McMurry is a small university, with small class sizes. They partner with Abilene Christian University and Hardin-Simmons University to offer more classes and more options.
The founding president of McMurry, Dr. James W. Hunt, was raised among Kaw Indians and his father was a doctor for the tribe. Born on a Kaw Indian Reservation, Hunt moved with his family to the High Plains of Texas in 1881. In his lifetime, Hunt was a cowboy, a newspaper editor, a preacher, president of two colleges, and also a poet. While serving as pastor at St. Paul Methodist Church, he dreamed of a new Methodist college in the area and succeeded with help from the Abilene community and the church.
McMurry recently changed their mascot from the Indians to the War Hawks
“Ala Cumba” is the often heard yell on campus as the Braves are wished good luck for a victory. You will hear that it means “Give us Victory!,” “On to Victory!” or just “Victory!” Victory means finding the strength inside yourself to win when faced with difficult challenges.
During homecoming, members of different clubs learn about Native Americans and build a tipi village. They teach children about the Native American tribes. The purpose of Tipi Village is, “to honor American Indians with dignity and integrity through an accurate portrayal."
In past years the village has included a tipi — a portable shelter or dwelling used by Native Americans — from Kaw, Kiowa, Apache, Cheyenne, Comanche, Sioux and other tribes.
Another McMurry homecoming tradition, the beating of a tom-tom drum, begins each year at Friday evening's bonfire and football pep rally. It continues through the night and into Saturday by members of the freshman class until kickoff of the football game. Instead of a King and Queen, they crown Chief McMurry and Princess McMurry
Freshman students compete in the Slime Olympics with the goal of making new friends. Students play games with syrup, vegetable oil, eggs, flour, oranges, shaving cream and chocolate pies.
McMurry is a private school with ties to the United Methodist Church.