Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Grace Sandefer Compere Hall

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Institution Name: Hardin-Simmons University
Original/Historic Place Name: President's Home
Location on Campus: 2202 Hickory St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1924original construction David S. Castle & Company
Designer: David S. Castle & Company
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism, Regionalist/Vernacular (Glossary)
Significance: education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: pier and beam
Walls: masonry load bearing walls, stone facia
Roof: asphalt
ca. 1924-1971president's house
ca. 1971academic department building (housed the Division of Religion and Philosphy, Development Offices, and other services as needed)
ca. 2004-present (2006)admissions office (and welcome center)
ca. 2004-present (2006)alumni center

Grace Sandefer Compere Hall was the residence of the university president and his family starting with Dr. and Mrs. J. D. Sandefer, who moved into the new building on December 24, 1924 and lived there until Dr. Sandefer's death in 1940. Presidents White, Richardson, Reiff, Landes, and Skiles all lived in the building.

The first of many weddings to take place in the home was that of J. D. Sandefer's daughter, Grace, who married Truett Compere there. The building is named in her honor. The president's residence at the main entrance to campus was a major focal point for social activities for students, faculty, and faculty spouses. Mrs. R.N. Richardson held French classes in the residence after the main classroom building, Abilene Hall, burned in 1947.

In 1971, a new residence was built on the east side of campus, at which time the original home was renamed for Grace Compere. Over the years, Compere has housed the Development Office, the Abilene Baptist Association, the Division of Religion and Philosophy, News and Information, Campus Security, University Relations, and Alumni Relations.


Hardin-Simmons University Facilities Master Plan. [n.d.] Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, TX.

Richardson, Rupert N. Famous Are Thy Halls. Abilene, TX: Abilene Printing & Stationary Company, 1976.

Stackhouse, Yvonne. Hardin-Simmons University, a Centennial History. Abilene, TX: Hardin-Simmons University, 1991.


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Last update: November 2006