News Archives: Advancement

HPU honors San Antonio’s Kevin Dinnin with Gordon Ware Cowden Courage in Christianity Award

kevin-dinnin-presentation-for-webBROWNWOOD – March 6, 2014 – Howard Payne University recently honored Kevin Dinnin, president and CEO of the San Antonio-based Baptist Child and Family Services (BCFS), with the Gordon Ware Cowden Courage in Christianity Award. Cowden, a 1984 HPU alumnus, was a victim of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting in July 2012.

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, and members of the Cowden family were courtside at the San Antonio Spurs game on March 2 when they presented Dinnin with the award, a replica of a statue on HPU’s campus titled “Do As I Have Done.”

“Gordon was a personal friend of mine for more than 20 years, so it has special meaning to me that I was selected to be a recipient of an award that honors his life,” said Dinnin in an interview with Abilene’s KTXS TV station following the presentation.

BCFS is a global health and human services organization with locations and services in the United States and around the world. Under Dinnin’s leadership, BCFS has grown into a multimillion-dollar organization with five subsidiary corporations serving those affected by crisis and disaster around the world with an array of mental health, medical and human service programs.

“Mr. Dinnin has made a tremendous impact in the lives of a countless number of children and families around the world who are suffering severe hardships,” said Dr. Ellis. “He is most deserving of this award which celebrates those who, like Gordon Cowden, display courage in times of adversity.”

Following the September 11, 2001, attack on the United States, Dinnin was appointed by Secretary Tommy Thompson to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services national summit, “When Terror Strikes.” There he served on the Secretary’s Task Force for Promoting Healing and Restoring Hope for America’s Children and Families and subsequently was appointed to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Terrorism. Additionally, Dinnin has served as chairman of numerous non-profit boards in Texas including the Texas Lions Camp for Children with Disabilities, the Texas State Youth and Government Board and The University of Texas Health Science Center Advisory Council for the School of Nursing.

More recently, Dinnin has served as the commander of Health and Medical Branch of Texas Task Force Ike, led an incident management team response to Haiti, developed the Texas Medical Sheltering Task Force for the State of Texas and served as consult to the Federal Emergency Management Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

He is a nationally known subject-matter expert in caring for persons with medical and functional needs during disasters and has been credited with developing the most comprehensive training manual for sheltering persons with medical needs known to be in existence. He is also responsible for establishing and maintaining the largest medical shelter capacity of any state in the U.S.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Bill Ellis (third from right), HPU president, and members of the Cowden family presented Kevin Dinnin of San Antonio (fourth from left) with the Gordon Ware Cowden Courage in Christianity Award at the start of the San Antonio Spurs basketball game on March 2.

HPU junior Lacy Culpepper receives James L. Williamson Scholarship

lacy culpepper receives williamson scholarship webBROWNWOOD – October 25, 2013 – Howard Payne University junior Lacy Culpepper, a management major from Zephyr, recently received the James L. Williamson Scholarship. Williamson, a 1970 HPU graduate and former vice president for development, established the scholarship in 1992 for students pursuing a career in insurance and/or financial planning.

Dr. Les Plagens, dean of HPU’s School of Business, recommended Culpepper for the award.

“On behalf of the HPU business faculty I was proud to recommend Lacy Culpepper for the James Williamson Scholarship,” he said. “The selection was based on his outstanding academic record as well as his character in and out of the classroom. We appreciate the consideration given by James Williamson to establish this fund and to provide this encouragement to a student like Lacy who has an interest in a finance-related career.”

Williamson says he is happy to be a part of a legacy that will continue long after he is gone.

“I first started contributing to the fund on my birthday 21 years ago,” he said. “It didn’t grow overnight – I just went to work and contributed regularly because I cared. It was easy and fun to give, and I’m happy to help. I want students to come to HPU and receive the same extra attention that I received as a student.”

Culpepper is an active member of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry and has worked in the university’s Office of Admission his entire time at HPU. As a captain of the Jacket Ambassadors, he trains other student tour guides who introduce prospective students to life on campus.

He called the scholarship a “surprise blessing.”

“It was an extreme honor to receive the scholarship,” he said. “It is difficult for me to express my gratitude to its full extent. I pray that God continues to bless Mr. Williamson and his family so that he can continue to give so generously, allowing students such as myself to one day ‘pay it forward’ as he has done.”

To establish or contribute to a scholarship at HPU, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at (325) 649-8006 or via e-mail at give@hputx.edu.

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Photo cutline: Lacy Culpepper, center, recently received the James L. Williamson Scholarship. He is pictured with Williamson (right) and Dr. Les Plagens, dean of HPU’s School of Business.

TexasBank awards $25,000 to HPU through Doss Foundation

texasbank_check_presentation_for_webBROWNWOOD – May 15, 2013 – TexasBank recently announced that more than $79,000 in scholarship funds will be given to local and area high schools and colleges – including $25,000 to Howard Payne University – through the Doss Foundation.

In addition to HPU, benefitting institutions include Tarleton State University ($25,000) and Texas State Technical College Regents Circle ($5,000), with the scholarships being awarded to students from Brown, Comanche and Erath Counties. School districts receiving funds include Bangs, Blanket, Brookesmith, Brownwood, Comanche, Dublin, Early, Goldthwaite, Gustine, May, Sidney, Stephenville and Zephyr.

“TexasBank is proud to be affiliated with such a significant investment in furthering the education of the youth in the markets in which we serve,” said Greg Dodds, president and CEO of TexasBank. “Commitment to the education of our future leaders is of great importance to our Board and Ownership as evidenced in the nearly $350,000 given by the Doss Foundation over the past six years.”

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, announced that the funds donated to HPU will support the university’s Heart of Texas Scholarship. He expressed his appreciation to the Doss Foundation and TexasBank.

“We are proud to partner with TexasBank to provide the highest-quality education to students in Central Texas,” he said. “Their continued financial support for HPU shows TexasBank’s commitment to Brownwood and students in the Heart of Texas.”

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Photo cutline: Greg Dodds, president and CEO of TexasBank, presents a check to Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president.

HPU launches “A Call to Send” campaign to Heart of Texas residents

ellis_at_campaign_luncheon_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 8, 2013 – Howard Payne University held a luncheon on Monday afternoon to announce its A Call to Send campaign to community leaders from the Heart of Texas area. In preparation for the launch of the campaign, the university unveiled Phase I, which features plans for major new facilities and endowment growth.

A Call to Send is a 10-year, three-phased $65 million campaign that will empower the university to continue to fulfill its mission of providing a quality, Christ-centered education. Phase I is an $18 million campaign with three projects: a new Welcome Center and Academy of Freedom (honors program) building, a new academic building for the School of Education and the Collegium program (advising, tutoring and other services) and increasing the university’s endowment funds for student scholarships and academic program support.

In addition to allowing for the first new buildings on the HPU campus in more than 10 years, the campaign will provide funding to support HPU’s quality academic programs, its state-of-the-art facilities and its scholarships and financial aid to attract and retain students.

Keith Clark of Citizens National Bank welcomed luncheon guests from the Heart of Texas area and introduced Campaign Co-Chairs Dr. Leonard Underwood, retired, of Underwood’s Bar-B-Q, and Dr. Walter C. “Dub” Wilson, business executive, as well as Honorary Chair Dr. O.C. “Putter” Jarvis of Landmark Life Insurance. Clark and Bart Johnson, of Painter & Johnson Financial, serve as the Heart of Texas co-chairs. An invocation was offered by Dr. Dallas Huston, pastor at Center City Baptist Church and sports broadcaster.

Additional Heart of Texas committee members introduced to the community included Dwain Bruner of Bruner Auto Family; Chip Camp of Brownwood Regional Medical Center; Steve Fryar of PF & E Oil Company; Dennis Graham of Airgas; Iva Hamilton, retired from El Paso Natural Gas Company; John Harkey of Ag-Mart; Brownwood Mayor Stephen Haynes of Haynes Law Firm; Draco Miller of Draco Janitorial and Auto Detailing; Tom Munson of Landmark Life Insurance; J. Fred Perry, retired from PF & E Oil Company; and Robert Porter of Porter Insurance Agency.

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, shared the university’s vision for Phase I of the campaign and the effect it will have on the community.

“The relationship between Howard Payne and Brownwood goes back to the earliest days of the community’s history,” he said. “There are very few universities that are more intimately connected with the communities that surround them than Howard Payne. These projects we are showing you today are going to impact this community in very significant ways.”

Dr. Ellis spoke briefly on the many students who graduate from HPU and return to Brownwood to rear their families and continue their careers.heart_of_texas_committee_for_web

“This entire campaign is about attracting students to this university,” he said. “It is about giving them the funds and resources they need to come to this school, so we can send them into the world to make a difference.”

Dr. Leonard Underwood, well known for being a philanthropist in the community and a supporter of the university, spoke about the importance of investing in such a campaign.
“Working closely with the faculty and the students over the years, I’ve learned what a special place this university is,” he said. “It’s a place that has the ability to change the lives of those who pass through here. I’ve discovered the joy of giving to something that’s worthwhile and makes a difference in the lives of so many people.”

The audience was lastly issued a challenge by Dr. Putter Jarvis, described by Clark as a great advocate for Howard Payne, Brownwood and Brown County.

“It’s up to us to see Howard Payne rise to its destiny,” he said. “Will we play our part? We can and we will.”

To contribute to the campaign, or for more information, contact HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at (325) 649-8006 or 1-800-950-8465.

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Photo cutlines: Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, discusses plans for new facilities to be constructed at HPU as part of the university’s A Call to Send campaign.

A Call to Send campaign leaders include, from left, Dr. Bill Ellis, Iva Hamilton, Draco Miller, Dr. Leonard Underwood, Keith Clark, Steve Fryar, Dennis Graham, Stephen Haynes, J. Fred Perry, Dwain Bruner, John Harkey, Robert Porter, Bart Johnson and Dr. O.C. “Putter” Jarvis. Not pictured are Dr. Walter C. “Dub” Wilson, Chip Camp and Tom Munson.