Matt Crosby ’01 is choral director and an assistant professor in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. He is also an alumnus of the university—along with more than a dozen members of his family.

“I can remember coming to my sister Sharon’s recital on campus as a kid,” Crosby said. “She was the first person I can remember coming to UMHB. I saw her experience, and I knew I wanted to go here.”

He was not alone. His niece Rebekah Crosby Deris ’99 had enrolled a few years earlier. “I thought it was really cool for him to come when I was there. We went to breakfast. We got to spend a lot of time together,” she said.

For other members of the Crosby clan, the draw of UMHB was related to the strength of some of its specific departments.

“I just knew that I wanted to study music and that Mary Hardin-Baylor had a strong music program,” Matt’s brother, James ’97, said, “and with Matt now being a professor there, how full circle is that?”

For at least one Crosby, the choice to attend UMHB was not as simple. As a high school senior, Dani Beth Crosby ’09 was all but enrolled at another Baptist university when her uncle Matt called her.

“He basically pleaded with me to just come and look at UMHB,” Dani Beth said. “I went because I loved my uncle, but I fell in love with the atmosphere.”

She remembers walking the campus, sitting in on a few of the classes that Matt was teaching and hearing the One Voice choral ensemble sing.

“Looking at how much fun they were having, that was big,” Dani Beth said.

Before long, Dani Beth had auditioned for and been accepted to the group herself. Shortly thereafter she withdrew her housing application from the other university and joined the long line of Crusader Crosby’s before her.

In addition to Matt, Rebekah, James, and Dani Beth, that line includes Deborah Crosby Ford ‘88, Sharon Crosby Westerfeld ‘91, Joy Daugherty Crosby, Mary Crosby Nolte, Joseph Crosby, Allye Guthrie Crosby ‘11, Philip Crosby, Bethany Crosby, Sarah Fahauer Crosby, and Karrie Coffield Crosby.

Coming to UMHB is one family tradition that does not appear to be coming to an end any time soon.

“My oldest son is a freshman at Belton High School,” James said. “He has already told me that he wants to go to UMHB.”

-James Stafford