ABILENE—After more than a quarter-century serving in the top administrative post at three Texas Baptist universities, Lanny Hall plans to retire next year as president of Hardin-Simmons University.
Hall, 15th president of HSU, announced his retirement in a July 1 letter to the university’s board of trustees. He turns 66 in September.
“After much prayer and consideration, I have reached the conclusion that I would like to retire on May 31, 2016,” Hall said. “It has been—and continues to be—a very high honor to serve as president of this university I love.”
Served two terms
Hall served two terms as Hardin-Simmons’ president—from 1991 to 2001 and from 2009 to the present. Hall also served as HSU’s chancellor from 2001 to 2003.
“I firmly believe that Lanny has been an outstanding president, and we want to thank him for all of the things he has done during his tenure,” said Jerry Sawyer, chairman of the board of trustees. “I am confident that in years to come, we will continue to see many great things at HSU which are a direct result of his faithful leadership.”
Hall’s announcement provides the university 11 months for leadership transition—which Sawyer said he and the board of trustees appreciate.
“Lanny has proven himself an effective leader time and time again,” Sawyer said. “His shoes will be hard to fill.”
Throughout his career, Hall served in varied leadership roles in higher education and government, including service as a congressional aide, public school teacher, three-term state representative from Tarrant county, state agency executive, and university professor, vice president, president and chancellor.
President at three Texas Baptist universities
Hall earned his Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Texas in Austin in 1985. He served three Baptist General Convention of Texas-affiliated universities as president during the last 26 years of his career—Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Howard Payne University in Brownwood and Wayland Baptist University in Plainview.
Of all his experiences, Hall counts his 18-plus years at HSU as a particularly rich blessing.
“Carol and I treasure all the years we have been here,” Hall said in a letter announcing his retirement to faculty and staff. “We all pray for the promising and bright future of HSU.”