News Archives: Alumni Relations

HPU celebrates Black History Month with special chapel service

black_history_month_chapel_2013_for_webBROWNWOOD – March 27, 2013 – Howard Payne University celebrated Black History Month with a special chapel service held last month. The second annual service focused on the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation signing and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, in which an estimated 250,000 people demonstrated peacefully in the nation’s capital for civil rights and economic equality. Members of the African-American chapter of HPU’s Alumni Association, alongside current students, presented poetry, music and stories during the service titled “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.”

The spirited celebration included congregational singing, readings by students and alumni and a powerful solo by Shirley Sanders ’72 of Texas City – which drew a standing ovation from the audience – all with the purpose of educating students about important milestones in our nation’s history related to the journey of African-Americans.

Ne’Lexia Galloway ’11 of San Antonio, president of the African-American alumni chapter, said about the chapel program, “African-American cultural history cannot be defined, but it is our civic duty as African-Americans to spread the history for the betterment of America. I am pleased to know that Howard Payne takes pride in Black History Month and believes in making the student body knowledgeable of America’s history.”

Other program participants included L.J. Clayton ’84 of San Antonio; Deborah Jones ’73 of Texas City; Adelia Kirk ’89 of Brownwood; Carol (Liz) Mahoney ’69 of Texas City; Gladys Murray ’80 of Austin; and Wilbert Rogers ’75 of Dallas. Student participants included Kalari Faultry, a sophomore from Houston; Jennifer Goff, a junior from Austin; Gabriella Guest, a sophomore from Midlothian; Jajuan Johnson, a sophomore from Fort Worth; Amber Jones, a junior from Rosenberg; Miriam Mackey, a junior from Taylor; Jeremy Perkins, a junior from Alexandria, La.; Richard Porche, a sophomore from Kyle; Zacchaeus Steidel-Santiago, a sophomore from San Antonio; and Nicholas Stubblefield, a freshman from Prairie View.

“It was once again a pleasure to work with our African-American alumni chapter on this important chapel celebration,” said Dr. Brent Marsh, vice president for student life and dean of students. “We must never lose sight of the difficult road trodden by the African-American community in our nation’s history, and so it is fitting that we recognize Black History Month in this special way.”

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Photo cutline: HPU sophomore Zacchaeus Steidel-Santiago sings “If I Can Help Somebody” during the university’s second annual Black History Month chapel service. Photo by Jes Miera, HPU junior.

HPU’s Resurrection Week to begin Monday

david_burkBROWNWOOD – March 22, 2013 – Howard Payne University will host Resurrection Week, the university’s annual spring revival, March 25-27. The featured speaker for the week is David Burk, president and founder of Total Surrender Evangelistic Association, Inc., in Arlington. Worship will be led by the Nick Gainey Band. Gainey is a 2008 HPU graduate and the worship pastor and an elder at Connection Community Church in Rowlett.

Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and 7:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday at the university’s Mims Auditorium. All services are open to the public.nick_gainey

“Resurrection Week is going to be a great time of renewal, challenge and worship together,” said Corey Ash, chapel coordinator and director of bands. “I assure you that you will be blessed!”

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Photo cutline: David Burk and Nick Gainey will headline Resurrection Week at Howard Payne University.

HPU names Randy Yeakley as vice president for development

ImageBROWNWOOD – March 4, 2013 – Howard Payne University recently named Randy Yeakley ’83 to the position of vice president for development. He will assume this role on March 18.

Yeakley will oversee the annual fund, programmatic fundraising and other operations at the university’s Harrison House. He will also serve on the Administrative Council.

He joins HPU from LeTourneau University in Longview where he has served as director of research, corporate and foundation giving since 2005. Other experience includes serving as director and manager of the Sabine Valley Center in Longview, as MR crisis services manager at MH/MR of Tarrant County, and as health educator for HMR of Fort Worth.

In addition to a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from HPU, he holds a Master of Science degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Lamar University.

He and his wife, Leslie, also a 1983 HPU graduate, are parents to two sons, Nicholas, 25, and Richard, 22. Leslie, who currently serves as assistant principal at Longview Christian School, will join Randy in Brownwood this summer.

“I’m pleased to have this fine, dedicated individual joining us in our work here at HPU,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president.

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Photo cutline: Randy Yeakley, pictured with wife, Leslie, will assume the role of vice president for development at HPU on March 18.

HPU hosts 15th Annual CASL Conference

mike_jorgensen_at_hpu_for_webBROWNWOOD – January 31, 2013 – More than 250 Christian student leaders from nine Baptist universities participated in the 15th Annual Christian Association of Student Leaders (CASL) Conference hosted by Howard Payne University last weekend.

Mike Jorgensen, executive director of I am Second, a ministry of e3 Partners Ministry, spoke at the event. I am Second seeks to inspire a revolution of “second” by helping people learn how to put Jesus first in their lives. In addition to his role with the I am Second project, Jorgensen has served e3 Partners in a variety of capacities including director of operations, vice president of church planting, international vice president and executive vice president. He and his wife of 37 years, Woodlyn, have three children, two of whom graduated from HPU – Alycia (Jorgensen) Darilek ’03, Joanna (Jorgensen) Medlock and Philip Jorgensen ’12.

The theme for this year’s conference was “Do as I Have Done,” which references John 13:15 in which Jesus tells his disciples, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” During one of his lectures on HPU’s campus, Jorgensen took the opportunity to remind students why they were in attendance.

“This conference is not for you,” he said. “It’s for the benefit of the people who God wants to bless through you.”

After the lecture, Jorgensen shared his enthusiasm about the caliber of students with whom he was interacting.

“I’m excited about the potential all of these students have already shown,” he said. “They were chosen to attend this conference because of their leadership skills. As they reflect and interact with other leaders, their potential will flower.”

Social media played a large role in this year’s event. Attendees were encouraged to share photos and thoughts throughout the conference on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Prizes were awarded to the students who interacted the most.

“Looking forward to challenging student leaders @caslconference,” posted Jorgensen on Twitter.
An attendee followed up that he “Had an awesome time at #CASL2013 with some awesome people.”

CASL was chartered in 1998 by the eight Baptist universities in Texas (HPU, Baylor University, Dallas Baptist University, East Texas Baptist University, Hardin-Simmons University, Houston Baptist University, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Wayland Baptist University) and is under the sponsorship of the Congregational Leadership Team of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The conference provides students with the opportunity to network with fellow students from different universities through a variety of activities including seminars, workshops and roundtable discussions. Topics covered this year included “How to Develop New Leaders” and “How to Have the Prayer Life of a Leader.”

HPU students planned the conference under the direction of Dr. Brent Marsh, vice president for student life and dean of students, and Tyler Sellers, associate dean of students and director of student activities. The student planning committee included Kathryn Barrackman, a senior from Houston; Jeremy Bartley, a junior from Brownwood; Shannon Bundy, a junior from Port Aransas; Jacee Cunningham, a senior from Crane; Rick Henderson, a junior from Plainview; Lara Hernandez, a junior from Brownwood; Becky Lamar, a senior from Ovilla; Robin Scofield, a junior from Naples, Fla.; David Stippick, a junior from Brownwood; Ashley Wellborn, a senior from Paradise; and Brandi Wright, a senior from Farmington, N.M.

The worship band included HPU students Alex Caro, a senior from Howe; Dustin Campbell, a senior from Paradise; Taylor Castleberry, a senior from Paradise; and Zacchaeus Miguel Steidel-Santiago, a sophomore from San Antonio.

“We are thrilled to have hosted the 15th annual CASL conference at Howard Payne,” said Dr. Marsh. “The event was a huge success, and our student planning committee did a fantastic job pulling it all together. Conference attendees were challenged and encouraged along their journeys to be Christ-like servant leaders.”

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Photo cutline: Mike Jorgensen, executive director of the I am Second ministry, spoke at the 15th Annual CASL Conference at HPU.

HPU memorializes Colorado victim, announces scholarship at San Antonio Spurs game

cowden_family_for_webBROWNWOOD – November 20, 2012 – Howard Payne University memorialized alumnus Gordon Cowden — a victim of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting — during halftime of the San Antonio Spurs Faith and Family Night game on Saturday, which would have been his 52nd birthday. The university presented a gift to his family and announced the establishment of a $60,000 HPU presidential scholarship in his name.

In addition to the tribute to the Cowden family, Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, was named honorary co-captain of the Spurs. The university’s Winds of Triumph ensemble and Clay Tyner, a 2011 HPU graduate, and his band played pre-game. Several HPU alumni and prospective students were also in attendance.

Cowden, a 1984 graduate of the university, was the oldest killed in the Colorado tragedy on July 20. Dr. Ellis presented Cowden’s family and friends with a replica of the “Do As I Have Done” statue that stands on the HPU grounds and announced the establishment of a $60,000 Gordon Ware Cowden Presidential Scholarship to be given to a selected student in Cowden’s name.ellis__honorary_captain_for_web

According to his family, Cowden’s last words were of his love for his daughters who were attending the movie with him.
“His faith and courage in his final moments are inspirational to us all,” said Dr. Ellis. “HPU is blessed to be associated with a man such as Gordon Cowden.”

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Photo cutlines: Family and friends of Gordon Cowden accept an award from HPU in his memory during halftime at Saturday’s San Antonio Spurs game.

HPU President Dr. Bill Ellis, right, was named honorary co-captain before the game.

HPU’s Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry program to begin January 2013

BROWNWOOD – November 14, 2012 – In response to requests from current students and alumni, Howard Payne University will offer a Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry (MATM) degree beginning in January 2013.

The MATM will provide preparation for those who minister to people through the local church and other related ministries, as well as provide a foundation for further graduate theological education. The 42-hour, non-thesis program is designed to be accessible to ministry students who are currently serving in locations away from the Brownwood area, and relocation is not required.

Similar to the university’s Master of Arts in Youth Ministry degree, the MATM will be offered in a two-year rotation in a “modular” format. The modular format is a blended delivery system in which the equivalent of two-thirds of the instruction time is accomplished face-to-face in an intensive 8-hour per day, 4-day per week format. The remaining instruction is fulfilled through the combination of assigned readings and electronic interactions.

“We believe that complementing our current Master of Arts in Youth Ministry degree with the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry degree is a logical and healthy step forward for the School of Christian Studies at Howard Payne University,” said Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, dean of the School of Christian Studies.

HPU has diversified and expanded its graduate and undergraduate degree offerings in recent years under the charge of Dr. Bill Ellis, university president.

“The university continually strives to meet the needs of our student body,” said Dr. Ellis. “The Master of Theology and Ministry degree is highly requested at HPU, and we are confident it will be a beneficial program for many years to come.”

HPU students, faculty and staff walk for cancer awareness

newburys_at_walk-a-thon_for_webBROWNWOOD – October 25, 2012 – Howard Payne University recently held the Brenda Newbury Annual Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness, with proceeds going to cancer research. The event is named in honor of Brenda Newbury, wife of HPU chancellor and former president Dr. Don Newbury.

More than 200 people participated in the walk, raising more than $3,700. Funds are still being tallied and the final total will be announced next week.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Don Newbury, HPU chancellor and former president, and his wife, Brenda, pause before the walk with two of their grandchildren – Kedren Penney, left, and Juliana Penney.

HPU freshman looks forward to another Homecoming

BROWNWOOD – October 11, 2012 – With Homecoming festivities coming up at the end of this week, Howard Payne University freshman Ashley Miller recalls her past memories of Homecoming weekends spent at HPU. For the 2012 graduate of Austin’s James Bowie High School, college has always been a part of life. For as long as she can remember, Miller has been attending HPU events with her grandparents, Dr. Damon ’54 and Betty ’58 Miller.

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When her grandfather was inducted into the HPU Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, the student rode in the Homecoming Parade with her cousins. She also remembers getting to wear an HPU mum for the annual Homecoming celebrations.

Miller says that her grandparents have many other stories about their years at HPU. One of her favorites is when her grandfather and some of his friends put a Volkswagen Beetle into the boys’ dorm lobby and then hid the keys.

Miller also says that back when HPU was still called Howard Payne College, “the freshmen were required to wear green and gold beanies at all times. Upperclassman could tell any freshman to ‘button up’ at any time or any place, both downtown or on campus. To ‘button up,’ the freshman had to stand up with his or her thumb on the button of the beanie and do some sort of HPC yell.”

A liberal arts and biology major, Miller plans to go into pediatric nursing.

“I chose this field because I knew I wanted to work with kids and I have an appreciation for those in the medical field and the kind of work they do,” she says.

Miller says that she loves HPU because, “everyone is so close and friendly. It’s really like a big family!”SONY DSC

Dr. Damon Miller of Austin received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1954 and his master’s degree in 1958. His wife, Betty, graduated in 1958. They are delighted that their granddaughter is attending their alma mater. She also has many other relatives, including two aunts, who graduated from HPU.

“I am looking forward to meeting new friends, getting my degree and making my grandparents and aunts proud,” Miller says as she discusses her excitement about embarking on her new life at HPU.

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Photo cutlines: As a child, Ashley Miller often came to HPU events with her grandparents. She is shown wearing a mum at Homecoming 2001.

Ashley Miller poses with Buzzsaw, HPU’s mascot, while attending a preview event on the HPU campus in 2012.

HPU to present Homecoming theatre performances

homecoming_performance_for_webBROWNWOOD – October 10, 2012 – Howard Payne University will begin its theatrical season with the comedic musical, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” Performances correspond with HPU’s Homecoming 2012 celebration, Thursday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Oct. 14.

Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, chair of HPU’s theatre department and director/choreographer of the play, stated that “Forum” is one of her all-time favorite musicals.

“The songs are delightful and the story keeps you laughing all the way to the end,” she said.

“Forum” opened on Broadway in May of 1962. Humfeld says the musical is inspired by plays of the second century B.C. Roman playwright Plautus and is “gloriously free of serious moments.”

“The show’s action, dialogue, songs and dances are the essence of farce,” she said. “The single goal is to keep the audience laughing deliriously from the first note of the opening number, ‘Comedy Tonight,’ until the final curtain comes down.”

The original production was directed by George Abbott with choreography and musical staging by Jack Cole. Produced by Harold Prince, it ran for 964 performances and won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1963.

HPU cast members include Taylor Crow of Brownwood; Katie Dobson, a junior from Garland; Timmy Emery, a freshman from Brady; Timothy Hardy, a junior from Corpus Christi; Tucker Hull, a junior from Brownwood; Hannah Jansen, a sophomore from Erie, Colo.; Lindsey Jones, a junior from Georgetown; Lawrence Martinez, a freshman from Austin; Ben Mohundro, a freshman from Frisco; Elizabeth Oliver, a freshman from Snyder; Ben Palmer, a junior from Van; Judi Parten, a junior from Goldthwaite; Chris Phelps, a senior from Brownwood; Tiffani Peeples, a freshman from Eastland; Jared Russell, a sophomore from Hillsboro; Alexandra Taliaferro, a sophomore from Haslet; Dorie Walton, a freshman from Lolita; and Jarrod White, a junior from Ben Wheeler.

Performances will be Thursday through Saturday, October 11-13, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, October 14, at 2:30 p.m. in HPU’s Mims Auditorium. Tickets are $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and children. Reservations may be made through the box office at (325) 649-8516 or tickets may be purchased at the door. For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.

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Photo cutline: HPU students rehearse a scene from the university’s Homecoming performance, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”