News Archives: Alumni Relations

Homecoming volunteers needed

PrintOctober 5, 2012 — Homecoming Week is fast approaching, and the university is in need of volunteers to make the celebration the best it can be. Some of the jobs will only require an hour of someone’s time, and each volunteer will receive a free t-shirt.

Visit this link to see the jobs available and sign up for the one that best fits your schedule.

For more information, contact Miranda Marsh, Homecoming volunteer coordinator, at (325) 647-8632 or mmarsh@hputx.edu.

HPU’s Homecoming 2012 celebration scheduled Oct. 12-14

PrintBROWNWOOD – October 2, 2012 – Howard Payne University’s Homecoming celebration will be held Friday through Sunday, Oct. 12-14. This year’s theme is “The Great Adventure,” and approximately 40 events will 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 information about this year’s honorees are available online.

Homecoming events will include the following:

Performances of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum 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. For ticket information, contact the School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.

The Golden Graduate Luncheon for the Class of 1962 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 Hardin-Simmons University Friday afternoon (women at 1 p.m. and men at 3 p.m.) and 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 Sodexo Alumni Awards Banquet 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 2012 honorees will be recognized. Jonny Diaz will perform, and free child care will be available starting at 6 p.m. Registration for child care is required and can be scheduled by calling 325-649-8069.

The university will host Underwoods’ Cobbler on the Campus, a dessert social open to all campus visitors, from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday night at Muse Plaza and Mall. HPU alumnus Clay Tyner ’11 will perform.

From 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday evening, the university will host the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce pep rally and fireworks show at Don Shepard Park (HPU’s baseball park).

Saturday morning, the Hispanic Alumni Breakfast will be held in the Mabee University Center’s Bullion Suites from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. At this time, the university will honor the recipient of the Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award.

The third annual 5K/1-Mile Fun Run will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday morning at Riverside Park. Those interested in participating should contact David Foster, head cross country/assistant softball coach, at 325-649-8950.

The Big Country Ford Parade 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.

The TexasBank Picnic on the Plaza will begin at noon on Saturday at Muse Plaza and Mall on the HPU campus.

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

HPU’s Academy of Freedom Alumni Reception will be held Saturday evening at 5 p.m. in the Academy’s Constitution Hall.

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 to host Accounting Day this Friday

BROWNWOOD – September 25, 2012 – Howard Payne University’s School of Business will host an Accounting Day this Friday, September 28. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the 10 a.m. session in room 136 of Newman Hall on HPU’s Academy of Freedom campus.

Four alumni will be welcomed back to the university to share their successes in the accounting field.

“The goal of the presentation is to promote the accounting profession and to show how one may become employed with a ‘Big Four’ accounting firm,” said Dr. Les Plagens, dean of the School of Business. “We are very pleased to have these four exemplary graduates come to campus and give back to our students. They have an excellent message to share.”

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Emily (Tittle) Attaway received an accounting degree from HPU in 2009 and is a 2010 graduate of The University of Texas at Dallas with a master’s degree in accounting information systems. She was licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in August 2011. Attaway interned as a tax season clerk at JHB, LLP in Dallas during the 2010 tax season and is currently employed there full time as a tax associate.

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Clee Heston graduated from HPU in 2002 with degree in accounting. He began his career as an audit intern with KPMG LLP in January 2003 and obtained his CPA license in March 2004. During his tenure at KPMG, he served on multiple public and private client engagements in the assurance practice. In November 2006, he accepted a position with HMT, Inc., a private construction company serving the energy industry, where he served as assistant controller and eventually as corporate controller. In September 2011, Heston accepted the assistant controller position at C&J Energy Services, a public oilfield services company.

 

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Tristan Summers, CPA, is a 2009 graduate of HPU and the Academy of Freedom. He holds a master’s degree in professional accounting from The University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business, where he attended under merit scholarship. In 2011, Summers joined PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Austin where he provides assurance services to one Fortune 50 technology client.

 

 

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A 2005 HPU accounting graduate, Justin Woodard, CPA, is in the seventh year of his professional career. After completing his undergraduate studies at HPU, Woodard attended The Ohio State University and received a Master of Accounting, summa cum laude, in 2006. He was a University Fellow at Ohio State and received a full-ride scholarship to the graduate program. He began his career with KPMG, a Big Four accounting firm, and worked for five years in external audit at both KPMG and a regional accounting firm affiliated with BDO Seidman. He recently joined Sabre Holdings in Southlake, where he works in technical accounting.

 

For more information, contact Mary Hill in the School of Business at (325) 649-8704 or via e-mail at mhill@hputx.edu.

HPU alumnus Randy Johnson to retire from youth ministry after 38 years

BROWNWOOD – Sept. 6, 2012 – Randy Johnson, youth minister at First Baptist Church of Richardson, does not attribute his longevity with the church to his skills as a minister. In fact, Johnson, who will retire in January after 28 years at FBC Richardson and 38 total years as a youth minister, says just the opposite.

johnson_laughs_with_student_for_web“My long tenure in the ministry is what made me good at my job,” he said.

This summer, Johnson gathered 225 youth and staff from FBC Richardson, FBC Killeen and NorthHaven Church from Norman, Okla., for the last summer camp of his career. The camp was the 15th held at his alma mater, Howard Payne University.

“I love having camps on a Baptist campus and being able to expose kids to HPU,” he said. “And HPU has a great staff that takes care of us.”

Johnson, a 1971 graduate, serves on HPU’s President Development Council (PDC) and the Youth Ministry Graduate Program Advisory Council. He was also one of five youth ministry professionals and HPU alumni to begin the process of bringing the Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministry program to HPU in the late 1980s. Johnson, along with Chuck Gartman, Chris Liebrum, the late Wayne McAfee and Jerome Smith, spoke to then-president Dr. Don Newbury about beginning an undergraduate program in youth ministry at HPU.

“We hoped it would boost our school,” Johnson said. “At the time, there were very few training opportunities for youth ministers at the university level.”

In 1990, Dr. Newbury hired Dr. Gary Gramling, professor of Christian studies, to design and start a youth ministry degree. HPU began offering the degree in 1991 and a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry in 2006. Gramling serves as the director of the graduate program.

“I actually got my job because of Randy and the others,” Gramling said. “I have enjoyed the continuing blessing of Randy’s friendship and support ever since coming to teach here. I have been able to point many students to him as one who ministers effectively and who genuinely lives his faith.”

According to Gramling, Johnson is one of the best-known and -loved youth ministers to be found anywhere in the state.

“Many youth ministers started out as interns for Randy, and he has a love for investing in young ministers as they get started,” Gramling said.

Johnson also speaks about the investment he makes in the youth. He refers to a quote from author and theologian Elton Trueblood who wrote, “Man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.”

Said Johnson, “Youth ministry is the business of investing in people. I’ve been lucky to see the result of my investment as well as the investment of others.”

He began his career at Monterey Baptist Church in Lubbock in 1975 after earning a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.summer_camp_group_photo_for_web

“I thought God was calling me to be a pastor,” he said. “But I was unmarried at the time and no church was looking to hire a single pastor. I accepted a job as a youth minister, planning to stay for three years. I stayed for five. Obviously my interpretation of God’s call changed.”

He then served for five years at First Baptist Church Bryan. Johnson noted that the average tenure for a youth minister at a church was about 18 months in those days.

“I then went to FBC Richardson where I noticed they had several staff members who were long-tenured,” he said. “I’ve served with three different pastors in the time I’ve been here. I’m very fortunate to have stayed for so long.”

Johnson has worked to keep his ministry fresh and creative and shares ownership of his youth ministry with three groups – students, parents and volunteers.
“And I’ve taken care of myself spiritually,” he added. “People ask me, ‘How old is too old to do youth ministry?’ I don’t know the answer. But I know you can do it until you’re at least 62.”

Johnson is unsure of his plans after his retirement, but he hopes to stay involved with youth ministry in some way. FBC Richardson plans to name him as the church’s first youth minister emeritus.

In his 38-year career, Johnson estimates that he’s worked with approximately 6,000 students through his ministry.

“The most exciting thing is seeing the way people’s lives change and it’s gratifying to see them grow spiritually and become involved in a local church,” he said. “How can you beat that?”

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Photo cutline: Randy Johnson brought about 225 students and staff to summer camp at his alma mater, Howard Payne University.

Randy Johnson laughs with Ryan Reynolds, student at Wylie High School, while on HPU’s campus for summer camp.

HPU graduate receives scholarship to continue education at Baylor Law School

by Rachel Ellington, Howard Payne University freshman

BROWNWOOD – Sept. 4, 2012 – Lauren Teel, a 2010 graduate of Howard Payne University, recently received the Nancy Stallings Lee Endowed Scholarship at Baylor University. Teel, a student at Baylor Law School, who hails from Canton, was the first recipient of this award.

The Nancy Stallings Lee Endowed Scholarship Fund was established in 2011 by relatives and friends of Nancy S. Lee, a former professor of political science at HPU who passed away in 2009. Lee obtained her bachelor’s (1967) and master’s (1970) degrees in political science from Baylor University. Because of her dedication to both universities, the fund is available to graduates from HPU’s Academy of Freedom honors program, who are attending Baylor Law School or are enrolled in a graduate program at Baylor.

Lee’s cousin, Roxanne Boyd, shared how excited her family is about the fund.

“We are so pleased that Nancy’s wish to support graduate education has become reality,” Boyd said, “and we hope that the endowment will continue to grow.”

While at HPU, Teel became involved in the Student Speaker Bureau and Moot Court. She gives credit to these activities and her courses in the Academy of Freedom for her consequent success in law school.

“The Academy put me around bright peers and brilliant professors,” Teel explained. “I was challenged, asked to complete hard tasks and learned to write essay exams –which prepared me for the pressure of law school’s written exams.”

Teel also had the privilege of being featured in the “Baylor Law Review,” a scholarly journal in which the top 15 percent of the enrolled law students at Baylor are published.

“The Academy exams were almost the sole determining factor for my eligibility for the law review at Baylor,” she said. “The only exceptions were two legal writing classes, for which writing my Academy thesis helped prepare me.”

Dr. Justin Murphy, dean of HPU’s School of Humanities and director of the Academy of Freedom honors program, discussed Teel’s great character as a student.

“I am gratified to learn that Lauren received the Nancy Stallings Lee Endowed Scholarship,” Murphy said. “She certainly epitomizes the values that Nancy Lee held and I know that Ms. Lee would most definitely approve of Lauren to be the first to receive this scholarship. It was an honor to serve as one of Lauren’s professors.”

HPU Academy of Freedom graduates planning to further their education at Baylor University are eligible for the Nancy Stallings Lee Endowed Scholarship. For more information contact Baylor’s Student Financial Services division at 254-710-2611.

Public invited to tomorrow’s memorial service for former HPU dean

BROWNWOOD – Aug. 24, 2012 – The public is invited to attend a memorial service for Dr. George Baker, former dean of Howard Payne University’s School of Music, tomorrow, August 25, at 2 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

george_bakerDr. Baker, who resided in Granbury, passed away Sunday, July 22, after a lengthy illness. He and his wife, Sara, who was an associate professor of music, retired from HPU in 1998. Along with Mrs. Baker, Dr. Baker served on the President’s Development Council at HPU.

“We hope you make plans to attend this remembrance and celebration of Dr. Baker’s life,” said Dr. Robert Tucker, dean of music and fine arts and extended education at HPU. “Please remember also to keep his family and friends in your prayers during this time.”

There will be a reception immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the George and Sara Baker Music Endowed Scholarship Fund at HPU.

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Photo cutline: HPU will hold a memorial service for Dr. George Baker, former dean of the School of Music.

HPU alumnus among victims of Colorado tragedy

Gordon Cowden, a 1984 Howard Payne University graduate, was one of 12 killed in Friday’s shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater.

Please remember his family and friends in your prayers.

Update:

Services for Gordon Cowden will be held Wednesday, July 25, at 11:00 a.m., at Pathways Church, 1595 Pearl St., Denver, Colo.

Mr. Cowden’s funeral will be at 11:00 a.m. this Friday, July 27, at Riverbend Church, 4214 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Austin, Texas.

HPU alumni help heal Iraqi hearts

BROWNWOOD – June 4, 2012 – Monique Ching, an international student from Hong Kong who recently graduated from Howard Payne University, is serving as an intern for Preemptive Love Coalition (PLC) in Iraq. PLC, founded in 2007 by HPU alumni Jeremy and Jessica (Bond) Courtney, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the more than 30,000 children awaiting lifesaving heart surgery.

ching_and_courtneys_for_webIn her final semester at HPU, Ching raised financial support to fund the two-month internship with PLC. As an intern she will primarily tell stories through writing and videography as well as do general office administrative work.

According to PLC, as a result of war, sanctions and internal strife, Iraq’s medical infrastructure is in shambles and the children are paying the price. PLC hosts international teams of professional doctors and nurses who perform surgeries while also helping to train the local Iraqi doctors. PLC’s mission is to develop six to eight fully-functioning heart centers in Iraq capable of helping the many children awaiting heart surgery. To date, the organization has helped save the lives of more than 230 Iraqi children and provided local doctors with more than 60,000 hours of hands-on training.

The Courtneys feel their HPU education was valuable to their current work.

“Looking back, Howard Payne’s emphasis on servant leadership prepared us for situations like this,” said Jessica Courtney. “Working in war-torn cities with desperate moms and dads trying to get help for their children can be exhausting. It demands flexibility and a constant outpouring of grace. God used people at HPU to begin teaching us this before we even knew we’d be moving to Iraq.”

Were it not for the strong ties the Courtneys still maintain with HPU, Ching says she would never have found out about this opportunity to make a difference.

“I heard about Preemptive Love and its lifesaving work my first semester at HPU, but I never thought I would have the opportunity to be a part of its work,” Ching said. “You hear about so much conflict in this part of the world, but it’s humbling to be a part of an organization that is working toward healing this community.”

Said Jeremy Courtney, “We’ve been blessed by a number of HPU organizations and Brownwood churches who have donated their time and money in order to save lives and provide hope across Iraq. Amazing HPU students like Monique have been instrumental to our success!”

To learn more about Ching’s summer abroad, e-mail her at monique@preemptivelove.org. For more information about the Preemptive Love Coalition, visit www.preemptivelove.org.

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Photo cutline: HPU alumni (from left) Monique Ching, Jessica Courtney and Jeremy Courtney are working toward healing the Iraqi community.