2022-2023 McMurry University Catalog 
    Feb 07, 2023  
2022-2023 McMurry University Catalog

Introduction to McMurry

Mission of McMurry University

Shaped by Christian principles, McMurry University challenges students to examine our complex world from multiple perspectives in preparation for lives of leadership, service, and professional success.

The University fulfills this mission by fostering a campus culture that is distinctive in the following ways:

McMurry is shaped by Christian principles.

As a United Methodist institution grounded in traditions of intellectual achievement and vital piety, McMurry nurtures and cares for students as they face the many challenges of higher education. The institution provides the support necessary to encourage students to grow as whole persons - spiritually, emotionally, morally, intellectually, socially, and physically. The McMurry community expresses its Christian principles through hospitality and gracious interactions with those who do and those who do not identify with the Christian faith. The institution encourages connections between people of varying circumstances, cultures, languages, and beliefs.

McMurry challenges students to examine our complex world from multiple perspectives.

The goal of a McMurry education is to provide the foundation for an examined, informed, and purposeful life. To that end, academic programs encourage students to build on the broader curricular experience and integrate the various disciplines’ core ideas while developing fundamental skills in communication, analysis, and reasoning. McMurry strives to create an environment in which students can examine their own and others’ perspectives to become, not simply consumers of knowledge, but sophisticated producers of knowledge connected to a global world. Such an environment better prepares women and men of all backgrounds to engage others in working toward the common good.

McMurry prepares students for lives of leadership, service, and professional success.

Through its curricular and extra-curricular opportunities, McMurry gives students practical experience in leadership and service. The institution places particular importance on servant leadership, an approach that focuses on empowering followers by encouraging and supporting the growth of others. The university develops servant leaders who seek to transform communities through listening first, emphasizing excellence and empathy, and inspiring an attitude of service. McMurry graduates have a solid basis for achievement in their religious, civic, professional, and family communities. McMurry expects its alumni to perform as servant leaders in diverse and complex environments and to use their leadership skills for the betterment of community and society.


McMurry College was voted into being at the annual session of the Northwest Texas Conference of the Methodist Church in October, 1920, at Clarendon, Texas. The College was established at Abilene upon an offer of inducements from the Chamber of Commerce and other benefactors. The construction of the first building, now the Old Main Building, was begun in the spring of 1922. By action of the same conference which established the school, Dr. J.W. Hunt was elected its first president. Under his direction the College opened its doors in September, 1923.

McMurry University is the legal and spiritual successor to four historic educational institutions of West Texas and New Mexico, namely, Stamford College, Clarendon College, Western College and Seth Ward College. McMurry is now the custodian of some records of these colleges and has incorporated their ex-students into the Alumni and Ex-Students Association of McMurry University. In 1947, the Dallas Institute of Vocal andDramatic Art was merged with McMurry College, contributing increased strength to the College’s academic and fine arts facilities. By action of the McMurry College Board of Trustees in October 1989, McMurry College was renamed McMurry University effective with the beginning of the 1990 Fall Semester. This change was accompanied by the creation of a College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, and the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing, as well as significant curricular innovations. McMurry University is recognized as an innovative, liberal arts university offering quality liberal arts, pre-professional, and professional undergraduate education to its students. Thousands of her alumni are serving with distinction in significant positions throughout America. In recent years McMurry has made a particularly enviable record in the sound preparation of young men and women for careers in business, science, education, and the Christian ministry.