attendees representing more than 90 schools participated in workshops designed to foster mobile learning programs on their own campuses.
In August 2008,Campus Technology magazine named ACU "Innovator of the Year" in the mobile learning category for this "ACU Connected" initiative. On February 27, 2009, ACU received the award for Institutional Excellence in Information Communications Technology from ACUTA and on March 4, 2009, Alcatel-Lucent named ACU a Dynamic Enterprise Award winner and awarded ACU with its first Analyst Choice Award for its ACU Connected initiative. On June 13, 2009, the New Media Consortium presented ACU with one of three Center of Excellence awards at its annual summer conference for ACU's efforts in mobile learning.
Abilene Christian Athletics wordmark
Formerly a charter member of the Division I Southland Conference, Abilene Christian joined the Lone Star Conference (LSC) of Division II of the NCAA in 1973, but have since rejoined the Southland Conference as of 2013[update]. 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. Through 2009, ACU is fourth in NCAA history in team national championships won with 57, trailing Division I schools UCLA, Stanford, and South Carolina, and tied with Division III school Kenyon College.
In 2012 Abilene Christian had received NCAA permission to compete in Division I FCS and was under consideration for reattachment to the Southland Conference. On August 25, Abilene Christian's Board of Trustees accepted Southland's invitation to rejoin the Conference effective with the start of the 2013 academic year.
The men's track and field program has won 32 NCAA National Track and Field Championships: 19 NCAA outdoor and 13 indoor.
The women's track and field program has won 22 national championships: 12 indoor and 10 outdoor.
The Wildcats were NAIA national football champions in 1973 and 1977.
Before the NCAA invalidated its 2007 season, nine ACU football players were included in the LSC's 75th-anniversary list of top players in conference history. The school's 2007 victories were vacated by the NCAA in 2009. The NCAA charged "two assistant football coaches helped a pair of players find an English correspondence class to take, enroll in the same course, allowed them to use the coaches' school computers for writing papers and paid to mail the assignments." The school had scored more than 40 points in 11 of its 13 games and more than 50 points in 7 games and 70 or more points in two games including a 73-76 three overtime loss to Chadron State in the second round of the NCAA playoffs.
In 2008, the Wildcats "set a record for points in an NCAA (football) playoff game, beating West Texas A&M 93-68 in the second round of the Division II playoffs."
Ove Johansson kicked the longest field goal in college football history (69 yards) in 1976, 6 yards longer than the current NFL record. As of 2020[update] it remains the longest field goal ever kicked in any level of football competition and is an unbroken world record.
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. Clubs also participate in intramural sports and Sing Song. There are a total of fourteen social clubs for both men and women.
Alpha Kai Omega
Gamma Sigma Phi
Nu Kappa Psi
Zeta Rho (Defunct)
Ko Jo Kai
Sigma Theta Chi
Tri Kappa Gamma
April Anthony, CEO of Homecare Homebase and Encompass Home Health & Hospice chair of the ACU Board of Trustees
^"Austin360 bets" (upcoming events column), Austin American-Statesman, September 3, 2008: "Garrison Keillor and 'A Prairie Home Companion' are coming to Abilene in October for a live performance. Tickets are now on sale and expected to sell quickly. Public radio station 89.7 KACU, AbilenePublicRadio and Abilene Christian University are hosting the event ... ."