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history of tcu coverHistory of Texas Christian University

by Colby D. Hall

432 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 • Cloth $34.50 / Paper $22.50
ISBN 978-0-87565-587-1 / 978-0-87565-588-8

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First published by TCU Press in 1947, Colby Hall’s book History of Texas Christian University: A College of the Cattle Frontier is the story of the first seventy-five years of the institution. Tracing the evolution of Add Ran College to Add Ran University, and ultimately to Texas Christian University, Hall shows the struggles and success in the transformation of a frontier college dedicated to educating and developing Christian leadership for all walks of life to a university dedicated to facing the challenges imposed in a new world frontier following World War II.


Drawing upon numerous sources, including many unpublished documents, personal correspondence, and the author’s own recollections of his association with the university, Hall provides a detailed account of the history of TCU—an account that is, at the same time, the story of how a great dream was realized by TCU’s founders.


Hall’s narrative skillfully weaves the development of the school into the history of Texas, at the same time elaborating upon the development of collegiate education in Texas and the establishment of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the state. Recognizing that TCU is much more than an institution, Hall specifically emphasizes the contributions of the people and personalities who helped shape the growth of the school.


Colby D. Hall (1875-1963) was a beloved Disciples educator, historian, and minister. He completed his undergraduate theological studies at Add Ran University (now TCU) in Waco. He entered Transylvania College in Lexington, Kentucky, as a junior, and graduated with a BA in 1902. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from Columbia University in New York in 1904. Hall returned to Texas and began serving as pastor in Hillsboro until 1906, when he became the educational secretary for TCU. In 1909, the new University Christian Church in Waco called on Hall to be their first full-time pastor. After TCU relocated to Fort Worth, Hall became a professor of Bible and social service, simultaneously serving as part-time pastor of the new University Christian Church from 1912 to 1917. In 1914, Brite College of the Bible chose Hall as dean, a position he held until 1947. He also served as dean of the university from 1920 to 1943. Hall continued to serve as a professor of religious history until he retired in 1950 at age seventy-five.