Alumni Testimonials

What Academy Graduates Are Saying


Chandler Raine, Class of 2012, Student at University of Texas at Austin School of Law
“In my view, excellence and the Academy are synonymous. There is simply no way to separate the two. Excellence is what you will experience from the faculty and staff, and it is what will be expected from you as a student. There is no better way to prepare yourself for a career in any field, or time in any graduate field of study than studying in an institution like the Academy. This is because Academy students do not simply learn to read and write, but to think for themselves by developing arguments, analyzing issues, and discovering solutions. These tools are invaluable and have prepared me for my time after graduation. It was the work of the Academy faculty that inspired me to continue learning, whether in the classroom or not. For me, that inspiration has led to a scholarship to study at the University of Texas School of Law, where I will complete my J.D. in 2015. Without my time at the Academy, my current studies would not have been possible. Although the motto of my current school is “What Starts Here Changes The World,” for me, things started in the halls of the Academy, in the offices of my professors, and at competitions with the HPU moot court team. Any success that I have from this moment on is undoubtedly because of my time at the Academy, and I will always be proud to have graduated from such an amazing program.”

Cara Brewer, Class of 2010, Assistant Criminal District Attorney, Lubbock, Texas
“It is difficult to articulate how profoundly my time at the Academy helped to shape the person I am and the decisions I have made. The education I received was spectacular, and the professors at the Academy gave me unique and intense learning experiences in the fields of political sciences, history, and the humanities, for which I am incredibly grateful. However, I am even more grateful for the critical thinking and problem‐solving skills the Academy helped me to develop. Professors constantly made me know both what I believed and made me be able to defend why, and I relied on those skills constantly throughout law school. The Academy gave me the endurance to continue through challenges and the confidence to know I was fully equipped to handle whatever those challenges might be.”

Andrea Dale Huffman, Class of 2007, Youth Minister
“When I think back about the time I spent at Howard Payne, I realize that I cannot separate it from my involvement in the Academy. Some of my fondest memories, toughest assignments, and most rewarding struggles came from my experiences in the Academy, and I know without a doubt that my time at Howard Payne would not have been nearly as fulfilling had I not participated in the honors program. More valuable even than the memories and the triumphs, however, was the education that I received from the Academy. I recently started graduate school, and although the years ahead will be difficult I know that I am fully prepared and capable to face any challenge that may arise. The professors in the Academy not only gave me an invaluable education, but they also taught me how to seek out knowledge, learn things for myself, and never settle for less than my best effort. The Academy not only taught me the skills I need to thrive in graduate school, but it also gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams.”

Denise Venable Kinsfather, Class of 2001, English Teacher at Splendora ISD
“Howard Payne University and the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy is an environment where students of all ages are equipped mentally and spiritually to make a difference in today’s world. Modeling Christ’s leadership through service, the professors demonstrate true compassion and dedication to their students and their subjects. You will not find a place where the professors invest so much love and energy into the education and success of students. To say nothing of the academic challenges, the Academy’s pursuit, in particular, of Dr. Newman’s dream to produce strong Christians who model democratic ideals in American society, affected the way I live my life and the way I teach my students. As a young student entering college, I had the desire to make a difference but was unsure of how to do that. My education taught me that character is built from the choices we make daily. I can make a difference when I honor God with; the quality of my work, with the compassion I offer and the discipline I carry out in my classroom, by providing an example of personal responsibility and requiring my students to do the same, by promoting a discussion of the learning process and its importance to maintaining a strong democracy, and by simply loving and encouraging the people around me. Howard Payne is a place where these principles are practiced on a daily basis.”

Sonia Hoffman Blumstein, Class of 1999, Public Relations Account Supervisor at Intermark Group
“The Academy was—in every way—my ticket to pursuing my dream job. The intense academic training positioned me for a successful career in political communications, and I continue to lean upon that which I learned in my current interactions with high‐level business and political leaders from across the country. The Academy provided all the right connections for me to succeed in the world’s marketplace, and set me apart from other graduates in my field by building a foundation of intellectual prowess and leadership strength, all based on the Judeo‐Christian values that have kept me faithful along the journey.”

Pat Long Weaver, Class of 1982, Attorney and Partner, Burleson LLP
“I had a lifelong dream of becoming a trial attorney, but without the support and education I received at the Academy, it would have been just that, a dream. I have been able to realize my goals, and am now thrilled to see other students being given the same opportunity.”

Guy Ben Garner III, Class of 1974, Attorney in Arlington
“I count my Academy experience as one of the most important events of my lifetime, and one I will always deeply cherish. In a very real sense, my Academy education, and the interaction I had with my teachers and fellow students laid the foundation for every important life event that followed for me. My Academy experience taught me the importance of leadership, teamwork, citizenship, and the love and necessity of ongoing learning. After I had been in Baylor Law School for a while after graduating from the Academy I vividly recall concluding that my college education was second to none. Period.”

Ed Daniel, Class of 1966, Vice President ‐ Investments Financial Advisor, Wells Fargo Advisors
“The Academy accomplished two huge things for me, which have served me well, since I graduated. It taught me to communicate, and it taught me to think on my feet. If you were to boil a college education down to its essence, I believe those two abilities differentiate Academy graduates from most other folks.”