Mizpah Gate - Southwestern Adventist University - Keene, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 32° 23.787 W 097° 19.591
14S E 657395 N 3585613
Quick Description: The Mizpah Gate stands at the southern entrance to the campus of Southwestern Adventist University.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 11/28/2013 11:01:40 AM
Waymark Code: WMJKA7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 1

Long Description:
A sign affixed to the gate provides some background:

This gate was a gift of the Class of 1937 to Southwestern Junior College. It gets its name from the college's yearbook, The Mizpah. The Class of 1937 published the first Mizpah after four Depression years in which no yearbook appeared. So successful was the operation that it yielded a surplus with which they asked the college to build a nice gate to the campus.

College president H.H. Hamilton, a talented artist, designed the gate and supervised its construction of brick and petrified wood from Glen Rose, a nearby town. At that time this was the main entrance to the college campus.

Branson Chrispens was president of the Class of 1937, and Leon Bishop was vice president of the class and business manager of The Mizpah.

Other class officers were Ruth Leffler Sonsel, secretary-treasurer; Ester Smith Stout, assistant secretary-treasurer; Glen Turner, pastor; and Paul M. Foster, class sponsor.

A Texas Historical Marker stands behind the gate, accompanied by a stone monument that quotes Genesis 31:49: "The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another." The historical marker provides some complementary information:

Southwestern Adventist University was founded in 1893 as the Keene Industrial and Missionary Academy. The school was founded with the purpose of training workers to fulfill positions of responsibility within the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination. The school’s early administrators successfully pioneered an industrial training component along with education, which assured each graduate a useful trade.

After assuming the presidency of the school in 1937, former teacher Harry H. Hamilton oversaw the construction of the Mizpah Gate. Prior to that time, the campus had been surrounded by a barbed wire fence that served to keep out straying livestock. Turnstiles at the north and south sides of campus granted access to the site. The gradual containment of domestic animals during the early 20th century enabled the fence to be removed, and the Mizpah Gate, which replaced the south turnstile, was designated as the new official entrance onto campus. The gate was constructed of brick and petrified wood transported from adjacent Somervell County and built by students under the supervision of local workmen. The structure was completed in June 1937, and was dedicated as a gift of that year’s graduating class.

The name "Mizpah" was taken from the Bible’s Genesis 31:49, "And Mizpah; for he said, The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent from one another." As early as 1921, the school’s annual yearbook had been titled The Mizpah. Today, the gate continues to serve as a symbol of the university as it has for generations of students and the greater Johnson County community.

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The south turnstile referenced by the historical marker still survives, and is visible across the street from the gate.
Bible verse: Genesis 31:49: "And Mizpah; for he said, The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another."

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