Angelo State University has received a $1 million gift from the Hardeman Family Foundation to fund the new Dorsey B. Hardeman Endowed Chair in History in the Dr. Arnoldo De León Department of History, a component of ASU’s College of Arts and Humanities.
The Dorsey B. Hardeman Chair will be awarded to an outstanding history faculty member recommended by the dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and upon approval by ASU President Ronnie Hawkins Jr. Endowed chairs are used to enhance a professor’s position and to provide additional funds for research, teaching and service activities. To be the holder of an endowed chair is one of the most prestigious accolades a professor can attain.
“As a historian myself and former chair of the department, I’m thrilled to be able to offer an endowed chair in the Dr. Arnoldo De León Department of History,” said Dr. John Klingemann, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. “The benefits will also extend well beyond the chair holder, with additional learning and research opportunities for our students and an enhanced reputation for the entire department. We can’t thank the Hardeman Family enough for this tremendous gift.”
The Hardeman Family Foundation chose to endow a chair in history because the late Dorsey B. Hardeman had a great love for Texas history. The Dorsey B. Hardeman Chair is the first endowed chair in ASU’s College of Arts and Humanities.
Originally from Tennessee, Dorsey B. Hardeman earned his law degree from the Vanderbilt University Law School in Nashville before moving to Texas in 1932 to practice law in San Angelo. He was elected mayor of San Angelo in 1936 and then to the Texas House of Representatives in 1938, where he served two terms before joining the U.S. Army Air Corps and serving as a judge advocate general during World War II.
Following his military service, Hardeman was elected in 1946 to the Texas State Senate, where he represented District 25 for over 20 years. He became a powerful, well-known senator because of his knowledge of the lengthy and intricate Texas Constitution, implemented in 1876 and still in use today. Through his chairmanship of the Senate State Affairs Committee, he became a master of legislative procedures, and he worked to revise the code of criminal procedure.
Hardeman was also a key advocate in the 1960s for the completion of Angelo State University’s move to become a four-year institution, and ASU’s Hardeman Student Services Center building is named in his honor. He passed away in 1992 at the age of 89.