News Archives: Academy of Freedom

Presidential biographer reflects on lives of Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan at HPU lecture

morris_lectures_for_webBROWNWOOD – February 14, 2013 – Edmund Morris, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and well-known presidential biographer, addressed area residents, students, faculty, staff and board members at a lecture held on Howard Payne University’s campus Monday.

Morris spent several years as President Ronald Reagan’s official biographer and is the author of The New York Times bestseller Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan.

Morris described Reagan as reserved in one-on-one situations and animated in front of a crowd. He went on to call Reagan a “consummate actor” with a strong moral code.

The speaker also noted the parallels between the presidencies of Reagan and Theodore Roosevelt, whom he also considered a great showman. Morris’ book The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, the first in a trilogy, won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.

“It was a great privilege to have a prominent historian of Mr. Morris’ stature address Howard Payne University students, faculty and staff, as well as area high school students,” said Dr. Justin D. Murphy, Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of HPU’s Academy of Freedom honors program. “This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime event that will be remembered by all.”

A frequent guest commentator on television and radio programs, Morris was born and educated in Kenya and immigrated to the United States in 1968. He has authored several books throughout his career and extensively written on the topics of literature and music for such publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times and Harper’s Magazine. His television appearances include a two-part profile segment on 60 Minutes. Among other elite venues, he has lectured at Harvard, Princeton and Brown universities.

In addition to HPU students, approximately 100 students and sponsors from local and area high schools were in attendance. Students represented Brownwood, Dublin Premier, Granbury, Lampasas, Panther Creek and Richland Spring high schools and Brownwood’s Victory Life Academy. Prospective Academy of Freedom students from around the state were also in attendance. These high school students and HPU’s Academy of Freedom students received complimentary, autographed copies of Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan and attended a luncheon before the lecture.

“Howard Payne was thrilled to give these students the opportunity to interact with Mr. Morris,” said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management. “This experience allowed the students to see the level of world-class educational opportunities that are available at HPU.”morris_signs_book_for_web

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Photo cutlines: Edmund Morris discusses the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan at a lecture held on the HPU campus.

Edmund Morris signs a copy of his book Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan for HPU Academy of Freedom student Lauraleticia Alvarado of Early.

HPU to host Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential biographer Edmund Morris

edmund_morris_for_webBROWNWOOD – January 23, 2013 – Howard Payne University will host a lecture by presidential biographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris on Monday, February 11, from noon to 1:30 p.m., in the university’s Mims Auditorium. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this free event.

Morris, noted presidential biographer and lecturer, spent several years as President Ronald Reagan’s official biographer and is the author of The New York Times bestseller Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan. Additionally, his book The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, the first in a trilogy, won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. Morris is a frequent guest commentator on television and radio programs. His HPU lecture is titled “The American Presidency: Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.”

“HPU and the Brownwood community are very fortunate to host a distinguished lecturer such as Edmund Morris,” said Dr. Justin D. Murphy, Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of HPU’s Academy of Freedom honors program. “He is highly in-demand as a speaker and nationally acclaimed expert on the American presidency. With the country having recently observed the presidential election and inauguration, this is sure to be a fascinating and timely lecture event.”

Morris was born and educated in Kenya and immigrated to the United States in 1968. He has authored several books throughout his career and extensively written on the topics of literature and music for such publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times and Harper’s Magazine. His television appearances include a two-part profile segment on 60 Minutes. Among other elite venues, he has lectured at Harvard, Princeton and Brown universities.

Books are available to purchase online before January 30. To reserve a seat at the lecture and/or order a book, visit www.hputx.edu/morris. Those who purchase a book may pick it up and have it signed on the day of the event. No books will be available for purchase at the lecture.

For more information, contact HPU’s Office of University Marketing and Communications at (325) 649-8009 or via e-mail at communications@hputx.edu.

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Photo cutline: The public is invited to attend a lecture by noted presidential biographer Edmund Morris at HPU.

HPU graduate receives scholarship to continue education at Baylor Law School

by Rachel Ellington, Howard Payne University freshman

BROWNWOOD – Sept. 4, 2012 – Lauren Teel, a 2010 graduate of Howard Payne University, recently received the Nancy Stallings Lee Endowed Scholarship at Baylor University. Teel, a student at Baylor Law School, who hails from Canton, was the first recipient of this award.

The Nancy Stallings Lee Endowed Scholarship Fund was established in 2011 by relatives and friends of Nancy S. Lee, a former professor of political science at HPU who passed away in 2009. Lee obtained her bachelor’s (1967) and master’s (1970) degrees in political science from Baylor University. Because of her dedication to both universities, the fund is available to graduates from HPU’s Academy of Freedom honors program, who are attending Baylor Law School or are enrolled in a graduate program at Baylor.

Lee’s cousin, Roxanne Boyd, shared how excited her family is about the fund.

“We are so pleased that Nancy’s wish to support graduate education has become reality,” Boyd said, “and we hope that the endowment will continue to grow.”

While at HPU, Teel became involved in the Student Speaker Bureau and Moot Court. She gives credit to these activities and her courses in the Academy of Freedom for her consequent success in law school.

“The Academy put me around bright peers and brilliant professors,” Teel explained. “I was challenged, asked to complete hard tasks and learned to write essay exams –which prepared me for the pressure of law school’s written exams.”

Teel also had the privilege of being featured in the “Baylor Law Review,” a scholarly journal in which the top 15 percent of the enrolled law students at Baylor are published.

“The Academy exams were almost the sole determining factor for my eligibility for the law review at Baylor,” she said. “The only exceptions were two legal writing classes, for which writing my Academy thesis helped prepare me.”

Dr. Justin Murphy, dean of HPU’s School of Humanities and director of the Academy of Freedom honors program, discussed Teel’s great character as a student.

“I am gratified to learn that Lauren received the Nancy Stallings Lee Endowed Scholarship,” Murphy said. “She certainly epitomizes the values that Nancy Lee held and I know that Ms. Lee would most definitely approve of Lauren to be the first to receive this scholarship. It was an honor to serve as one of Lauren’s professors.”

HPU Academy of Freedom graduates planning to further their education at Baylor University are eligible for the Nancy Stallings Lee Endowed Scholarship. For more information contact Baylor’s Student Financial Services division at 254-710-2611.