Texas Day by Day

On this day in Texas history…

McMurry College charter signed

November 21st, 1921

On this day in 1921, the charter of McMurry College in Abilene was signed. The college was founded by Methodist minister James Winfred Hunt, the former president of Stamford College, which had closed in 1918. In 1920 the Northwest Texas Conference of the Methodist Church voted to establish a college in Abilene, which offered money, land, free water, and streetcar connections, and put Hunt in charge of the effort. The college, named for Bishop William Fletcher McMurry, opened in September 1923 with twenty-two faculty and staff members and 191 students; Hunt served as its first president. The college struggled during the Great Depression and World War II, but began to grow, along with Abilene, in the postwar years. McMurry College became McMurry University in 1990. In 2017 its total undergraduate enrollment was 1,073.

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