News Archives

HPU announces Homecoming 2016 honorees

BROWNWOOD – October 20, 2016 – Howard Payne University will recognize 10 individuals during the Homecoming 2016 celebrations, October 28-30.

This year’s honorees include Dr. Vernon Holleman ’53, Distinguished Alumnus; Robert Morrison ’82, Distinguished Alumnus; Dr. Brad Collins ’01, Outstanding Young Graduate; Emily Gore ’09, Outstanding Young Graduate; Martha Dufresne ’71, Coming Home Queen; Dwain Bruner, Medal of Service; Stephen Haynes, Grand Marshal; Dan McGhee ’71, Sports Hall of Fame; Greg Nixon ’06, Sports Hall of Fame; and Dr. Adrian Gil, Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award.

The honorees will be recognized during the Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet, sponsored by the HPU Alumni Association, on Friday, October 28. The banquet begins at 6 p.m. The Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service award will be presented during the Hispanic Fellowship Breakfast on Saturday, October 29. For ticket information for either event, visit or call (325) 649-8044.

For more information about these and other Homecoming events, visit

Dr. Vernon Holleman ’53, Distinguished Alumnus

Dr Vernon HollemanAccording to Dr. Vernon Holleman, his preparation at HPU was so successful that he was quickly accepted into three medical schools upon graduating in 1953 with a double major in chemistry and biology and an art minor. At that time there were only three medical schools in Texas.

He chose to attend Baylor College of Medicine in Houston where he graduated with his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1958. He went on to complete an internship and residency at Scott & White Clinic and Hospital before joining the senior medical staff. He continues to work reduced hours of 45 to 50 hours a week at the hospital (since renamed Baylor Scott & White). By his estimation, he has been employed continuously by Scott & White longer than any other physician.

Dr. Holleman attends yearly internal medicine review courses at Harvard Medical School and has attended courses at Southwestern Medical School and many others in the more than 58 years he has practiced medicine.

He has been a member of several churches throughout the years including Brownwood’s Calvary Baptist Church and Belton’s First Baptist Church. He is a member of the Boone and Crockett Club, the oldest wildlife conservation organization in North America. He serves on the club’s publications and records committees.

He and his wife, Shirley Eyvonne Roberts Holleman, recently celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. They have three children, Richard, Joel and Douglas.

Robert Morrison ’82, Distinguished Alumnus

robert-morrisonRobert Morrison says HPU provided him with a faith-based education and lifetime friends and connections.

Morrison graduated from HPU in 1982 with a degree in physical education and minor in social studies. While at HPU, he was involved with Jackets for Jesus and Ebony Imani, and was captain of the Yellow Jacket football team. He went on to sign a free-agent contract with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks before sustaining a career-ending injury.

Morrison earned a Master of Education degree from Tarleton State University in 1987 and principal certification and a Master of Education degree in educational administration from Prairie View A&M University in 1998.

His career in education includes teaching, coaching and administrative positions at several Texas high schools. He began his career as teacher and coach at Bangs High School before becoming a teacher and coach at Westfield High School in Spring. He then served as assistant and associate principal at Spring High School; assistant and associate principal at Montgomery High School; and principal at Sweeny High School. He currently serves as principal at Abilene High School.

Morrison’s professional affiliations include memberships in the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (also past-president), the Texas Association of African-American Principals, the Legislative Committee, the Texas Assistant Principal’s Committee, the Texas High School Coaches Association and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

He has received numerous honors including Teacher of the Year for Bangs High School and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Assistant Principal of the Year for Region 6 in 2012-2013.

Dr. Brad Collins ’01, Outstanding Young Graduate

dr-brad-collinsDr. Brad Collins says the HPU faculty, administration, coaching staff and other personnel encouraged him to find his vision and gave him the platform to achieve it.

Dr. Collins graduated from HPU in 2001 with a degree in biology. While at the university, he was a member of HPU’s football team for four years, during which he was named Academic All-Conference. He was also a member of the track team for one year.

Upon graduating from Parker University in 2004 with his Doctor of Chiropractic degree, Dr. Collins purchased a private practice where he has been owner and doctor for 11 years. He has also had the opportunity to be the team doctor for several teams that have won state championships in football and track. He has also worked with multiple Olympic athletes, collegiate athletes and professional baseball and football players.

Dr. Collins is a member of Grandview’s First Baptist Church where he serves on the personnel committee. Additionally, he is a member of the Disciple All Nations Board of Directors and Grandview’s School Board of Trustees. He is a former member of Grandview’s 4B Economic Development Board.

He and his wife, Dr. Kandace R. Collins, have three children, Carter, Codi and Kenna.

Emily Gore ’09, Outstanding Young Graduate

emily-goreEmily Gore says HPU, particularly the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy (then the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom) and the Department of Communication Studies, gave her the skills needed to become a strong, qualified working professional.

Gore graduated from HPU in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and minor in public relations. While at HPU, she was involved with Model United Nations and the Sumners Scholars program.

Gore went on to earn a Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Texas. She has worked in the field of public health preparedness since 2007 when she began her career with the Brownwood/Brown County Health Department. She has served as the public health manager for the Dallas County Health and Human Services Public Health Preparedness Division since 2011. In that role, she is responsible for public health and medical preparedness and response programs ranging from infectious disease to bioterrorism and other all-hazards threats.

She has been a state and national reviewer for the Project Public Health Ready Accreditation Program for local health departments and is currently serving as the vice chair on the Medical Countermeasures Workgroup for the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO). She also recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to serve as a committee member and panelist for the Institute of Medicine’s workshop on Sustainability of the CDC Strategic National Stockpile. She has been a panelist and speaker for other events including the NACCHO Annual Conference, NACCHO Public Health Preparedness Summit and the Contingency Planning and Management Symposium.

Many of Gore’s family members also attended HPU including her grandparents, Dale ’55 and Laverne ’54 Gore. Dale Gore is a current member of HPU’s Board of Trustees.

Martha Dufresne ’71, Coming Home Queen

martha-dufresneMartha (Beene) Dufresne says HPU (then Howard Payne College) provided her with a Christian environment and Bible-based curriculum as well as Christian professors, friends and disciplines that continually reminded her of her relationship with Christ.

Dufresne graduated from the university in 1971 with a degree in business education and a minor in music education. She went on to earn an associate degree in nursing from Midland College in 1985. In addition to being a wife, mother, grandmother and homemaker, she has served in a variety of roles including missionary, public school teacher, college instructor, paramedic instructor, emergency medical technician, registered nurse and homecare giver.

While at HPU, she was involved with organizations such as the Baptist Student Union, Sigma Alpha Sigma and the Oratorio Chorus. She served as a summer missionary to Michigan with the Home Mission Board and was named to the Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities list.

She served on HPU’s Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1994 to 2000, including a stint as president from 1996 to 1998. Additionally, she is a member of the alumna group Sisters of the Seventies. She is active in her church as a Sunday School teacher among other roles and has held leadership positions within the Woman’s Missionary Union.

She and her husband, Thomas Dufresne ’72, have two daughters, Christy (Dufresne) Lannom ’94 (spouse Clint Lannom) and Alicia (Dufresne) Music ’98 (spouse John Music ’00), and eight grandchildren.

Dwain Bruner, Medal of Service

dwain-brunerThe Bruner name is widely recognized in this area of Texas, and Dwain Bruner and family have made a significant impact on HPU and Baptist higher education.

Bruner graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1951 and from Detroit’s Chevrolet School of Merchandising & Management in 1956. Additionally, he served in the United States Navy from 1951 to 1955 and the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1955 to 1972, with the final rank of Commander.

He was employed with his father at Bruner Chevrolet Co. in Kerens from 1955 to 1962; as a Chevrolet dealer at Dwain Bruner Chevrolet in Wolfe City from 1962 to 1969; as a GM/Chrysler dealer at Bruner Motors, Inc., in Stephenville from 1969 to present; and as a GM/Toyota dealer at Bruner Auto Group in Brownwood/Early from 2007 to present.

Bruner has been a member of Stephenville’s First Baptist Church since 1969, having served as a deacon, teacher, substitute organist and on various committees throughout the years. Additionally, he has served on the Wolfe City and Stephenville school boards, the Erath County Central Appraisal District Board and HPU’s Board of Trustees. He is a member of the Brownwood, Early and Stephenville Chambers of Commerce.

Bruner is married to Carolyn Wyatt Bruner and they have two children, Gwyn (Bruner) Schneck and Greg Bruner, a current member of HPU’s Board of Trustees.

Stephen Haynes, Grand Marshal

stephen-haynesThough Stephen Haynes, mayor of Brownwood since 2010, didn’t attend HPU, he says the university did help him prepare for future success. Both of his parents, Darrell Haynes ’64 and Marilyn Corea Haynes ’67, are graduates and HPU left a lasting impact on them that dramatically influenced his childhood.

Haynes graduated from Abilene Christian University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and from Texas Tech University School of Law in 1999 with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. He is licensed by the State Bar of Texas, the All Federal District Courts in Texas, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the United States Court of Federal Claims.

He began his legal career in Dallas where he worked for several years. In 2006, he moved home to Brownwood where he practices law and is a partner in the Haynes Law Firm, P.C. His practice is devoted to all types of civil law with a particular emphasis in civil litigation.

Haynes is actively involved in many community and civic affairs. He is a past chairman of the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce and vice president of Brownwood Manor, Inc. Additionally, he serves as a deacon at Austin Avenue Church of Christ.

He and his wife, Lori, have four children, Austin, Emily, Allie and Ella.

Dan McGhee ’71, Sports Hall of Fame

dan-mcgheeDan McGhee was a four-year letterman at HPU. McGhee, who graduated from the university in 1971, was also a four-time All-Lone Star Conference selection for some of the best teams in Howard Payne history.

With 1,694 career points (1967-’68, ’68-’69, ’69-’70, ’70-’71), McGhee scored a career-high 40 points versus Southwest Texas State College on February 24, 1968.

He had 651 career field goals, 392 career free throws and 775 career rebounds, all three still in the top 10 all-time at HPU. He grabbed a career high 18 rebounds versus Roseland AAU on March 29, 1970.

McGhee was drafted on January 23, 1971, by the Dallas Chaparrals American Basketball Association (ABA), a 17th round pick (#165 overall). The Dallas Chaparrals later become the San Antonio Spurs.

McGhee lived in Brownwood for many years after college but now resides in Brenham.

Greg Nixon ’06, Sports Hall of Fame

greg-nixonGreg Nixon, class of 2006, was an All-American sprinter and football standout for the Howard Payne athletic program.

In his junior year of 2005-2006, Nixon started running track in college part-time to help keep his speed for football. With only a few months of training, he became the NCAA Division III national champion at 200 meters. In his senior season, Nixon won the national championship crown in the 100 and 200 meter, making him a four-time All-American in the sprints.

Along with conference championships in the 100- and 200-meter sprints, Nixon was named the American Southwest Conference Athlete of the Year at the end of his senior season.

After college, Nixon was convinced to run the 400-meter and went on to claim the 2007 U.S. Indoor National 400-meter title only having run the race four times in his career.

Qualifying for the U.S. Outdoor National Championships later that year, Nixon also made his first USA team participating in the Pan Am Games earning a silver medal in the 4×400 meter relay.

In 2008, Nixon won a gold medal in the 2008 World Indoor Championships 4×400 meter relay and also made it to the finals in the U.S. Olympic trials, placing 7th.

In 2009, he led the world in the 400 meter, 300 meter and 200 meter in indoor. Nixon made another U.S. Indoor World team in 2010, winning a second gold medal.

Also in 2010, Nixon won the U.S. Outdoor National title in the 400 meter with a world-leading time of 44.61. He went on the next year to run with USA in the 4×400 meter, helping claim the 2011 World Outdoor Championship.

Dr. Adrian Gil, Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award

dr-adrian-gilDr. Adrian Gil joined HPU’s faculty in fall 2014 as director of the university’s El Paso Center and associate professor of business. Under his leadership, the center has increased its academic offerings and taken advantage of new opportunities for community engagement.

Dr. Gil graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He then worked for two global manufacturers where he was allowed to fast-track through several functional positions managing engineering, quality assurance, environmental compliance, safety, purchasing, production control and distribution.

While working, Dr. Gil returned to UTEP to obtain his Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in finance. He later returned to school once more to complete his doctoral degree in international business with an emphasis in strategic management.

His work has been presented at several national and international conferences and he is a published researcher. In addition to his teaching and administrative duties at HPU, he has taught courses at UTEP and the University of Houston-Downtown.

He and his wife, Joanna, have three sons, Adrian, Andres and Joshua.


HPU’s Homecoming Play fun for the entire family

BROWNWOOD – October 18, 2016 – In keeping with Howard Payne University’s Homecoming theme – “The HPU Family Tree” – this year’s theatrical production is something the entire family can enjoy. HPU’s Department of Theatre will present “Bone-Chiller!” by Monk Ferris in four performances throughout Homecoming Weekend, October 27-30.

Show times are Thursday, October 27, through Saturday, October 29, at 8 p.m. each evening and Sunday, October 30, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased through the Homecoming website,, or at the door on the evenings of the performances. Those who purchase tickets online for Thursday’s performance should contact the Office of Alumni Relations prior to the event at (325) 649-8044.

Despite its name, the play is not “spooky or ooky,” says Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, director, professor of theatre and chair of the Department of Theatre.

“The play is definitely family friendly,” she says. “Thirteen people have gathered for the reading of a will on Friday the 13th. The will, however, has been formulated as a rebus or word puzzle. Along with the characters, the audience will try to untangle the puzzle. It should be a lot of fun.”

Cast members include Michael Bell, freshman from Sonora; Jake Bowren, freshman from San Antonio; Brooklyn Britton, freshman from Brownwood; Nathan Brockett, sophomore from Copperas Cove; Katie Cravey, freshman from Huntsville; Hailey Green, junior from Kennedale; Hayden Jacobs, junior from Lytle; Rachel Lilley, freshman from Comanche; Bryce McWhirter, junior from Pflugerville; Gabrielle McWhirter, senior from Crosbyton; Deejay Moses, freshman from Bynum; Ashleigh Moss, sophomore from Alvarado; and Cassia Rose, junior from Winnsboro. Nick Ewen, assistant professor of theatre, serves as designer and technical director.

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.


HPU to host Arbor Day observance November 4

BROWNWOOD – October 17, 2016 – Howard Payne University will celebrate Arbor Day, November 4, with an educational program and a tree-planting ceremony. The events, which begin at 3 p.m. at HPU’s Mabee University Center, are free of charge and open to the public.

Nick Harrison, Texas A&M Forest Service Firewise coordinator and former Brownwood resident, will lead the training session on planting and pruning trees. At the activity’s conclusion, HPU representatives will plant a tree near the Mabee Center in recognition of Arbor Day.

Harrison, who was born in Brownwood and lived for a number of years in a home that now houses HPU’s advancement and alumni relations offices, looks forward to returning to his hometown to take part in the Arbor Day festivities.

“It will be great to be in my hometown of Brownwood to assist with the Howard Payne University Arbor Day events,” Harrison said. “I applaud HPU for taking the steps to establish, maintain and sustain the university’s trees, which add to the beauty of the campus and benefit the students and the residents of Brownwood.”

HPU values the opportunity to present the upcoming Arbor Day activities, said Terry Pritchett, who serves as HPU’s assistant vice president for facilities and planning as well as chair of the university’s Campus Tree Advisory Committee.

“It is an honor to work with the Campus Tree Advisory Committee and the Texas A&M Forest Service to provide our community with an Arbor Day observance as well as training regarding recommended tree-planting and pruning methods,” Pritchett said. “We at HPU value these partnerships and strive to be good stewards of the environment God has given us to manage.”

Questions about HPU’s Arbor Day events may be directed to the university’s facilities office at 325-649-8608.

More information about Howard Payne University is available online at


HPU plans more than 30 events to celebrate Homecoming 2016

Homecoming 2016 logoBROWNWOOD – October 17, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s extended “family” of alumni, students, personnel, friends and community members will gather this month to take part in the university’s Homecoming 2016 celebrations. More than 30 Homecoming events, many of community-wide interest, are scheduled Friday, October 28, through Sunday, October 30.

Alumni and visitors may register for Homecoming events online. Some events require purchased tickets while many are free of charge. For complete details and the latest schedule information, visit or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (325) 649-8044 or via e-mail at

This year’s theme is “The HPU Family Tree,” honoring the university’s commitment to fostering a close-knit, familial environment.

“We always say that HPU is a family and that is never more evident than during Homecoming each year,” said Laura Benoit, associate director of alumni relations. “We’re excited to welcome everyone back to campus for this year’s festivities.”

New events this year include Bonfire and Fireworks on the Bayou at Brownwood’s Riverside Park at 9 p.m. on Friday. Also new this year is the Alumni Association Remembrance and Reflection, a time designated to gather in memory of alumni who have passed away throughout the year. The remembrance event will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday at HPU’s Muse Plaza and Mall by the statue.

Additional events are highlighted below.

Performances of “Bone-Chiller!” will be held at the HPU Theatre on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. each evening and on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased through the Homecoming website or at the door on the evenings of the performances. Those who purchase tickets online for Thursday’s performance should contact the Office of Alumni Relations prior to the event at (325) 649-8044.

The photography of Julie Mize ’96 will be exhibited in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art gallery located inside HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center. Gallery hours during Homecoming weekend are Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Golden Graduate Luncheon honoring the Class of 1966, sponsored by Wendlee Broadcasting, will be held Friday from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of the university’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center.

The Homecoming Court will be presented during Homecoming Convocation at 2 p.m. on Friday in Mims Auditorium.

The Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet, sponsored by HPU’s Alumni Association, will be held Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Beadel Dining Hall of the Mabee University Center. During the banquet, the Homecoming 2016 honorees will be recognized. Doors open at 5:45 p.m.

Following the banquet on Friday will be Cobbler on the Campus sponsored by Underwood’s Cafeteria. This event begins at 7:30 p.m. at HPU’s Muse Plaza and Mall.

Saturday morning’s Decades Breakfast, sponsored by Willie’s T’s, begins at 8 a.m. During this time, alumni are invited to reunite with friends from their class decades in the Beadel Dining Hall of the Mabee University Center. Also at 8 a.m. on Saturday will be the Hispanic Fellowship Breakfast in Bullion Suites B and C of the Mabee University Center and the Letterman’s Breakfast in the Beadel Dining Hall.

HPU’s Walker Memorial Library will host an Authors’ Reception and Archival Display on Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The Homecoming Parade, sponsored by Bruner Auto Group, begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. The parade will begin at the Brownwood Coliseum, travel down Center Ave. and end at the university’s Doakie Day Art Center. The best areas to view the parade are downtown and on campus along Center Avenue.

Following the parade, a Pep Rally sponsored by Brownwood Chamber of Commerce will take place in HPU’s Old Main Park.

Little Jackets’ Nest, games and other free activities for children, will be held from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday behind the Packer Administration Building.

A Family Picnic Lunch, sponsored by the Early Chamber of Commerce, will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Muse Plaza and Mall and Beadel Dining Hall.

HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts will present a Choir Concert at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in the university’s Grace Chapel.

A variety of departmental and student-organization receptions will be held Saturday afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. A complete list of participating departments and organizations is available online at

The HPU Yellow Jacket football team will play McMurry University at 4:00 p.m. Saturday at Gordon Wood Stadium. Prior to the game, beginning at 3 p.m., all HPU classes are invited to participate in a tailgate event featuring games, snacks and beverages. Additional tailgates will be held for the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy reception and African-American Alumni Chapter reception.

Married alumni will have the opportunity to renew their vows Sunday morning in HPU’s Grace Chapel. The service begins at 9 a.m.

A variety of reunions, athletic events and other events will be held throughout the weekend. A complete schedule of events and ticket prices are available online at

In addition to the sponsors mentioned above, HPU thanks the following business for their support: PF&E Oil Company, Mills County State Bank, Dr Pepper Bottling, United Supermarkets, Early Blooms & Things, Prosperity Bank, TexasBank, Citizens National Bank, Painter & Johnson Financial, Porter Insurance Agency, Robnett Integra Insurance Services, Kool Kreations Custom Boat Docks and Repair, and Smith & Sharpe Insurance.


HPU’s Walker Memorial Library presents “Postcards from Home” display

BROWNWOOD – October 13, 2016 – The Howard Payne University Walker Memorial Library will present a “Postcards from Home” display through Monday, October 24, in the library’s main lobby.

The display features postcards and letters sent during World War I and World War II to and from loved ones who were HPU alumni and friends. There is also a desk set up for current HPU students to write postcards to send home to their family or friends.

“We are excited to offer the opportunity for our students to send messages home,” said Doris Goacher, digital archives assistant. “It was inspired by our display of postcards and letters sent home from Europe during World Wars I and II as well as the letters back from the recipients here at home. There is such power in the written word, conveying our thoughts to someone we care about who is a distance away. The messages are always treasured.”

postcards-for-webThe display is available for public viewing during normal library operation hours, Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Private tours of the full postcard collection are available Tuesday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Goacher will give brief tours of the materials held in the library’s archive at this time as well.

For more information, call HPU’s Walker Memorial Library at 325-649-8602.

HPU’s “Postcards from Home” Display is available for viewing through October 24.

HPU junior Carrie Leach, from Hurst, writes a postcard home at HPU’s “Postcards from Home” student writing desk.

HPU Jazz Band to present fall concert featuring Dr. Tarik Hassan of New Orleans

BROWNWOOD – October 13, 2016 – The Howard Payne University Jazz Band’s fall concert will feature jazz bassist Dr. Tarik Hassan and will be held on Thursday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium. The concert is free of charge and open to the public.

Dr. Hassan is a distinguished scholar, performer and composer from New Orleans who has performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Les Cultures du Monde in France, and Snug Harbor and House of Blues jazz clubs in New Orleans.

This year, the band’s program will present classic jazz styles such as Cool, Bebop and Latin Jazz. A new jazz arrangement of George Gershwin’s 1932 orchestral work “Cuban Overture” will be presented as well as a big-band adaptation of the Modern Jazz Quartet’s 1953 tribute to gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt.

“We are pleased to present our students and Dr. Hassan to our campus and community,” said Stephen Goacher, director of the ensemble and professor of music. “This concert will be a celebration of this great American music – jazz.”

The HPU Jazz Band has garnered numerous accolades in its rich history. More recently, it won consecutive Outstanding Collegiate Band awards at the Temple Jazz Festival from 2006 to 2009 and gave other performances and awards at the festival in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Additionally, the band performed at the North Texas Jazz Festival in 2010.

For more information, call HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.


Cutline: New Orleans jazz bassist Dr. Tarik Hassan will perform during the HPU Jazz Band’s fall concert on Thursday, October 20.

HPU Herbarium to sponsor worldwide WeDigBio event

BROWNWOOD – October 13, 2016 – The Howard Payne University Herbarium will sponsor a Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Bio Collections event on Saturday, October 22, from 9:00 a.m. to noon in room 113 of the university’s Winebrenner Memorial Hall of Science. The public is invited to participate.

WeDigBio is a four-day event to promote biodiversity that engages participants online and onsite as they digitize natural history collections. Onsite events are hosted by museums, herbaria, universities and other institutions and enable participants to get involved with local collections. Online events engage volunteers from around the globe by facilitating the transcription of specimen information from images hosted by worldwide transcription platforms.

“We are very excited to be a part of this worldwide endeavor,” said Dr. Marilyn Mathis, associate professor of biology. “This event will help make biological collections available to everyone.”

The HPU group will work with Botanical Research Institute of Texas to build a database of Texas flora. Volunteers will transcribe various plant specimen labels at the event. During the transcribing process, volunteers with have the opportunity to win prizes and play various games, such as Habitat Locations, Geo Locator and Timeline Tracker. There will also be short programs for volunteers to view titled “A Visit to Kew Gardens in London, England” with senior Sara Wood, biology major from Orange Grove, and “A Visit to Eastern Australia” with senior Keaton Fletcher, biology major from Perryton.

For more information, call HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics at 325-649-8400.


HPU students receive top speaker awards at Moot Court tournament

BROWNWOOD – October 13, 2016 – Five Howard Payne University students recently competed in their first Moot Court tournament of the year, with three receiving top speaker awards. The event was held at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio.

HPU students who brought home awards were sophomore Bailey Myler, a Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major and social science jurisprudence major from Brownwood (fourth speaker); junior Jakob Morgan, a Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major and social science jurisprudence major from Blanket (sixth speaker); and freshman Jordan Hahn, a Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major and political science international studies major from Burnet (ninth speaker).

HPU took two Moot Court teams to the competition. The Moot Court 1 team was comprised of Hahn and freshman Andie McCoy, a Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major and social studies composite high school major from Whitehouse. Hahn and McCoy’s team advanced to the semi-finals. The Moot Court 2 team was comprised of Myler and junior Justin Harris, a social science jurisprudence major from Fort Worth. Morgan had the opportunity to partner with a student from The University of Texas San Antonio to form a hybrid team.

“This was our first competition of the 2016-2017 season, and I could not be more proud of our Moot Court team,” said Lorianna Kelly J.D., assistant professor of government and HPU Moot Court sponsor. “The entire team has worked hard to prepare arguments and practice answering difficult questions, and it is great to see that hard work pay off. I can’t wait to see how well our team does throughout the season.”

In recognition of their achievement, Stephen M. Sheppard, dean of St. Mary’s University School of Law, awarded Hahn and McCoy with a $5,000 scholarship each. Sheppard also awarded a $2,500 scholarship to each of the other HPU team members.


HPU Homecoming festivities to include bonfire, fireworks and parade

hpu-bonfire-raft-2016 BROWNWOOD – October 11, 2016 – Howard Payne University will host a bonfire, a fireworks show and a parade as featured parts of the university’s Homecoming 2016 celebration. The Bonfire and Fireworks on the Bayou event is scheduled for Friday, October 28, at 9:00 p.m. at Riverside Park in Brownwood. The parade is scheduled for Saturday, October 29, at 10:00 a.m. The public is invited to attend each of these events.

The bonfire will be built on a steel 8-foot-by-8-foot raft that will float on Pecan Bayou. The steel for the raft was donated by Sweetwater Steel in Early and the raft was constructed by Ricky Brooks of Kool Kreations Custom Boat Docks at Lake Brownwood. The HPU men’s soccer team collected the wood that will be used for the bonfire, which will be lit by a flaming arrow shot by HPU senior Ivy Nichols of Richardson. Following the bonfire, an exciting, 15-minute fireworks show will light the night sky. The fireworks are made possible by a generous donation from an anonymous donor to HPU.

“We are excited to have the bonfire and fireworks this year as part of our Homecoming events,” said Stephen Sullivan ’11, MBA ’14, director of development and alumni relations at HPU. “Our hope is that these events will provide an opportunity for HPU alumni to engage with current students as well as the community. Everyone is invited to attend.”

In addition to the bonfire and fireworks, various HPU student organizations will provide games and activities at Riverside Park during the events. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs and snacks for this event. No alcoholic beverages are permitted.

Parade Route Map_Revised_2014This year’s HPU Homecoming parade will follow the same route as last year. Beginning at Brownwood Coliseum, the parade will travel north on Baker St., turn left onto Center Ave., move across Austin Ave. and enter the HPU campus. The procession will end in front of HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center on Center Ave. The best areas to view the parade are downtown and on campus along Center Ave.

The parade will feature student-designed floats and other attractions including the HPU Yellow Jacket Marching Band and the HPU mascot, Buzzsaw. Additionally, there will be a variety of floats and participants from the community.

“HPU’s Homecoming parade will include community, alumni and current student participants,” said Laura Benoit, associate director of alumni relations at the university. “We are excited this year to have Rick Phelps of Victory Life Church in Brownwood to help us coordinate the parade and we look forward to seeing many community members on Saturday morning enjoying this HPU tradition.”

The Homecoming parade is sponsored by Bruner Auto Group.

Community organizations interested in participating in the parade can register online at

A complete schedule of Homecoming events is available online at


An 8-foot-by-8-foot bonfire raft will float on the Pecan Bayou during HPU’s Homecoming 2016 Bonfire and Fireworks on the Bayou event. The raft was constructed by Ricky Brooks of Kool Kreations Custom Boat Docks using steel donated by Sweetwater Steel.

HPU’s Homecoming 2016 parade will begin at Brownwood Coliseum and end in front of the Doakie Day Art Center on the HPU campus.

Scholarships awarded to three HPU pre-college music students

BROWNWOOD – October 11, 2016 – Three students from Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program were recently awarded scholarships at the 18th Annual Music Scholarship Awards in Eastland during the town’s Rip Festival. The scholarship awards were presented by the Nancy Seaberry Frost Arts Endowment.

The Mary Frances Bishop Memorial Scholarship was awarded to 13-year-old Sarah Ann Reeves, a piano and voice student from Goldthwaite. The Wilda Dragoo Music Scholarship was awarded to piano students Christopher Ivy, age 6, and Kyle Ivy, age 12, both of Brownwood. The three scholarship recipients are students of Diane Owens, director of HPU’s Pre-College Music Program.

Each student must present letters of recommendation to the scholarship committee and write a personal letter explaining why he or she is deserving of this monetary award. Academic accomplishments and community service are also factors in becoming a recipient of one of the scholarships.

“I am very proud of these three students,” said Owens. “They all work hard to do their best, are always well-prepared for their lessons and have a love of music. It is a great pleasure to work with them and see them develop into fine musicians.”

NSF Arts has awarded hundreds of music scholarships and sponsored more than 100 concerts across Texas since 1999. NSF Arts is a proud sponsor of many youth music programs in the state that provide concert tickets and music education experiences for Texas school children.

For more information about HPU’s Pre-College Music and Art Program, call 325-649-8500.