Sumners Scholar Program

Thanks to the generosity of the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation, junior-level students in the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy may apply for admission into a highly competitive and richly rewarding program.

Sumners Scholars receive invitations to colloquia featuring some of the world’s most notable leaders. Past speakers have included President Gerald Ford, Benjamin Netanyahu, Queen Noor of Jordan, George Will, Clarence Thomas, James Baker and many more.

An annual policy weekend is hosted by the National Center for Policy Analysis, affording Sumners Scholars in-depth investigation into the pressing issues facing our nation today. The University of Texas’s Center for Ethical Leadership also sponsors an annual program, which Sumners Scholars attend free of charge. The foundation’s mission aligns perfectly with that of Howard Payne University’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy: “to encourage the study, teaching and research into the science and art of self-government, to the end that the American People may understand the fundamental principles of democracy and be guided thereby in shaping governmental policies.” (Source)

The Hatton W. Sumners Foundation through Howard Payne University

Stipend and Terms

The Sumners Scholar program is a four-semester commitment. As an investment in the Scholar’s promising academic and professional future, the Sumners Foundation provides Scholars with a $7,500 per semester stipend for four semesters. This stipend is in addition to university scholarships that current HPU students receive or transfer students are eligible to receive. If the combined package of university scholarships and the Sumners Scholarship exceeds tuition, the excess can be applied toward fees, books, and room and board. Students cannot receive financial aid that exceeds the University’s cost-of-attendance, and the stipend may apply only to regular fall and spring semesters.

Sumners Scholars must maintain satisfactory progress the Honors Academy (including a 3.25 GPA) and remain members in good standing for the duration of their four-semester stipend term. Loss of Academy status results in the loss of the Sumners Scholar stipend.

For information regarding other available scholarships, loans and grants, contact HPU’s Office of Student Financial Aid.

Qualifications and Selection

Sumners Scholar applicants must be United States citizens, members in good standing of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, and have at least 60 semester hours by the beginning of the fall semester following their selection. Transfer students must be accepted for admission into Howard Payne University and the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, and must have a cumulative 3.25 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. No advanced hours may be transferred as advanced hours from a junior college.

Up to twelve applicants will be nominated by the Academy Executive Committee for consideration by the Trustees of the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation. Final selection will follow personal interviews on the Howard Payne University campus by a committee of Sumners Foundation Trustees. Selection is based on academic proficiency, extracurricular achievement, apparent capacity for public service, and information furnished in the written application. Travel expenses incurred by nominees attending Sumners Scholar interviews will be reimbursed by the Honors Academy.


Sumners Scholarship Application
Sumners Scholarship Recommendation Form
Sumners Autobiographical Essay – RTF Template
Sumners Autobiographical Essay – Word Template

Detailed instructions are provided on the second page of the application form. With Adobe Acrobat Reader, click into the first field of the application to enter text. Use the tab key to move to each field. When you are finished, print off the form and return it through the mail. You will also need to have four references, three of whom must be professors currently familiar with your academic performance, complete the recommendation form and attach it to a formal letter of recommendation. In addition, you will need to complete the required autobiographical essay and provide a formal resume.


The application deadline is March 15 and final selection is in April. Qualified students must submit applications to:

Dr. Matthew McNiece
Guy D. Newman Honors Academy
Howard Payne University
1000 Fisk Street
Brownwood, Texas 76801-2794

For information about applying to Howard Payne University, visit the Office of Admission page.