News Archives: Alumni Relations

HPU alumna reunited with class ring missing since 1954

Sullivan and Clark with ring for webBROWNWOOD – July 10, 2014 – Elizabeth Clark of Granite Falls, Wash., a 1953 Howard Payne University alumna, was reunited July 4 with the university class ring she lost 60 years ago.

Stephen Sullivan, HPU’s director of alumni relations, and Lindsay Waddell, the woman who found the ring in a San Angelo lake, returned the ring to its owner while Clark, 84, was in Brownfield, Texas, for a family reunion.

Waddell was walking her dogs along the low waters of San Angelo’s Lake Nasworthy in March when she discovered the ring with the letters “A. E. L.” inscribed in the band. She contacted HPU officials who used a 1953 yearbook to find the only graduating senior with those initials – Addie Elizabeth Little. Nathan’s Jewelers of Brownwood cleaned the ring for free, restoring it to almost-new conditions.

According to Clark’s daughter and 1978 HPU graduate Donna Clark-Love, Clark was delighted to get a phone call from Sullivan letting her know her ring had been found.

“She got on the horn and called everybody,” Clark-Love told a reporter with the Associated Press.

Clark remembers losing the ring in the lake in 1954 while on a date with her future husband.

“She was devastated because she had worked so hard to make it through college,” Clark-Love said.

Lubbock-area television news crews and many family members and friends were in attendance as Clark slipped the ring on her finger for the first time in 60 years. The only one of 16 children in her family to graduate college, she fondly remembers her time at HPU.

Clark with ring for web“My son said, ‘Mom, it’s just a ring,’” she told the reporters. “I said, ‘It’s a special ring.’ I felt like I had lost part of me.”

According to Sullivan, the situation is proof of how God sends blessings even in times of extreme drought.

“If Lindsay hadn’t been out there that day we may never have found the ring,” he said, adding that Lake Nasworthy has since returned to full capacity. “We’re very grateful that she not only returned it to the university but was able to drive to Brownfield to personally present it to Mrs. Clark.”

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Photo cutlines: Elizabeth Clark recently saw her Howard Payne University class ring for the first time in 60 years. She is pictured with Stephen Sullivan, director of alumni relations at the university.

Despite being at the bottom of a lake for 60 years, the ring was restored to almost-new conditions by Nathan’s Jewelers of Brownwood.

Woman, 84, to be reunited with HPU class ring missing for 60 years

Elizabeth Clark ring for webBROWNWOOD – July 2, 2014 – Elizabeth Clark of Granite Falls, Wash., a 1953 Howard Payne University alumna, will be reunited Friday with the university class ring she lost 60 years ago. HPU officials will present the ring to Clark on July 4 while she is in Brownfield, Texas, (near Lubbock) for a family reunion.

Due to recent drought conditions, the ring was discovered this March at the bottom of Lake Nasworthy in San Angelo, Texas, by Lindsey Waddell of Buda, Texas, a student at Angelo State University. Clark’s daughter, Donna Clark-Love, is a 1978 HPU graduate. She relayed the story of how the ring went missing.

“When Dad got home from the Korean War, Mom and Dad began dating,” said Clark-Love. “One of their favorite dates was to go to the lake in San Angelo to picnic and wade in the water. When she lost her class ring in 1954, she was devastated because she had worked so hard to make it through college.”

According to Clark-Love, her mother was not encouraged to further her education after high school.

“She was told that she needed to stay home and work in the cotton fields,” said Clark-Love. “She paid her own way through college by working two jobs, while keeping up with her studies. She was the only one out of 16 kids who got a college degree and her ring symbolized her hard work. She is so proud to be an HPU graduate.”

Stephen Sullivan, director of alumni relations for the university, is looking forward to returning the ring to its owner.

“The thought of someone finding this ring after 60 years is just absolutely amazing,” he said. “The ring is still in great shape and we’re excited to have this opportunity to return it to Mrs. Clark. God is so great!”

For more information, please contact Coby Sauce, HPU director of media relations, via e-mail at csauce@hputx.edu or by phone at (325) 649-8046 or (254) 977-2510.

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Photo cutline: This 1953 HPU class ring, owned by Elizabeth Clark of Granite Falls, Wash., was recently discovered at the bottom of Lake Nasworthy in San Angelo. HPU will return the ring to Mrs. Clark on July 4 at a family reunion in Brownfield.

HPU graduates 142 at Commencement in May

BROWNWOOD – June 12, 2014 – Howard Payne University graduated 142 students during its Commencement ceremony at the close of the spring 2014 semester. Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, and other university representatives conferred the degrees.

Students must have a 3.55-3.69 grade-point average to graduate Cum Laude; a 3.70-3.84 GPA to graduate Magna Cum Laude; and a 3.85-4.0 GPA to graduate Summa Cum Laude.

Graduates included:

Abilene
Pricilla Madrid Patino – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice

Anson
Allen Glenn Andrus – Bachelor of Music in music – instrumental (all-level certification), Summa Cum Laude

Arlington
Brittni Marissa West – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6), Cum Laude

Austin
Ryan Heath Colvin – Bachelor of Arts in youth ministry, Cum Laude
Justin Peter Jones – Bachelor of Science in criminal justice

Azle
Steven Austin Mobley – Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice

Bangs
Bertha Mireya Mendoza – Bachelor of Arts in Spanish (all-level: early childhood – grade 12), Summa Cum Laude
Benjamin Ray Purcell – Bachelor of Science in mathematics
Joshua Lee Simons – Bachelor of Science in criminal justice

Boylston, Mass.
Catherine MacDonald Mullaney – Bachelor of Arts in the Academy of Freedom and English, Summa Cum Laude

Bozeman, Mont.
Catherine Joan Smith – Bachelor of Arts in English language arts and reading (high school: grade 8-12)

Brownwood
Juanita Mercedes Cardenas – Bachelor of Science in biology, Summa Cum Laude
Amber Diane Corley – Bachelor of Arts in Spanish (all-level: early childhood – grade 12), Cum Laude
Lacey Jay Crouch – Bachelor of Science in psychology (family psychology)
Shylah Marie Cutbirth – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)
Ennis “EJ” Davila – Bachelor of Arts in psychology (psychology and ministry), Summa Cum Laude
Bradi Nicole Gill – Bachelor of Science in psychology (general psychology)
Julie Marie Gomez – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Andrew Taylor Harding – Bachelor of Science in biology
Daniel Aaron Harmon – Bachelor of Science in psychology (general psychology), Cum Laude
Zachary Edward Herman – Bachelor of Science in business administration
Whitney Michelle Hooper – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Tucker Anderson Hull – Bachelor of Arts in theatre
Jared Briant Huntley – Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Magna Cum Laude
Tyler Ross January – Bachelor of Music in music – performance (voice concentration)
Taylor Brooke Jordan – Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and psychology (general psychology), Cum Laude
Julie RayAnn Kennedy – Bachelor of Science in psychology (family psychology)
Andrea Lashaye Leonard – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)
Kimberley Kay Lilley – Bachelor of Arts in youth ministry
Jarrod Scott McCandless – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (multimedia), Summa Cum Laude
Sean Peter McMahan – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (systems development)
Kelley Raye Miller – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Benjamin David Palmer – Bachelor of Arts in youth ministry
Cameron Derrick Polaski – Bachelor of Arts in communication (public and media)
Sam S. Powers – Bachelor of Arts in Christian education
Jessica Marie Powers – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)
Linda Irene Ruiz – Bachelor of Arts in English
Phoenix Antonia Solis – Bachelor of Arts in theatre arts (all-level certification: early childhood – grade 12)
David Albert Stippick – Bachelor of Arts in Bible
Travis N. Taillet – Bachelor of Science in business administration
Melani Dawn Terrill – Master of Education in instructional leadership
Zachary James Tharp – Bachelor of Arts in youth ministry
William Otis Thomas – Bachelor of Science in business administration
Jarrod Smith Tipton – Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and psychology (general psychology)
Brennan Lee Turner – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (systems development)
Tommy Valencia III – Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice

Burleson
Adrienne Elise Walker – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (coaching)

Canyon Lake
Stephan Andrew Ellery – Master of Business Administration in business administration

Carrollton
Corissa Lynn Brown – Bachelor of Arts in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6), Summa Cum Laude
Erik Bryan Swenson – Bachelor of Arts in the Academy of Freedom, history and political science, Magna Cum Laude

Cedar Hill
Dylan James Hernandez – Bachelor of Arts in history

Chaparral, N.M.
Shannon Angelika Kerr – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (composite concentration)

Cisco
Britani Leigh Gattis – Bachelor of Science in biology

Comanche
Lila Delaine Mobley – Master of Education in instructional leadership
Zachary Lynn Varner – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Jared Houston Weaver – Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing

Corpus Christi
Timothy Devon Hardy – Bachelor of Arts in the Academy of Freedom and political science (international studies), Summa Cum Laude

Dallas
Shardena N. Hudson – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (multimedia), Cum Laude

Early
Mitchell Martin Bailey – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice
Casey Lynn Coffee – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)
Timber Lee Curtis – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Rita Pearl Griffin – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Mark Alan Parker – Bachelor of Science in technology applications (high school: grade 8-12), Magna Cum Laude
Ricky Ryan Ray – Bachelor of Arts in communication (public and media)

El Paso
Martha Alicia Barranco – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration, Cum Laude
Marisol Esparza – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice
Angel Antonio Garcia – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (composite concentration)
Daena Giner – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration
Bernadine Green – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (practical theology concentration)
Ireri Raquel Gutierrez – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration
Michelle Amber Hernandez – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business management
Mitsy C. Stowers – Bachelor of Arts in Spanish

Farmington, N.M.
Kendyl Ann Moore – Bachelor of Business Administration in the Academy of Freedom and marketing

Florence
Daniel William Taylor – Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and psychology (general psychology), Summa Cum Laude

Flower Mound
Hannah Marie Hicks – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (physical trainer), Magna Cum Laude

Fort Worth
Joshua Jay Kennedy – Bachelor of Science in chemistry (biochemistry concentration)
Whitney Elisabeth Presbaugh – Bachelor of Arts in psychology (family psychology), Cum Laude

Gatesville
Mason Riley Thornton – Bachelor of Arts in psychology (general psychology)

Georgetown
Brittany Rachelle Bailey – Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing, Magna Cum Laude
Lindsey Elise Jones – Bachelor of Arts in English, Cum Laude

Gilmer
Melanie Paige Robison – Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing

Goldthwaite
Jonathan Lewis Grady – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (systems development)
William Hays Massey – Bachelor of Music in music – instrumental (all-level certification)
Tyson Ward Swanner – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (physical education)

Graham
Skyler James Turpin – Bachelor of Business Administration in management

Granbury
Lawrence Ross Whittet – Bachelor of Business Administration in management (marketing emphasis)

Houston
Kerrie Diane Ford – Bachelor of Arts in the Academy of Freedom and political science (international studies), Summa Cum Laude

Howe
Taylor Grace Cook – Bachelor of Science in biology, Magna Cum Laude

Johnson City
John Dillon Goodwin – Master of Business Administration in business administration

Kempner
Caitlin Erin McGath – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)

Killeen
Judi Jo Parten – Bachelor of Music in music – performance (voice concentration)

La Grange
Valerie Hanna Marrs – Bachelor of Science in biology, Summa Cum Laude

Lampasas
Sarah Katherine Bishop – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science – physical education
Lillie Claire Davis – Bachelor of Arts in cross-cultural studies

Laurel, Miss.
Tyler Wayne Matthews – Bachelor of Music in music – instrumental (all-level certification)

Mason
Virginia Ann Lemke – Master of Business Administration in business administration

McAllen
Henry Rene Valladares – Master of Business Administration in business administration

McKinney
Hadley Foster III – Master of Arts in youth ministry
Christopher Matthew Stephens – Master of Arts in youth ministry

Mesquite
Ryan Taylor Young – Bachelor of Arts in political science (pre-law)

Midland
Nellie Beau Brieann Clevenger – Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies, Summa Cum Laude

Montgomery
Courtney Reagan Lamberth – Bachelor of Science in communication (public and media)

New Braunfels
Brittney Sharene Overstreet – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Kimberly Danette Stevens – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Frank Ferren Wall – Master of Business Administration in business administration

Odessa
Katie Dawn Murphy – Bachelor of Arts in studio art, Summa Cum Laude

Ovilla
Rebecca Anne Lamar – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6), Cum Laude

Paradise
Mac Eric Villanueba – Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice
Ashley Ann Wellborn – Bachelor of Science in biology, Cum Laude

Pasadena
Allison Paige Morrison – Bachelor of Arts in communication (public and media), Cum Laude
Evangelina Marie Tellez – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (physical education)

Plainview
Jonathan Rick Henderson – Bachelor of Arts in Christian education, Summa Cum Laude

Pleasanton
Erica Renae Lopez – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (exercise and sport management)

Port Aransas
Shannon Freeman Bundy – Bachelor of Arts in social work

Portland
Alyssa Lynn Castle – Bachelor of Science in mathematics

Princeton
Katherine Belle Carl – Bachelor of Arts in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6), Magna Cum Laude

Red Oak
Collin Gregory Bishop – Bachelor of Arts in Christian education

Rockwall
Blaine Michael Wynn – Bachelor of Science in criminal justice, Cum Laude

Rosenberg
Amber Tabrisha Ren Jones – Bachelor of Science in athletic training

Round Rock
Heather Renee Clayton – Bachelor of Arts in social work
Kyle Edward Kulczyk – Bachelor of Science in business administration

Rowena
Christopher Gene Power – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in general studies

Rowlett
Katherine Elaine Dobson – Bachelor of Arts in theatre arts (all-level certification: early childhood – grade 12), Magna Cum Laude

Sachse
Emily Marie Bird – Bachelor of Science in life science (high school: grade 8-12), Magna Cum Laude

Salado
Jessica Lorraine Ferrell-Raborn – Bachelor of Arts in social work

San Angelo
Jaime Velez Beltran – Master of Arts in youth ministry
Sarah Amanda Yeats – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (practical theology concentration)

San Antonio
Julia Mari Rodriguez – Bachelor of Science in biology

Santa Anna
Jordan Ashleigh Jewell – Bachelor of Science in business administration

Savoy
Ryan Shane Klose – Bachelor of Science in biology

Springtown
Mallory Laurette Orms – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (coaching), Magna Cum Laude

Stanton
Julia Kristin Schuelke – Bachelor of Science in psychology (general psychology)

Stephenville
Garrett Lee Sadler – Bachelor of Arts in practical theology

Terrell
Haley Clair Jones – Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing, Cum Laude

Tolar
McKinley Gayle Meyer – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (multimedia)

Uvalde
Timothy Paul Marlin – Bachelor of Science in mathematics

Venus
Sarah Delyn Belser – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6), Magna Cum Laude

Waco
Julie Mae Pyle – Master of Education in instructional leadership

Whitehouse
Gary Cayden McDonald – Bachelor of Science in the Academy of Freedom and political science (pre-law), Magna Cum Laude

Whitesboro
Katelyn Marie Wood – Bachelor of Science in business administration

Wylie
Wesley Dale Livingston – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice

Yantis
Eric William Young – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice

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Four graduate with MBA from HPU’s New Braunfels Center

NB graduates Spring 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – May 20, 2014 – Four area businesspeople recently graduated with Master of Business Administration degrees from Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels Center. Kimberly Ashley-Stevens, Steve Ellery, Brittney Overstreet and Frank Wall received their diplomas during the university’s Commencement ceremony on May 10 in Brownwood.

HPU began offering the MBA degree in New Braunfels in the spring 2013 semester and undergraduate degrees the following fall.

Kimberly Ashley-Stevens works for an international secondary customer service provider.

“The Howard Payne MBA program reinforced a value that had shaken me to my core when I was working in the public sector,” she said. “There are Christians who are captains of industry and they do not have to compromise their values to be successful and to carry on Christ’s ministry. My excitement in regards to business has been rekindled and my focus is once again on the right prize.”

Designed to work around busy schedules, HPU’s MBA degree can be achieved in as few as 12 months, with all courses offered at night and on weekends.

Steve Ellery is the group product manager at Hexcel Corporation in Seguin, a manufacturer of aerospace carbon fiber composite materials. He is responsible for marketing, technical service and customer service.

“I really enjoyed my experience at HPU in New Braunfels,” he said. “The instructors and class formats were excellent and the class schedules did not interfere with my work schedule. Enrolling in the MBA program at HPU was one of the best decisions I have ever made. This is a great program for professionals who already have a career and want to broaden their skills.”

Brittney Overstreet serves as the production-creative coordinator for small business and leadership programs at the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

“I am so glad HPU came to New Braunfels,” she said. “It was convenient to take classes without having to commute.”

Though the program has a business core, it also includes courses such as organizational communication and psychological applications, designed to add a deeper understanding of practical skills to business and management applications. Prerequisite self-study course work is available for non-business undergraduates entering the program.

Frank Wall is director of information technology at Simpson Performance Products, Inc., a manufacturer of driver safety equipment for the auto racing industry.

“HPU’s MBA program provided me with rich experiences and information from highly qualified instructors, strong course materials and a diverse array of business and life perspectives from fellow students,” he said. “Overall, it was a challenging and enriching experience that I highly recommend to anyone wanting to take his or her career and capabilities to the next level.”

The HPU New Braunfels Center office is located at 1423 N. Walnut Ave., Suite 105. Until HPU’s permanent New Braunfels campus is constructed as part of the Veramendi development project, courses are being offered at New Braunfels High School, at the Aflac Suite (1259 Loop 337 North, Suite #200) and online. For more information, visit www.hputx.edu/newbraunfels or call (830) 629-2366.

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Photo cutline: Four area businesspeople recently graduated with MBA degrees from Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels Center. Left to right: Steve Ellery, Frank Wall, Brittney Overstreet and Kimberly Ashley-Stevens.

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.

HPU to hold spring Commencement Saturday

BROWNWOOD – May 8, 2014 – Howard Payne University will graduate 155 students during the spring Commencement ceremony this Saturday, May 10, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum.

Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, and other university representatives will confer the undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as the Honorary Doctor of Letters degree to Dr. Carol L. McDonald. Dr. Ellis will deliver the charge to the graduates.

Additional program participants include: Corey Ash ’92, associate professor of music and director of bands; Dr. Donnie Auvenshine ’75, dean of the School of Christian Studies and professor of Christian studies; Robert Carter ’73, chairman of the HPU Board of Trustees; Dr. Gary Gramling ’81, director of the graduate program in youth ministry and professor of Christian studies; Dr. Justin D. Murphy, dean of the School of Humanities, professor of history and director of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy; Dr. Lois Patton, director of the graduate program in business administration and professor of business administration; Dr. Leslie Plagens, dean of the School of Business and professor of business administration; Pastor Steve Polaski ’81, associate pastor of Victory Life Church in Brownwood; Debbie Prude ’78, president of the HPU Alumni Association; Dr. Joe Robinson, director of the instructional leadership graduate program and associate professor of education; Dr. Michael Rosato, dean of the School of Education and professor of education; Dr. Jay T. Smith ’96, lead pastor at First Baptist Church in Bozeman, Mont.; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost; Zachary James Tharp, candidate for graduation; Lana Wagner ’97, registrar; Dr. Julie Welker ’94, faculty president, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication Studies; and the HPU Instrumental Ensemble.

The Commencement ceremony will be preceded on Friday, May 9, by Chime Out, an HPU tradition in which graduating seniors pass a chain of ivy to underclassmen, symbolizing the passing of authority, responsibility and privileges to those students who remain on campus to carry on the traditions of the university. Chime Out begins at 6 p.m. at the university’s J. Howard Hodge Memorial Bell Towers.

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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.

Stephen Sullivan named director of alumni relations at HPU

Stephen Sullivan for webBROWNWOOD – March 7, 2014 – Stephen Sullivan, a 2011 Howard Payne University graduate, has been named director of alumni relations at HPU. Sullivan previously served the university as admission counselor and Mobile Go Center coordinator.

As director of alumni relations, Sullivan will work closely with HPU’s close-knit alumni base and strive to grow the university’s Alumni Association, a network through which former students stay connected to faculty, staff and current students. The Alumni Association provides several scholarships to HPU students each year.

“I want to increase the number of scholarships offered so that more students may have the opportunity to succeed here,” Sullivan said.

The director of alumni relations also plans and executes events for alumni, most notably Homecoming. Most of all, Sullivan says he is excited to cultivate and maintain ongoing relationships with alumni and friends of the university.

Sullivan graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in May 2011 and served as director of marketing and technology at San Saba’s First Baptist Church before being hired in September 2012 by the Office of Admission at HPU. He will graduate with a Master of Business Administration degree from HPU in December.

“We are very pleased that Stephen has joined our team at HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement,” said Randy Yeakley, vice president for development. “As a young alumnus, we believe he will help grow a network of former students and alumni from many different generations.”

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Photo cutline: Stephen Sullivan has been named director of alumni relations at Howard Payne University.

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.

This Valentine’s Day, alumni couple reflects on time at HPU

butler grad pic for web_3BROWNWOOD – Feb. 10, 2014 – For Howard Payne University alumni Ben and Angela (Haney) Butler, the university will forever represent more than just an education – it’s also where they met and fell in love. The couple was married on November 2, 2013, just one month before they crossed the stage to receive their Master of Business Administration degrees.

Ben, a Graham native, and Angela, from Denison, both started at HPU in the fall of 2008. After seeing each other around campus for a year, they became friends in the fall of 2009.

“I could always tell that there was something special about Ben,” said Angela. “He was always the guy who would do anything to help out a friend. If you ask any of his friends from HPU, they’ll tell you that he goes above and beyond to take care of other people.”

It wasn’t until the next year, however, that Angela noticed her feelings for Ben were evolving into something deeper.

“I finally told a mutual friend of ours, and he got so excited that he immediately went and told Ben,” she said.

According to Ben, he didn’t quite believe the news for the first few weeks.

“I wasn’t sure if it was true or if my buddies were just playing a joke on me,” he said. “Angela was the type of girl that I always felt was out of my league, and I still do. But on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving that year, as I was getting ready to head home for break, I decided to text her.”

A month later, the couple was “officially” dating and they continued to do so throughout the rest of their undergraduate careers.

“Ben actually chose to get his Master of Business Administration degree through HPU before I did,” said Angela. “He had an extra year of eligibility left in baseball and thought the MBA program sounded perfect.”

Angela, who had taken an internship in her hometown after graduating with a bachelor’s degree, discovered that a long-distance relationship was not what she wanted. Fortunately, she applied for an admission counselor position with HPU’s Office of Admission and was hired soon after.

“I didn’t really think anything about getting an MBA until after I came back to work at HPU and more people began to tell me about their great experiences with the program,” she said. “It was enticing to me because an MBA can help you in so many different fields, and it can be completed in only one year. I decided to follow in Ben’s footsteps and get mine too.”

In between busy work schedules, baseball and other events, Ben and Angela attended graduate classes together at nights and on weekends. Their relationship continued to blossom, and they became engaged on March 16, 2013, at a family friend’s house after a home baseball game.

“I turned a corner and saw Ben standing there with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, his Bible and a little blue box wrapped in white ribbon,” Angela said. “He proposed and I said yes in front of our friends and family. We celebrated the night away.”

Due to the fact that Ben finished his MBA in August and Angela finished hers in December, they had the rare opportunity to graduate together a month after their wedding.

“It was a really cool thing to do,” Angela said. “I even had the registrar’s office make sure that my name said ‘Angela Nicole Butler’ on my diploma instead of ‘Haney.’ When I walked the stage they had me wait for Ben’s name to be called too. We were able to get our picture taken together on the platform, as husband and wife, both graduating with our Master of Business Administration degrees. It was a really great experience to get to share with him.”

The couple now lives in The Colony, with Ben working for Evantage, Inc., and Angela for Lewisville ISD. They’ve joined Prestonwood Baptist Church and say they have been blessed by God’s continual provision.

“As far as the future goes, sometimes it seems like we have a ton of plans and sometimes it seems like we’re just playing it fast and loose,” Angela said. “We would both eventually like to pursue entrepreneurship. We want to travel. We want to raise a family. But right now, we’re just taking it one step at a time and loving each other with everything we have.”

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Photo cutline: Ben and Angela (Haney) Butler graduated from HPU with Master of Business Administration degrees just one month after their wedding. They are pictured with Dr. Les Plagens, left, dean of the School of Business, and Dr. Lois Patton, right, professor of business administration and director of the MBA program.