Monthly News Archives: August 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.