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Abilene Christian University


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ACU's mission is to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.ACU is a vibrant, innovative, Christ-centered community that engages students in authentic spiritual and intellectual growth, equipping them to make a real difference.
More than 4,500 students. Several hundred faculty and staff members. Tens of thousands of alumni. We are all individuals, each with our own unique ACU experience, but what makes us all proud Wildcats is those shared moments - the togetherness of tradition.
We care about the well-being of all our students and the community. Learn about the programs, services, and other resources available through various partners to provide support to our students on their academic journey. Sometimes the most life-changing lessons happen outside the perimeter of campus. However, you do not always know that until you arrive. Immerse yourself in another culture while earning credit. Observe new ways of life, explore nature and architecture of new-to-you sights, experience new foods, observe new customs, and examine new ways of thinking -- all while taking courses, improving your language skills, participating in service projects, and making life-long friendships with fellow study abroad students.
The Learning Studio helps students and faculty develop digital creativity, media fluency, and collaborative problem solving that are essential to careers in the 21st century. Also, we produce strategic projects that extend the university's influence to a global audience. The Maker Lab is an ideation studio, and prototyping shop focused on the fabrication of innovative products that address personal interests and sometimes broader societal problems. By teaching creative techniques and practices as part of good character and community, the Maker Lab helps ACU faculty and students shape the world positively. ACU Press and Leafwood Publishers serve a broad range of readers by publishing distinctive materials that deepen a critical appreciation of the Christian faith and our current cultural context. We collaborate with faculty and departments across campus to produce textbooks and other resources that extend their teaching scope and seek to spread the university's value to a broad public audience. The Adams Center enhances teaching and learning by providing resources and tools that empower faculty. The Adams Center offers faculty opportunities for innovation, focus, leadership, and community building. The Innovation Foundry leads in the design and development of educational technology and learning spaces across the university. The center of digital scholarship at ACU, the Innovation Foundry advances research teams, entrepreneurial projects, scholarly communications that are made possible by digital technologies.
The Innovation Foundry leads in the design and development of educational technology and learning spaces across the university. The center of digital scholarship at ACU, the Innovation Foundry advances research teams, entrepreneurial projects, scholarly communications that are made possible by digital technologies. Special Collections and Archives acquires and promotes historical materials so that it is the repository of the first choice for researchers seeking resources related to the Stone-Campbell Movement and Churches of Christ. We offer faculty, staff, students, and alumni the opportunity to experience their Christian heritage.
The university's Board of Trustees prepared this document in October 2012 to articulate what it means for ACU to be a Christ-centered institution of higher education within the Christian heritage of the Stone-Campbell faith tradition, mainly as expressed in Churches of Christ. We strongly affirm the most excellent values of that heritage and pursue a Christ-centered focus using the inspired Word of God to guide our decisions as an institution. Rooted in these values, ACU will pursue sound and innovative educational principles so our students will be fully prepared to live Christian service and leadership lives.
A.B. Barret and Charles Roberson were on their way to a gospel meeting when Barret first said to Roberson, "Let's build a school in West Texas." That was in 1903. In 1905, Barret, a Southwestern Christian College teacher in Denton, struck an agreement with Col. J.W. Childers, a leader in the Abilene church, to buy land from him at a reduced price on the condition that the school would be named in his honor. The Childers Classical Institute, offering 11 primary and secondary grades, opened its doors in Fall 1906, with 25 students enrolled.
Childers' first years were difficult for everyone, with cold classrooms, crowded living conditions, and a water shortage. Four presidents led the school during those early years: Barret, H.C. Darden, R.L. Whiteside, and James F. Cox (who served another term as president from 1931-40).
Jesse P. Sewell became president in 1912. Sewell declined his salary, opting to run the school as though it were a personal business enterprise. Sewell's new approach came to a new identity for the school. Since its beginning, the institute had been commonly referred to as Abilene Christian or the Christian college in Abilene. When Sewell became president, the school began using the name Abilene Christian College in its catalog and other printed materials. The campus grew by four new brick buildings, an enlarged administration building, and six frame structures, and an increased enrollment of about 300 students during his final term. Sewell's tenure also resulted in accreditation as a junior college in 1914 and as a senior college in 1919.
In 2012, ACU became one of only a few institutions worldwide to be named an Apple Distinguished School, a recognition by Apple as an exemplary learning environment for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence. That designation was renewed in 2013 and 2014.
The university opened ACU at CitySquare, a learning center on North Akard Street in downtown Dallas, in 2012, partnering with the poverty-fighting enterprise formerly known as Central Dallas Ministries. In 2013, ACU athletics moved from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I, joining the Southland Conference — a respected league ACU helped found in 1963. In 2013, the first students enrolled in ACU's new School of Nursing, and the former Burford Music Center became the Phillips Education Building.
A $75 million Vision in Action initiative began in February 2014 to raise funds for three new science buildings and two stadiums. In April 2015, historic Elmer Gray Stadium was razed, and a new Gray Stadium for track and field and soccer opened on the west side of campus. Bennett Gymnasium, one of the original structures at ACU when it moved to its hilltop campus in 1929, was renovated and opened in 2015 as laboratory space for the Department of Engineering and Physics.
ACU graduate Kent Brantly, M.D., in one of his first public speaking engagements since becoming the first American to be treated for Ebola on U.S. soil, spoke in Moody Coliseum on Oct. 10, 2014, joined by his wife, Amber. He was later profiled as one of "The Ebola Fighters" who appeared on the cover of Time magazine as 2014 Person of the Year.

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