Yearly News Archives: 2014

HPU’s speech and debate team begins competition season

SSB Fall 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – October 10, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s competitive speech and debate team, Student Speaker Bureau (SSB), began its 2014-2015 competition season in September.

The team first traveled to Texas State University to participate in practice British parliamentary (BP) debate rounds with the TSU team, followed by the Hill Country Swing individual events tournament.

“I’m really excited that we were able to have some practice debate rounds with the TSU team,” said Dr. Julie Welker, head of the communication department and SSB coach. “They are a highly competitive team and, since we only go to two BP tournaments a year, it was very beneficial to get in the extra practice.”

The team then traveled to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to compete in the United States Air Force Academy and Colorado College Tournament.

“This tournament is such a great experience for our team,” said Dr. Welker. “We get to compete against universities from all over the United States, including teams from Yale and University of Alaska-Anchorage. These schools are considered some of the best in the U.S., so it’s a privilege to get to compete with them.”

According to Dr. Welker, of the four HPU teams that competed, two of the teams missed advancing to the quarterfinals round by just a few points.

“That is quite impressive,” she added.

During the trip to Colorado Springs, the team was able to take the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway up to the Pike’s Peak Summit.

Kaleigh Tankersley, senior from Iraan and team captain, said the tournament was a good experience and the trip to Pike’s Peak was wonderful.

“The SSB trip to Pike’s Peak was a great time for all of us to bond and to really get to know each other,” she said. “We also got to experience some of the most gorgeous landscapes in the world.”

Dr. Welker said she believes the students deserve to have some fun in exchange for all their hard work.

“The Pike’s Peak trip was just amazing,” she said. “The views were unbelievable, and the experience together as a team was special.”

The team also visited the United States Air Force Academy and the Garden of the Gods.

Braxton Clark, a freshman from Southlake, said that the trip was an overall good experience.

“Going to Colorado with the SSB team has brought us closer together and helped us learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which will help us as we proceed,” he said.

While the debate team was competing in Colorado, two freshmen team members attended the Newbie Novice individual events tournament at Tarrant County College. Luis Rodriguez Ortiz of Brownsville placed fifth in impromptu and extemporaneous speaking, and Brianna Cruz of San Angelo placed fifth in prose and poetry.

“These two freshmen, although late additions to the team, really showed up and competed well at this tournament,” said Dr. Welker. “I’m looking forward to seeing how they continue to grow this year.”

In addition to Clark, Cruz, Rodriguez Ortiz and Tankersley, members of HPU’s SSB include Marcos Corley, a senior from Corpus Christi; Meg Eakin, a sophomore from Plano; Adam Jones, a sophomore from Irving; Lauren Long, a freshman from Grand Junction, Colo.; Jared Russell, a senior from Hillsboro; and Dorie Walton, a junior from Lolita.

The team is preparing for two major upcoming tournaments – the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association fall championships in October and the Oxford IV International BP Tournament in November.

For more information about the Student Speaker Bureau, visit


Photo cutline: HPU’s competitive speech and debate team, Student Speaker Bureau, recently began its competition season. Team members include, from left, Braxton Clark, Dorie Walton, Adam Jones, Meg Eakin, Marcos Corley, Kaleigh Tankersley, Jared Russell, Lauren Long and Dr. Julie Welker. Not pictured are Brianna Cruz and Luis Rodriguez Ortiz.

HPU named a 2015 Military Friendly® School

MFS logo for webBROWNWOOD – October 9, 2014 – Howard Payne University was recently designated a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media.

Now in its sixth year, the Military Friendly® Schools designation and list by Victory Media is, according to the organization, the premier, trusted resource for post-military success. Military Friendly® provides service members with ratings and information about post-military education and career opportunities.

The Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation.

“HPU is so thankful for the brave men and women who serve our country,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “We’re honored that Victory Media has seen fit to add us to the list for the sixth straight year.”


Photo cutline: HPU was recently designated a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media.

HPU’s Chuck Boland named FAR Fellow by NCAA Division III

Chuck Boland FAR for webBROWNWOOD – October 9, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s Chuck Boland, faculty athletic representative, professor of accounting and chair of the accounting department, has been selected as a 2014 NCAA Division III FAR Fellow.

According to the organization, the Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) Fellows Institute was launched in 2010 and aims to increase the effectiveness of Division III faculty athletic representatives at the campus, conference and national levels.

Boland has served at HPU since 1981.

“I am grateful that the NCAA selected me,” said Boland in a news release issued by the organization. “I plan to take the opportunity to enhance the FAR position and be more noticeable in the athletic-academic circles.”

As a FAR Fellow, Boland will participate in a three-day professional development program at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis October 17-19. The program is designed to examine best practices and issues surrounding the role and responsibility of faculty athletic representatives, help fellows develop the leadership skills necessary to carry out their responsibilities on campus and in their conference, and strengthen the network of FARs needed to serve on conference, divisional and association-wide committees.

“We’re very pleased that the NCAA has recognized Chuck in this way,” said Mike Jones, HPU athletic director. “He is a tremendous asset to our campus and the American Southwest Conference. It is a pleasure to work alongside Chuck to advocate for our student athletes and our coaches.”


Photo cutline: Chuck Boland, faculty athletic representative, professor of accounting and chair of the accounting department at HPU, has been selected as a 2014 NCAA Division III FAR Fellow.

HPU’s Dr. Rick Beelby inducted into WBU’s Athletic Hall of Honor

Rick Beelby WBU for webBROWNWOOD – October 8, 2014 – Dr. Rick Beelby, associate professor of exercise and sport science at Howard Payne University, was recently inducted into Wayland Baptist University’s Athletic Hall of Honor. Dr. Beelby coached track and field at WBU from 1988 to 2001.

A news release issued by WBU quoted Dr. Beelby as saying the development of character is the most essential element for participating in athletics.

“I like what athletics can do for young men and women,” he said. “It gives them a purpose and a direction and an opportunity to set goals and achieve those goals if they use discipline and honest effort. I was probably attracted to that aspect of (coaching) as much as anything.”

The news release listed Dr. Beelby’s accomplishments at WBU, including training 30 women and six men National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national champions, guiding the men’s and women’s track and field teams to NAIA indoor national championships and three times being named the NAIA National Coach of the Year.

Dr. Graham Hatcher, department chair and professor of exercise and sport science at Howard Payne University, said HPU also celebrates Dr. Beelby’s recognition by WBU.

“Since coming to HPU, Dr. Beelby has provided exemplary leadership across campus and in developing an instructional program that is noted statewide,” said Dr. Hatcher. “But most important is his Christian commitment and inspirational mentorship to hundreds of students.”


Photo cutline: Dr. Rick Beelby, associate professor of exercise and sport science at Howard Payne University, was recently inducted into Wayland Baptist University’s Athletic Hall of Honor. He is pictured on the HPU campus.

HPU’s Homecoming 2014 celebration slated for October 24-26

HC14-Final_RGBBROWNWOOD – October 8, 2014 – Howard Payne University will celebrate Homecoming 2014 on October 24-26, with many events for alumni and friends from the community and beyond. The festivities this year salute the university’s 125th anniversary.

Alumni and visitors can register for Homecoming events online; some require purchased tickets while many are free of charge. For complete details, visit or contact Stephen Sullivan ’11, director of development and alumni relations, at 325-649-8006, 800-950-8465 or

More than 40 events will be held throughout the weekend, including the following.

When they arrive on campus, alumni and visitors will have an opportunity to immediately reconnect with HPU friends at Registration, sponsored by Early Blooms. Stop by Mims Auditorium to register and pick up a free tote bag and HPU 125th anniversary book.

Performances of “Suite Surrender” will be held at the university’s Mims Auditorium throughout the weekend. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased through the Homecoming website; through the School of Music and Fine Arts beginning October 20; or at the door. The School of Music and Fine Arts may be contacted at 325-649-8500.

The Golden Graduate Luncheon for the Class of 1964, 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.

HPU’s volleyball team will take on Hardin-Simmons University at the Brownwood Coliseum beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday.

Also at 2 p.m. on Friday, the university will hold its Homecoming Convocation in Mims Auditorium. The Homecoming Queen and Princess will be crowned at that time.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly remodeled Mabee University Center will take place outside the Mabee Center’s front doors at 5 p.m. on Friday.

The Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet, sponsored by the 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 2014 honorees will be recognized. There will also be a special unveiling of a Texas historical marker honoring Paul & Paula’s hit song “Hey Paula.” Ray Hildebrand (Paul) and Jill Jackson Landon (Paula) are HPU alumni who catapulted to fame when their record sold almost two million copies and spent three weeks at #1 on the Billboard pop chart in 1963.

Cobbler on the Campus, sponsored by Underwood’s Cafeteria, will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Muse Plaza and Mall.

Immediately following Cobbler on the Campus will be a concert featuring Paul & Paula and Holly Tucker, sponsored by Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce. In addition to HPU’s own Paul & Paula, audiences will be treated to a performance by Holly Tucker, a 2012 contestant on NBC’s The Voice. The concert begins at 9 p.m.

Saturday morning’s Decades Breakfast, sponsored by Willie’s T’s, begins at 7:30 a.m. During this time, alumni are invited to reunite with friends from their class decades in the newly renovated Beadel Dining Hall in the Mabee University Center.

Also at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday will be the Hispanic Alumni Breakfast in Bullion Suites A and B of the Mabee University Center and the Letterman’s Breakfast in the Balcony of the Mabee University Center.

The Homecoming Parade, sponsored by Big Country Ford, begins at 9:15 on Saturday morning. The parade will follow a new route this year, beginning at the Brownwood Coliseum, traveling down Center Ave. and ending at the university’s Doakie Day Art Center. The entire community is urged to participate in this fun tradition.

Little Jackets’ Nest, sponsored by Mills County State Bank, will be held from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday behind the Packer Administration Building. This is a time of games and other fun activities for children.

Picnic on the Plaza, sponsored by the Early Chamber of Commerce, will be a barbecue meal held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Muse Plaza and Mall.

The HPU Yellow Jacket football team will play Hardin-Simmons University at 2:00 p.m. Saturday at Gordon Wood Stadium.

On Sunday at 9 a.m., married alumni are welcome to participate in renewing their vows in HPU’s beautiful Grace Chapel inside the Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center. Dr. Donnie Auvenshine ’75, dean of the School of Christian Studies, will officiate. The next opportunity to renew vows at HPU will be in 2016.

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


Photo cutline: HPU’s Homecoming 2014 is a celebration of the university’s 125 years of excellence.

HPU band fraternity and sorority dedicate enhanced trailer in memory of former students

Band groups with trailer for webBROWNWOOD – October 1, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s chapters of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma, national honorary band fraternity and sorority, recently transformed the trailer which hauls equipment and instruments for the Yellow Jacket Band. The groups have dedicated the trailer in memory of two students who passed away while members of the band – Chris Jones (1987-2011) and Jeremy Lewis (1979-2000).

The upgraded trailer features a vinyl wrap which depicts images of the band and commemorates the lives of Jones and Lewis.

“We’re pleased to not only have a great looking trailer for the band but to be able to honor Chris and Jeremy in this way,” said Corey Ash, director of bands. “They were very special to us and we miss them both very much.”


Photo cutline: Members and sponsors of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma stand in front of their recently upgraded trailer. The trailer has been dedicated in memory of Chris Jones and Jeremy Lewis, former Yellow Jacket Band members.

HPU New Braunfels graduate published in scholarly journal

By Jaclyn Bonner, HPU sophomore

BROWNWOOD – September 29, 2014 – Dwayne M. Eastwood of New Braunfels, a 2014 Master of Business Administration graduate of Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels Center, was published online last month in Risk & Insurance, a professional journal that features articles by leading executives concerned with the topic of risk management.

Dwayne Eastwood for webEastwood researched efficiency, health and safety in the work field for his capstone project, focusing on the innovation of stand-up desks. At the conclusion of his studies he met his goal of submitting his findings for publication.

His article, “Stand Up for Health,” analyzed the health benefits, long-term cost reduction and risk factor limitation of providing employees with a sit-stand option.

“Having a piece of work published is the pinnacle for people who are passionate about what they do for a living,” Eastwood remarked. “I received advice, support and encouragement from the professors at HPU’s New Braunfels Center during the process. I do not think my work would have been published without their support.”

Eastwood earned his bachelor’s degree in fire protection and safety at Oklahoma State University and is currently employed as the risk manager at McCoy’s Building Supply corporate headquarters in San Marcos.

Dr. Dan Pryor, assistant professor of business at HPU, noted, “Dwayne is a great example of the outstanding students in HPU’s MBA program. He’s bright and he’s taken what he’s learned in the program and made practical applications at McCoy’s. Dwayne was an asset to his colleagues in the MBA program, and his future is very bright.”

Eastwood expressed his satisfaction with both the faculty and the university as a whole.

“Even though I have completed the MBA program, I feel confident that if I were to call on the professors, they would be more than willing to support my growth in the future,” he stated. “I chose HPU New Braunfels because it was a non-traditional program. The decision to return to school for an MBA was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

“HPU Day” scheduled for Oct. 5 at First Baptist Church of Glen Rose

Ellises for webBROWNWOOD – September 26, 2014 – Next Sunday, October 5, will be “Howard Payne University Day” at First Baptist Church of Glen Rose. Alumni and friends in the area, along with the general community, are invited to enjoy great music, fellowship and worship. The service will begin at 10:45 a.m.

Among the activities scheduled for the morning is a performance by the university’s Heritage Singers. Dr. Monte Garrett, professor of music and director of choral activities, directs the group.

“We are thankful for the church’s invitation to be a part of this service which will highlight and feature HPU students,” said Dr. Garrett. “We’re especially grateful to Kent Barnes, an HPU alumnus who serves as the church’s minister of music and senior adults.”

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, will bring greetings and Dr. Diana Ellis, first lady, will provide special music. The sermon will be delivered by HPU senior Michael Ballejo, a Christian education major from Brownwood.

First Baptist Church of Glen Rose is located at 2000 Bo Gibbs Drive, just off Hwy. 67, next to the La Quinta Motel. For directions or more information, call the church at (254) 897-2351.


Photo cutline: First Baptist Church of Glen Rose will host “HPU Day” on October 5. Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, will bring greetings and special music will be provided by Dr. Diana Ellis, first lady.

HPU criminal justice students attend Elizabeth Smart lecture

CRJ Group with Elizabeth Smart for webBROWNWOOD – September 25, 2014 – Several Howard Payne University criminal justice students recently attended a lecture by Elizabeth Smart at a luncheon hosted by the Alliance for Women and Children in Abilene.

Smart first received national attention in 2002 when, at the age of 14, she was abducted from her home near Salt Lake City. She was rescued nine months later. Today, she serves as president of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, through which she works to prevent future crimes against children.

“Many of us still vividly remember following Elizabeth Smart’s harrowing ordeal through television and newspaper reports,” said Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice/sociology and director of HPU’s criminal justice program. “She has become a force for positive action and it was a great blessing to hear her speak.”


Photo cutline: Six HPU students recently attended a lecture by Elizabeth Smart. Back row: Patricia Boisse, junior from Blanket; Adrianna Perez, senior from Rowlett; Danyel Bradley, junior from Desoto; Paola Guzman, senior from Brownwood; Christina Calleros, junior from Brownwood; and Sylvia Nowlin, junior from Coleman. Front row: Cynthia Givan, administrative assistant for English and criminal justice; Elizabeth Smart and Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice/sociology and director of HPU’s criminal justice program.

HPU exhibiting work of Brownwood photographer Roger Levesque

By Chandler Condra, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD –September 25, 2014– Howard Payne University is exhibiting the work of Brownwood photographer Roger Levesque in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery in the Doakie Day Art Center. The exhibit, “A Retrospective of Fine Art Photography,” is available for viewing until November 21.

Levesque’s work focuses on the use of digital photography and manipulation to explore more artistic possibilities. His art has been featured in dozens of exhibits in recent years.

David Harmon, chair of the Department of Art, is excited to exhibit Levesque’s work.

Tree Dancer for web“Mr. Levesque is a very talented artist and we’re honored to host his original work here at HPU,” said Harmon. “The students and community will benefit from this exhibition in seeing a range of work spanning more than 30 years. This is the intent of the retrospective exhibition, to reveal the artist’s visual journey in his medium of choice.”

Levesque’s work has won at several competitions both locally and nationally. In 2009, he became the first photographer to be awarded the title “Artist of the Year” by the Brownwood Art Association.

Levesque said the computer opens infinite possibilities to create works of art. The analog darkroom of the past has been replaced with the digital version on the computer with Photoshop and other related programs.

“The sheer numbers of galleries and museums now showing the works of digital photographers and a growing respect from colleagues and critics only adds to my belief in the possibilities of the medium,” he said.

Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (excluding school holidays) or by appointment. For more information about the show, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500. The Doakie Day Art Center is located on the HPU campus, on Center Avenue, near Lipscomb Street in Brownwood.


Photo cutline: Among the works featured in the Roger Levesque exhibit at HPU is “Tree Dancer,” photographed at the Grand Canyon in 2011.