Freed-Hardeman University is a private Christian university located in Henderson, Tennessee affiliated with the Churches of Christ.
The university was founded in 1869 as the Henderson Male and Female Institute. It has gone by various names throughout its history including West Tennessee Christian College, Georgie Robertson Christian College, and National Teachers' Normal and Business College. In 1919 the college's name was changed to Freed-Hardeman College. In 1990 the school dropped the "college" from the name and instead opting for Freed-Hardeman University.
The school is located in the small West Tennessee town of Henderson. The campus is within walking distance of the downtown portion of the town.
The school has various dormitories, none of which house over 200 students. The men's dormatories are Paul Gray Hall, L. L. Brigance Hall, George S. Benson Hall, and Farrow Hall. Brigance Hall is unique in design in that it has no inner hallways and the doors open to the outside. This type of design is similar to Days Inn.
The women's dormitories include Hall-Roland Hall, H. A. Dixon Hall, Thomas E. and LaVonne B. Scott Hall, W. A. Bradfield Hall, and Porter-Terry Hall.
Chapel attendance is required of all full-time students. Chapel is a school-wide assembly worship service which also includes various school announcements. If a student misses too many chapel services, they could be put on chapel probation and stand a chance of being suspended from the university.
Students are required to take a Bible class each semester. These classes have been known to be just as difficult as secular academic classes.
The university has no national fraternities and sororities, opting instead for localized co-ed social clubs. The clubs have student leaders and a faculty sponsor. Membership in social clubs is unlimited and most students choose to join a club during their tenure at the university. Each spring the social clubs participate in a spring musical known as "Makin' Music." It is sometimes referred to as "Makin Mucus" by the students since it takes place during prime-time allergy season.
Consumption and possession of alcohol both on and off campus is prohibited by the university. If students are found to violate the rules on alcohol, they could be put on probation.
Any sexual activity outside of marriage is prohibited by the university. Co-ed single students are not allowed to spend the night together. Halloween is the only time which members of the opposite sex can visit dormitories. The requirement is that the visitors must be dressed up in a Halloween costume.
The university has been referred to some as being a Church of Christ dating service. In the past many female students attended there hoping to get their Mrs. degree, finding their perfect mate and living happily ever after.
The university shares the same state as another Church of Christ affiliated university, Lipscomb University. Lipscomb's policies are considered to be a bit more liberal than Freed-Hardeman's policies. Many times when Lipscomb makes a change to its policies...such as easing restrictions, Freed-Hardeman will usually follow 5 or 10 years down the road by easing their restrictive policies.
The university's mascot is known as the Lions. The university is known for its tennis team, having recruited the best tennis players (many from overseas). The university also participates in basketball, track, softball, baseball, among various other sports activities.
The university dominates the small town of Henderson. It is one of the county's largest employers. For many years the county's public high school did not have a prom due to the university's Footloose-style opposition to dancing. A sit-down banquet was held instead.
Various nicknames have been given to classify residents and students in the town:
- Freedies - Students of the university
- Townies - Residents of the town of Henderson
- Frownies - Residents of Henderson who are also students at the university.
The university was used as the filming location for the 1973 movie Walking Tall.