Jarvis Christian College is a four-year, private Historically Black, liberal arts college. This coed college is located in a rural community just east of Hawkins, TX. The city of Hawkins is in Wood County just twenty miles north of Tyler. The population was 1,278 at the 2010 census.
The college was founded by the Negro Disciples of Christ in Texas, spearheaded by Mrs. Mary Alphin. Ida Van Zandt Jarvis persuaded her husband, Major James Jones Jarvis, to donate land upon which a school could be built. The land was deeded to the school in 1910. It was modeled after the Southern Christian Institute of Edwards, Mississippi. Formal instructional programs commenced on January 13, 1913, with an enrollment of twelve students, all in the elementary grades.
The campus is situated in an attractive wooded area of about 1,000 acres. The campus proper covers approximately 243 acres. Texas cities within a radius of thirty miles are Mineola, eighteen miles west; Gladewater, fifteen miles east; Tyler, twenty miles south; and Longview, twenty-five miles east. Tyler and Longview have populations of approximately 83,800 and 75,500, respectively. Both cities have daily airline service to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Just under 1,000 undergraduates attend classes at Jarvis. The makeup of the student body is 76 percent Black, 11 percent Latino, 4 percent White and 7 percent unknown. Only 12 percent of the students come from outside Texas, 55 percent of the student body is female, and 85 percent of all undergraduates live on campus. Education is the most popular major with 37 percent of the students residing in that department. Business is the second biggest department with 21 percent of the students followed by Security and Protective Services at 17 percent and Biology with 9 percent.
Jarvis’s athletes participate in the NAIA with 13 varsity sports including men’s and women’s bowling. They are members of the Red River Athletic conference. In addition to supporting their sports teams, students are also involved in Campus Ministries, Fraternities, Government or Political Activity, Marching Band, Music Ensembles, and Sororities. The cost of attendance at Jarvis is about $25,280 with an average financial aid award of $12,220.
Residents of Hawkins reside in the “Pancake Capital of Texas” and enjoy recreational activities at nearby Lake Hawkins. This is also the site of the annual Oil Festival in October which features a parade with floats, a car show, food booths, kid zone, arts & crafts booth and of course, a pancake breakfast.
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