Yearly News Archives: 2014

Letter intended for 2012 HPU Homecoming honoree arrives two years later

[The following article was written by Dr. Don Newbury, HPU chancellor and former president.]

joe_and_almola_james_for_webBROWNWOOD – August 28, 2014 – Talk about flowers for the living. Sometimes the final blossoms to complete congratulatory bouquets arrive late, but when they do, the aroma of flowers for the living is simply the best.

Joe James, Howard Payne University alumnus—and his wife of 60 years, Almola—were honored as Distinguished Alumni at HPU’s 2012 Homecoming.

They received dozens of letters, e-mails, phone calls and visitors who were profuse in well-wishing for the cherished Homecoming honors. And a few days ago, he received a letter from a player he coached at HPU almost a half-century ago.

It was intended to be more timely—this letter from Walter (Butch) Barthiaume, a 1968 HPU graduate who mailed the letter almost two years ago. Trouble is, it was held up by postal regulations until delivery almost two years later.

It seems the envelope was opened somewhere along the way without authorization, probably by a ring of ne’er-do-wells seeking “checks in the mail.”

So it was held as evidence by postal authorities until the case was cleared. (A letter from postal officials explained all the details.)

“Butch was one of my favorite players,” James said, “I called to explain to him about the letter, and we got a good laugh from it.” (Barthiaume, who now lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., confirmed there was no check sent attached to the letter!)

A native of Spur and an outstanding football player there, James is a 1955 graduate of HPU, where he received numerous football honors. He completed his Master of Science degree seven years later.

Drafted by the Chicago Bears, he began his coaching career at Hamilton High School in 1955, and coached for several years at Waco LaVega High School before returning to HPU in 1964 as head football coach.

Then, he became a sporting goods representative in 1968, driving more than one million miles over a large part of Texas until his retirement this year.

Almola, his wife of 60 years, is a 1955 HPU graduate who received both Master of Education and Master of Arts degrees in 1966. Her teaching career of 34 years included tenures at LaVega High School, Brownwood High School and HPU.

The couple has two children, and they greatly enjoy traveling, having visited all 50 states.
So much of life seems to be of the “how soon we forget” type. How refreshing when the old coach receives congratulations from a player who didn’t forget. And coach didn’t forget the player, either.

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Photo cutline: Joe ’55 and Almola ’55 James were named Distinguished Alumni during Howard Payne University’s Homecoming in 2012.

HPU holds University Convocation ceremony

newbury 2014 convocation for webBROWNWOOD – August 28, 2014 – Howard Payne University kicked off its fall 2014 Chapel season yesterday with its annual University Convocation ceremony. Dr. Don Newbury, chancellor and former HPU president, addressed the audience.

Dr. Newbury spoke of many notable people in HPU’s 125-year-history including alumna Dr. Cynthia Clawson Courtney and former presidents Dr. Guy D. Newman and Dr. Thomas Taylor. He urged those in attendance to trust God’s plans for their lives.

Other program participants included Corey Ash, associate professor of music; Katie Bonner, HPU senior and president of the Student Government Association; Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president; Amy Kresta, instructor of biology; Katherine Licce, HPU senior; Dr. Allen Reed, professor of music; Dr. Joe Robinson, professor of education; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer; and Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and president of the Faculty Assembly.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Don Newbury, left, HPU chancellor and former president, addresses the university during the first Chapel ceremony of the fall 2014 semester. He is pictured with Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, and Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and president of the Faculty Assembly. Photo by Rachel Ellington, HPU junior.

HPU cheerleaders report for fall 2014 season

Cheerleaders 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – Aug. 21, 2014 – Members of the Howard Payne University cheer team arrived on campus this week to begin practicing for the upcoming season. The team will make its debut during the first HPU home football game at 1 p.m. on September 20 at Gordon Wood Stadium.

The cheerleaders are under the direction of Skye Darby, cheer coach, and Gretchen Campbell, cheer sponsor and executive administrative assistant to the vice president for student life and dean of students.

Back row, left to right: Michael Hanscheck, freshman from Mason; Zachary Eller, junior from Temple; and Kris Lowrey, sophomore from Brownwood.

Middle row, left to right: Samantha Guerrero, senior from Big Lake; Fallon Ferguson, freshman from Milano; Shelby Creed, senior from Brownwood; Lindsey McKinney, freshman from Brownwood; Kelci Feist, junior from De Leon; and Alahna Baze, freshman from Alvarado.

Front row, left to right: Jessica Huckaby, freshman from Eastland; Kindell Hill, freshman from Jarrell; Dorian Buitron, freshman from Floresville; Rosalinda Gonzales, freshman from San Antonio; and Krista Cook, freshman from Brownwood.

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.