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ACU Remembers: Dr. Arlie Hoover

By on December 15, 2014 in ACU Remembers with 5 Comments

Arlie J Hoover webLongtime Abilene Christian University history professor Dr. Arlie J. Hoover died Dec. 11 in Pasadena, Texas, at age 78. A memorial service will be held Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. at Clear Lake Church of Christ in Houston (938 El Dorado Blvd., 77062).

Hoover was born March 14, 1936, in Slaton, Texas, and graduated from Slaton High School in 1954. He met Gloria Kay Garrison while the two were attending Florida Christian College and they married June 7, 1959.

He earned an A.A. degree in Bible from FCC in 1960, a B.A. in history from the University of Tampa (1960), an M.A. (1962) and Ph.D. (1965) in history and philosophy from The University of Texas at Austin, did doctoral research at the Free University of Berlin, post-doctoral research at the University of Heidelberg, and received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Emmanuel College in Oxford, England (1992). While not an honorary degree, the D.D. was granted in recognition of the influence of his 1980 book, Dear Agnos: A Defense of Christianity.

Hoover was professor of history at Pepperdine University (1964-77) and dean of Columbia Christian College (1977-80) before joining ACU’s faculty in 1980. He retired in 2010 as professor emeritus of history.

A recipient of numerous academic awards, grants and fellowships – including a Fulbright Fellowship and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities – he traveled extensively to research and lecture across the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. He was a respected scholar on the Holocaust; German philosopher, poet and composer Friedrich Nietzsche; and world, American and religious history. A prolific writer, Hoover authored 12 books and numerous articles for publications, and spoke German fluently.

He served as a minister for congregation in Florida, Texas, California and Oregon, and as a deacon at the Hillcrest Church of Christ in Abilene.

He was preceded in death by his parents, A.J. and Ruth Elizabeth (Clem) Hoover, a brother, Bobby Hoover; and a sister, Myrna Brown. Survivors include Gloria, his wife of 55 years; two daughters, Arletta (Hoover ’92) Beard and Cathey (Hoover ’97) Wilder; four grandchildren; and brothers Tim Hoover and Nathaniel Hoover.

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  1. Susannah Heschel says:

    I have just come across a book by Dr. Hoover, God, Germany, and Britain in the Great War: A Study in Clerical Nationalism. It is a brilliant book, based on incredibly extensive research, and so I looked up his name and learned that he passed to heaven four years ago. I am so sorry that I never had a chance to meet him, study with him, and tell him how much I admire his research. What a great scholar he was! This book should be widely read and studied.

  2. Kathy Adams Vaughn says:

    My husband Dan and I met in the Christian Philosophy class we took together our freshman year at Pepperdine University. Dr. Hoover was our professor, and also our preacher at Woodland Park Church of Christ in Woodland Hills California. We were married there, by Dr. Hoover, three and a half years after we met. I consider him a very positive influence in my life both as a preacher and as a professor. I was thinking about him today and searched his name, only to find that he passed on my birthday last year. My heart goes out to his wife Gloria and his two daughters; I can still picture them sitting in their pew at church.

  3. Shawn Surherland says:

    I was in several of Dr. Hoover’s courses while at ACU and am saddened to learn of his passing. My days in his classroom are among my favorite memories of ACU, with the time spent in Dr. James G. Burrows’ lectures comprising the remainder. I consider myself blessed to have known and learned so much from Dr. Hoover, one of the men who helped shape my mind and worldview.

  4. Kevin Price says:

    I am planning a visit to Abilene this summer and intended to look up Dr. Hoover. I am so sad to see this about him. Dr. Hoover was more than an awesome professor, he was an amazing mentor who took an active interest in any student who wanted what he could offer. He played a huge role in my professional development. He is one of the reasons I look back at my ACU experience as one for which I am most grateful.

  5. Arlie was a good man and he will be missed by me. My son thought he was the best teacher he ever had. I can attest to the change in my son’s studies after he switched his major to history and had studies under Dr. Hoover.

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