Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Herbert M. & Ivanette Woodall Hopps Museum & Welcome Center

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Institution Name: Southwestern Adventist University
Original/Historic Place Name: Alumni Museum of Student Life
Location on Campus: Hillcrest St. and College St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1998original construction Palmer, Don
Designer: Don Palmer (Forth Worth, TX)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/pre-WWII, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete slab
Walls: wood frame
Roof: tin
1998-present (2006)museum
1998-present (2006)other (welcome center)

The Herbert M. & Ivanette Woodall Hopps Museum & Welcome Center functions as a museum and welcome center, showcasing the university's existence since 1893, and interpreting the culture of the surrounding community and the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. The building is located across the street from the Mizpah gate and the original portion of campus. It was inspired by an earlier campus building, an original American Foursquare classroom building constructed in 1912 as a normal school.

The building's exterior embodies the distinctive developments in the educational history of the institution. Prior to the construction of the original normal building (the predecessor), the institution functioned as an academy, or private school for grades 1-14. Afterward, it was elevated to Junior College status. The normal building was razed as the Junior College attained senior college status. The reconstructed building, erected after Southwestern had attained university status, preserves through artifacts, audio, video and reference materials, the histories of the University and the strong educational, medical and social philosophies on the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.

Primarily now a community/visitors center, the amazing ambiance of the 4000 square foot, two story facility is created by eclectic exhibits which include periodic displays of private collections as well as historic items dating from the university and town's beginnings in 1893. The building features a grand central staircase in the central atrium.

The Hopps family generously provided funding for the current building. Jim Hopps and his wife Kim envisioned an institution suitable for the memory of the many families whose religion and lifestyles contributed to the uniqueness of the school and the community. In that context, Jim wanted to honor his mother, an alumna, whose parents had attended class the day the school opened, January 7, 1894, and the memory of her father, an alumnus.

Dr. Marvin E. Anderson, university president during that time, had dreamed of constructing a spacious facility reminiscent of an early period classroom building from 1912 that was replaced in the 1950's. He foresaw a facility that would serve as more than a museum: it would serve as a welcome center suitable for receptions and social events, conveniently located and appropriately furnished.

As the dreams of Anderson and Hopps were merged, the facility became a reality. Ground was broken on February 17th, 1998, and the grand opening was December 13, 1998.


Cleburne (TX) Times Review, 1998.

Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, 1998.

Keene (TX) Star Reporter, [n.d.].

Southwestern Spirit, 1998. Southwestern Adventist University, Keene, TX.

Southwestern Union Record, [n.d.]. Southwestern Adventist University, Keene, TX.

"Virtual Tour [Herbert M. & Ivanette Woodall Hopps Museum & Welcome Center]." Online (2006). Southwestern Adventist University, Keene, TX.


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Last update: November 2006