Edward D. (Doug) Hodo Sr., second president of Houston Baptist University (HBU), died Oct. 10 at his home in Boerne, Texas, after a brief battle with cancer. He was 81.
Hodo led HBU from 1987 until his retirement in 2006, when he was named president emeritus. The university has scheduled a memorial service for Hodo at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, in Belin Chapel on the HBU campus.
Robert Sloan, Hodo’s successor at the 3,100-student university, said he and “the entire HBU family … give God thanks for his faithful service and strong witness for Christ.”
“Dr. Hodo was instrumental in continuing and strengthening the core scriptural commitments of HBU,” Sloan said. “Much that we are able to do today we owe to him and many others like him among the trustees, faculty, and staff who have gone before us.”
An HBU news release noted that Hodo’s tenure included the expansion of academic programs and campus facilities, including the Hinton Center, named for HBU’s first president, W.H. Hinton, which houses the schools of business and education, graduate school, classrooms and meeting rooms; a dining hall and student life area; and campus apartments. In 2006, construction began on the first phase of the Morris Cultural Arts Center, which was dedicated in 2007.
Hodo also was instrumental in establishing The Bible in America Museum in 1997 (now Dunham Bible Museum located in the Morris Cultural Arts Center), beginning with the purchase of an Indiana entrepreneur’s 30-year collection featuring first editions of significant 18th and 19th century American printings of Scripture.
The number of HBU alumni rose from 4,917 to 14,004 during Hodo’s presidency and endowment rose from $30 million to more than $75 million, Baptist Press reported in 2006.
Hodo was a former chairman of the Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools (now the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities).
HBU honored Hodo and his wife Sadie in 2013 by naming a residence hall the Sadie and Doug Hodo Residence College.
Jim Richards, executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC), described Hodo as a “true friend to the SBTC.”
“Doug Hodo was the consummate Christian gentleman,” Richards said. “He was courageous in his convictions while being kind to all. His leadership enabled Houston Baptist University to establish a ministry relationship with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. We will all miss his gracious presence until we see him again at Jesus’ feet.”
Hodo regularly led a prayer meeting each Tuesday in HBU’s Moody Library, according to the HBU news release, and was a Bible study teacher for 60 years, including Castle Hills Church in San Antonio, Second Baptist Church in Houston and at First Baptist Church in Boerne, also serving as a deacon with each congregation.
“Dr. Hodo’s faith in Jesus Christ was the center of his life,” the HBU release stated, “and he even led his nurse to faith in Christ in his last days on earth. His life was a testimony of the grace, mercy and love of God.”
A native of Armory, Miss., Hodo served in the U.S. Army from 1954-1956 then earned four degrees from the University of Mississippi – bachelor’s in business administration; master of education in personnel guidance; master of science in banking and finance; and doctor of philosophy in economics and finance. While at the University of Mississippi, Hodo received a commendation from then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy for his role in the integration of the university.
Hodo taught economics and finance at Nicholls State University in Louisiana and Middle Tennessee State University, where he was director of the Center for Research on Business and Economics. He served as dean of the college of business at the University of Texas at San Antonio from 1972 until 1987 when he was elected as HBU’s second president.
In addition to his wife of 57 years, Hodo is survived by three children, Allison Hodo Clements of Floresville, Texas, Edward Douglas (Doug) Hodo Jr. and Patrick Gunter Hodo, both of Boerne; and 10 grandchildren.
Hodo’s funeral was Oct. 13 at First Baptist in Boerne. The family has asked in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Doug and Sadie Hodo Endowed Scholarship at HBU, the Hill Country Pregnancy Care Center in Boerne or the nonprofit Faith Comes by Hearing audio Bible organization.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Art Toalston is senior editor of Baptist Press, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. Keith Collier, managing editor of the Southern Baptist TEXAN, newsjournal of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, contributed to this report.)