News Archives: Alumni Relations

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.”

HPU announces Homecoming Parade route

Campus map LATESTBROWNWOOD – October 8, 2012 – Howard Payne University has announced the parade route for Homecoming 2012. The parade will travel around the HPU campus Saturday, October 13, beginning at 11 a.m., and the community is welcome and encouraged to attend.

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.

A variety of reunions and other events will also be held throughout the weekend. 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, various ticket packages and other information can be found online.

HPU announces Homecoming 2012 Honorees

BROWNWOOD – October 5, 2012 – Howard Payne University will recognize nine outstanding alumni during Homecoming 2012 weekend, Oct. 12-14.

Honorees include Distinguished Alumni – Joe ’55 and Almola ’55 James; Outstanding Young Graduate – Chad Gann ’97; Medal of Service – Winifred Dodds ’58 (posthumous); Medal of Service – Chuck Gartman ’72; Coming Home Queen – Joyce Clay ’77; Grand Marshals – Dale ’55 and LaVerne ’54 Gore; and Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award – Dr. Moises Rodriguez’81.

Six of the awards will be presented during the Sodexo Alumni Banquet on Friday, Oct. 12, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Mabee University Center’s Beadel Dining Area. Tickets packages for Homecoming Weekend can be purchased by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-950-8465 or 325-649-8069 or by visiting http://homecoming.hputx.edu/.

The Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award will be presented at the Hispanic Alumni Breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 a.m. This event will be held in the Mabee University Center’s Bullion Suites and is free of charge.

Biographies of the honorees follow:

Joe ’55 and Almola ’55 James – Distinguished Alumni
joe_and_almola_james_for_webA native of Spur, Texas, Joe James graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from HPU in 1955 and later completed a Master of Science degree in 1963. He received many awards while attending HPU and is a member of the HPU Sports Hall of Fame and former president of the Letterman’s Club.

James was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1954 and began his coaching career in 1955 at Hamilton High School. Later he served at LaVega High School as assistant coach, athletic director and head football coach. In 1964, he returned to HPU as head football coach. He served four years at HPU before becoming a sporting goods representative. He also served in the National Guard, 142nd Infantry, 36th Division, and has been an active deacon at First Baptist Church in Brownwood for many years.

His wife, Almola (Clements) James, is also a 1955 HPU graduate. A native of San Saba, she received a Bachelor of Science degree from HPU, followed by Master of Education and Master of Art degrees in 1966. Her teaching career of 34 years includes tenures at LaVega High School, Brownwood High School and HPU. She has been an active member of FBC Brownwood for many years and enjoys active membership in numerous organizations, such as The Mary Garland Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Welcome C. Chandler Chapter of the Republic of Texas, the Pecan Valley Genealogy Society, Brown County Retired Teachers and the National Society of Colonial Dames, to name just a few.

The couple was married in 1954. They enjoy traveling and consider themselves fortunate to have visited all fifty states. They have two children.

 

Chad Gann ’97 – Outstanding Young Graduate
chad_gann_for_webChad Gann graduated from HPU in 1997 with a Bachelor of Music degree. While at HPU, he participated in several campus groups including the A Capella Choir, Heritage Singers, Iota Chi Alpha fraternity and the Student Senate. As a student, Gann was active in the local community through work as a licensed paramedic. He also served a student ministry internship at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church, where he was promoted to a fulltime associate minister to students upon graduation.

In 2000, Gann joined the Arlington Police Department and, in 2004, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Gann was asked to serve as the accreditation manager and policy analyst for the Arlington Police Department in 2007. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2008 where he served as patrol commander until his appointment as the Special Operations (SWAT) Commander in 2011. Currently, he serves as the acting deputy chief over the Operations Support Division, which includes overseeing SWAT, traffic investigations, homeland security and special events.

He earned a Master of Arts degree in marriage and family counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2006, a Master of Arts in criminology and criminal justice from The University of Texas at Arlington in 2008 and is currently in the dissertation phase of a Doctor of Philosophy degree in public and urban administration with an emphasis in criminal justice administration, also from UTA.

Lt. Gann has served as an adjunct professor at HPU, UTA and Dallas Baptist University.

 

 

Winifred Dodds ’58 (posthumous) – Medal of Service
winifred_dodds_for_webWinifred Dodds, a graduate of Early High School, was a member of HPU’s Class of 1958. While a student at HPU, he was on the Howard Payne CenTex Aggies judging team, which he greatly enjoyed. He later went on to receive his master’s degree from Hardin-Simmons University in 1967.

Dodds spent a total of 34 years in the public school system, 31 of those years in administration. He loved working with students. His first teaching and coaching job was in Norton. From there, Dodds served in Noodle-Horn, where he received the honor of Basketball Coach of the Year in 1971 for the Abilene West Texas Area. He later became superintendent at Noodle-Horn, as well as at Paint Creek, Jonesboro and Blanket.

He was one of four Dodds brothers who graduated from HPU. Winifred, Marlin ’54, Bobby ’60 and Roy ’63 were all superintendents for independent school districts in the state of Texas at the same time. Research showed that no other family in Texas had ever had four brothers accomplish this.

Dodds wanted to stay involved with students even after his retirement in 1989, so he began working with Scholastic Analyst to complete teacher appraisals throughout the state. He also worked nine years with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. During his retirement, he also served as interim superintendent in a variety of locations. In 1994, he was employed by HPU as the student teacher supervisor, a role he held for 17 years. In 2010, he was chosen to serve on the HPU School of Education’s Advisory Council.

Dodds was married to the love of his life, Shirley Boyd, for almost 54 years. They have three children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Dodds passed away in November 2011.

 

Chuck Gartman ’72 – Medal of Service
chuck_gartman_for_webCharles “Chuck” Gartman graduated from McAllen High School before coming to HPU. During his time at HPU, he was the president of the Baptist Student Union and later the BSU student assistant, student assistant athletic dorm director, president of his fraternity and was named to the Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. He graduated from HPU in 1972.

Upon graduation Gartman attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned his Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in ethics and pastoral care in 1974. Later, he attended the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary to continue post graduate studies in youth ministry. Soon after returning to HPU in 2002 as assistant professor of Christian studies, Gartman received the university’s award for Excellence in Teaching for the 2003-2004 academic year.

Gartman was instrumental in helping HPU establish a youth ministry emphasis in its religious education program. He also served as a consultant in creating the Master of Arts degree in youth ministry. Active in a variety of missions and educational endeavors, Gartman currently teaches as adjunct for the Christian Studies department and is president of “Go To” Youth Ministry, Inc., a national youth ministry consulting firm. He also serves as the minister of education/leadership development at Field Street Baptist Church in Cleburne.

Gartman met his wife, Connie (Glass) Gartman, while they were students at HPU. They have three daughters and three grandchildren.

 

 

Joyce Clay ’77 – Coming Home Queen
joyce_clay_for_webJoyce Clay, a native of Clarendon, is a 1977 HPU graduate. She is a member of the HPU Alumni Association and has served for three years on the organization’s Board of Directors. Additionally, she is a member of the HPU African American Alumni Association where she has served as both secretary and vice president.

Clay has served in many churches across the state, working as a youth director, Acteens director and director of a reading improvement program. She has also served in the Navarro County Food Pantry as a volunteer and on its board as vice president. Additionally, she served on the Mary Peterson Day board in Corsicana and the Martin Luther King Board of Directors.

Clay is currently a member of the Giddings New Horizons Lions Club, where she is a member of the board, the Lion Tamer and was named Lion of the Year in 2011.

She is a member of Concord Church in Giddings, where she is a deaconess, director of The Kitchen and former member of the Praise Team. Clay met her late husband, Chester, during their time at HPU. They have one son.

 

 

 

Dale ’55 and LaVerne ’54 Gore – Grand Marshals
dale_and_laverne_gore_for_webDale Gore, a native of Corpus Christi, enrolled at HPU upon the influence of his pastor, Kenneth Hiner, an HPU graduate. Gore was editor of the Yellow Jacket for two years and was involved in the Life Service Band and Mission Band. Following graduation, he was on the staff of First Baptist Church Uvalde and later First Baptist Hillsboro. He then pastored Baggett Creek Baptist Church in Comanche County while attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.

After graduation from seminary, he served as music and youth director at First Baptist Church of Brownwood. After two years in Brownwood, Dale was called to be pastor of FBC Whitewright. Other pastorates included FBC Goldthwaite; Trinity Baptist, Sherman; and FBC Denison. In 1989, he was called to be the executive director of the Austin Baptist Association where he served for 10 years. Upon retirement he pastored the Elm Grove Baptist Church in Bell County for 12 years.

While he was an HPU student, he met his future wife, LaVerne Dennis. They shared several classes, sat in consecutive rows of assigned seats in Mims Auditorium at Chapel and sang in the school chorus. They were engaged by the beginning of their junior year.

LaVerne grew up in Brownwood, where her father pastored Melwood Baptist Church. She graduated from HPU in August 1954, and the couple married the same month. While her husband completed his senior year, she taught school in Cross Plains. She went on to teach at schools across the state, retiring in 1989. For six years she served as a special education consultant for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, helping churches begin and maintain Sunday school and Vacation Bible School programs for special-needs children and adults. She also taught in the education department of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor for four years.

The Gores have remained active at HPU through Homecoming and the Alumni Association. They each served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, with Dale serving as president for a term. He also served on the HPU Board of Trustees for nine years and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1988. He is presently serving on the board again. LaVerne was named Coming Home Queen during Homecoming 2002.

They are now retired, enjoying their home in Salado and engaging in activities at FBC Salado. They particularly enjoy time spent with their children, grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

The couple’s son Jeffrey graduated from HPU in 1984 and, since 2007, four of their grandchildren have graduated from HPU: Addie Barnett and husband R.J., Emily Gore and Molly Gore.

 

Dr. Moises Rodriguez ’81 – Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award
moises_rodriguez_for_webDr. Moises Rodriguez, a native of Carrizo Springs, enrolled in HPU’s Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom program in 1977. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in 1981, he pursued his Master of Divinity degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, gaining that degree in 1986. In 1997, he completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree at Baylor University.

Dr. Rodriguez has served as the outreach worker for Southside Area Ministries in Fort Worth, providing assistance and orientation to American life for refugees. He has also served as the pastor for Mision Bautista of Dublin, Primera Baptist Church of Fort Worth and Iglesia Bautista Del Salvador of Waco, growing those churches during his time with them.

From 1990 until 1997, Dr. Rodriguez and his family lived and served in Atlanta, working as field staff for the Southern Baptist Convention. He was the associate director of ethnic leadership development for the SBC and also interim pastor at Mision Bautista Briarlake. Later, he became the director of the Church Multiplication Department for the SBC before moving on to a position as manager for the SBC’s Hispanic Church Planting Unit.

Recently, Dr. Rodriguez has served as the pastor and senior pastor of Primera Baptist Church in Fort Worth while also serving as director of the North Texas Church Planting Institute and Leadership Development Center. Active in a wide range of ministry and training roles, his current work includes serving as dean of the Baptist Bible Institute and continuing education departments for the Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio.

Dr. Rodriguez married Abigail Dominguez in 1984. They have two children, one of whom – Julia – is a junior at HPU.

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HPU appoints assistant vice president for external programs and church relations

dale_meineckeBROWNWOOD – October 5, 2012 – Howard Payne University has expanded to three campuses across the state, and the university recently created a new administrative position to serve these extension centers. Dale Meinecke, a 1998 HPU graduate, was appointed assistant vice president for external programs and church relations.

In this capacity, Meinecke will oversee enrollment services and development of the university’s New Braunfels and El Paso campuses. He will also work to build relationships with area churches and associations to the mutual benefit of all institutions. His wife, Christy, also a 1998 graduate, was hired as an admission counselor, primarily for the New Braunfels campus.

“We are proud to welcome the Meineckes back to the HPU family,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “They are outstanding alumni and we are thrilled to have them return as ambassadors of the university.”

The Meineckes were highly engaged as students on campus and later returned to serve on staff. He was an HPU football coach and chapel coordinator from 2005 to 2006, and she served as an admission counselor from 1998 to 1999. The couple most recently worked at Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington – he as dean of students and she as a kindergarten teacher. He graduated with a master’s degree in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2005 and is working toward his doctorate in leadership studies at Dallas Baptist University.

“As I thought about the future, I was continually drawn to the Christian college and especially to our Baptist schools in Texas,” he said. “I believe a large part of that is due to the life-change I experienced while attending Howard Payne. My hope is for other students to be drawn into a passionate and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Christy and I feel very blessed to be a part of the Howard Payne family once again. We look forward to serving the students and campuses.”

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Photo cutline: Dale Meinecke will serve HPU as assistant vice president for external programs and church relations.