Belton, Texas –On Saturday, February 1, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor kicked off a year of celebrations with a dinner commemorating the 175th anniversary of the signing of the school’s charter by the Republic of Texas. The event was well attended, with the oldest guest coming from the class of 1949 and the youngest having just celebrated graduation in the fall of 2019.
“We see what has been built and what is yet to come,” Julia Walker, Class of 1960, said. “We have come to set alight the birthday candles of our school and to bring to Mary Hardin-Baylor a birthday gift, our pledge of love and loyalty to all she stands for and means to us.”
The evening began with several special recognitions. Belton Mayor Marion Grayson declared February 1, 2020, to be University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Day in Belton. Representative Hugh Shine read a proclamation from the Texas State House of Representatives, commemorating the university’s milestone anniversary. Texas Senator Dawn Buckingham sent a proclamation from the Senate and a flag that had flown over the state capital.
The dinner was served “family-style” in a nod back to the days when the family-style meals in the Hardy Hall dining room were used as opportunities not only for eating but also for the students to practice proper meal-time etiquette. Following the meal, the vocal ensemble OneVoice performed a selection of music from UMHB’s early years.
The evening concluded with a traditional candle lighting ceremony led by Julia Walker and Beth Norvell, Associate Director of Alumni Relations and Museum.