News Archives: Advancement

TexasBank awards $25,000 in scholarship funds to HPU through Doss Foundation

TexasBank presentation 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – June 24, 2014 – TexasBank recently presented $25,000 to Howard Payne University through the Doss Foundation. The donation was part of $88,000 in scholarship funds that will be given to local and area high schools and colleges in 2014.

Within the past seven years, the Doss Foundation has given more than $425,000 to area educational institutions.

“TexasBank is proud to be affiliated with the Doss Foundation, whose gift will give back to local students through HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship Fund,” said Greg Dodds, president and CEO of TexasBank. “The Heart of Texas Scholarship has played a vital role in providing an affordable path to a quality university degree for our local high school students. The success of this program is evidenced by the steadily increasing proportion of the total student population at HPU that is comprised of our own kids from nearby communities. The Board and Ownership of TexasBank value our relationship with Howard Payne University, and we are honored to support this institution and its students.”

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Photo cutline: Greg Dodds, left, president and CEO of TexasBank, presents a $25,000 check to Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president.

Dr. Cynthia Clawson performs for HPU Steinway campaign

Photo 1 -Clawson performing for webBROWNWOOD – May 23, 2014 – Howard Payne University hosted alumna and Grammy-award winning artist Dr. Cynthia Clawson in concert last Sunday afternoon. Dr. Clawson, accompanied by Steinway artist Marvin Gaspard, performed several songs at Brownwood’s First United Methodist Church in support of HPU’s campaign to become an All-Steinway School.

In addition to her Grammy Award in 1981 for Gospel Album of the Year, Dr. Clawson has been honored with five Dove awards and numerous Dove nominations. Her rendition of “Softly and Tenderly” was featured in the 1985 Oscar-winning motion picture “The Trip to Bountiful.” She is also a member of the Texas Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Photo 2 -Clawson and Gaspard onstage for webDr. Clawson received a vocal performance scholarship to attend HPU and was a member of the A Capella Choir and the Oratorio Chorus. She was also an original member of the HPU Heritage Singers. Her career has spanned more than four decades with 22 recordings to her credit. She was named “The most awesome voice in gospel music” by Billboard magazine.

“Not only does the university pride itself in recruiting the very best among music faculty and students, but we also bring in amazing performers throughout the year,” said Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady. “It is always a treat to hear Dr. Clawson perform and she is a true testament to the quality of musicians produced by the university. It is vital that the musical instruments HPU offers its students, faculty and guests are of the same caliber as the performers who will use them.”

The concert was the latest event hosted by the university in celebration of the Steinway campaign. Ron Losby, president of Steinway & Sons – Americas in New York City, visited the campus in early May to preside over a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

For more information about HPU’s All-Steinway School campaign, please contact Randy Yeakley, Photo 3- Group at sign for webvice president for development, at (325) 649-8804 or ryeakley@hputx.edu.

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Photo cutlines:

Photo 1: Dr. Cynthia Clawson performs in support of HPU’s campaign to become an All-Steinway School.

Photo 2: Dr. Cynthia Clawson, accompanied by Steinway artist Marvin Gaspard, performs at Brownwood’s First United Methodist Church.

Photo 3: HPU is in the process of becoming a prestigious All-Steinway School. Left to right: Dr. Cynthia Clawson, alumna and Grammy-award winning artist; Mrs. Carol Jordan, All-Steinway School campaign committee member, Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady; and Mr. Marvin Gaspard, Steinway artist.

Dr. Cynthia Clawson to perform free concert for HPU Steinway campaign Sunday, May 18

 

Cynthia Clawson Pianos for Praise for webBROWNWOOD – May 9, 2014 –For Dr. Cynthia Clawson, 1970 Howard Payne University graduate and Grammy award-winning vocalist, returning to Brownwood feels like coming home.

“And in this day and time, everyone is looking for ‘home,’” she said.

The Houston native will return to Brownwood on Sunday, May 18, to perform a free concert at First United Methodist Church celebrating HPU’s initiative to become an All-Steinway School.

The campaign will ensure that every piano on the HPU campus – from the rehearsal halls to the performance stages – is designed by the prestigious Steinway & Sons Company. Dr. Clawson is a passionate supporter of this goal.

“There are only about 165 institutions in the world that are All-Steinway Schools,” she said. “Having this distinction would prove to the world that HPU believes in its students and supports the arts. It would be a life-changer for HPU.”

Dr. Clawson received a vocal performance scholarship to attend the university and was a member of the A Capella Choir and the Oratorio Chorus. She was also an original member of the HPU Heritage Singers.

“There were several rehearsal halls on campus,” she recalled. “But if no one was in Mims Auditorium, you could practice on stage with the Steinway piano. It made all of the difference in the world.”

She went on to have an award-winning career. In addition to her Grammy Award in 1981 for Gospel Album of the Year, Dr. Clawson has been honored with five Dove awards and numerous Dove nominations. Her rendition of “Softly and Tenderly” was featured in the 1985 Oscar-winning motion picture “The Trip to Bountiful.” She is also a member of the Texas Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Her career highlight, however, is hearing that her music has moved someone to tears.

“If people tell me I made them cry, I say ‘Oh, good.’” she said. “That means the music moved past their ears and down to their souls. That’s not about me. It’s from God.”

She has remained a dedicated HPU alumna, returning to the university numerous times to graciously share her gifts with the HPU family. She was chosen as HPU’s Distinguished Alumna in 1989, the Homecoming Grand Marshal in 1998 and in 2013 received the Yellow Rose Award from the HPU Woman’s Club. In 2007, she received an honorary doctorate from HPU, the university’s highest honor.

She and her husband, author and playwright Ragan Courtney, live in Houston. They have two adult children, Will and Lily.

An ardent supporter of the arts, Dr. Clawson described her experiences visiting the Steinway & Sons factory in New York City.

“I cried all the way through because the people who work there care so much,” she said. “Each person is crafting one little piece of a piano but they come together to create a masterpiece. The sound produced by of one of those pianos might change someone’s life.”

According to Dr. Clawson, she is looking forward to the concert on May 18 to see all of her friends in the area and to perform once again with her good friend Marvin Gaspard, a Steinway artist, who will accompany her on piano. She is especially looking forward to helping emphasize the importance of the All-Steinway School campaign.

“HPU has always been set apart for being such a caring campus,” she said. “But this will distinguish us even more. Prospective students, if they’re musicians, will know exactly what they can expect from HPU – a university that believes in them and believes that artists can change the world.”

The concert, “Pianos for Praise,” will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 18, at First United Methodist Church of Brownwood. There is no charge for admission, but campaign donations are appreciated. For more information, contact (325) 649-8128 or dtinkler@hputx.edu.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Cynthia Clawson will perform in concert on Sunday, May 18, at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Brownwood.

Dr. Mamie McCullough receives HPU Yellow Rose Award

Yellow Rose Award 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – May 7, 2014 – Dr. Mamie McCullough, Howard Payne University alumna and native of Dixie, Ga., was recently presented the 2014 HPU Woman’s Club Yellow Rose Award. The honor was announced at the Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon, held each year on the HPU campus.

Dr. McCullough was the scheduled guest speaker for the event, unaware of the club’s plans to surprise her with the prestigious honor. Her family joined her as she accepted the award.

In addition to a career in education, Dr. McCullough served as a director for Mary Kay Cosmetics. She was named Ms. Go Give in 1976, one of the highest honors within the organization.

Dr. McCullough, who now resides in Dallas, was president of the education division for the Zig Ziglar Corporation from 1979 to 1989. In 1989, she formed her own company working as a speaker and author.

She has authored several books including “I Can. You Can Too!,” “I’m Not Waving … I’m Drowning” and “Get It Together And Remember Where You Put It.”

Dr. McCullough has served on HPU’s President’s Development Council and the Board of Trustees. In 1997, the university presented her with an Honorary Doctor of Letters.

“We were thrilled to present this honor to Mamie,” said Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady and president of the Woman’s Club. “She is one of our HPU treasures, and she publicly promotes the university everywhere she goes! What a blessing to have such a lovely lady representing us to the world.”

The HPU Yellow Rose Award is presented annually to a woman who has exhibited exemplary leadership within her sphere of influence, who has exhibited fiscal, emotional or physical support to the ongoing of Howard Payne University and who represents Christian values and beliefs foundational to Howard Payne University.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Mamie McCullough, right, received the 2014 HPU Woman’s Club Yellow Rose Award. She is pictured with Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady and Woman’s Club president.

HPU to host Steinway & Sons president Thursday following American Music Spectacular

Ron Losby for webBROWNWOOD – April 28, 2014 – Howard Payne University will host special guest Ron Losby, president of Steinway & Sons – Americas in New York City, thisThursday, May 1. Losby will preside over a ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off HPU’s campaign to become an All-Steinway School. The ceremony will follow the 19th annual American Music Spectacular presented by HPU’s Symphonic Band. The evening’s events begin at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium and are free and open to the public. A meet-and-greet reception with Losby will follow in Grace Chapel.

Steinway & Sons, founded in 1853 by German immigrant Henry Engelhard Steinway, is dedicated to the ideal of making the finest pianos in the world. Losby has served as president of Steinway & Sons for the Americas since 2008. He is an accomplished pianist and has studied at both the San Francisco Conservatory and The Juilliard School in New York City.

“We’re delighted to have Mr. Losby on campus this week as we celebrate our decision to become an All-Steinway School,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “Steinway pianos are the best keyboard instruments we can offer our student and faculty musicians as well as all of the musical guests we host on campus. Becoming an All-Steinway School will also benefit our university in recruiting students and faculty in the fine arts.”

The American Music Spectacular is an evening of Americana that has become a tradition within the Central Texas area, said Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands.

wallace steinway for web“We will celebrate the American spirit and those who have fought and struggled to help win our freedom and democracy,” he said.

Song selections include “American Civil War Fantasy,” “America the Beautiful,” “At a Dixieland Jazz Funeral” and more.

“The band will also perform a special piece titled ‘Armed Forces Salute’ during which the men and women of our armed forces will be honored,” said Ash. “You won’t want to miss this amazing night of music celebrating America!”

For more information about the concert, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500. More information about the university’s Steinway campaign can be obtained by calling the Office of Institutional Advancement at (325) 649-8006.

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Photo cutlines: Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music, performs on a Steinway piano during a recent campus event. HPU has begun the process of becoming an All-Steinway School.

HPU will host Ron Losby, president of Steinway & Sons, on campus this Thursday.

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.