News Archives: Alumni Relations

HPU’s Homecoming 2013 celebration scheduled Oct. 4-6

Homecomming logoBROWNWOOD – September 20, 2013 – Howard Payne University’s Homecoming celebration will be held Friday through Sunday, Oct. 4-6. This year’s theme is “There Is No Place Like Homecoming,” honoring L. Frank Baum’s classic book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

Alumni and visitors can register for Homecoming events by visiting homecoming.hputx.edu or by calling 1-800-950-8465 or 325-649-8069. A full calendar of events and tickets are available online.

Approximately 40 events will be held throughout the weekend, including the following:

Performances of “Into the Woods” will be held at the university’s Mims Auditorium. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. For ticket information, contact the School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.

The Golden Graduate Luncheon for the Class of 1963 will be held Friday from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Mabee University Center’s Bullion Suites.

HPU’s soccer teams will take on Concordia University Friday afternoon (women at 1 p.m. and men at 3 p.m.) and University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday (women at 1 p.m. and men at 3 p.m.). The games will be held at HPU’s Citizens National Bank Soccer Field.

Homecoming Convocation will begin at 2 p.m. Friday in Mims Auditorium. The Homecoming Queen and Princess will be crowned.

The Alumni Awards Banquet, sponsored by the Alumni Association, will be held Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Mabee University Center’s Beadel Dining Area, during which several Homecoming 2013 honorees will be recognized. Dr. Cynthia Clawson Courtney ’70, award-winning Christian artist, and Dave Lee ’74, well-known trumpeter from the Austin area, will perform.

The university will host Cobbler on the Campus, sponsored by Underwood’s Cafeteria, from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday night at Muse Plaza and Mall. This dessert social is open to all campus visitors.

From 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday evening, the university will host a pep rally and laser light show sponsored by the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce at Muse Plaza and Mall.

Saturday morning, the Hispanic Alumni Breakfast will be held in the Mabee University Center’s Bullion Suites from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The Homecoming Parade, sponsored by Big Country Ford, will travel around the HPU campus on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. The parade will wind its way from HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center around the Mabee University Center, down Fisk Street to Austin Avenue, where it will turn and re-enter the campus on Center Avenue. The parade will end on HPU’s Wilson Walkway.

HPU’s volleyball team will compete against Hardin-Simmons University (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and UT Dallas (3 p.m. to 5 p.m.) on Saturday. Both games will be held at the Brownwood Coliseum.

The Picnic on the Plaza, sponsored by the Early Chamber of Commerce, will begin at noon on Saturday at Muse Plaza and Mall on the HPU campus.

The HPU Yellow Jacket football team will play Louisiana College at 2 p.m. Saturday at Gordon Wood Stadium.

On Sunday at 9 a.m., married alumni are welcome to participate in renewing their vows in HPU’s beautiful Grace Chapel.

A variety of reunions and other events will be held throughout the weekend. A complete schedule of events is available online at homecoming.hputx.edu.

HPU alumna addresses International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities

IABCU RiversideBROWNWOOD – September 16, 2013 – Jennifer Gober, a 2002 Howard Payne University alumna, spoke at the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities (IABCU) annual meeting held this summer at California Baptist University in Riverside. Gober is a member of the Baptist College & University (BCU) Scholars Program, a partnership between Baylor University Graduate School, the IABCU and IABCU partner schools.

In addition to travelling to the IABCU annual meeting, BCU Scholars have the opportunity to attend retreats and seminars, network with administrators from IABCU schools and fellowship with other doctoral students planning to teach in Christian colleges and universities.

Gober is pursuing a doctoral degree in chemistry at Baylor and plans to become a professor. She began her career in chemistry at HPU.

“I really enjoyed my time at Howard Payne,” she said. “I loved the small setting and the interactions I had with students and professors.”

Gober has particularly fond memories of then-dean of HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics, Dr. Donal Bird.

“Dr. Bird and his wife, Mrs. Marjorie Bird (who taught in the physical sciences and mathematics departments), really cared about their students,” she said.

According to Gober, the personal connections she shared with the HPU faculty members prepared her for life as a scientist.

“As a chemist, I have found that it is very easy sometimes to focus only on the science and the work right in front of me, be it my research in the lab or teaching the material to students,” said Gober in her speech at the annual meeting. “As a Christian, I endeavor to follow God and to love those around me. The question then becomes how to incorporate both the Scientist and the Christian in my approach to teaching and how to be a whole person who can teach from a solid base and help students grow as people, not just pass the tests and make the grade.”

She said the BCU Scholars Program has “opened her eyes to these questions.”

“Once you ask the right question, you can start finding the right answer,” she said.

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Photo cutline: HPU alumna Jennifer Gober, second from left, and other BCU Scholars (from left) Chris Moore, Courtney Parker and B.J. Parker, spoke at the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities (IABCU) annual meeting held at California Baptist University in Riverside.

HPU renames honors program after former president Dr. Guy D. Newman

NewmanBROWNWOOD – September 3, 2013 – Howard Payne University recently announced the decision to rename its multidisciplinary academic honors program the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy: The Program for Civic Leadership and Public Policy. The name change followed unanimous votes by the Academy Board of Directors and HPU’s Board of Trustees.

Previously the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom, the program was founded in 1962 under the leadership of Dr. Newman, who served as president of the university from 1955 to 1973.

“The new title is descriptive of the Academy’s academic mission as envisioned by Dr. Newman,” said Dr. Justin D. Murphy, the program’s director.

Dr. Newman was serving as Baylor University’s vice president in charge of developing and fundraising in 1955 when the HPU (then Howard Payne College) Board of Trustees elected him president.

According to Dr. Robert Mangrum, HPU’s university historian and professor of history and political science, Dr. Newman became concerned that many Americans were losing touch with their great American heritage and particularly with the influence of Christianity in the development of the “American Way of Life.” Dr. Newman’s autobiography, “One Guy’s Dream” (1985), described his vision for the honors program.

“Our purpose was to reach the totality of the individual students, giving them a true perspective not only of our American system but also of the world in which they live, enabling them to go out and encounter with courage and confidence the exigencies thrust upon all youth of all times in a meaningful and perceptive way,” he wrote.

More than 400 students have graduated from the Academy since its inception, going on to serve in a variety of fields including law, politics, business, ministry, government, medicine, education, economics, psychology and social work.

In addition to the creation of the Academy, Dr. Newman’s tenure saw the construction of six new campus buildings, increased enrollment, improved faculty salaries and numerous other campus improvements.

Dr. Newman met personally with General MacArthur in 1962 to seek permission to name the program in his honor. According to Dr. Murphy, General MacArthur’s unwavering loyalty to America will continue to remain a central image of the Academy and its ideals.

After serving for 18 years as president, Dr. Newman retired and was named chancellor of the university. He passed away in 1988 at the age of 82.

“The Academy has always and will always continue to align with Dr. Newman’s vision of promoting Judeo-Christian values, Western civilization and principles of free enterprise,” said Dr. Murphy.

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Photo cutline: HPU recently announced its decision to rename its multidisciplinary academic honors program after former president Dr. Guy D. Newman.

HPU alumni to serve in Thailand

By Kendyl Moore, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – June 28, 2013 – Howard Payne University alumni Ricky ’07 and Amy (Perkins)’07 Board of Fort Worth will spend six weeks in northern Thailand this summer, teaching and developing a community health worker training program.

“We will provide support and capacity-building services to enhance the overall sustainability and impact of these projects,” states Amy Board.

Ricky Board, a first grade teacher in Fort Worth, will teach and do other support work at Chiang Rai International Christian School, founded by a Christian group in Thailand. A leader in his own school district in identifying educational iPad apps and incorporating them into his lessons, he will assist with the integration of technology tools into classrooms.

“I am eager to share what I have learned with the staff at the school and to help them identify other technology-based tools that can assist their teachers,” he said.

Amy Board will work with a locally based and operated community development organization to help develop a pilot community health worker training program among local villagers. This will allow village leaders to be trained on basic hygiene and health practices and spread that knowledge to the rest of the community. Her work will meet the requirements for a public health practicum by the University of North Texas Health Science Center for her master’s degree in public health.

She discussed the preparation they both received as HPU students.

“My involvement in HPU’s Academy of Freedom honors program and social work program certainly set the stage for an understanding of the complex forces of political oppression, poverty and strategies for community development,” she said. “I also served as a summer missionary to Central Asia through HPU with GoNow missions in 2006, furthering my desire to put those skills and knowledge into place in the international arena.

“Ricky’s experiences at HPU made him passionate about impacting the lives of children, ultimately launching him into a career as an elementary teacher. The summer after he graduated from HPU, he served on a short-term mission trip to an orphanage in Sudan, and this experience has also put a desire on his heart to find a way to use his gifts and abilities in an overseas context.”

The Boards have been planning this trip since October and say they are very excited to work with the people of northern Thailand. They first became interested in working with the people of Thailand after working in Fort Worth with refugees from the similar region of Myanmar.

“Education and health are some of the most valuable tools for raising people out of poverty and empowering them to reach their fullest potential,” Amy Board said. “This is what we want to accomplish while we are in Thailand this summer: not simply doing something for others, but helping them to realize what they can accomplish on their own.”

Chiang Rai International Christian School is looking for more teachers like Ricky Board who would like to work in an English-speaking school that reaches out to Thai families and teaches children of missionaries from all organizations. For more information, visit www.crics.asia.

The Boards will blog about their experiences in Thailand. To follow along on their journey, visit boardinginthailand.wordpress.com.

 

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Mesquite ISD awards HPU alumna for excellence in teaching

BROWNWOOD – May 14, 2013 – Molly (Nickols) Purl, a 2000 Howard Payne University graduate and eighth-grade teacher in Mesquite ISD, was awarded for excellence in teaching during the spring 2013 semester.

The district’s highest honor, the Mesquite ISD Apple Corps program honors outstanding teachers who have been nominated by their peers. Apple Corps teachers demonstrate leadership, innovation and dedication to students. The program was established in 1990, and two teachers are inducted during the district’s Board of Trustees meeting each month.

Purl holds a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in political science from HPU, as well as a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She has taught eighth-grade American history at Agnew Middle School in Mesquite for 13 years.

“Mrs. Purl is highly deserving of the distinction this award brings to her as well as to her family of educators,” said Dr. Michael Rosato, dean of HPU’s School of Education. “Moreover, she continues to bring honor to Howard Payne University and to the School of Education.”

Purl’s father, John Nickols, serves as assistant professor of history and political science at HPU, and her mother, Barbara, is a retired teacher. Purl’s husband, Todd, is also a 2000 HPU graduate, and the couple has two children – Hannah, 9, and Nate, 3.

HPU faculty and staff members honored for service

underwoods_and_scott_for_webBROWNWOOD – May 2, 2013 – Members of Howard Payne University’s faculty and staff were recently honored at an annual personnel recognition luncheon held on the HPU campus. Dr. Harlan Scott, chair of the biology department and associate professor of biology, was named Outstanding Faculty Member and Jodi Goode, director of information technology, received the Outstanding Staff Member Award.

The outstanding faculty and staff member awards are made possible by the Underwood family of Underwood’s Bar-B-Q and the Porter family of Porter Insurance, respectively.

Certificates recognizing excellence in teaching were presented to Mike Daub, associate professor of accounting; Dan Humeniuk, department chair and assistant professor of social work; Dr. Mitzi Lehrer, assistant professor of education; and Dr. Mark Patton, professor of business administration.jodi_goode_and_robert_porter_for_web

Certificates recognizing excellence in service were presented to Katrina Lynn, administrative assistant for business and human resources; Rebecca Mainka, mail room and copy center clerk; and Larry Henderson, custodian.
Special plaques commemorating retirement were given to Tonya Horner, associate professor of mathematics, and Louise Sharp, associate vice president for marketing and communications, chief marketing officer and special assistant to the president.

Also receiving awards were:

Five years of service – Dora Arellano, custodian; Tammy Arreola, accounts payable coordinator; Gretchen Campbell, student account coordinator; Ton Damron, assistant professor of social work; James Darby, adjunct instructor of exercise and sport science; Dr. Kristen Hutchins, assistant professor of biology; Mandy Locker, assistant professor of criminal justice; Alexa Maddox, academic services coordinator; Larry Meadows, adjunct instructor of business administration; Jerome Nowowiejski, adjunct instructor of exercise and sport science; Joshua Prock, head women’s basketball coach; Kim Rosato, instructor of exercise and sport science; Carrie Singleton, campus visit coordinator; Vanessa Stewart, adjunct instructor of communication; and Lance Unger, assistant football coach.

Ten years of service – Martha Fothergill, coordinator of records and reports; Carla Hawkins, assistant professor of modern languages; Kim Schuster, executive assistant to the senior vice president for finance and administration; Bobbie Jo Stewart, circulation services and music library supervisor; and Dr. Daresa Voss, professor of education.

Fifteen years of service – Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication; Kathy Hagood, associate professor of English; Scott Owen, assistant professor of exercise and sport science; Diann Prickett, gift processing clerk; and Dr. Julie Welker, department chair and professor of communication.

Twenty years of service – Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of the School of Christian Studies; and Eydie Henderson, administrative assistant for the School of Christian Studies.

Twenty-five years of service – Dr. Art Allen, professor of Christian studies.

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Photo cutlines: Jodi Goode received the Outstanding Staff Member Award for the 2012-2013 academic year at HPU. She is pictured with Robert Porter. The award is made possible by the Porter family of Porter Insurance.

Dr. Harlan Scott, right, received the Outstanding Faculty Member Award for the 2012-2013 academic year. He is pictured with Jill Underwood and Paul Underwood. The award is made possible by the Underwood family of Underwood’s Bar-B-Q.

HPU alumnus to appear on Travel Channel’s “Burger Land”

BROWNWOOD – May 2, 2013 – Don Blake, a 1977 Howard Payne University alumnus formerly of Brownwood, will be featured on the Travel Channel’s “Burger Land” on Monday, May 6, beginning at 8 p.m.

The owner of Blakes BBQ and Burgers in Houston, Blake was profiled in the 2011 book “Hamburger America,” a state-by-state guidebook to the best hamburger restaurants in America.

Blake often uses the word “serendipity” to describe his successes in the business, a word he says he first learned while a student at HPU.

“I remember sitting in Chapel when I was a sophomore,” he said. “The speaker said ‘serendipity’ and it stuck in my mind.”

Though he attributes many of his achievements to serendipity, his business wouldn’t be what it is today without hard work and a knack for making great burgers.

“I would like for you to join me in watching as we celebrate the successes of an HPU graduate and former resident of Brownwood,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president. “Hopefully we’ll also learn a few tips on making burgers worthy of a Travel Channel special.”

Episodes of “Burger Land” featuring Blake will repeat throughout the month of May. Visit www.travelchannel.com/schedule for listings.

Cynthia Clawson Courtney honored with prestigious HPU Yellow Rose Award

yellow_rose_award_2013_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 24, 2013 – Dr. Cynthia Clawson Courtney, 1970 Howard Payne University graduate and award-winning vocalist, recently received the 2013 HPU Woman’s Club Yellow Rose Award. The honor was announced at the Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon held on the HPU campus.

In addition to her Grammy Award in 1981, Dr. Courtney 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 a member of the Texas Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Dr. Courtney received a vocal performance scholarship to attend HPU where she was a member of the A Capella Choir and the Oratorio Chorus. She was also an original member of the HPU Heritage Singers. Dr. Courtney has remained a dedicated 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 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.

The Yellow Rose Award is presented annually to a woman who exhibits exemplary leadership; who supports the university; and who represents Christian values and beliefs foundational to the university.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Cynthia Clawson Courtney (center) was honored with the 2013 HPU Woman’s Club Yellow Rose Award. She is pictured with her husband, Ragan Courtney, and Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady.

HPU launches “A Call to Send” campaign to Heart of Texas residents

ellis_at_campaign_luncheon_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 8, 2013 – Howard Payne University held a luncheon on Monday afternoon to announce its A Call to Send campaign to community leaders from the Heart of Texas area. In preparation for the launch of the campaign, the university unveiled Phase I, which features plans for major new facilities and endowment growth.

A Call to Send is a 10-year, three-phased $65 million campaign that will empower the university to continue to fulfill its mission of providing a quality, Christ-centered education. Phase I is an $18 million campaign with three projects: a new Welcome Center and Academy of Freedom (honors program) building, a new academic building for the School of Education and the Collegium program (advising, tutoring and other services) and increasing the university’s endowment funds for student scholarships and academic program support.

In addition to allowing for the first new buildings on the HPU campus in more than 10 years, the campaign will provide funding to support HPU’s quality academic programs, its state-of-the-art facilities and its scholarships and financial aid to attract and retain students.

Keith Clark of Citizens National Bank welcomed luncheon guests from the Heart of Texas area and introduced Campaign Co-Chairs Dr. Leonard Underwood, retired, of Underwood’s Bar-B-Q, and Dr. Walter C. “Dub” Wilson, business executive, as well as Honorary Chair Dr. O.C. “Putter” Jarvis of Landmark Life Insurance. Clark and Bart Johnson, of Painter & Johnson Financial, serve as the Heart of Texas co-chairs. An invocation was offered by Dr. Dallas Huston, pastor at Center City Baptist Church and sports broadcaster.

Additional Heart of Texas committee members introduced to the community included Dwain Bruner of Bruner Auto Family; Chip Camp of Brownwood Regional Medical Center; Steve Fryar of PF & E Oil Company; Dennis Graham of Airgas; Iva Hamilton, retired from El Paso Natural Gas Company; John Harkey of Ag-Mart; Brownwood Mayor Stephen Haynes of Haynes Law Firm; Draco Miller of Draco Janitorial and Auto Detailing; Tom Munson of Landmark Life Insurance; J. Fred Perry, retired from PF & E Oil Company; and Robert Porter of Porter Insurance Agency.

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, shared the university’s vision for Phase I of the campaign and the effect it will have on the community.

“The relationship between Howard Payne and Brownwood goes back to the earliest days of the community’s history,” he said. “There are very few universities that are more intimately connected with the communities that surround them than Howard Payne. These projects we are showing you today are going to impact this community in very significant ways.”

Dr. Ellis spoke briefly on the many students who graduate from HPU and return to Brownwood to rear their families and continue their careers.heart_of_texas_committee_for_web

“This entire campaign is about attracting students to this university,” he said. “It is about giving them the funds and resources they need to come to this school, so we can send them into the world to make a difference.”

Dr. Leonard Underwood, well known for being a philanthropist in the community and a supporter of the university, spoke about the importance of investing in such a campaign.
“Working closely with the faculty and the students over the years, I’ve learned what a special place this university is,” he said. “It’s a place that has the ability to change the lives of those who pass through here. I’ve discovered the joy of giving to something that’s worthwhile and makes a difference in the lives of so many people.”

The audience was lastly issued a challenge by Dr. Putter Jarvis, described by Clark as a great advocate for Howard Payne, Brownwood and Brown County.

“It’s up to us to see Howard Payne rise to its destiny,” he said. “Will we play our part? We can and we will.”

To contribute to the campaign, or for more information, contact HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at (325) 649-8006 or 1-800-950-8465.

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Photo cutlines: Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, discusses plans for new facilities to be constructed at HPU as part of the university’s A Call to Send campaign.

A Call to Send campaign leaders include, from left, Dr. Bill Ellis, Iva Hamilton, Draco Miller, Dr. Leonard Underwood, Keith Clark, Steve Fryar, Dennis Graham, Stephen Haynes, J. Fred Perry, Dwain Bruner, John Harkey, Robert Porter, Bart Johnson and Dr. O.C. “Putter” Jarvis. Not pictured are Dr. Walter C. “Dub” Wilson, Chip Camp and Tom Munson.

HPU student delegates meet with state legislators

hpu_teg_day_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 4, 2013 – Six students from Howard Payne University visited Austin recently for the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) Student Advocacy Day. Groups from several private universities in the West Texas region, including HPU, traveled to the capitol building to encourage representatives and senators to continue support for the TEG program.

The HPU students met with legislators and staff from their home districts to thank them for appropriating funds for the program, which assists with tuition to private colleges and universities. They also took a guided tour of the capitol building and observed a Senate session. During the visit, university delegates learned the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article III (education) added $ 15 million to the TEG program for the 2014-2015 biennium.

“The TEG program has greatly benefitted Howard Payne students over its 44-year history,” said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management. “The TEG makes college a financial reality for many of our students coming from all over the state of Texas. We made the trip to Austin to say ‘thank you’ to the representatives and senators for their support and to encourage their continued support in the future.”

HPU student delegates included Allen Andrus, a senior from Anson; Kathryn Barrackman, a senior from Houston; Colton McCabe, a sophomore from Gatesville; Courtney Officer, a sophomore from Stephenville; Erik Swenson, a junior from Carrollton; and Brogan Turner, a freshman from Brownwood. The students were accompanied by Kevin Kirk and Yvonne Lundy, executive assistant to the associate vice president for enrollment management.

“The Tuition Equalization Grant has helped to further not only my intellectual education, but my spiritual education,” said Colton McCabe. “It was a privilege to thank my representative and senator in person for their support of this program.”

Approximately 275 Howard Payne University students received funding through the TEG for the spring 2013 semester.

More than four decades ago, the TEG was created by Dr. Gary R. Price, a 1960 graduate of HPU. Wishing private colleges and universities were more affordable to students in Texas, he developed the concept, wrote the legislation and worked to gain support for it. Sponsored by the late Dr. Lynn Nabers, a fellow HPU alumnus who was then a state representative, the legislation was passed in 1971. Since its inception, the program has assisted needy students to bridge the gap between tuition rates at state and independent institutions.

To be eligible for a TEG, a student must be a qualified Texas resident; establish financial need as defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; be enrolled fulltime in an approved independent college or university in Texas; not receive any form of athletic scholarship; and maintain a 2.5 GPA by the end of the sophomore year.

Additional private universities from the West Texas Region of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas participating in the trip included Abilene Christian University, Hardin-Simmons University, Lubbock Christian University and McMurry University.

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Photo cutline: HPU delegates give the university “sting ’em” salute in front of the capitol building in Austin. From left are Courtney Officer, Allen Andrus, Brogan Turner, Erik Swenson, Kathryn Barrackman and Colton McCabe.