Bulletin: Hardin-Simmons Ex-Student Roundup, August, 1940 Page: 1
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Entered as Second Class Matter, June 19, 1915, at the Postoffice at Abilene, Texas, Under Act of August 24, 1912.
Volume XXVI Harry H. Hayes '32, Editor AUGUST, 1940 Frances Edmonds Palm '25, Asst. Editor No. 406
Dr. W. R. Ifhite Accepts H-S U Presidency
Hardin - Simmons University and
Baptists everywhere lost a devoted
friend and generous benefactor last
week in the death of W. J. Behrens,
who was frequently spoken of as Abi-
lene's first citizen.
From May, 1927, until his recent
retirement on account of failing
health, he was chairman of the board
of H-SU, having been a trustee of the
university for more than 20 years.
He had been a trustee of Hendrick
Hospital since its inception and for
many years had been a deacon of the
First Baptist Church in Abilene.
"'Dad" Behrens was born on a farm
in Iowa, June 24, 1860. He was only
nine when his father died and the lad
worked on the farm with his brothers
till he grew to manhood, receiving only
a limited education. After he entered
business, he attended night school.
In 1906 he came to Abilene as gen-
eral agent of a large life insurance
company, and retained this connec-
tion till his death. As he prospered,
he acquired interests in banking, farm-
ing, oil and other affairs, but always
had time and enthusiasm for civic and
He was a leader in the Lions club
and keenly interested in Boy Scouts.
During the last year he was awarded
scouting's highest honor in recognition
of his services.
Surviving are his wife, a sister in
Illinois, one brother in Iowa, and an-
other in St. Louis, and a nephew.
Victor Behrens of Abilene.
Funeral services were conducted
Saturday morning, July 20, from the
First Baptist Church, Abilene, Dr.
Millard A. Jenkens, pastor, who bap-
tized him nearly a quarter of a cen-
tury ago, paying the last tribute.
Pallbearers were associates on the
H1-SU board, J. D. Sandefer, Jr.. T. E.
Roberts, C. M. Caldwell, George S.
Anderson, J. C. Hunter, and T. T.
Houston Exes Meet
Under the capable leadership of Joe
Breed '28, more than forty known
exes in Houston were invited to meet
at the Weldon Cafeteria there, the
night of August 2, to form an H-SU
Leadership to White
After having demonstrated excep-
tional ability as an executive and a
leader, Dean L. Q. Campbell of the
department of English in the Univer-
sity this week is relinquishing his of-
fice as acting president to Dr. Billy
White, our new executive. Over a
period of several weeks, while Dr.
Richardson has been teaching in Okla-
homa University, Professor Campbell,
at the board of trustees' direction, has
been carrying the executive load on
the campus in addition to teaching
An executive position is nothing
new to Dean Campbell. For a period
of ten years he held a post of im-
portance at Mississippi Women's Col-
At Dr. White's recommendation, he
will continue in an executive capacity,
with new formed title to be decided
on, as "right hand man" in the new
The marriage of Lucy Cole '42, and
Jack Ables of Cisco was recently an-
nounced by the bride's parents.
At 9:30 Monday morning, July 29,
1940, an historic board of trustees
meeting convened in the Citizens Na-
tional Bank building. Meeting with
the group were Mrs. H. A. Fender,
Ex-Student president, and Dr. Clinton
Adams, chairman of the semi-centen-
nial commission, Dean L. Q. Camp-
bell, and D. W. Arnette, faculty mem-
Although the real purpose of the
meeting was known to only a few
members, a feeling of high expec-
tancy ran like an electric current from
person to person as the group gath-
ered. Jake Sandefer, president of the
board, was in charge of the meeting,
the first since Dr. White declined the
presidency in early June.
Rev. Dick O'Brien led the group in
a prayer for the guidance of the Holy
Spirit in all its deliberations. After
the prayer, each member in turn was
asked to express his sentiment as to
the advisability of asking Dr. W. R.
White to reconsider his decision, and
if, in reconsidering should he feel led
to accept the presidency of Hardin-
Simmons university, to state his ideas.
Unanimously, each member said he
felt that Dr. White was the only man
for the presidency of Hardin-Sim-
mons, and how each had felt at a loss
to focus his choice on another man
for the place. By unanimous vote it
was agreed to again ask Dr. White
to reconsider. Jake Sandefer was in-
structed to get in touch with him and
to report back to the assembled group.
In considerable less than the time
expected, Jake appeared with the an-
swer-Dr. White himself. It seemed.
to the members and persons not ac-
quainted with the fact of Dr. White's
being in Abilene, that a miracle was
taking place before their eyes. After
explanations, Dr. White gave his an-
swer -a deliberate prayer directed
And so, Hardin-Simmons has a new
president, Dr. William Richardson
White, pastor of the First Baptist
Church, Oklahoma City, the man for
whom countless numbers of Hardin-
Simmons friends have been praying to
be led to accept the presidency.
In giving his answer to the board,
Dr. White told how he felt he had
been led in making his decision at the
time he did. "I am dedicating my
life to the training of young Chris-
tians in a way of life and living that
will send them out into the world for-
tified to combat all the insidious totali-
tarian and other non-Christian influ-
(Continued on page 4)
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Hardin-Simmons University. Bulletin: Hardin-Simmons Ex-Student Roundup, August, 1940, periodical, August 1940; Abilene, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth116747/m1/1/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Hardin-Simmons University Library.