News Archives: Advancement

Estate bequeaths musical instruments and memorabilia to HPU band

Estate of Billy E. Ross Bequest, April 2016 for webBROWNWOOD – April 13, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Yellow Jacket Band received two musical instruments as well as various music-related memorabilia that were bequeathed from the estate of Bill Edward Ross. The donations included a cornet and a banjo along with many historic photos of the HPU band.

Ross was a 1949 graduate of Howard Payne College, a former member of the Yellow Jacket Band and remained a supporter of the band until his death in 2015.

“Mr. Bill Ross is a great benefactor to the music department and especially through his support to the Yellow Jacket Band,” said Dr. Richard Fiese, dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts. “His legacy will remain a part of the history of the Yellow Jacket Band and his generosity will resonate into eternity through the difference he will make in the lives of students in the band.”

The cornet is a G.C. Conn made in 1899 and is an example of an instrument from the “Golden Era” of bands. The banjo was produced in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1961 and is a Vega professional tenor (four-string) banjo. It is from the personal collection of Ross.

The band also received a treasure trove of photographs relating to Ross’ career in the music industry as well as some of the earliest photographs the university has of the Yellow Jacket Band. Correspondence between Ross and Vincent Bach, instrument manufacturing icon, was also received from the estate.

“Bill Ross was an amazing friend and avid supporter of the HPU band,” said Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands. “His legacy as a lover of music and bands in a music education and business career that spanned 60 years will live on in the lives of the students that he touched.”

Both instruments will be displayed permanently in the Davidson Music Complex at Howard Payne University along with the historic photographs and correspondence.

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2016 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options including the Heart of Texas Scholarship, which awards $60,000 to students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Photo cutline: The HPU band was recently bequeathed two instruments and band memorabilia from the estate of Bill E. Ross. Pictured from left to right are: Aaron Walling, senior from Georgetown; Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands; Dr. Richard Fiese, dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts; Thomas V. Scarpato, executor of the estate; and Olivia Belsher, senior from Ferris.

Father’s love of HPU lives on through children

Alvin Ray TurnerBROWNWOOD – February 15, 2016 – Growing up, the children of Col. Alvin Ray and Patsy Allene Turner heard many stories about their parents’ time at Howard Payne University. Following his death, Col. Turner’s family honored his legacy by establishing the Alvin Ray Turner Scholarship fund at HPU, designed to benefit students majoring in mathematics.

Col. Turner, a 1953 HPU graduate who served in the United States Air Force, and his family moved often to various locations around the country. As he was born and raised in Blanket, Col. Turner enjoyed bringing his family back to Brown County and HPU whenever possible.

“Any time we went to Brownwood, we cruised through Howard Payne,” said Mary Alice Turner, the youngest of Col. and Mrs. Turner’s four children. “Going back to HPU was a big deal.”

According to Mary Alice, her father was very studious and received several scholarships to attend HPU.

“His family didn’t have much money,” she said. “The scholarships were a huge factor in his ability to attend college and lead an active student life.”

She reminisced about her parents’ first encounter in college.

“Dad was a football player and basketball player and, back then, the athletes ate lunch before everyone else,” she said. “He saw Mom and waited for her outside the cafeteria. He asked her to go to the Wednesday night prayer service with him.”

The pair eventually started dating.

“They became big sweethearts,” said Mary Alice. “My parents were one of the couples on campus in those days.”

The Turners were married in 1954 following her graduation from HPU and his earning his wings from flight and pilot training. Shortly after, Col. Turner left for Thailand and Korea. He later served in Vietnam as well. Upon his retirement from the Air Force with 27 years of service, the couple settled in Florida.

Mary Alice TurnerCol. Turner was a lifelong learner. In addition to the Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and secondary education he received from HPU, he also earned both a bachelor’s degree and Master of Business Administration degree from The University of West Florida in Pensacola.

He and his wife were both active in many churches and served as Sunday School teachers and in lay leadership. The Turner children created a scholarship fund at HPU to honor their parents’ fondness for the university, love for each other and their faith in God.

“My parents’ love for the Lord always inspired me,” said Mary Alice. “Their marriage was 100 percent based on their faith. It was a huge testimony to us kids. Dad, as a local boy, and Mom always remained supporters of HPU as well.”

To learn more about the Alvin Ray Turner Scholarship fund, contact HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at (325) 649-8006 or 800-950-8465.

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Photo cutlines:

Alvin Turner, pictured in HPU’s 1951 Lasso yearbook, was crowned Harvest King during his sophomore year.

Mary Alice Turner, the Turners’ youngest child, recently wore her father’s Howard Payne letterman’s jacket out to dinner.

Howard Payne University receives donation from Oncor Electric

BROWNWOOD – December 4, 2015 – Howard Payne University has received the second of three installments of funding from Oncor Electric Delivery Company, LLC. The funds are a charitable contribution to A Call to Send, HPU’s capital campaign.

Oncor provides an allocation of charitable funds for organizations in each of its service areas. In 2014, Ken Harriss, the company’s area manager of customer operations, advocated to the corporation on behalf of HPU.

“As a result, HPU was awarded $7,500, paid over three years, to A Call to Send,” said Karina Daniel, director of corporate, community and foundation relations.

Harriss helped make a strong case for HPU’s receiving the funding by gathering as much information as possible to promote HPU to Oncor.

“Ken took the time to get the additional information, which he personally submitted on our behalf, satisfying the corporate decision-makers,” said Randy Yeakley, vice president for development. “He has been a real friend to HPU.”

Since 1988, Oncor (previously Texas Power and Light Company, TU Electric and TXU) has given more than $119,000 to HPU in addition to the $7,500 pledge including $78,000 to the Annual Scholarship Fund.

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Photo cutline: Ken Harriss of Oncor (left) presents a check to Randy Yeakley, HPU’s vice president for development.

HPU celebrates restoration of Steinway piano

Steinway dedication 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – November 3, 2015 – Amid the flurried activity during Howard Payne University’s Homecoming 2015 festivities, a group of people assembled in the choral hall of HPU’s Davidson Music Complex to celebrate friendship, music and a very special piano.

The university hosted a rededication of one of its Steinway pianos in conjunction with the Department of Music’s Homecoming reunion. The Steinway & Sons Model D, also known as the “Concert Grand” piano, was originally donated to the university in 1968 by the late Dr. Joseph and Mrs. Eddie Trussell, 1929 Howard Payne graduates. The 9-foot long, 990-pound piano was used for decades before falling into disrepair.

“Fortunately, Steinway pianos have wonderfully long lifespans,” said Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU’s first lady. “We knew the piano was crafted in such a way that it could be restored rather than replaced.”

Dr. Ellis, along with award-winning Christian artist and HPU alumna Dr. Cynthia Clawson Courtney, co-chairs HPU’s campaign to become a prestigious “All-Steinway School.”

“Steinway & Sons flawless reputation, quality and long lifespan of its instruments will provide outstanding service and performance for our students and faculty for many decades to come,” said Dr. Ellis.

Pattersons for webDr. Burton and Mrs. Virginia Patterson, who have given faithfully to HPU for a number of years, learned of the restoration needs for the grand piano. Dallas Steinway artisan and technician Mr. Steve Claunch fully restored the instrument to its original grandeur. The Pattersons and their family foundation, the Foundation for the Advancement of Christianity, graciously funded this restoration in memory and honor of Frank and Pauline Patterson, missionaries to Latin America (1938-1972). Dr. and Mrs. Patterson additionally have an HPU endowed scholarship in their name and donated the organs located in the university’s Mims Auditorium and Grace Chapel.

“The Pattersons have hearts for restoring musical instruments and for Baptist causes,” said Randy Yeakley, HPU’s vice president for development. “We’re very grateful for their love of music, their dedication to HPU and their continued generosity.”

The Trussells’ daughter, the late Lucile McDaniel, graduated from Howard Payne in 1944. Her husband, the late Bill McDaniel, was also a 1944 graduate. Their three children attended HPU and were present at the rededication: Sophia (McDaniel) Faulkner ’70, B.J. McDaniel ’77 and Ruth (McDaniel) Thames ’68. Also present were Steve Faulkner (Sophia’s husband and 1972 HPU graduate), Kristen Ivy (Sophia’s daughter and 2001 HPU graduate), Craig Ivy (Kristen’s son), Julie Ivy (Kristen’s daughter) and Roxanne McDaniel (B.J.’s wife).

“Looking at the piano now, you would not believe it was donated to Howard Payne almost 50 years ago,” said Dr. Ellis. “That’s what makes Steinway pianos the very best. We’re so thankful for the Trussells’ generosity and their gift that still benefits our students today.”

For more information about HPU’s All-Steinway School campaign, visit www.hputx.edu/steinway or call HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at (325) 649-8006.

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Photo cutlines: Members of the family that donated a Steinway piano to HPU in 1968, as well as HPU faculty and staff members, gather around the piano. Left to right: B.J. McDaniel; Roxanne McDaniel; Ruth Thames; Steve Faulkner; Sophia Faulkner; Julie Ivy; Kristen Ivy; Craig Ivy; Randy Yeakley, vice president for development; Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady; Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president; and Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music.

Dr. Burton and Mrs. Virginia Patterson and their family foundation, the Foundation for the Advancement of Christianity, funded the restoration of the piano.

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

dodds and ellis 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – June 10, 2015 – 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 2015.

Within the past seven years, the Doss Foundation has given more than $500,000 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. “We believe that the Heart of Texas Scholarship has provided an opportunity for a quality university degree for an ever increasing number of local students. The scholarship provides these students with a $14,000 annual award and greatly helps to ease any financial burdens after college. The Board and Ownership of TexasBank value our relationship with Howard Payne University, and we are honored to support this institution and its students.”

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, also voiced his appreciation to the Doss Foundation and TexasBank.

“The university is very grateful to have TexasBank as a partner in providing the highest quality education to our students,” he said. “HPU is blessed to be a part of Brownwood and to have the support of so many friends in the community like TexasBank.”

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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.

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.