Meet Hardin - Simmons University
The old saying goes, “Everything's bigger in Texas.” After speaking with Zachary McNair, on Hardin-Simmon University’s Media Services Team, we’re inclined to agree. Only instead of steaks or maybe landmass, what’s bigger about HSU is its heart
If you haven’t heard of Hardin-Simmons University, it is described as a “Baptist university in Abilene, Texas, with more than 130 years of history and traditions that aren’t matched at any other school, and that gives HSU a personality as big as the West Texas horizon.” Like we said … heart.
When we asked Zachary what event or production made him proudest he spoke about how HSU’s speakLIFE campaign ("to encourage, promote, nurture, support, and bless”) gets weaved into everything they do. Heart.
From there he rattled off a number of events his team is responsible for coordinating. “We handle everything from streaming classes, to sports events and theater productions. We provide support for concerts and trustee meetings.” After a brief pause, he added, “We do a little bit of everything.”
As a former student at Hardin-Simmons and now an employee, Zachary has seen the media services organization grow to include two full-service production studios, one for still photography and the other for video. This allows the on-campus media organization to act like a full service production agency. From signage on campus to highlight and brand videos shown on the scoreboard at football games, Zachary said, “We’re in direct contact with most of the departments, and work collaboratively with marketing to produce just about anything and everything.”
With so many different on campus “clients,” it’s no surprise that the media operation must effectively track the whereabouts of their valuable assets. Whether more permanent installs like classroom setups for stream classes (which they manage as an open event in Flex) or one time events like a welcome back to school (Stampede Week!) concert, Flex is key to knowing the location of their equipment at all times.
While HSU is still getting acclimated to Flex and all of its features, Zachary told us that one of the early keys is that the platform makes it “easier to get newer students familiar with the equipment.” We hear this quite a bit. We kinda love it. (That’s *our* heart.) Our hope is that we will continue to follow Zachary and HSU as they incorporate more and more features into their daily production process–like reservations so they never double book equipment across events.
When we asked Zachary what advice he might have for his peers across the American Southwest Conference, he started with a humble brag that “we are fairly well beyond what other schools in our division do.” That said, his words of wisdom were to ensure you build a solid operational foundation to scale on and recommended finding a tool (like Flex) to help build consistent, repeatable workflows so you can spend less time on time consuming tasks and more on the things that matter most.
With all the happenings on campus, we didn’t want to take up too much of his time. Just one last question, why did HSU pick Flex? Zachary gave us the only acceptable answer. A Texas answer. “Flex is bigger and better.”
Just like Texas, right?
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Flex is proud to have worked with Hardin - Simmons University, and help them put heart into everything they do since 2021.