News Archives: Alumni Relations

HPU’s Alumni Association eliminates annual dues, introduces “alumni by choice”

Alumni Assocation new logo BBROWNWOOD – January 16, 2017 – In an effort to further bolster the close-knit community of Howard Payne University alumni, the university’s Alumni Association has eliminated annual dues. All HPU alumni and “alumni by choice” may take part in the Association at no cost.

Alumni with at least 24 credit hours at HPU have been automatically deemed members of the Association. Individuals who did not attend HPU or former students with fewer than 24 credit hours may become alumni by choice by contacting HPU’s Office of Alumni Relations.

“Members of the Alumni Association have been so loyal to their alma mater by volunteering, attending regional events, engaging in the lives of students and giving back financially,” said Stephen Sullivan ’11 and MBA ’14, director of development and alumni relations. “We’re excited to give back to them by offering this membership free of charge.”

Alumni Association members are invited and encouraged to take part in fun events each year. A list of events is maintained at

To declare yourself an HPU alumnus/alumna by choice, or to learn more about the benefits of an HPU Alumni Association membership, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at or 325-649-8044.


Attached: HPU Alumni Association logo

HPU alumna “pays it forward” with scholarship benefiting female ministerial students

jespersen-familyBROWNWOOD – January 6, 2017 – Joanna (Cornelius) Jespersen, a 1998 Howard Payne University graduate, recently established the Jespersen Direct Scholarship with the university to benefit females studying in HPU’s School of Christian Studies at the Brownwood campus or the New Braunfels extension center. The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded each fall and spring semester ($500 each semester).

The spring 2017 recipient is Elizabeth Allen, a senior from Kempner double-majoring in cross-cultural studies and English at the Brownwood campus.

After graduating from HPU with a Bachelor of Science degree in counseling and psychology, Jespersen served as a journeyman with the International Mission Board in Brazil. She returned to the United States and, in 2006, graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Today she serves as minister to children and families at Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church in Dallas.

Jespersen is married to Dr. Ryan Jespersen, director of urban missions through the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and they have two daughters, Rachel Beth, 6, and Mary Kate, 4.

“I am excited about giving back to HPU through this scholarship that Ryan and I have set up for female ministerial students,” she said. “I am forever indebted to HPU for all that I received during my time there including scholarships, forever friendships, the deepening of my own faith and practice, and the Godly instruction and guidance by my wonderful Christian professors and the helpful staff there.”

Jespersen said she knew, even as a student, that she wanted to give back to the university when she was in a position to do so.

“I feel compelled and responsible to ‘pay it forward’ in this way since so many blessed me on my own journey at Howard Payne,” she said. “My hope and prayer for Howard Payne is that she continues to be a school focused on educating and training up future Christian leaders who will make an eternal impact on our country and world. I am so happy that I am a part of that legacy and I pray that Howard Payne continues to shine for the Lord in these years ahead.”

If you would like to establish a scholarship at HPU, please contact Stephen Sullivan, director of development and alumni relations, at or 325-649-8069.


Cutline: Joanna Jespersen, 1998 HPU alumna, recently established a scholarship with the university. She is pictured with her husband, Dr. Ryan Jespersen, and daughters Rachel Beth and Mary Kate.

HPU to participate in #GivingTuesday online giving event

givingtuesday-logoBROWNWOOD – November 22, 2016 – Next Tuesday, November 29, Howard Payne University will take part in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and celebrate generosity worldwide. The event is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The purpose of #GivingTuesday is to kick off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

HPU’s goal for the 24-hour giving period is to receive financial donations from 127 individuals.

“We chose 127 because HPU has provided a Christ-centered higher education to students for 127 years since its establishment in 1889,” said Stephen Sullivan, director of development and alumni relations. “We hope you will be willing to participate and help us reach and exceed our goal of 127 gifts.”

Those interested in supporting HPU’s ongoing endeavor of delivering Christ-centered higher education may give online at

For more information, contact HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at (325) 649-8006.

About #GivingTuesday
92Y − a cultural center in New York City that, since 1874, has been bringing people together around its core values of community service and giving back − conceptualized #GivingTuesday as a new way of linking individuals and causes to strengthen communities and encourage giving. In 2015, the fourth year of the movement, #GivingTuesday brought together more than 45,000 partners in 71 countries and helped raise nearly $117 million online in the US alone.

“We have been incredibly inspired by the generosity in time, efforts and ideas that have brought our concept for a worldwide movement into reality,” said Henry Timms, founder of #GivingTuesday and executive director of 92Y. “As we embark on our fifth year of #GivingTuesday, we are encouraged by the early response from partners eager to continue making an impact in this global conversation.”

For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website (, Facebook page ( or follow @GivingTues and the #GivingTuesday hashtag on
social media.


Cutline: HPU will participate in #GivingTuesday, a 24-hour online giving event, next Tuesday, November 29.

HPU graduate elected president of Baptist General Convention of Texas

With reporting by

BROWNWOOD – November 17, 2016 – Danny Reeves, 1994 Howard Payne University graduate, was elected president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) during the organization’s annual meeting on Nov. 14. Reeves is pastor of First Baptist Church in Corsicana.

Danny ReevesAs stated on its website, the BGCT is an organization which “encourages, facilitates and connects churches in their work to fulfill God’s mission of reconciling the world to himself.”

Previously, Reeves served as pastor at First Baptist Church in Edna and First Baptist Church in McGregor. He also served on staff of churches in Mart, Big Lake and Blanket. He is the first graduate of Truett Seminary to serve as BGCT president. Reeves and his wife, Charissa, have three children, Courtney, Emily and Ryan.

Jason Burden, pastor of First Baptist Church of Nederland, nominated Reeves for the position.

“Danny will be a president we can believe in,” Burden said. “He will be a president we can follow whose example will be of such a high standard that we will strive to be a better convention and better people.”

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, said Reeves is a fine example of the many distinguished HPU graduates serving the Kingdom of God.

“We at HPU are thankful for graduates like Danny who strive to serve the Lord in all they do,” Dr. Ellis said. “We look forward to the great things God will accomplish through Danny’s leadership of Texas Baptists.”


Cutline: Danny Reeves, 1994 HPU graduate, was recently elected president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Bonner and Mata crowned HPU Homecoming Queen and Princess

BROWNWOOD – October 28, 2016 – Jaclyn Bonner, senior from Lytle, and Adriana Mata, junior from San Angelo, were crowned Howard Payne University’s Homecoming Queen and Princess during a ceremony held today on campus.

Bonner, the daughter of Rosemary and James Bonner, is a communication major and sociology minor. She is the senior presiding senator of the Student Government Association, a leader within the Baptist Student Ministry and a columnist for the Yellow Jacket student newspaper. Additionally, she serves as a resident advisor, as a member of Gamma Beta Phi National Honor Society and as a volunteer intern for Genuine College Ministry. Upon graduating from HPU, she would like to work with marginalized people groups abroad then return to the United States to begin a career in advocacy and government relations.

Mata, an elementary education major minoring in music performance, is the daughter of Gloria and Lupe Mata. She is a member of the Student Activities Council and an honorary member of Sigma Theta Phi. She aspires to become an elementary teacher to share her love of music with the next generation of musicians.

The Homecoming Court will be featured during the halftime show of the football game as HPU takes on McMurry University this Saturday. The game begins at 4 p.m. at Gordon Wood Stadium.


Cutline: Adriana Mata, left, and Jaclyn Bonner, right, were crowned HPU’s Homecoming Princess and Queen, respectively. They are pictured with HPU’s 2016 Coming Home Queen, Martha Dufresne ’71.

HPU Homecoming to feature parade, bonfire and fireworks

BROWNWOOD – October 26, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Homecoming parade will be the longest in known history at HPU, with more than 40 floats featuring entrants from campus and the community. The parade is scheduled for this Saturday at 10 a.m. New this year, HPU’s Homecoming will also feature Bonfire and Fireworks on the Bayou. This event begins 9 p.m. Friday at Riverside Park in Brownwood.

“HPU is extremely grateful for the support we’ve received from the Brownwood community throughout the years,” said Stephen Sullivan ’11, MBA ’14, director of development and alumni relations. “The entire community is invited to attend these events as we celebrate Homecoming 2016.”

The Homecoming parade will follow the same route as last year. Beginning at Brownwood Coliseum, the parade will travel north on Baker St., turn left onto Center Ave., move across Austin Ave. and enter the HPU campus. The procession will end in front of HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center on Center Ave. The best areas to view the parade are downtown and on campus along Center Ave. Rick Phelps of Victory Life Church in Brownwood helped coordinate the parade which is sponsored by Bruner Auto Group.

Friday evening’s bonfire will be built on a steel 8-foot-by-8-foot raft that will float on Pecan Bayou. The steel for the raft was donated by Sweetwater Steel in Early and the raft was constructed by Ricky Brooks of Kool Kreations Custom Boat Docks at Lake Brownwood. The HPU men’s soccer team collected the wood that will be used for the bonfire, which will be lit by a flaming arrow shot by HPU senior Ivy Nichols of Richardson. Following the bonfire, an exciting, 15-minute fireworks show will light the night sky. The fireworks are made possible by a generous donation from an anonymous donor to HPU.

In addition to the bonfire and fireworks, various HPU student organizations will provide games and activities at Riverside Park during the events. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs and snacks for this event. No alcoholic beverages are permitted.

A complete schedule of Homecoming events is available online at


HPU announces 2016 Homecoming Court

homecoming-court-2016BROWNWOOD – October 24, 2016 – Howard Payne University has announced its 2016 Homecoming Court. The Homecoming queen and princess will be crowned Friday, October 28, at 2 p.m. during Homecoming Convocation in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

Homecoming queen nominees are seniors Jaclyn Bonner of Lytle, Elizabeth Rainey of Poolville and Sydney Spencer of Georgetown. Princess nominees are juniors Camila Cotter of San Antonio, Marissa Godbey of Austin and Adriana Mata of San Angelo.

Jaclyn Bonner, the daughter of Rosemary and James Bonner, is a communication major and sociology minor. She is the senior presiding senator of the Student Government Association, a leader within the Baptist Student Ministry and a columnist for the Yellow Jacket student newspaper. Additionally, she serves as a resident advisor, as a member of Gamma Beta Phi National Honor Society and as a volunteer intern for Genuine College Ministry. Upon graduating from HPU, she would like to work with marginalized people groups abroad then return to the United States to begin a career in advocacy and government relations.

Elizabeth Rainey, an elementary education major, is the daughter of Susan and Richard Rainey. She is an honorary member of Pi Theta Chi, a local sorority founded at HPU in the spring of 2016. After graduating from the university, Rainey aspires to become an elementary reading specialist.

Sydney Spencer, the daughter of Tina and Eric Spencer, is a student in HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy majoring in social work and global studies. She is the Student Government Association President and president of Gamma Beta Phi National Honor Society. Additionally, she is an honorary member of Delta Chi Rho and is involved with Model United Nations, Pi Gamma Mu and the Social Work Club. Her career aspiration is to become an ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Camila Cotter, a music education major, is the daughter of Ivette and Michael Cotter. She is a member of the Chapel worship band, Pi Theta Chi, Gamma Beta Phi, Heritage Singers and the Concert Choir. Additionally, she serves as a resident assistant. Upon graduating from HPU, she aspires to become a high school choir teacher.

Marissa Godbey, the daughter of Tammie Kelley and Brent Godbey, majors in church music and music education with a minor in youth ministry. She serves on the Baptist Student Ministry leadership team and as president of new membership education and recruiting for Pi Theta Chi. She is a resident assistant, a member of the Heritage Singers and a section leader in HPU’s Concert Choir. After graduating from HPU, she would like to teach music in a low-income area while serving in a church. She also plans to earn a doctoral degree in choral conducting.

Adriana Mata, an elementary education major minoring in music performance, is the daughter of Gloria and Lupe Mata. She is a member of the Student Activities Council and an honorary member of Sigma Theta Phi. She aspires to become an elementary teacher to share her love of music with the next generation of musicians.

The Homecoming Court will be featured during the halftime show of the football game as HPU takes on McMurry University on Saturday, October 29. The game begins at 4 p.m. at Gordon Wood Stadium.

For a complete list of Homecoming 2016 activities, visit


Cutline: Members of HPU’s 2016 Homecoming Court are, left to right, Sydney Spencer, Elizabeth Rainey, Jaclyn Bonner, Adriana Mata, Marissa Godbey and Camila Cotter.

HPU Homecoming to feature Authors’ Reception and Archival Display

BROWNWOOD – October 24, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Walker Memorial Library will host an Authors’ Reception and Archival Display this weekend in conjunction with HPU’s Homecoming 2016 celebrations. The authors’ reception will take place Saturday, October 29, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The archival display will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Seven authors will participate in this year’s reception including Dr. Don Newbury ’61, HPU’s chancellor and former president. Additional authors include Dr. John Duncan, 1982 HPU graduate and former member of HPU’s Board of Trustees; Rev. James Goforth, 1961 HPU graduate; Craig Hughes, 1975 HPU graduate; Mark Long, 1973 HPU graduate; Murselle McMillan, 2015 HPU graduate; and Sara Musgrove, 2006 HPU graduate.

“This will be a fun time to mingle and visit,” said Alexia Riggs, dean of libraries. “If you see a book you want to purchase you will have the opportunity to do so.”

The archival display will feature a recreation of a typical office from the university’s early years. Among the items featured in this display is the Founder’s Desk, the original desk used by Dr. John D. Robnett, HPU’s founder and second president.

Also on display will be historical items and memorabilia including HPU yearbooks for viewing and purchase, photos, posters, clothing and more. A special display will honor the classes of 1966 and 1976, which are celebrating 50th and 40th class reunions, respectively.

Additionally, the library has created a t-shirt display featuring 80 HPU t-shirts.

“We encourage alumni to donate t-shirts for this display,” Riggs said. “We keep the shirts well preserved and it’s a great way to capture slices of life at HPU during different decades.”

For more information, contact HPU’s Walker Memorial Library at (325) 649-8602 or


Cutline: Many pieces of HPU memorabilia will be on display at the university’s Walker Memorial Library for Homecoming 2016 including this early version of HPU’s Buzzsaw mascot.

HPU announces Homecoming 2016 honorees

BROWNWOOD – October 20, 2016 – Howard Payne University will recognize 10 individuals during the Homecoming 2016 celebrations, October 28-30.

This year’s honorees include Dr. Vernon Holleman ’53, Distinguished Alumnus; Robert Morrison ’82, Distinguished Alumnus; Dr. Brad Collins ’01, Outstanding Young Graduate; Emily Gore ’09, Outstanding Young Graduate; Martha Dufresne ’71, Coming Home Queen; Dwain Bruner, Medal of Service; Stephen Haynes, Grand Marshal; Dan McGhee ’71, Sports Hall of Fame; Greg Nixon ’06, Sports Hall of Fame; and Dr. Adrian Gil, Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award.

The honorees will be recognized during the Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet, sponsored by the HPU Alumni Association, on Friday, October 28. The banquet begins at 6 p.m. The Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service award will be presented during the Hispanic Fellowship Breakfast on Saturday, October 29. For ticket information for either event, visit or call (325) 649-8044.

For more information about these and other Homecoming events, visit

Dr. Vernon Holleman ’53, Distinguished Alumnus

Dr Vernon HollemanAccording to Dr. Vernon Holleman, his preparation at HPU was so successful that he was quickly accepted into three medical schools upon graduating in 1953 with a double major in chemistry and biology and an art minor. At that time there were only three medical schools in Texas.

He chose to attend Baylor College of Medicine in Houston where he graduated with his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1958. He went on to complete an internship and residency at Scott & White Clinic and Hospital before joining the senior medical staff. He continues to work reduced hours of 45 to 50 hours a week at the hospital (since renamed Baylor Scott & White). By his estimation, he has been employed continuously by Scott & White longer than any other physician.

Dr. Holleman attends yearly internal medicine review courses at Harvard Medical School and has attended courses at Southwestern Medical School and many others in the more than 58 years he has practiced medicine.

He has been a member of several churches throughout the years including Brownwood’s Calvary Baptist Church and Belton’s First Baptist Church. He is a member of the Boone and Crockett Club, the oldest wildlife conservation organization in North America. He serves on the club’s publications and records committees.

He and his wife, Shirley Eyvonne Roberts Holleman, recently celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. They have three children, Richard, Joel and Douglas.

Robert Morrison ’82, Distinguished Alumnus

robert-morrisonRobert Morrison says HPU provided him with a faith-based education and lifetime friends and connections.

Morrison graduated from HPU in 1982 with a degree in physical education and minor in social studies. While at HPU, he was involved with Jackets for Jesus and Ebony Imani, and was captain of the Yellow Jacket football team. He went on to sign a free-agent contract with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks before sustaining a career-ending injury.

Morrison earned a Master of Education degree from Tarleton State University in 1987 and principal certification and a Master of Education degree in educational administration from Prairie View A&M University in 1998.

His career in education includes teaching, coaching and administrative positions at several Texas high schools. He began his career as teacher and coach at Bangs High School before becoming a teacher and coach at Westfield High School in Spring. He then served as assistant and associate principal at Spring High School; assistant and associate principal at Montgomery High School; and principal at Sweeny High School. He currently serves as principal at Abilene High School.

Morrison’s professional affiliations include memberships in the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (also past-president), the Texas Association of African-American Principals, the Legislative Committee, the Texas Assistant Principal’s Committee, the Texas High School Coaches Association and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

He has received numerous honors including Teacher of the Year for Bangs High School and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Assistant Principal of the Year for Region 6 in 2012-2013.

Dr. Brad Collins ’01, Outstanding Young Graduate

dr-brad-collinsDr. Brad Collins says the HPU faculty, administration, coaching staff and other personnel encouraged him to find his vision and gave him the platform to achieve it.

Dr. Collins graduated from HPU in 2001 with a degree in biology. While at the university, he was a member of HPU’s football team for four years, during which he was named Academic All-Conference. He was also a member of the track team for one year.

Upon graduating from Parker University in 2004 with his Doctor of Chiropractic degree, Dr. Collins purchased a private practice where he has been owner and doctor for 11 years. He has also had the opportunity to be the team doctor for several teams that have won state championships in football and track. He has also worked with multiple Olympic athletes, collegiate athletes and professional baseball and football players.

Dr. Collins is a member of Grandview’s First Baptist Church where he serves on the personnel committee. Additionally, he is a member of the Disciple All Nations Board of Directors and Grandview’s School Board of Trustees. He is a former member of Grandview’s 4B Economic Development Board.

He and his wife, Dr. Kandace R. Collins, have three children, Carter, Codi and Kenna.

Emily Gore ’09, Outstanding Young Graduate

emily-goreEmily Gore says HPU, particularly the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy (then the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom) and the Department of Communication Studies, gave her the skills needed to become a strong, qualified working professional.

Gore graduated from HPU in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and minor in public relations. While at HPU, she was involved with Model United Nations and the Sumners Scholars program.

Gore went on to earn a Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Texas. She has worked in the field of public health preparedness since 2007 when she began her career with the Brownwood/Brown County Health Department. She has served as the public health manager for the Dallas County Health and Human Services Public Health Preparedness Division since 2011. In that role, she is responsible for public health and medical preparedness and response programs ranging from infectious disease to bioterrorism and other all-hazards threats.

She has been a state and national reviewer for the Project Public Health Ready Accreditation Program for local health departments and is currently serving as the vice chair on the Medical Countermeasures Workgroup for the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO). She also recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to serve as a committee member and panelist for the Institute of Medicine’s workshop on Sustainability of the CDC Strategic National Stockpile. She has been a panelist and speaker for other events including the NACCHO Annual Conference, NACCHO Public Health Preparedness Summit and the Contingency Planning and Management Symposium.

Many of Gore’s family members also attended HPU including her grandparents, Dale ’55 and Laverne ’54 Gore. Dale Gore is a current member of HPU’s Board of Trustees.

Martha Dufresne ’71, Coming Home Queen

martha-dufresneMartha (Beene) Dufresne says HPU (then Howard Payne College) provided her with a Christian environment and Bible-based curriculum as well as Christian professors, friends and disciplines that continually reminded her of her relationship with Christ.

Dufresne graduated from the university in 1971 with a degree in business education and a minor in music education. She went on to earn an associate degree in nursing from Midland College in 1985. In addition to being a wife, mother, grandmother and homemaker, she has served in a variety of roles including missionary, public school teacher, college instructor, paramedic instructor, emergency medical technician, registered nurse and homecare giver.

While at HPU, she was involved with organizations such as the Baptist Student Union, Sigma Alpha Sigma and the Oratorio Chorus. She served as a summer missionary to Michigan with the Home Mission Board and was named to the Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities list.

She served on HPU’s Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1994 to 2000, including a stint as president from 1996 to 1998. Additionally, she is a member of the alumna group Sisters of the Seventies. She is active in her church as a Sunday School teacher among other roles and has held leadership positions within the Woman’s Missionary Union.

She and her husband, Thomas Dufresne ’72, have two daughters, Christy (Dufresne) Lannom ’94 (spouse Clint Lannom) and Alicia (Dufresne) Music ’98 (spouse John Music ’00), and eight grandchildren.

Dwain Bruner, Medal of Service

dwain-brunerThe Bruner name is widely recognized in this area of Texas, and Dwain Bruner and family have made a significant impact on HPU and Baptist higher education.

Bruner graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1951 and from Detroit’s Chevrolet School of Merchandising & Management in 1956. Additionally, he served in the United States Navy from 1951 to 1955 and the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1955 to 1972, with the final rank of Commander.

He was employed with his father at Bruner Chevrolet Co. in Kerens from 1955 to 1962; as a Chevrolet dealer at Dwain Bruner Chevrolet in Wolfe City from 1962 to 1969; as a GM/Chrysler dealer at Bruner Motors, Inc., in Stephenville from 1969 to present; and as a GM/Toyota dealer at Bruner Auto Group in Brownwood/Early from 2007 to present.

Bruner has been a member of Stephenville’s First Baptist Church since 1969, having served as a deacon, teacher, substitute organist and on various committees throughout the years. Additionally, he has served on the Wolfe City and Stephenville school boards, the Erath County Central Appraisal District Board and HPU’s Board of Trustees. He is a member of the Brownwood, Early and Stephenville Chambers of Commerce.

Bruner is married to Carolyn Wyatt Bruner and they have two children, Gwyn (Bruner) Schneck and Greg Bruner, a current member of HPU’s Board of Trustees.

Stephen Haynes, Grand Marshal

stephen-haynesThough Stephen Haynes, mayor of Brownwood since 2010, didn’t attend HPU, he says the university did help him prepare for future success. Both of his parents, Darrell Haynes ’64 and Marilyn Corea Haynes ’67, are graduates and HPU left a lasting impact on them that dramatically influenced his childhood.

Haynes graduated from Abilene Christian University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and from Texas Tech University School of Law in 1999 with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. He is licensed by the State Bar of Texas, the All Federal District Courts in Texas, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the United States Court of Federal Claims.

He began his legal career in Dallas where he worked for several years. In 2006, he moved home to Brownwood where he practices law and is a partner in the Haynes Law Firm, P.C. His practice is devoted to all types of civil law with a particular emphasis in civil litigation.

Haynes is actively involved in many community and civic affairs. He is a past chairman of the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce and vice president of Brownwood Manor, Inc. Additionally, he serves as a deacon at Austin Avenue Church of Christ.

He and his wife, Lori, have four children, Austin, Emily, Allie and Ella.

Dan McGhee ’71, Sports Hall of Fame

dan-mcgheeDan McGhee was a four-year letterman at HPU. McGhee, who graduated from the university in 1971, was also a four-time All-Lone Star Conference selection for some of the best teams in Howard Payne history.

With 1,694 career points (1967-’68, ’68-’69, ’69-’70, ’70-’71), McGhee scored a career-high 40 points versus Southwest Texas State College on February 24, 1968.

He had 651 career field goals, 392 career free throws and 775 career rebounds, all three still in the top 10 all-time at HPU. He grabbed a career high 18 rebounds versus Roseland AAU on March 29, 1970.

McGhee was drafted on January 23, 1971, by the Dallas Chaparrals American Basketball Association (ABA), a 17th round pick (#165 overall). The Dallas Chaparrals later become the San Antonio Spurs.

McGhee lived in Brownwood for many years after college but now resides in Brenham.

Greg Nixon ’06, Sports Hall of Fame

greg-nixonGreg Nixon, class of 2006, was an All-American sprinter and football standout for the Howard Payne athletic program.

In his junior year of 2005-2006, Nixon started running track in college part-time to help keep his speed for football. With only a few months of training, he became the NCAA Division III national champion at 200 meters. In his senior season, Nixon won the national championship crown in the 100 and 200 meter, making him a four-time All-American in the sprints.

Along with conference championships in the 100- and 200-meter sprints, Nixon was named the American Southwest Conference Athlete of the Year at the end of his senior season.

After college, Nixon was convinced to run the 400-meter and went on to claim the 2007 U.S. Indoor National 400-meter title only having run the race four times in his career.

Qualifying for the U.S. Outdoor National Championships later that year, Nixon also made his first USA team participating in the Pan Am Games earning a silver medal in the 4×400 meter relay.

In 2008, Nixon won a gold medal in the 2008 World Indoor Championships 4×400 meter relay and also made it to the finals in the U.S. Olympic trials, placing 7th.

In 2009, he led the world in the 400 meter, 300 meter and 200 meter in indoor. Nixon made another U.S. Indoor World team in 2010, winning a second gold medal.

Also in 2010, Nixon won the U.S. Outdoor National title in the 400 meter with a world-leading time of 44.61. He went on the next year to run with USA in the 4×400 meter, helping claim the 2011 World Outdoor Championship.

Dr. Adrian Gil, Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award

dr-adrian-gilDr. Adrian Gil joined HPU’s faculty in fall 2014 as director of the university’s El Paso Center and associate professor of business. Under his leadership, the center has increased its academic offerings and taken advantage of new opportunities for community engagement.

Dr. Gil graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He then worked for two global manufacturers where he was allowed to fast-track through several functional positions managing engineering, quality assurance, environmental compliance, safety, purchasing, production control and distribution.

While working, Dr. Gil returned to UTEP to obtain his Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in finance. He later returned to school once more to complete his doctoral degree in international business with an emphasis in strategic management.

His work has been presented at several national and international conferences and he is a published researcher. In addition to his teaching and administrative duties at HPU, he has taught courses at UTEP and the University of Houston-Downtown.

He and his wife, Joanna, have three sons, Adrian, Andres and Joshua.


HPU’s Homecoming Play fun for the entire family

BROWNWOOD – October 18, 2016 – In keeping with Howard Payne University’s Homecoming theme – “The HPU Family Tree” – this year’s theatrical production is something the entire family can enjoy. HPU’s Department of Theatre will present “Bone-Chiller!” by Monk Ferris in four performances throughout Homecoming Weekend, October 27-30.

Show times are Thursday, October 27, through Saturday, October 29, at 8 p.m. each evening and Sunday, October 30, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased through the Homecoming website,, or at the door on the evenings of the performances. Those who purchase tickets online for Thursday’s performance should contact the Office of Alumni Relations prior to the event at (325) 649-8044.

Despite its name, the play is not “spooky or ooky,” says Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, director, professor of theatre and chair of the Department of Theatre.

“The play is definitely family friendly,” she says. “Thirteen people have gathered for the reading of a will on Friday the 13th. The will, however, has been formulated as a rebus or word puzzle. Along with the characters, the audience will try to untangle the puzzle. It should be a lot of fun.”

Cast members include Michael Bell, freshman from Sonora; Jake Bowren, freshman from San Antonio; Brooklyn Britton, freshman from Brownwood; Nathan Brockett, sophomore from Copperas Cove; Katie Cravey, freshman from Huntsville; Hailey Green, junior from Kennedale; Hayden Jacobs, junior from Lytle; Rachel Lilley, freshman from Comanche; Bryce McWhirter, junior from Pflugerville; Gabrielle McWhirter, senior from Crosbyton; Deejay Moses, freshman from Bynum; Ashleigh Moss, sophomore from Alvarado; and Cassia Rose, junior from Winnsboro. Nick Ewen, assistant professor of theatre, serves as designer and technical director.

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