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Central Nazarene University

"No holidays will be given except Christmas Day.  Holidays are very demoralizing. It is sometimes weeks before pupils settle down to work again."

Thus was the policy of Central Nazarene University, founded in 1910 in Hamlin, West Texas, by the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene.

The first president of the college was Rev. Moore, a graduate from Asbury College who, judging from pictures in the catalogue, seemed quite young, as the other faculty members as well.

The town of Hamlin is only four years older than the school, but by 1915 it was already 3000 inhabitants strong.

Administration BuildingAdministration Building
The college consisted of a gray stone main building that contained 54 classrooms and an auditorium that could seat 1200 people. After two years the college had an enrollment of 56 students of whom four came from Oklahoma, the rest from Texas, and eight faculty members; by 1915 this number had increased to 162 students and 18 faculty members.

At the beginning of this century, travel was still limited to horse buggies, wagons, and, as far as the railroad had been built, trains. Longer journeys meant slow, exhausting enterprises, which were also connected with various dangers. Yet, after the automobile was introduced and the railroad network improved, distances were not so great anymore, travel was easier, faster, safer, and more comfortable. In short - there was no need for so many schools anymore. Besides, there weren't enough students to fill all the colleges. So it was decided that Central Nazarene University in Hamlin, Texas, should merge with Bethany-Peniel College in Bethany, Oklahoma.

In 1929 CNU merged here, being the third college of the five that make up the inheritance of SNU today.

Administration BuildingStones of CNU's administration building make up today's fountain on the Centennial Plaza at SNU

The catalogues of 1912/13 and 1915/16 give an insight into what college life was in those days. As already mentioned, there were no holidays. The Fall Exams were set on Dec. 23 and 24, Winter Term opened again on Dec. 28.

Tuition was similar to other colleges at that time, as was the aim of the institution: that students should get a thorough education and be trained for the service of God. Everyday chapel emphasized this, with required attendance the whole year through.

There was a school uniform - a "neat gray military suit" for guys, which was later changed to a blue suit, and a dark blue skirt for girls.

Laundry cost about $1 per month and the students did not have to do it on their own!

The requirements for a B.S. degree included German, French, Spanish, Botany, Zoology, Geology, and Astronomy.

Parents were encouraged to move to Hamlin so they could be with their children while those attended college. Still, the rules stated strictly:
Girls' DormGirls' Dorm
"Boarders are not permitted to receive visits, notes, messages. All other attentions from the opposite sex is prohibited. Pupils who live in the college community will not be allowed to receive company, or attend sociables or parties, or to take part in social functions, during the nine months school session. When they enter the school they must withdraw from society.

Things forbidden:
Boisterous or disturbing conduct, such as loud talking...
Passing notes and conversation between the sexes...
Base ball, foot ball and basket ball..."

Dorli Gschwandtner


Our Nazarene Heritage
Founded in 1899, Southern Nazarene University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university - a service of the Church of the Nazarene. Located on a 40-acre campus just west of Oklahoma City, SNU grew out of several small colleges committed to educating people for lives of service to God, leadership, and reconciliation toward their neighbors and within the global community. More than 32,000 alumni work and serve throughout the United States and the world. Read About Our Heritage

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