In the heart of Henderson, Tennessee sits Freed Hardeman University.
The school, founded in 1869, has grown with the city and become a major part of the Chester County community.
“We like to boast that from main street, you can be educated from kindergarten to a doctoral degree" says University President David Shannon
The connection to the city of Henderson has been a major part of the history of the school.
In fact, FHU wouldn’t be the school it is today without some help from a local church.
“It was really about a 110 years ago that the college was in a very difficult situation financially and it was a local church, that is now the henderson church of christ that said, let's save the college.”
While the school is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, it isn’t just focused on the past.
The start of classes this fall will bring some new growth to the school
“We’re very excited to say that we expect an increase in enrollment this fall. We will also begin six new programs.”
One of the programs coming to FHU this fall is cyber security. The program director tells me they wanted to introduce this to the curriculum to make sure their students are prepared for a 21st century problem.
"We wanted to create a program that would allow students to get in on the front end of protecting our infrastructure, our computer networks and this program is geared to allow that.”
The school’s Bachelor's of Business Administration degree will also now allow students to sit for the certified financial planning accreditation test right after completing their degree.
“by streamlining that process for them, we’re giving them a competitive advantage to enter the market earlier.”
As for the future of Freed Hardeman university, president shannon says one of the next big steps is expanding the reach of school to younger and younger students.
“We’re starting to meet more and more students while they’re in high school. We have dual enrollment here locally in chester county, we will begin this fall with dual enrollment in hickman county.
The school is also expected to have rennovations to the old main building done by the start of the fall semester