Harding began as a senior college in 1924, when two junior colleges, Arkansas Christian College and Harper College, merged their facilities and assets, adopted the new name of Harding College, and located on the campus of Arkansas Christian in Morrilton, Ark. Harper had been founded in 1915 in Harper, Kan., and Arkansas Christian had been chartered in 1919. Upon completion of a study begun in May 1978, the board of trustees approved the study's recommended change of Harding to university status, and on Aug. 27, 1979, the name of the institution officially became Harding University.
The college was named in memory of James A. Harding, co-founder and first president of Nashville Bible School (now David Lipscomb University) in Nashville, Tenn. A preacher, teacher and Christian educator, James A. Harding inspired his co-workers and associates with an enthusiasm for Christian education that remains a significant tradition at Harding University. With the merger J.N. Armstrong, who had served five years as Harper's president, became president of Harding College, and A.S. Croom, president of Arkansas Christian for two years, ...
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