Monthly News Archives: October 2015

HPU presents Douglas MacArthur Freedom Medal to alumnus

By Rachel Ellington, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – October 21, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy presented the Douglas MacArthur Freedom Medal to George Aldridge, a 1975 HPU graduate, during an Academy Board of Directors banquet held recently on campus. At the banquet, Aldridge spoke to students, faculty, staff and board members on his career in foreign affairs.

Previously the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom, the Academy was founded in 1962 under the leadership of Dr. Newman, who served as president of the university from 1955 to 1973.

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, presented the award, given by the Academy to honor individuals who share Dr. Newman’s vision of promoting Judeo-Christian values, our Western heritage and the free enterprise system.

Aldridge is a 1975 HPU graduate who earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He received his master’s degree in comparative politics and American government from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University – Commerce) in 1981 and completed doctoral coursework in comparative politics and international affairs from the University of North Texas.

He has won a number of awards including three Superior Honor Awards (two individual, one group) and seven Meritorious Honor Awards (four individual, three group). He was listed in “Who’s Who Among Young American Men” in 1988.

Aldridge served as director of the southwest offices of the National Association of Arab Americans from January 1986 to June 1990, when he then became a U.S. Foreign Service officer. His overseas tour encompassed Jamaica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Belize, Morocco, Kenya, Tunisia and Sudan. He then took on the position of director of the Middle East Partnership office in Beirut, Lebanon. His domestic assignments included staff assistant in the Bureau of African Affairs and program officer for Palestinian refugees in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Aldridge and his wife, Marie, have three children. His daughters attend Texas State University and Virginia Commonwealth University and his son is a junior at the International School of Luxembourg, in his wife’s native country.

Dr. Justin D. Murphy, Academy director, HPU’s Brand professor of history and dean of the School of Humanities, said the Academy is honored to be associated with distinguished alumni such as Aldridge.
“We thank Mr. Aldridge for his contributions to our nation and for returning to HPU to address our students, faculty and Board of Directors,” said Dr. Murphy.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy recently presented George Aldridge, right, with the Douglas MacArthur Freedom Medal. He is pictured with Dr. Justin D. Murphy, director of the Academy, HPU’s Brand professor of history and dean of the School of Humanities.

Timeless Traditions: HPU Homecoming draws large crowd

BROWNWOOD – October 20, 2015 – More than 1,000 alumni, community members and other friends of Howard Payne University, as well as HPU faculty, staff and students, attended the university’s Homecoming this past Friday and Saturday to honor and celebrate HPU’s many “Timeless Traditions.”

Generations of alumni were welcomed home to relive memories of their time spent at HPU. Among the events was the popular Homecoming Parade featuring student-designed floats and other attractions. Several participating organizations based their floats on various campus traditions. The winning float, created by the Delta Chi Rho sorority, paid tribute to HPU’s annual Christmas on the Plaza event.

A variety of receptions and reunions were held throughout the weekend. Among those, the Golden Graduate Luncheon celebrated the 50-year reunion of the Class of 1965. Each returning alumnus/alumna from the class received a certificate from Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president.

The university recognized 10 honorees during the annual Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet held Friday evening. Following the banquet, hundreds gathered at HPU’s Muse Plaza and Mall for Cobbler on the Campus and a pep rally.

“It was an honor to meet and become friends with so many HPU alumni over the course of Homecoming 2015,” said Stephen Sullivan ’11, ’14, director of development and alumni relations. “The event was a great success and we’re so thankful for all of those who came to campus to celebrate with us.”

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Alumni friends gather outside HPU’s Mims Auditorium prior to Homecoming Convocation.
Drs. Bill and Diana Ellis, HPU president and first lady, wave to onlookers during the Homecoming parade.
Many future HPU Yellow Jackets enjoyed the opportunity to meet Buzzsaw, HPU’s mascot, during Homecoming.
Students ceremoniously beat the Freshman Drums in the hours leading up to the football game kickoff.

HPU invites businesses and organizations to take part in career fair for students and alumni

BROWNWOOD – October 20, 2015 – Howard Payne University will host a career fair for students and alumni on Thursday, November 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to the campus only, the fair will introduce current students and graduates to representatives from businesses and organizations around the area.

HPU is seeking businesses interested in participating. There is a $30 registration fee and the deadline to register is Friday, November 6.

To learn more, contact Tammy Arreola, HPU’s director of career services, at tarreola@hputx.edu or (325) 649-8630 or visit www.hputx.edu/careerfair.

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Chapman and Bonner crowned HPU Homecoming Queen and Princess

Homecoming Queen 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – October 16, 2015 – Ashley Chapman of Ennis and Jaclyn Bonner of Lytle were crowned Howard Payne University’s Homecoming Queen and Princess during a ceremony held today on campus.

Chapman, the daughter of Ricky and Diane Chapman, is a senior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in Spanish and political science. She is the presiding senior senator for the Student Government Association (SGA) and an honorary member of Sigma Theta Phi. She additionally serves as resident assistant for HPU’s campus apartments. Her future plans are to pursue an internship in public policy and eventually work in a district office.

Bonner, the daughter of James and Rosemary Bonner, is a junior public and media communication major. She is the president of Gamma Beta Phi, a National Collegiate Honor Society. She also serves as the junior class senator for the SGA, as a Yellow Jacket newspaper columnist and is a member of the Model United Nations team and the Baptist Student Ministry. Following graduation, she would like to represent a missions or humanitarian, non-profit organization in the public relations department and eventually be involved in human-rights advocacy.

Homecoming Princess 2015 for webThe Homecoming Court will be featured during the halftime show of the football game as HPU takes on East Texas Baptist University this Saturday. The game begins at 2 p.m. at Gordon Wood Stadium.

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Top photo: Katie Rose Bonner, HPU’s 2014 Homecoming Queen, crowns Ashley Chapman, the 2015 Homecoming Queen.

Bottom photo: Katie Rose Bonner, 2014 Homecoming Queen, crowns her sister, Jaclyn Bonner, the 2015 Homecoming Princess.

Final preparations underway for HPU Homecoming 2015

Homecoming banner installation for webBROWNWOOD – October 15, 2015 – The Howard Payne University Homecoming banner was installed today at HPU’s Mims Auditorium, the site of registration for the event. Homecoming activities, many of which are open to the community, will be held this Friday and Saturday. A complete list of events and corresponding ticket information is available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Homecoming 2015 was made possible through the generosity of the following sponsors: Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce (Pep Rally), the HPU Alumni Association (Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet), Early Chamber of Commerce (Picnic on the Plaza), Willie’s T’s (Decades Breakfast), Underwood’s Cafeteria (Cobbler on the Campus), Early Blooms & Things (Registration), Wendlee Broadcasting (Golden Graduate Luncheon), Big Country Ford (Parade), Mills County State Bank (Little Jackets’ Nest), TexasBank (Departmental Receptions), Dr Pepper Bottling, Citizens National Bank, Painter & Johnson Financial, Porter Insurance Agency, Winstar Marketing, Adidas, PF&E Oil Company, United Supermarkets, Robnett Integra Insurance Services and Smith & Sharpe Insurance.

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Photo cutline: Members of HPU’s maintenance department install a banner at Mims Auditorium in anticipation of Homecoming 2015.

HPU announces 2015 Homecoming Court

BROWNWOOD – October 14, 2015 – Howard Payne University has announced the 2015 Homecoming Court. The Homecoming queen and princess will be crowned this Friday, October 16, at 2 p.m. during Homecoming Convocation in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

Homecoming queen nominees are Ashley Chapman of Ennis, senior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in Spanish and political science; Dillan Hanks of Frisco, senior athletic training major; and Caitlin Wood of Miles, senior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in political science and public policy (pre-law).

Ashley, the daughter of Ricky and Diane Chapman, is the presiding senior senator for the Student Government Association (SGA) and an honorary member of Sigma Theta Phi. She additionally serves as resident assistant for HPU’s campus apartments. Her future plans are to pursue an internship in public policy and eventually work in a district office.

Dillan is the daughter of Chris and Dana Hanks. She is a student athletic trainer, is an alumna of Chi Alpha Omega and serves as secretary of the Tri Beta National Biological Honors Society. After graduation, she plans to become a physical therapist.

Caitlin, the daughter of Ron and Sandy Wood, is a member of Gamma Beta Phi and Pi Gamma Mu. She serves as SGA vice president and as chair of the organization’s Campus Beautification Committee. Additionally, she is a member of HPU Moot Court and is involved in the Baptist Student Ministry. She plans to attend law school and eventually work as a litigator or in-house counsel for a faith-based organization or non-profit.

Princess nominees are Jaclyn Bonner of Lytle, junior public and media communication major; Carrie Leach of Hurst, junior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student and social science major; and Sydney Spencer of Georgetown, junior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in social work.

Jaclyn, the daughter of James and Rosemary Bonner, is the president of Gamma Beta Phi, a National Collegiate Honor Society. She also serves as the junior class senator for the SGA, as a Yellow Jacket newspaper columnist and is a member of the Model United Nations team and the Baptist Student Ministry. Following graduation, she would like to represent a missions or humanitarian, non-profit organization in the public relations department and eventually be involved in human-rights advocacy.

Carrie is the daughter of Jason and Cindy Leach. She is a member of the Baptist Student Ministry leadership team, is an SGA Senator and is a member of the Model United Nations team. Her career aspirations include becoming a human-rights advocate.

Sydney is the daughter of Eric and Tina Spencer. She is a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar, the SGA secretary, the vice president of Gamma Beta Phi and is involved in the Honors Code Council, the Social Work Club, Model United Nations and Pi Gamma Mu. She also serves as an office assistant in HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy. Her future plans are to pursue a career in international adoptions or in the United Nations.

The Homecoming Court will be featured during the halftime show of the football game as HPU takes on East Texas Baptist University this Saturday. The game begins at 2 p.m. at Gordon Wood Stadium.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s 2015 Homecoming Court includes (from left) Dillan Hanks, Caitlin Wood, Ashley Chapman, Jaclyn Bonner, Carrie Leach and Sydney Spencer.

Sims to be head coach at end of semester

By HPU Sports Information

BROWNWOOD, Texas – The Howard Payne University athletic department today announced that current assistant head coach Hunter Sims will take over as head football coach at the end of the semester.

Following the recent announcement that Howard Payne head football coach Roger Geise would be retiring at the end on the semester, the university made it clear today that it already had the new head coach in Hunter Sims.

“I am very excited for Hunter,” said Mike Jones, director of athletics. “I know he will do a great job and he is a perfect fit for Howard Payne and the football program.”

Sims spent three years as an assistant at Howard Payne before being promoted to offensive coordinator and assistant head coach in the spring of 2012. His first two years with HPU, he was the wide receivers coach and then worked as defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator in his third season.

“Hunter Sims is a man of great character, wisdom and energy,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president. “Since I came to Howard Payne, I have been impressed with his commitment to our football players and to the program, and I am confident that in his new role, Coach Sims will advance HPU football and bring honor to our university.”

Sims’ offenses have been some of the best in the American Southwest Conference, setting a new Howard Payne record for total offense in a game last season at East Texas Baptist with 720 yards in a 54-53 road victory. He has coached current HPU career record holder for field goals Joshua Martinez and wide receiver standout Colby Mica, who is on pace to break the HPU career receptions record.

Sims worked as a graduate assistant wide receivers coach with Angelo State University before coming to HPU. Also during that time, he helped coach defensive backs for the professional arena football team San Angelo Stampede of the IFL (Intense Football League).

As a player, Sims was a three-year letterman and two-time Academic All-Conference selection at quarterback at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. After his college playing career was over, he served as a student assistant at McMurry University working with wide receivers and quarterbacks.

He went on to play quarterback in the GFL (German Football League) for the Professional Schwabisch Hall Unicorns. He also played one season with the San Angelo Stampede and Frisco Thunder of the IFL.

While in Germany playing professional football, he was also the head baseball coach of the Schwabisch Renegades Baseball team (Men’s team 18 and up). Sims led them to the Landesliga Championship and was named Coach of the Year. Sims has worked football camps around the state and spent extensive time working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a camp counselor.

Sims is a 2007 graduate of McMurry University with a degree in Education and a minor in History and in 2010 he finished a master’s degree in Sports Management. He was married in the summer of 2011 to his wife, Shannon.

HPU library to host authors’ reception and display during Homecoming 2015

Homecoming 2015 Library display for webBROWNWOOD – October 12, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Walker Memorial Library will host an Authors’ Reception and Archival Display in conjunction with the university’s Homecoming 2015 festivities. The reception will be held Saturday, October 17, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the HPU library. The library will remain open until noon on Saturday.

Sixteen authors will participate in the event – all HPU alumni, faculty or staff – and many of the authors’ books will be available for purchase. Additionally, several HPU yearbooks from various years will also be available for purchase during the reception.

Alexia Riggs, dean of libraries, said coffee and muffins, free of charge, will be served in the main lobby of the library for Homecoming guests.

“We look forward to seeing alumni and community members at the library during the Homecoming celebrations,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to meet these authors and learn more about HPU’s history.”

For a full list of participating authors and more information about Homecoming 2015, visit www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

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Photo cutline: Photos, books and memorabilia will be on display at HPU’s Walker Memorial Library during Homecoming 2015.

HPU Concert Choir to preview fall concert at Homecoming

hc choir 2014 for webBy Amy Pitman, HPU communications assistant

BROWNWOOD – October 8, 2015 – The Howard Payne University Concert Choir will perform a brief preview of the group’s fall concert as part of HPU’s Homecoming festivities on Saturday, October 17, 11:00-11:30 a.m. The concert will be held in Grace Chapel in the Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center on the HPU campus. The HPU Concert Choir is under the direction of Dr. Monte Garrett, professor of music and director of choral activities.

Selections to be performed include “Sing a Mighty Song,” by Daniel Gawthrop; “Esto Les Digo,” by Kinley Lange, a former HPU student; “Psalm 23” by Paul Basler, featuring sophomore Carissa Cromer, playing French horn; “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, arranged by Harry Simeone; and “The Storm is Passing Over,” arranged by Larry Nickel. Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music, is the accompanist for the choir.

The HPU Heritage Singers, also under Dr. Garrett’s direction, will also perform one piece, “Seasons of Love,” from the musical Rent. The accompanist for the Heritage Singers is Joseph Dunlap, adjunct instructor of music. As is HPU custom, the concert will end with alumni and former choir members joining the current choir to sing “Send Me, O Lord, Send Me.”

“The choir’s Homecoming concert is a great opportunity for us to give a preview of our fall concert,” says Dr. Garrett. “We are always grateful for the support we receive from the HPU family.”

The public is encouraged to attend this concert, and there is no charge for admission. For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.

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Photo cutline: The HPU Concert Choir is pictured during Homecoming 2014 at Grace Chapel.

Student Speaker Bureau reps HPU at Colorado tournament

SSB Fall 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – October 8, 2015 – Howard Payne’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed at Colorado State University-Pueblo in Parliamentary debate and British Parliamentary debate, as well as in individual events. The competition was cohosted by the United States Air Force Academy and Colorado College. Twenty-three schools from 14 states competed.

Christopher Freeland of Brownwood, Reagan Grisham of Arlington, Nashota Isbell of Brownwood and Aimee Orozco of Shepherd engaged in Parliamentary debate.

“This was the first time for these four students to compete in Parliamentary debate,” said Dr. Julie Welker, SSB coach and chair of the Department of Communication. “It’s always overwhelming competing in six debate rounds in one day – and these students improved significantly during the tournament.”

Braxton Clark of Southlake, Ashley Moon of Waxahachie, Luis Ortiz of Early and Morgan Ashmore of Weatherford competed in British Parliamentary debate.

“British Parliamentary debate focuses on international issues and policies,” explained Dr. Welker. “These students debated topics ranging from the EU refugee crisis to gender issues to university accreditation issues.”

In November, these four students will travel to Oxford University to participate in the Oxford IV, the world’s third-largest debate tournament.

Receiving awards were Christopher Freeland, 5th place in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking and 1st place in Novice Prose; Reagan Grisham and Christopher Freeland, 5th in Dramatic Duo; and Aimee Orozco, 6th place in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking.

Students also enjoyed sightseeing at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

The HPU speech and debate team will next compete at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Tournament Fall Championships in Corpus Christi, Nov. 6-7.

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Photo cutline: The Student Speaker Bureau, HPU’s speech and debate team, recently competed at Colorado State University-Pueblo. They are pictured on the HPU campus. Left to right: Christopher Freeland, Morgan Ashmore, Braxton Clark, Reagan Grisham, Luis Ortiz, Ashley Moon, Dr. Julie Welker, Aimee Orozco and Nashota Isbell.