News Archives

New students arrive on HPU campus

JJ group 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – Aug. 20, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s class of 2018 arrived on campus yesterday for Jacket Journey, a week-long introduction to their classmates, the university and the HPU way of life. Classes begin on Monday, August 25.

The new students, in yellow shirts, are pictured with upperclassman group leaders; “Secret Service,” a behind-the-scenes setup and teardown committee; the Student Planning Committee; and student life staff.

HPU faculty member’s book recommended by FCA Magazine

john nickols with book for webBROWNWOOD – Aug. 7, 2014 – “The Last Three Outs,” a novel by John Nickols, assistant professor of history and political science at Howard Payne University, was recently recommended by FCA Magazine, a national publication of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The novel was the only work of fiction recommended by the magazine in its July/August issue.

“The Last Three Outs,” a baseball novel with Christian themes, tells the story of Danny Hill, a bright pitching prospect whose baseball career is suddenly threatened by a shoulder injury. According to Nickols, the book loosely parallels the life of Joseph in the Old Testament.

“Joseph’s story has always intrigued me,” Nickols said. “There were many injustices in his life, but God redeemed him in a much greater way. In a very trivial way, the same thing happens to Danny in my story.”

The book was published by Tate Publishing and is available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

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Photo cutline: “The Last Three Outs” by John Nickols, assistant professor of history and political science at HPU, was recently recommended by FCA Magazine.

HPU education students travel to London

By Kendyl Moore ’14

BROWNWOOD – July 29, 2014 – Eight education majors from Howard Payne University traveled to London recently to learn firsthand about the British education system and compare it to education in Texas.

London group final for webHPU’s School of Education travels to London every other year to allow as many students as possible to attend. Dr. Mitzi Lehrer, associate professor of education, served as the trip sponsor and described it as an incredible learning experience.

“Even though things are done differently in the British education system, it’s still a good way of doing them,” states Dr. Lehrer. “This trip provides a great way to observe a different culture in a setting that’s familiar.”

The group stayed in London but took day trips to Warwick Castle, Hampton Court Palace and the village of Herne Bay. At Herne Bay, on the coast near Canterbury in Kent, the students spent a full day observing a primary school classroom. They compared the differences in teaching styles and the education systems in Britain and Texas.

They were also able to see many historical and educational sites in and around London including Covent Garden, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, the London Eye and more.

“My wish is that every HPU student has the opportunity to travel,” says Dr. Lehrer. “It opens up students’ minds and expands their worldviews.”

The students who went on the trip were Jeremy Bartley, senior from Brownwood; Shelby Byrd, senior from Brownwood; Casey Coffee, senior from Early; Allyson Gainey, senior from Kermit; Katie Mann, junior from Blanket; Kensey Martinez, senior from Brownwood; Jill Parson, sophomore from Llano; and Whitney Turnacliff, senior from Andrews.

In addition to Dr. Lehrer, trip sponsors included Jill Underwood, adjunct instructor of education, and Paula Hoyle Morelock, former educator and HPU alumna.

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Photo cutline: Students and faculty from HPU’s School of Education recently traveled to London. Left to right: Jill Underwood, Katie Mann, Jeremy Bartley, Whitney Turnacliff, Allyson Gainey, Kensey Martinez, Dr. Mitzi Lehrer, Shelby Byrd, Paula Morelock, Casey Coffee and Jill Parson.

HPU assistant professor publishes books on women in missions

Melody Maxwell books for webBROWNWOOD – July 22, 2014 – Dr. Melody Maxwell, assistant professor of Christian studies at Howard Payne University, recently published two books analyzing the role of women in missions and church leadership.

Dr. Maxwell’s most recent work, “The Woman I Am: Southern Baptist Women’s Writings, 1906-2006,” references Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) publications and traces developing thought patterns regarding the role of women in missions and church leadership throughout the 20th century. The book was published by University of Alabama Press in early July.

Released in April, Dr. Maxwell’s first book, “Torches in the Corridor: 125 Years of Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union,” is an expansion of a thesis she published as an undergraduate student at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. The book features historical profiles of leaders within Tennessee WMU. Dr. Maxwell had the opportunity to premiere her work at the group’s annual meeting in April.

“It is fascinating to look at the ways that changing American culture has affected Southern Baptist women’s roles,” she said. “Over the past century, Baptist women have advocated and filled positions from missionary homemaker to ordained pastor. My books explore these changes and how they were received by Southern Baptists, both women and men.”

Maxwell also has firsthand experience with her subject matter.

“I grew up in Tennessee, where I met leaders in WMU who helped shape my vocation and my life,” she said. “I also served on the national WMU staff, where I observed trends among Baptist women in the 21st century.”

“The Woman I Am” is available for purchase on Amazon and directly through the publisher at http://www.uapress.ua.edu/. “Torches in the Corridor” is available for purchase from Tennessee WMU by calling (615) 371-2038.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Melody Maxwell, assistant professor of Christian studies at HPU, recently published two books on the role of women in missions and church leadership.

HPU alumna reunited with class ring missing since 1954

Sullivan and Clark with ring for webBROWNWOOD – July 10, 2014 – Elizabeth Clark of Granite Falls, Wash., a 1953 Howard Payne University alumna, was reunited July 4 with the university class ring she lost 60 years ago.

Stephen Sullivan, HPU’s director of alumni relations, and Lindsay Waddell, the woman who found the ring in a San Angelo lake, returned the ring to its owner while Clark, 84, was in Brownfield, Texas, for a family reunion.

Waddell was walking her dogs along the low waters of San Angelo’s Lake Nasworthy in March when she discovered the ring with the letters “A. E. L.” inscribed in the band. She contacted HPU officials who used a 1953 yearbook to find the only graduating senior with those initials – Addie Elizabeth Little. Nathan’s Jewelers of Brownwood cleaned the ring for free, restoring it to almost-new conditions.

According to Clark’s daughter and 1978 HPU graduate Donna Clark-Love, Clark was delighted to get a phone call from Sullivan letting her know her ring had been found.

“She got on the horn and called everybody,” Clark-Love told a reporter with the Associated Press.

Clark remembers losing the ring in the lake in 1954 while on a date with her future husband.

“She was devastated because she had worked so hard to make it through college,” Clark-Love said.

Lubbock-area television news crews and many family members and friends were in attendance as Clark slipped the ring on her finger for the first time in 60 years. The only one of 16 children in her family to graduate college, she fondly remembers her time at HPU.

Clark with ring for web“My son said, ‘Mom, it’s just a ring,’” she told the reporters. “I said, ‘It’s a special ring.’ I felt like I had lost part of me.”

According to Sullivan, the situation is proof of how God sends blessings even in times of extreme drought.

“If Lindsay hadn’t been out there that day we may never have found the ring,” he said, adding that Lake Nasworthy has since returned to full capacity. “We’re very grateful that she not only returned it to the university but was able to drive to Brownfield to personally present it to Mrs. Clark.”

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Photo cutlines: Elizabeth Clark recently saw her Howard Payne University class ring for the first time in 60 years. She is pictured with Stephen Sullivan, director of alumni relations at the university.

Despite being at the bottom of a lake for 60 years, the ring was restored to almost-new conditions by Nathan’s Jewelers of Brownwood.

Woman, 84, to be reunited with HPU class ring missing for 60 years

Elizabeth Clark ring for webBROWNWOOD – July 2, 2014 – Elizabeth Clark of Granite Falls, Wash., a 1953 Howard Payne University alumna, will be reunited Friday with the university class ring she lost 60 years ago. HPU officials will present the ring to Clark on July 4 while she is in Brownfield, Texas, (near Lubbock) for a family reunion.

Due to recent drought conditions, the ring was discovered this March at the bottom of Lake Nasworthy in San Angelo, Texas, by Lindsey Waddell of Buda, Texas, a student at Angelo State University. Clark’s daughter, Donna Clark-Love, is a 1978 HPU graduate. She relayed the story of how the ring went missing.

“When Dad got home from the Korean War, Mom and Dad began dating,” said Clark-Love. “One of their favorite dates was to go to the lake in San Angelo to picnic and wade in the water. When she lost her class ring in 1954, she was devastated because she had worked so hard to make it through college.”

According to Clark-Love, her mother was not encouraged to further her education after high school.

“She was told that she needed to stay home and work in the cotton fields,” said Clark-Love. “She paid her own way through college by working two jobs, while keeping up with her studies. She was the only one out of 16 kids who got a college degree and her ring symbolized her hard work. She is so proud to be an HPU graduate.”

Stephen Sullivan, director of alumni relations for the university, is looking forward to returning the ring to its owner.

“The thought of someone finding this ring after 60 years is just absolutely amazing,” he said. “The ring is still in great shape and we’re excited to have this opportunity to return it to Mrs. Clark. God is so great!”

For more information, please contact Coby Sauce, HPU director of media relations, via e-mail at csauce@hputx.edu or by phone at (325) 649-8046 or (254) 977-2510.

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Photo cutline: This 1953 HPU class ring, owned by Elizabeth Clark of Granite Falls, Wash., was recently discovered at the bottom of Lake Nasworthy in San Angelo. HPU will return the ring to Mrs. Clark on July 4 at a family reunion in Brownfield.

TexasBank awards $25,000 in scholarship funds to HPU through Doss Foundation

TexasBank presentation 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – June 24, 2014 – TexasBank recently presented $25,000 to Howard Payne University through the Doss Foundation. The donation was part of $88,000 in scholarship funds that will be given to local and area high schools and colleges in 2014.

Within the past seven years, the Doss Foundation has given more than $425,000 to area educational institutions.

“TexasBank is proud to be affiliated with the Doss Foundation, whose gift will give back to local students through HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship Fund,” said Greg Dodds, president and CEO of TexasBank. “The Heart of Texas Scholarship has played a vital role in providing an affordable path to a quality university degree for our local high school students. The success of this program is evidenced by the steadily increasing proportion of the total student population at HPU that is comprised of our own kids from nearby communities. The Board and Ownership of TexasBank value our relationship with Howard Payne University, and we are honored to support this institution and its students.”

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Photo cutline: Greg Dodds, left, president and CEO of TexasBank, presents a $25,000 check to Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president.

HPU faculty member publishes book on worship and the Baptist faith

Hatch with book for webBROWNWOOD – June 20, 2014 – Dr. Derek Hatch, assistant professor of Christian studies at Howard Payne University, recently co-edited “Gathering Together: Baptists at Work in Worship,” a collection of essays examining how worship shapes the Baptist faith.

Penned by pastors and scholars from across the United States, the essays take a close look at the act of liturgy or corporate worship. According to Dr. Hatch, a reoccurring metaphor throughout the book views worship as a “seamless garment.”

“Baptists often think of worship as comprised of individual acts such as sermons, music, greeting periods and a time of invitation,” he said. “But ‘Gathering Together’ seeks to examine how each act reinforces the others and serves to strengthen church communities.”

Dr. Hatch stated that the purpose of the book is not to promote or emphasize one style of worship over another, but rather to encourage intentional and theological reflection on these acts by ministers and churchgoers.

“Regardless of style, we want Baptists to think intentionally about worship and to constantly move toward a ‘seamless garment,’” he said.

“Gathering Together” is co-edited by Rodney Wallace Kennedy, lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio. It is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and directly from the publisher at www.wipfandstock.com.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Derek Hatch, assistant professor of Christian studies at HPU, discusses his new book, “Gathering Together: Baptists at Work in Worship,” at a recent book-signing event on campus.

Robotics, 3D printing among subjects for HPU’s Summer Scholars and Young Scholars camps

Scholars logoBROWNWOOD – June 18, 2014 – Howard Payne University will host its annual Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs July 14-18 from 9 a.m. to noon in HPU’s Newman Hall building. The programs, for students in first through sixth grades, will feature innovative instruction in a variety of subjects. The theme for this year is “Jacket Innovators.”

“We have an expert lineup of HPU professors and area public-school teachers who are leaders in the fields of study they will be teaching our students,” said Dr. Julie Welker, director of the programs. Dr. Welker is the chair of the Department of Communication and professor of communication at HPU. “The curriculum this year includes technology, robotics, 3D printing, biology, music and physical education.”

In the Summer Scholars program, students entering fourth through sixth grades will study 3D printing, robotics, biological sciences and physical education. The Young Scholars program is designed for children entering first through third grades. The campers will receive instruction in robotics, technology, music and physical education.

“Students in Summer Scholars will have hands-on experience with Mindstorm NXT robots and 3D printing,” Dr. Welker said. “They will also attend a biological sciences class where they will see first-hand how 3D printing and robotics are applied.”

For the first time, Dr. Welker said, students in Young Scholars will also attend classes in robotics.

“They will go to a technology class to learn about programming,” she said. “They will also attend a music class to bring the arts and sciences together in a single comprehensive program.”

The programs are designed to be fun as well as educational.

“We like to provide classes that students can enjoy and hopefully they take that knowledge back to school with them,” said Dr. Welker. “It’s important for our children to be exposed to cutting-edge technology in our fast-paced world. And the best part: it’s a no-pressure environment through which kids can learn without worrying about a test.”

Several of the camp instructors are from Early ISD, a district highly regarded for its outstanding robotics program and related faculty.

This year’s Summer Scholars teachers include Melinda Elkins, seventh-grade language arts teacher and coach at Early ISD; Tami Hull, sixth-grade science teacher at Early Middle School and coach of the robotics and University Interscholastic League science and mathematics teams; Dr. Kristen Hutchins, assistant professor of biology at HPU, who holds a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction in the area of science education; and Dr. Lester Towell, chair of the Department of Computer Information Systems and associate professor of CIS at HPU.

Young Scholars teachers include Melinda Elkins; Deanna Erxleben, instructor of music at HPU, who holds a master’s degree in vocal performance with a concentration in voice science and pedagogy reading; Jennifer McKibben, eighth-grade science and robotics coach at Early Middle School; and Keith Taylor, fourth-grade science teacher at Early ISD and Early Elementary robotics coach.

Cost for the Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs is $100 per student and includes a souvenir, snacks and supplies. The deadline for registration is July 10.

“HPU is pleased to offer this program to provide children an opportunity to take age-appropriate classes, introducing them to new ways of thinking and ideas that will give them an edge in the classroom and the world,” Dr. Welker said.

Online registration is available at www.hputx.edu/scholars. For more information about the Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs, contact Dr. Welker at (325) 649-8508 or via e-mail at jwelker@hputx.edu. You can also join the Facebook group by searching for “Summer and Young Scholars” on www.facebook.com.