News Archives: Alumni Relations

HPU hosts BGCT’s Super Summer camp for Texas youth

super summer 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – July 21, 2015 – Howard Payne University recently hosted the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Super Summer camp, a weeklong event designed to foster leadership skills in young Christians. In addition to hundreds of Texas youth, approximately 65 HPU alumni, students, faculty and staff members participated in the camp.

Youth ministers from churches across the state – 18 of them HPU alumni or graduate students – brought students to the camp. Additional Super Summer camps are hosted by other Texas Baptist universities throughout the summer.

At least nine of the young people who attended HPU’s Super Summer will start classes at the university in the fall.

Camp youth are divided into schools, designated by colors, based on their ages. This year, HPU was one of only two universities to also include a Purple School, which provides preparation for students who feel called to vocational Christian ministry. Dr. Rusty Wheelington, associate professor of Christian studies at HPU, served as dean of the Purple School.

“Spending a week with some of the best youth ministers and students across the state is always encouraging and a blessing,” said Dr. Wheelington. “This year we even had one student from Haiti. Super Summer is a week of intense teaching and training to help students become more effective leaders, disciples and sharers of the Gospel in their schools, communities and homes.”

According to Dr. Gary Gramling ’81, professor of Christian studies and director of HPU’s Christian studies graduate programs, other students also recognized God calling them to ministry throughout the week.

“I met two students who were not a part of Purple School who sensed during the week that God is calling them to vocational Christian ministry,” he said. “What a privilege for HPU to host such a week where God is at work in the hearts of so many students. I can’t imagine anything that would bring greater joy to the hearts of those who founded our university than to know the campus is being used for such events.”

Chuck Gartman ’72, adjunct instructor in HPU’s School of Christian Studies and minister of education/leadership development at Field Street Baptist Church in Cleburne, served as dean of Super Summer’s Leadership Forum at HPU.

“Howard Payne’s Leadership Forum at Super Summer continues to be a breath of fresh air for me personally as I facilitate this process,” he said. “Leaders have the opportunity to hear from some of our state’s best youth leaders and are also able to express concerns or sources of praise in their own settings. I’m privileged to be a part of this great opportunity for youth leaders around our state.”

Natalie Stary ’03, HPU admission counselor, coordinated HPU’s camp this year.

“Super Summer has had a huge impact on Baptist students for more than 40 years,” she said. “Super Summer at HPU will always be special to me because I attended as a student 19 years ago.”

It was during that time, Stary said, she felt called to ministry and to become a student at HPU.

“I feel very honored to get to now serve in a leadership role with the planning and implementation of Super Summer at Howard Payne,” she said. “The Lord continues to use Super Summer and HPU to train up future generations of Texas Baptists for His service locally and around the world.”

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Photo cutline: Super Summer campers gather near HPU’s Old Main Tower.

HPU alumna Dr. Henrietta Grooms honored by Tyler ISD

BROWNWOOD – June 26, 2015 – Dr. Henrietta Grooms, a Howard Payne University alumna and professional educator for 37 years, was recently honored by the Tyler Independent School District. The ISD named career pathway wings in its new Career and Technology Center in recognition of three educators, including Dr. Grooms.

Dr. Grooms received both her Bachelor of Music Education (1956) and Master of Education (1958) degrees from HPU before earning a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Georgia in 1967.

A plaque recognizing her achievements states the wing is “named in honor of her innovative leadership as a lifetime educator and volunteer.”

The plaque goes on to state that Dr. Grooms has impacted thousands of students within Tyler ISD and the community through her roles as teacher, principal, central administrator, consultant for the Texas Education Agency and volunteer. Since retiring as assistant superintendent for instruction, she continues to influence students in the community through volunteer work with the Literacy Council of Tyler and The Salvation Army.

In 1992, she was presented the Distinguished Graduate award from HPU’s School of Education and she received HPU’s Medal of Service award during the university’s Homecoming festivities in 1997. Her husband, Dr. Randall Grooms, is a former member of HPU’s Board of Trustees.

“Dr. Grooms is indeed a living testimony of exactly what the School of Education at Howard Payne University strives to accomplish – producing the very best prepared Christian educators for service in the public schools of Texas,” said Dr. Michael Rosato, dean of HPU’s School of Education. “It is both exciting and encouraging to see her obedience to God’s call on her life and how He has continued to use her through many distinguished years of service. We celebrate with Dr. Grooms for this wonderful recognition which she so rightly deserves.”

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Photo cutline: HPU alumna Dr. Henrietta Grooms was among three educators recently honored by Tyler ISD. She is pictured during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the ISD’s new Career and Technology Center.

HPU graduates 133 at the close of the spring 2015 semester

spring 2015 commencement for webBROWNWOOD – June 11, 2015 – Howard Payne University graduated 133 students during the university’s Commencement exercises at the close of the spring 2015 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
Taryn Tynille Massey – Bachelor of Science in psychology
Ryan Cade Smith – Bachelor of Science in biology, Cum Laude

Anderson
James David Timm – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (physical education)

Anton
Larissa K. Lynskey – Bachelor of Science in biology, Summa Cum Laude

Arlington
Samuel Storm Marich-Edwan – Bachelor of Arts in practical theology, Cum Laude

Athens
Brennan C. Johnson – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration

Austin
Shane M. Kendell – Master of Education in instructional leadership

Bangs
Kaitlin Nicole Vernon – Bachelor of Arts in history (high school: grade 8-grade 12 certification), Cum Laude

Bertram
Conner Trent Fisher – Bachelor of Science in biology, Cum Laude
Katherine Joyce Licce – Bachelor of Music in music – instrumental (all-level certification), Magna Cum Laude

Big Spring
Ethan Michael Yeats – Bachelor of Music in music – instrumental (all-level certification), Summa Cum Laude

Blanket
Trevor Christopher Ray – Bachelor of Science in business administration
Cullan Ross Tidwell – Bachelor of Science in biology, Magna Cum Laude

Briggs
Allison Victoria Eaton – Bachelor of Science in psychology, Cum Laude

Brownwood
Allyson Nicole Adams – Bachelor of Science in athletic training
Michael Gene Bannister – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems, Summa Cum Laude
Susan Lynn Baugh – Master of Education in instructional leadership
Nicholas Calvin Bennie – Bachelor of Arts in the Honors Academy and psychology (counseling/clinical), Cum Laude
Melissa R. Bernal – Bachelor of Arts in Spanish
Joan Davina Burks – Bachelor of Science in athletic training
Shelby Nicole Byrd – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)
Crystal Faith Carter – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice
Chasity Dawn Cartwright – Bachelor of Arts in English language arts and reading (high school: grade 8-12), Magna Cum Laude
Dustin Jayme Crager – Bachelor of Music in music – instrumental (all-level certification), Magna Cum Laude
Sarah Ashley Crager – Bachelor of Music in music – choral (all-level certification), Cum Laude
Stephanie Baldwin Ddughdhnemimnier – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Raymundo Delgado – Bachelor of Science in business administration
Tyler Beau Dixon – Bachelor of Arts in history
Ethan Lynn Fisher – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Justin Allen Fisher – Bachelor of Science in chemistry (biochemistry concentration), Summa Cum Laude
Amanda Carlie Gober – Bachelor of Science in psychology (family psychology), Cum Laude
Aaron Albert Gomez – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (personal trainer)
Meagan Elizabeth Hall – Bachelor of Arts in English, Summa Cum Laude
Kalin Alana Hanna – Bachelor of Business Administration in management
Michael Jeffrey Harmon – Bachelor of Arts in studio art, Magna Cum Laude
Matthew James Hazelwood – Bachelor of Music in music – church music (vocal)
Amelia M. Iafrate – Bachelor of Science in psychology
Megan Michele Irwin – Bachelor of Music in music – instrumental (all-level certification), Cum Laude
Leslie Gerald King – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in general studies
Natali Monique Maldonado – Bachelor of Business Administration in management
Kensey Dena Martinez – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)
Shauntel Charity McGlothin – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)
Gavin James Middleton – Bachelor of Science in criminal justice
Justin Shane Moore – Bachelor of Science in biology
Kristin Maike Musgrove – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in general studies
Larisa Nicole Salazar – Bachelor of Science in biology
Stormy San Miguel – Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting
Taylor McKay Snow – Bachelor of Science in family studies
Shandi Denise Winstead – Bachelor of Science in communication (public and media communication)
Joshua Blain Woods – Bachelor of Arts in youth ministry, Magna Cum Laude
Dustin Eugene Wright – Bachelor of Arts in youth ministry

Burkburnett
Blake Tyler Arbogast – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (all-level certification)

Canton, Ga.
Elizabeth Anne Perez – Master of Education in instructional leadership

Cedar Park
Ethan Zachary West – Bachelor of Science in the Honors Academy, political science/prelaw and business administration, Magna Cum Laude

Copperas Cove
Anthony Dane Bryant – Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice

Corpus Christi
Marcos Jeffrey Corley – Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice

Cypress
Carl Jacob Bromley – Bachelor of Arts in biblical languages

Deer Park
Shelby Renee Bridges – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice

Duncanville
Clarissa Leigh Toler – Bachelor of Arts in Bible, Cum Laude

Early
Jacqueline Rose Ebarb – Master of Business Administration in business administration
Dacia D’Shea Griffin – Bachelor of Science in biology, Summa Cum Laude
Holly Denise Jessup – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (personal trainer)
Lillian Murselle McMillan – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (composite concentration), Summa Cum Laude
Joanne Jeanette Melton – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (all-level certification), Cum Laude
Christine Nicole Salmon – Bachelor of Music in music – performance (voice concentration)

El Paso
Jesus Arturo Barraza – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in general studies
Evelyn Lillian Escobar – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice
Laura Jean Flores – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration, Magna Cum Laude
Corinne Holguin – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business management

Erie, Colo.
Hannah Elizabeth Jansen – Bachelor of Arts in communication (public and media communication), Summa Cum Laude

Eufaula, Okla.
Erin E. McLeod – Bachelor of Science in biology

Fort Worth
Michelle Danielle Bates – Bachelor of Science in psychology (counseling/clinical)
Brandon Lee Gould – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (systems development)

Frisco
Allisha Janine McClure – Bachelor of Arts in political science/prelaw

Fulshear
Will Orion Roberts – Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing, Cum Laude

Gainesville
Amanda Ruth Driggers – Bachelor of Science in the Honors Academy and psychology, Magna Cum Laude

Garland
Marlie Amanda Austin – Bachelor of Arts in the Honors Academy and psychology, Cum Laude

Goldthwaite
Janakay Frances Oliver – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)

Gorman
Jaime Leann Swanner – Bachelor of Science in mathematics (middle school: grade 4-8 certification), Magna Cum Laude

Gunter
Randy Gene Miller – Master of Education in instructional leadership

Harlingen
Samuel Christopher Allen – Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice

Hewitt
Luke Ravel Kilmartin – Master of Arts in youth ministry

Hillsboro
Jared Thomas Russell – Bachelor of Arts in theatre arts (all-level certification)

Houston
David Kevin Williams – Bachelor of Science in forensic science

Iraan
Kaleigh Jo Tankersley – Bachelor of Arts in communication (public and media communication), Magna Cum Laude

Kenefick
Kevin Benjamin Domingue – Bachelor of Science in mathematics (high school: grade 8-12 certification), Cum Laude

Kermit
Allyson Michelle Gainey – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6), Summa Cum Laude
Trent Cameron Gainey – Bachelor of Arts in biblical languages and English, Cum Laude

Lampasas
Brittany Morgan Cavness – Bachelor of Business Administration in management, Magna Cum Laude
Jennifer Lynn Hilla – Bachelor of Music in music – choral (all-level certification), Summa Cum Laude

Lewisville
Brittany Dianne Roberson – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (physical education)
Sondra Rena Todd – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (coaching)

Lytle
Katie Rose Bonner – Bachelor of Arts in the Honors Academy, history and political science/prelaw, Summa Cum Laude

May
Desarai Lynn Beatty – Bachelor of Arts in psychology (family psychology)
Samuel Rodriguez Garcia – Bachelor of Science in athletic training
Nicole Mariah Nehf – Bachelor of Arts in the Honors Academy, Spanish and political science/prelaw

McKinney
Jeffri Cathleen Foster – Master of Arts in theology and ministry

Midlothian
Connor John Roberts – Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting

North Richland Hills
Sean David Locker – Bachelor of Arts in cross-cultural studies

New Braunfels
Brandon Tye Davis – Master of Business Administration in business administration
James Brian Scardami – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration

New London, Mo.
Allison Ann Ninedorf – Bachelor of Science in the Honors Academy and psychology, Magna Cum Laude

Paradise
Rachel Catherine Runnels – Bachelor of Arts in communication (public and media communication)

Pecos
Christopher Glen Mitchell – Bachelor of Arts in the Honors Academy and political science/prelaw, Summa Cum Laude

Plano
Burke Clifton Edwards – Bachelor of Business Administration in management, Cum Laude

Ponder
Jorden Alexander Young – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (all-level certification)

Richland Springs
Lisa Danae Baker – Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)

Rising Star
Emily Louise Murphree – Bachelor of Science in biology
Dale Ross Self – Bachelor of Science in biology

Rosenberg
Cameron Joseph Garcia – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (personal trainer)

Roseville, Calif.
Brandon Mitchell Yost – Bachelor of Arts in practical theology

Round Rock
Kyle Edward Kulczyk – Master of Business Administration in business administration

Rowlett
Adrianna Nicole Perez – Bachelor of Arts in political science/prelaw and criminal justice, Cum Laude

Salado
Paul Jefferson Warren – Bachelor of Arts in the Honors Academy and cross-cultural studies, Magna Cum Laude

San Angelo
Cara Ann DeLoach – Bachelor of Arts in the Honors Academy, English and political science, Summa Cum Laude

San Antonio
Victoria Rene Krawczynski – Bachelor of Arts in communication (organizational and leadership communication), Summa Cum Laude

San Saba
Marshal Lynn McIntosh – Bachelor of Science in communication (public and media communication), Cum Laude

Santa Anna
Shelbie Paige Deleon – Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting

Sherman
Ashley Paige Krueger Sullivan – Bachelor of Arts in music – instrumental

Spicewood
Colette Cailin Wilcoxen – Bachelor of Arts in psychology

Spring
Dustin James Kelver – Bachelor of Business Administration in management

Sweetwater
Tifnee Lea Reed – Master of Education in instructional leadership
Bryson Taylor Wallace – Bachelor of Arts in Bible

Taylor
Miriam Myeisha Mackey – Master of Arts in youth ministry

Temple
Morgan Blair Marriott – Bachelor of Arts in communication (public and media communication)

Terrell
Jack Burton Wells – Bachelor of Arts in Christian education, Cum Laude

Tolar
John Curtis Elmore – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (exercise and sport management)

Tomball
Dillon Layne McDugle – Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (all-level certification)

Universal City
Michael Carroll Watford – Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (multimedia)

Wallisville
Nicole Ann Bird – Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting

Whitesboro
Katelyn Marie Wood – Master of Business Administration in business administration

Winters
Randy Scott Jackson – Master of Arts in youth ministry

Zephyr
Lacy Harrison Culpepper – Bachelor of Business Administration in management (finance emphasis), Summa Cum Laude

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Photo cutline: HPU graduated 132 students at the close of the spring 2015 semester.

HPU alumnus Dr. Juan Andrade named a “Chicagoan of the Year”

Dr Juan Andrade Jr for webBROWNWOOD – January 30, 2015 – Dr. Juan Andrade Jr., a 1970 Howard Payne University graduate, was recently named a “Chicagoan of the Year (2014)” by Chicago Magazine. Originally from Brownwood, Dr. Andrade serves as president of the Chicago-based United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI).

After graduating from HPU, Dr. Andrade went on to complete a master’s degree at Antioch College in Ohio, doctoral and education specialist degrees from Northern Illinois University and a post-doctorate master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago. HPU awarded Dr. Andrade an honorary doctor of humanities degree in 1999, one of five he has received to date.

The USHLI is one of the most powerful and recognized Latino organizations in the country, organizing and conducting nonpartisan voter registration and leadership development programs in 40 states. According to the organization, Dr. Andrade is the fourth of only five Latinos in history to be decorated by the President of the United States (Bill Clinton) “for the performance of exemplary deeds of service for the nation” and “promoting leadership and civic participation.” He also received the Ohtli Award from the government of Mexico, the nation’s highest honor presented to a civilian not living in Mexico.

Dr. Andrade remains a staunch supporter of HPU. In 1974, he founded the Dr. José Rivas Memorial Scholarship Fund and in 2001 created the Hispanic Alumni Fellowship Scholarship Fund to assist Hispanic students attending the university.

“Dr. Andrade’s continuous support of HPU is a blessing to the university, and we’re exceedingly proud of his accomplishments,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, president.

In a video produced by Chicago Magazine, Dr. Andrade said his career has been a great journey.

“I couldn’t have dreamed a dream bigger than what I’m living today,” he said.

He encourages young people to pursue their own dreams while reaching out to others.

“Servant leadership is not about how high you can climb,” he said. “It’s how wide you can reach. If we let our dreams drive our vision, we can be about the business of reaching far and wide. We can get our arms around as many people as we can and lift them up rather than just trying to elevate ourselves to the highest point possible.”

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Photo cutline: Dr. Juan Andrade Jr., 1970 HPU alumnus, was recently named a “Chicagoan of the Year” by Chicago Magazine.

HPU to celebrate Black History Month with special Chapel service

BROWNWOOD – January 30, 2015 – Howard Payne University will celebrate the lives and achievements of African-Americans during the past 100 years at a Black History Recognition Chapel service on Wednesday, February 4, at 10 a.m. The service, to be held in the university’s Mims Auditorium, is hosted each year in honor of Black History Month.

HPU students and members of the HPU African-American Alumni Association will be the primary participants and act as narrators for the presentation. Alexandra Galloway ’11 serves as the association’s president. The program is written and directed by Wilbert Rogers ’75. Gladys Murray ’79 serves as the assistant coordinator and technical specialist.

The program will celebrate significant events and accomplishments from each decade, including a special remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the historic march from Selma to Montgomery.

“We’re very thankful for the leadership of Mr. Rogers and Mrs. Murray in developing an educational, creative, and inspiring program for our campus community,” said Dr. Magen Bunyard, vice president for student life and dean of students.

HPU honors 11 during Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet

BROWNWOOD – November 12, 2014 – As part of its Homecoming 2014 festivities, Howard Payne University recognized 11 individuals for their contributions to the university and beyond during the annual Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet.

This year’s honorees included Dr. Thomas Collins ’96, Distinguished Alumnus; Dr. Hilary B. Graves ’50, Distinguished Alumnus; Benjamin E. Hoover ’03, Outstanding Young Graduate; Marilynn Bock Jackson ’73, Coming Home Queen; Leo ’50 and Jane ’52 Lacey, Medal of Service; Dr. Ray ’50 and Nancy ’48 Ellis, Grand Marshals; Meia Daniels ’08, Sports Hall of Fame; Chris Kielsmeier, Sports Hall of Fame; and Dr. Don Newbury ’61, Sports Hall of Fame.

Drs. Bill and Diana Ellis, HPU president and first lady, presented each honoree with a trophy recognizing their accomplishments.

“I was very pleased to help recognize these individuals who have all contributed greatly to society,” said Dr. Bill Ellis. “They make the university proud.”

Collins banquet for web

Dr. Thomas Collins graduated from HPU in 1996 before going on to receive his medical degree from The University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 2000. He has since held a large number of professional and academic positions.

Dr. Collins currently serves at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in a variety of roles including the transplant fellowship program director for the Division of Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgery, director of liver transplant for the Organ Transplant Center, director of procedural skills and simulation and clinical associate professor of surgery.

In addition to being named an Outstanding Young Graduate by HPU in 2006, Dr. Collins received the Webber Prize for Student Research in 1997 from The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Additionally, he has published a number of book chapters and peer-reviewed papers.

Graves banquet for web

Dr. Hilary B. Graves came to Howard Payne College in 1947 after being called by God to preach. He graduated in 1950 at the same time as his wife, Ruth. He then graduated from Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. While attending both Howard Payne and Southwestern, he pastored small community colleges around Brownwood and Fort Worth. He subsequently completed his doctorate in theology at Trinity University in Evanston, Indiana.

Dr. Graves pastored churches in Texas and southwestern Oklahoma throughout his long ministry. Additionally, he has preached in revivals throughout the Southwest, led crusades in California, Oregon and Washington and preached in crusades in Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Australia and Hong Kong.

Dr. Graves’ first wife, Ruth, passed away in 1980 and Mildred, his second wife, passed away in 2000. After marrying his current wife, Jo Ann, in 2001, the couple felt called to home mission work in Vermont. There they pastored one church and started two others between 2002 and 2008.

Dr. Graves has three children – Ben (who graduated from HPU in 1974), Phoi and Tori.

Hoover banquet for web

Benjamin E. Hoover was the first of three brothers to graduate from HPU. While at the university, Hoover participated in the Student Government Association. He graduated from HPU in 2003 and went on to law school at Texas Tech University.

After graduation, Hoover served as an assistant district attorney with the Wichita County District Attorney’s Office from 2006 to 2012 before moving into private practice at The Nix Law Firm in Wichita Falls. He is past president of the Wichita County Bar Association and was elected to the Wichita Falls City Council in May 2013.

Hoover’s wife, Meagan, is a labor and delivery nurse at United Regional Hospital and the couple has two young children, Grant and Blair.

Jackson parade for web

Before going on to a lengthy career with the university, Marilynn Bock Jackson graduated Summa Cum Laude from Howard Payne in 1973 with a degree in psychology and minor in sociology. She subsequently earned a master’s degree from Abilene Christian University in 1976.

Jackson has had many roles at HPU including associate professor of psychology, director of testing, director of counseling and director of career services. Additionally, she served as the community counselor for First Baptist Church of Brownwood, area churches and disadvantaged members of the community.

She served as secretary of HPU’s Retired Personnel Association and has served on the boards of numerous community organizations including the Brown County United Way, the Heart of Texas Brown Baptist Association Task Force, the Executive Board of Good Samaritan Ministries and more.

Jackson is a volunteer and past president of the Auxiliary at the Brownwood Regional Hospital; a regular speaker for Christian Women’s Job Corps; and the Good Samaritan volunteer coordinator for First Baptist Church of Brownwood.

She was married in 1957 to William Donald Jackson, now deceased. The couple has two children, Stephen Lee Jackson and Laurie Jackson Sellers.

Laceys halftime for web

Leo and Jane (Black) Lacey first met at Howard Payne in 1950 though they did not marry until 1988. Leo enrolled at the university in 1946 and was a letterman on the Yellow Jacket track team from 1948 to 1950. The lettermen of the 1948 team were honored during the Homecoming celebrations 60 years later in 2008. Among other accomplishments at Howard Payne, he was president of his senior class and a member of Future Teachers of America and the first Veterans Club.

Following graduation, he spent one year teaching and coaching before his life changed direction and he began a 39-year career with Texaco, Inc. (now Chevron-Texaco). His wife passed away in June 1986. At HPU late the next year, he reconnected with Jane Black, who had also recently lost her spouse. The pair renewed their relationship and were married in May 1988.

During her Howard Payne days, Jane (Black) Lacey was a yell leader and writer for the Yellow Jacket student newspaper. Among other accomplishments, she was named to the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities list, the Who’s Who on Campus list and was a member of the Jacket Coeds and Alpha Chi. She was honored as the Coming Home Queen in 2001.

The Laceys have four children from their previous marriages: Tom Turman, Dick Turman, Debbie (Lacey) Owen and Michael Lacey (deceased). They also have seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Ellises parade for web

Dr. Ray and Nancy (Greer) Ellis met as students at Howard Payne during a debate tournament on the campus of Abilene Christian University. They fell in love and married a year later. Returning from war, he received his master’s and doctoral degrees while she taught school.

The couple moved to Abilene when Dr. Ellis began teaching New Testament and Greek at Hardin-Simmons University. He later became dean of graduate studies at HSU and retired from the university in 1993 after 36 years.

When their children were older, Mrs. Ellis entered HSU, earning her master’s degree in education. She was the associational president of the Woman’s Missionary Union for six years, an organization comprised of 48 Baptist churches in Taylor and Callahan Counties. Additionally, she teaches a women’s Sunday School Class at First Baptist Church of Abilene.

Among other roles in the community, she is an emeriti member of the Abilene Woman’s Club, past president of the Hardin-Simmons Round Table and the Twenty-One clubs, and a member of the Abilene Harmony Club and the American Association of University Women. She is also a member of the HPU Woman’s Club and serves on the Board of Development at HSU.

The couple has three children – Bill, Bob and Nancy. Dr. Bill Ellis is president of HPU; Dr. Bob Ellis is associate dean of Logsdon Seminary at HSU; and Dr. Nancy (Ellis) Kucinski holds the position her father once held, dean of graduate studies at HSU.

Kielsmeier banquet for web

In eight seasons at HPU, Chris Kielsmeier compiled an impressive 179-44 record as head coach of the women’s basketball team and led the Lady Jackets to a 33-0 record and the NCAA Division III National championship in 2007-08.

He was the winningest women’s basketball coach in HPU history, coaching the school to four straight appearances (2005-08) in the NCAA Division III National Tournament.

At HPU, he won a national title, two divisional championships and three conference tournament titles. He is a three-time conference Coach of the Year and was twice named Region Coach of the Year. Kielsmeier was named the WBCA South Region and National Coach of the Year in 2007-08 and was selected the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Small College Coach of the Year.

He is currently the head women’s coach at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska.

Daniels parade for web

As one of Kielsmeier’s players, Meia Daniels was 109-12 over four seasons leading the Lady Jackets to three American Southwest Conference championships, four NCAA III national tournament appearances and a NCAA III National Championship in 2008. A 2008 HPU graduate, Daniels holds seven HPU career, season and game records and five American Southwest Conference records. She is second in career scoring at HPU with 2,118 points.

Daniels received numerous honors as a player at HPU including multiple All-Conference selections, National Player of the Year in 2008, two-time ASC Tournament MVP, two-time Regional Player of the Year and two-time All-American. She was also twice named the American Southwest Conference Athlete of the Year.

After leaving HPU, Daniels spent two seasons as the women’s basketball graduate assistant at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. She helped guide the Wayne State program to a NSIC Conference Championship in 2010.

She currently serves as the head women’s basketball coach at HPU.

Newbury parade for web

Dr. Don Newbury holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from HPU, The University of Texas and The University of North Texas, respectively, with post-doctoral study at Notre Dame University. In 2008, he received HPU’s highest award, the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.

While at HPU, he was sports editor of the college newspaper, sportswriter for the local newspaper and sports director for the radio station. During a six-year stint as publicity director of the Lone Star Conference, he hosted a syndicated weekly radio program with LSC coaches; it was carried by radio stations across Texas. He also was a correspondent for several major Texas newspapers and received the National Award of Merit from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in Kansas City for his work in intercollegiate sports promotion.

During his 40 years in higher education, Dr. Newbury spent almost half of his career in presidencies, including Western Texas College in Snyder (1980-85) and HPU (1986-1997). He currently serves as HPU’s chancellor.

Dr. Newbury was a member of the Council of Presidents of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and served as president of the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association and its successor, the American Southwest Athletic Conference. He was the first president inducted into the conference’s Hall of Honor and was author of the league’s “Code of Conduct” to promote sportsmanship.

Now a fulltime speaker and writer, Dr. Newbury’s reputation as an outstanding speaker is well-known. In his talks, he reflects on his years as a sportswriter and broadcaster, game official and sports publicist for the Lone Star Athletic Conference, president of an intercollegiate athletic conference and member of a national policy-making body for intercollegiate athletics. He is in his 11th year of writing a weekly column, “The Idle American.” It now runs in about 200 newspapers with circulation totaling approximately one million.

Dr. Newbury is married to the former Brenda Pack of Alpine. They have three daughters, all of whom have been public school teachers: Julie (Mrs. Bryan) Choate of Burleson; Jana (Mrs. Kyle) Penney of Tyler; and Jeanie (Mrs. Ryan) McDaniel of Burleson. The Newburys have six grandchildren.

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Photo cutlines:

Dr. Thomas Collins ’96 (right) was named a 2014 Distinguished Alumnus of HPU. He is pictured with Drs. Bill and Diana Ellis, HPU president and first lady.

Dr. Hilary B. Graves ’50 (right) was named a 2014 Distinguished Alumnus of HPU. He is pictured with Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president.

Benjamin E. Hoover ’03 was named a 2014 Outstanding Young Graduate of HPU. He is pictured with his award during the Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet.

Marilynn Bock Jackson ’73 was named the 2014 HPU Coming Home Queen. She is pictured riding in the HPU Homecoming Parade.

Leo ’50 and Jane ’52 Lacey were the 2014 Medal of Service recipients at HPU. They are pictured during the halftime show of HPU’s Homecoming football game.

Dr. Ray ’50 and Nancy ’48 Ellis were named the 2014 Grand Marshals during HPU’s Homecoming 2014 festivities. They are pictured riding in the Homecoming Parade.

Meia Daniels ’08 was named to the HPU Sports Hall of Fame. She is pictured riding in the Homecoming Parade.

Chris Kielsmeier was named to the HPU Sports Hall of Fame. He is pictured with his award during the Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet.

Dr. Don Newbury ’61 was named to the HPU Sports Hall of Fame. He is pictured riding in the Homecoming Parade with his wife, Brenda Newbury, and grandchildren.

Bonner and Wood crowned HPU Homecoming Queen and Princess

2014 Homecoming Queen and Princess for webBROWNWOOD – October 24, 2014 – Katie Rose Bonner of Lytle and Caitlin Wood of Miles were crowned Howard Payne University’s Homecoming Queen and Princess during a ceremony held today on campus.

Katie Rose, the daughter of James and Rosemary Bonner of Lytle, is a senior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in political science and history. She serves as student body president and is a member of Sigma Theta Phi, Gamma Beta Phi, Pi Gamma Mu and the HPU Moot Court team. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to attend law school and is considering a career in immigration or international law.

Caitlin, the daughter of Ron and Sandy Wood of Miles, is a junior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in political science and minors in Christian education. She is a member of Gamma Beta Phi, Pi Gamma Mu and the Jacket Ambassadors. Additionally, she is involved with Student Government Association, Moot Court and the Baptist Student Ministry. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she plans to attend law school and eventually work as a litigator or in-house counsel for a faith-based organization.

The pair will be featured in Saturday’s Homecoming Parade at 9:15 a.m. and during the halftime show of the HPU football game at 2 p.m.

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Photo cutline: Caitlin Wood (left) and Katie Rose Bonner (right) were crowned HPU’s 2014 Homecoming Princess and Queen, respectively. They are pictured with Robin Scofield ’14, HPU’s 2013 Homecoming Queen.

Walker Memorial Library showcases HPU memorabilia

By Jaclyn Bonner, HPU sophomore

library display for webBROWNWOOD – October 24, 2014 – In honor of Homecoming 2014 and the 125th anniversary of Howard Payne University, the Walker Memorial Library has collected and is displaying historical HPU artifacts in the Browsing Room on the first floor.

The tribute includes various keepsakes from the HPU archives to foster nostalgia for alumni while offering students a tangible representation of the university’s history.

Memorabilia includes trophies, football gear, cheerleader and band uniforms and photos. Copies of every circulating yearbook are also available for viewing and some are available for purchase at $1.00 each.

The display will be open to the public during Homecoming, October 24-26. Hours are Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s Walker Memorial Library will display historical artifacts during Homecoming 2014.

HPU to host ribbon-cutting for newly remodeled Mabee University Center

Fambroughs for webBROWNWOOD – October 22, 2014 – A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Howard Payne University’s newly remodeled Mabee University Center will be held this Friday, October 24, at 5 p.m. as part of the university’s Homecoming 2014 celebrations.

The extensive remodeling project included a renovated dining hall, study lounge, social spaces, large eatery and coffee bar, enhanced technology, new office suite for the vice president for student life and her staff, expanded campus store, additional conference rooms and improved Bullion Suites to host events for the university and the community.

Waldrop Construction handled the project.

“The remodel went beautifully,” says Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “We’re very pleased with Waldrop Construction’s work and we look forward to opening the Mabee University Center to the alumni and the community during Homecoming.”

SmithGroupJJR of Dallas, one of the nation’s largest architecture and engineering firms, was in charge of the redesign. Bill Fishback, HPU’s assistant vice president for business and human resources, worked closely with the firm.

“During the construction phase of the Mabee Center renovation project, SmithGroupJJR representatives Nick Back, Kenda Draper and Eden Vaughn were invaluable as we worked with Waldrop Construction and subcontractors to ensure the end result would be a great facility for students,” said Fishback. “Nick Back, associate construction manager, is the consummate professional and was our ‘go to’ person at SmithGroupJJR, assisting us daily throughout project.”

The renovated dining hall opened at the beginning of the fall semester and Fambrough’s Eatery & Coffee Bar, as well as the student life offices, have opened in the past few weeks. Students have expressed their pleasure with the updated spaces.

“The new Fambrough’s looks really nice,” says Allan Chehadi, a sophomore from Austin. “I’m also excited for the new study lounge. It will make it a lot easier for 24-hour studying.”

According to Dr. Ellis, the needs and desires of students were the driving forces behind the project.

“Our main reason for the renovation was to provide a comfortable gathering place for our students and state-of-the-art dining facilities,” says Dr. Ellis. “I believe we have achieved just that. It is a joy to see the students exploring and enjoying the remodeled facility.”

With all of the new features, Dr. Ellis says the upgraded Mabee University Center will benefit the rest of campus and the community as well.

“We’re so proud of this facility and we hope the community makes plans to join us for the ribbon-cutting ceremony,” he said.

A complete schedule of Homecoming events and other information is available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

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Photo cutline: Among the extensive renovations to HPU’s Mabee University Center were updates and improvements to Fambrough’s Eatery & Coffee Bar.

HPU announces 2014 Homecoming Court

Homecoming Court 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – October 22, 2014 – Howard Payne University has announced the 2014 Homecoming Court. The HPU Homecoming queen and princess will be crowned this Friday, October 24, at 2 p.m. during Homecoming Convocation in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

Homecoming queen nominees are Katie Rose Bonner of Lytle, a senior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in political science and history; Morgan Marriott of Fort Worth, a senior communication major and psychology minor; and Samantha Mullins of Frisco, a senior psychology major and health science minor.

Katie Rose is the daughter of James and Rosemary Bonner of Lytle. She serves as student body president and is a member of Sigma Theta Phi, Gamma Beta Phi, Pi Gamma Mu and the HPU Moot Court team. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to attend law school and is considering a career in immigration or international law.

Morgan, the daughter of Dr. Ronny and Mrs. Robin Marriott of Temple, is a member of Delta Chi Rho and works for the Yellow Jacket student newspaper. She is a former member of the Lady Jackets women’s basketball team and after graduation plans to become a talk show host.

Samantha is the daughter of Chad and Natalie Johnson of Frisco. She is a member of Chi Alpha Omega and the Lady Jackets women’s soccer team. After graduation, she plans to become an occupational therapist and work with children who have special needs.

Princess nominees are Gabriella Guest of Midlothian, a junior choral music education major and theatre minor; Kelsan Wolverton of Lampasas, a junior cross-cultural and Bible major who minors in theatre; and Caitlin Wood of Miles, a junior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in political science and minors in Christian education.

Gabriella is the daughter of Austin and DeeDee Guest of Midlothian. She is involved with the Student Government Association and is a member of Gamma Beta Phi, Kappa Delta Pi, the Concert Choir and the Symphonic Band. Additionally, she writes for the Yellow Jacket student newspaper and is involved with many HPU theatre productions. Her career goal is to become a high school choir director.

Kelsan is the daughter of Kelly and Susan Wolverton of DeSoto. She is on the Student Planning Committee and is involved with Alpha Psi Omega, the Baptist Student Ministry, the Ministerial Alliance and HPU theatre productions. After graduation, she would like to become a missionary.

Caitlin, the daughter of Ron and Sandy Wood of Miles, is a member of Gamma Beta Phi, Pi Gamma Mu and the Jacket Ambassadors. Additionally, she is involved with Student Government Association, Moot Court and the Baptist Student Ministry. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she plans to attend law school and eventually work as a litigator or in-house counsel for a faith-based organization.

The Homecoming Court will be featured in the parade on Saturday, October 25, beginning at 9:15 a.m., and in the half-time show of the football game versus Hardin-Simmons University at Gordon Wood Stadium starting at 2 p.m.

The student body selects the court each year by elections coordinated through the Student Government Association.

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Photo cutline: HPU has announced its 2014 Homecoming Court. Left to right: Kelsan Wolverton, Katie Rose Bonner, Morgan Marriott, Gabriella Guest, Samantha Mullins and Caitlin Wood.