American Football Database
McMurry University
TypePrivate University
EndowmentUSD $52.0 million[1]
PresidentDr. John H. Russell
LocationAbilene, Texas, United States
CampusUrban, 40 acres (.16 km²)
NicknameWar Hawks
AffiliationsUnited Methodist

McMurry University, founded in 1923, is a private co-educational university in Abilene, Texas. It is a liberal arts school offering forty-one majors in the fields of fine arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, education, business, and religion, and nine pre-professional programs, including pre-engineering, nursing, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary, and law. McMurry is affiliated with the United Methodist church.

McMurry has roughly 1,430 students. Methodist students comprise 27 percent of the student population. Ninety five percent of students are Texan. Minority groups make up approximately one-fourth of the student body. In the freshman class, 98 percent of students receive some financial aid. Fifty-three percent of students live on campus, and 75 percent of students are involved in at least one extracurricular activity.

More than 80 percent of the faculty have earned a doctorate or other terminal degree in their field. McMurry is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Texas Education Agency, the University Senate of the United Methodist Church, the National League for Nursing, and the Texas State Board of Nurse Examiners.

McMurry has been recognized annually since 1996 by U.S. News & World Report for quality and value in the Southwest division of third tier schools. Recent graduates have gained admission to graduate and professional schools at nationally prominent institutions, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Duke, Vanderbilt, SMU, Baylor, and the University of Texas. McMurry's honors program offers academic scholarships ranging up to full-tuition for four years to outstanding students.

Indians mascot controversy

In late August 2005, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) handed down a decision calling for the eighteen universities with Native American mascots to change their names or obtain a waiver from their representative tribe for the use of the mascot name. The McMurry Indians were part of this list. The Indians nickname was chosen as a tribute to the University's first president, J.W. Hunt, who grew up on an Indian Reservation in the Indian Territory.

On May 18, 2006, the NCAA rejected McMurry's appeal to keep their nickname. The school has chosen to appeal the ruling, and indicated their intention to do so by the June 18, 2006 deadline. According to a press release, "the University’s appeal will be based on the arbitrariness of the NCAA’s decision-making process and the inconsistent results and messages that have come from the process." Other schools, such as Florida State University, have made successful appeals by garnering the endorsement of Indian tribes. Although McMurry has not actively sought an endorsement, representatives from the Kaw, Kiowa, and Comanche tribes have voiced their approval of McMurry's mascot.[2]

In October 2006, McMurry's Board of Trustees decided that the university would no longer use any names for its athletic teams. Citing the school's 83-year history of honoring Native Americans, the school announced that in spite of no longer using names to designate athletic teams, the school traditions created to honor Native Americans will continue.[3] The school's stadium has now been changed from Indian Stadium to Wilford Moore Stadium, as of Sunday May 13, 2007. Wilford Moore was the highest winning coach in McMurry football history.[4] on March 11, 2011 it was announced that McMurry University's athletic teams would be known as the War Hawks. The new mascot was chosen after a nearly year-long search to find a new mascot to replace the former Indian mascot, which had been taken away by the NCAA in 2006. The war hawk is meant to represent pride, courage and fierce competition for McMurry's athletic teams.


McMurry's school colors are maroon and white. All teams play in the NCAA Division III American Southwest Conference. McMurry fields teams in 19 different intercollegiate sports. For the men, McMurry competes in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis and indoor and outdoor track and field. For the women, McMurry competes in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field and volleyball.

McMurry University is transitioning to play in NCAA Division II. In July 2011, McMurry announced that it had been accepted as candidate for D-II membership and would join the Heartland Conference in the fall of 2012.[5] This move will strengthen McMurry's cross-town rivalry with Abilene Christian University, a member of the D-II Lone Star Conference, while at the same time abandoning the cross-town rivalry with Hardin-Simmons University of the D-III American Southwest Conference. McMurry's first game of the 2012 football season is against the Abilene Christian Wildcats in Shotwell Stadium. Shotwell was also the venue 41 years earlier (1971) for the previous game between the two teams. That game, which Abilene Christian won 53-20, was the last in an old rivalry which Abilene Christian leads 24-15.[6]

Notable alumni

  • Larry Conlee
COO, Engineering and Manufacturing at Research In Motion[7]
  • Jerry Campbell
President, Claremont School of Theology[8]
  • David M. Shoup
CEO and major stock holder of Constructors, Inc.
  • Chuck Fallon
Former president of Burger King's North America division
  • V. O. Key, Jr.
Political Scientist
  • Jorge Antonio Solis
Federal Judge
Former head football coach for Baylor University, and executive director for the American Football Coaches Association.[9] Member of College Football Hall of Fame
  • Sarah Weddington
Attorney for Jane Roe (Norma McCorvey) in Roe v. Wade[10] and the first woman elected to the Texas House of Representatives
  • Kenneth Tsang, Hong Kong actor

Notable faculty

  • Virgil Bottom
Faculty from 1958 to 1973. Pioneer in quartz crystal research and science advisor to President Eisenhower. Several of his students would later become leaders in Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, and Quartzdyne.
  • William Curry Holden
historian and archeologist, founder of the McMurry History Department and the West Texas Historical Association; later, first director of the Museum of Texas Tech University in Lubbock
  • Lou Halsell Rodenberger
Author of women's history and literature.
  • Donald S. Frazier
Author and historian of the Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi and Texas history. A highly acclaimed educational entrepreneur, he started the McWhiney Foundation and became active in historic preservation and publishing including work with Frontier Texas, The Buffalo Gap Historic Village, The Texas Frontier Heritage and Cultural Center, and State House Press.
  • Stephen L. Hardin
Historian and author of Texas history, member of the Texas Institute of Letters, Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association.
  • C. Jeffery Kinlaw
Philosopher and noted scholar of German Idealism.
  • Clark Beasley: Faculty from 1969 to 2010. Pioneer in the field of zoology. Extensivley studied the species tardigrades. Pseudechiniscus beasleyi is named after Dr. Beasley for his contributions to the field.


  1. As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  2. Russell, John H. Ph.D.. "Alumni Update". Retrieved 2006-09-07.
  3. Russell, John H. Ph.D.. "McMurry Board Announces Decision". Retrieved 2006-10-18.
  4. "McMurry renames football and track stadium to Wilford Moore Stadium". Retrieved 2007-05-13.[dead link]
  5. Robarts, Kyle (2011-07-12). "NCAA accepts McMurry's application to transition to Division II". McMurry War Hawks (Abilene, Texas: McMurry University Sports Information Department). Retrieved 2012=06-04.
  6. Beyer, Dave (2012-02-10). [ "McM goes across town for 2012 football opener"]. Hal Mumme Official Website (Abilene, Texas: McMurry University Sports Information Department). Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  9. "Grant Teaff To Receive Stagg Award". Baylor Football. 2005-09-21. Retrieved 2006-09-07.
  10. "Early Years". The Weddington Center. Archived from the original on 2006-03-19. Retrieved 2006-09-07.

External links

Template:American Southwest Conference navbox Template:Heartland Conference navbox

Coordinates: 32°25′48″N 99°45′00″W / 32.430°N 99.750°W / 32.430; -99.750