News Archives: Student Life

Bonner and Wood crowned HPU Homecoming Queen and Princess

2014 Homecoming Queen and Princess for webBROWNWOOD – October 24, 2014 – Katie Rose Bonner of Lytle and Caitlin Wood of Miles were crowned Howard Payne University’s Homecoming Queen and Princess during a ceremony held today on campus.

Katie Rose, the daughter of James and Rosemary Bonner of Lytle, is a senior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in political science and history. She serves as student body president and is a member of Sigma Theta Phi, Gamma Beta Phi, Pi Gamma Mu and the HPU Moot Court team. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to attend law school and is considering a career in immigration or international law.

Caitlin, the daughter of Ron and Sandy Wood of Miles, is a junior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in political science and minors in Christian education. She is a member of Gamma Beta Phi, Pi Gamma Mu and the Jacket Ambassadors. Additionally, she is involved with Student Government Association, Moot Court and the Baptist Student Ministry. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she plans to attend law school and eventually work as a litigator or in-house counsel for a faith-based organization.

The pair will be featured in Saturday’s Homecoming Parade at 9:15 a.m. and during the halftime show of the HPU football game at 2 p.m.

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Photo cutline: Caitlin Wood (left) and Katie Rose Bonner (right) were crowned HPU’s 2014 Homecoming Princess and Queen, respectively. They are pictured with Robin Scofield ’14, HPU’s 2013 Homecoming Queen.

HPU to host ribbon-cutting for newly remodeled Mabee University Center

Fambroughs for webBROWNWOOD – October 22, 2014 – A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Howard Payne University’s newly remodeled Mabee University Center will be held this Friday, October 24, at 5 p.m. as part of the university’s Homecoming 2014 celebrations.

The extensive remodeling project included a renovated dining hall, study lounge, social spaces, large eatery and coffee bar, enhanced technology, new office suite for the vice president for student life and her staff, expanded campus store, additional conference rooms and improved Bullion Suites to host events for the university and the community.

Waldrop Construction handled the project.

“The remodel went beautifully,” says Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “We’re very pleased with Waldrop Construction’s work and we look forward to opening the Mabee University Center to the alumni and the community during Homecoming.”

The renovated dining hall opened at the beginning of the fall semester and Fambrough’s Eatery & Coffee Bar, as well as the student life offices, have opened in the past few weeks. Students have expressed their pleasure with the updated spaces.

“The new Fambrough’s looks really nice,” says Allan Chehadi, a sophomore from Austin. “I’m also excited for the new study lounge. It will make it a lot easier for 24-hour studying.”

According to Dr. Ellis, the needs and desires of students were the driving forces behind the project.

“Our main reason for the renovation was to provide a comfortable gathering place for our students and state-of-the-art dining facilities,” says Dr. Ellis. “I believe we have achieved just that. It is a joy to see the students exploring and enjoying the remodeled facility.”

With all of the new features, Dr. Ellis says the upgraded Mabee University Center will benefit the rest of campus and the community as well.

“We’re so proud of this facility and we hope the community makes plans to join us for the ribbon-cutting ceremony,” he said.

A complete schedule of Homecoming events and other information is available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

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Photo cutline: Among the extensive renovations to HPU’s Mabee University Center were updates and improvements to Fambrough’s Eatery & Coffee Bar.

HPU announces 2014 Homecoming Court

Homecoming Court 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – October 22, 2014 – Howard Payne University has announced the 2014 Homecoming Court. The HPU Homecoming queen and princess will be crowned this Friday, October 24, at 2 p.m. during Homecoming Convocation in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

Homecoming queen nominees are Katie Rose Bonner of Lytle, a senior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in political science and history; Morgan Marriott of Fort Worth, a senior communication major and psychology minor; and Samantha Mullins of Frisco, a senior psychology major and health science minor.

Katie Rose is the daughter of James and Rosemary Bonner of Lytle. She serves as student body president and is a member of Sigma Theta Phi, Gamma Beta Phi, Pi Gamma Mu and the HPU Moot Court team. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to attend law school and is considering a career in immigration or international law.

Morgan, the daughter of Dr. Ronny and Mrs. Robin Marriott of Temple, is a member of Delta Chi Rho and works for the Yellow Jacket student newspaper. She is a former member of the Lady Jackets women’s basketball team and after graduation plans to become a talk show host.

Samantha is the daughter of Chad and Natalie Johnson of Frisco. She is a member of Chi Alpha Omega and the Lady Jackets women’s soccer team. After graduation, she plans to become an occupational therapist and work with children who have special needs.

Princess nominees are Gabriella Guest of Midlothian, a junior choral music education major and theatre minor; Kelsan Wolverton of Lampasas, a junior cross-cultural and Bible major who minors in theatre; and Caitlin Wood of Miles, a junior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in political science and minors in Christian education.

Gabriella is the daughter of Austin and DeeDee Guest of Midlothian. She is involved with the Student Government Association and is a member of Gamma Beta Phi, Kappa Delta Pi, the Concert Choir and the Symphonic Band. Additionally, she writes for the Yellow Jacket student newspaper and is involved with many HPU theatre productions. Her career goal is to become a high school choir director.

Kelsan is the daughter of Kelly and Susan Wolverton of DeSoto. She is on the Student Planning Committee and is involved with Alpha Psi Omega, the Baptist Student Ministry, the Ministerial Alliance and HPU theatre productions. After graduation, she would like to become a missionary.

Caitlin, the daughter of Ron and Sandy Wood of Miles, is a member of Gamma Beta Phi, Pi Gamma Mu and the Jacket Ambassadors. Additionally, she is involved with Student Government Association, Moot Court and the Baptist Student Ministry. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she plans to attend law school and eventually work as a litigator or in-house counsel for a faith-based organization.

The Homecoming Court will be featured in the parade on Saturday, October 25, beginning at 9:15 a.m., and in the half-time show of the football game versus Hardin-Simmons University at Gordon Wood Stadium starting at 2 p.m.

The student body selects the court each year by elections coordinated through the Student Government Association.

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Photo cutline: HPU has announced its 2014 Homecoming Court. Left to right: Kelsan Wolverton, Katie Rose Bonner, Morgan Marriott, Gabriella Guest, Samantha Mullins and Caitlin Wood.

HPU’s Encounter Week features Afshin Ziafat and Kevin Jones

By Jaclyn Bonner, HPU sophomore

BROWNWOOD – September 22, 2014 – Encounter Week, Howard Payne University’s fall revival, began Monday morning and will run through Wednesday, September 24. Encounter Week affords students the opportunity to grow, learn and worship as a community. Services are open to the public.

Upcoming Encounter Week services, to be held in the university’s Mims Auditorium, are Monday evening at 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. There will also be an after-service fellowship time subsequent to the Monday and Tuesday evening services.

Afshin Ziafat for web

The Encounter Week Team includes guest speaker Afshin Ziafat and worship leader Kevin Jones.

Ziafat is the lead pastor at Providence Church in Frisco. Although he was born in Houston, he is a native of Iran and lived there for a brief time during his childhood. As a senior in high school he accepted Christ, a decision that would ultimately cause his family to disown him. Yet, he claims, “My story is not about a man’s faithfulness to God; it’s about God’s faithfulness to man.”

Ziafat is passionate about spreading the Gospel. As founder of Afshin Ziafat Ministries, he travels both nationally and internationally to speak at churches, camps, conferences, retreats and missions. Additionally, he travels to the Middle East frequently to provide training for pastors through Elam Ministries.

Kevin Jones for webJones, of Dallas, serves at Stonegate Church in Midlothian as the worship leader. He discovered his gift of music in his youth and was saved at the age of nine. He has been actively engaged in church planting and music ministry since 2009.

Jones says he utilizes his musical ability to illustrate God’s love that is beyond understanding. The singer/songwriter incorporates a mix of both worship and pop/R&B music.

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Photo cutline: Encounter Week, HPU’s fall revival, will be led by speaker Afshin Ziafat (top) and worship leader Kevin Jones.

HPU names Dr. Magen Bunyard vice president for student life and dean of students

BROWNWOOD – September 10, 2014 – Howard Payne University announced today that Dr. Magen Bunyard has been named vice president for student life and dean of students. She will begin her role with the university on October 6.

Dr. Bunyard comes to HPU from North Central Texas College in Graham where she has served as a counselor and academic advisor since September 2012. Her previous experience includes serving as dean of students at East Texas Baptist University from 2008 to 2012 and director of student activities from 2002 to 2006. She served as director of volunteer services for Buckner Children and Family Services of North Texas from 2006 to 2008. Additionally, she has taught as an adjunct professor in communications in several colleges since 2005 and worked as the associate director for the Baptist Student Ministry at Texas A&M Corpus Christi from 2000 to 2002.

“We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Bunyard to HPU,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “Her résumé is impressive and we’re confident that her background in counseling and student services will be very valuable as she assumes the role of vice president for student life and dean of students.”

Dr. Bunyard received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2000 and 2005, respectively, and earned her doctoral degree from the University of North Texas in 2014.

“I am excited to be joining the HPU community,” she said. “I look forward to supporting the excellent student life programs that are established and working with faculty, staff and students to identify new opportunities to enhance the HPU student experience.”

HPU holds University Convocation ceremony

newbury 2014 convocation for webBROWNWOOD – August 28, 2014 – Howard Payne University kicked off its fall 2014 Chapel season yesterday with its annual University Convocation ceremony. Dr. Don Newbury, chancellor and former HPU president, addressed the audience.

Dr. Newbury spoke of many notable people in HPU’s 125-year-history including alumna Dr. Cynthia Clawson Courtney and former presidents Dr. Guy D. Newman and Dr. Thomas Taylor. He urged those in attendance to trust God’s plans for their lives.

Other program participants included Corey Ash, associate professor of music; Katie Bonner, HPU senior and president of the Student Government Association; Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president; Amy Kresta, instructor of biology; Katherine Licce, HPU senior; Dr. Allen Reed, professor of music; Dr. Joe Robinson, professor of education; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer; and Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and president of the Faculty Assembly.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Don Newbury, left, HPU chancellor and former president, addresses the university during the first Chapel ceremony of the fall 2014 semester. He is pictured with Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, and Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and president of the Faculty Assembly. Photo by Rachel Ellington, HPU junior.

HPU cheerleaders report for fall 2014 season

Cheerleaders 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – Aug. 21, 2014 – Members of the Howard Payne University cheer team arrived on campus this week to begin practicing for the upcoming season. The team will make its debut during the first HPU home football game at 1 p.m. on September 20 at Gordon Wood Stadium.

The cheerleaders are under the direction of Skye Darby, cheer coach, and Gretchen Campbell, cheer sponsor and executive administrative assistant to the vice president for student life and dean of students.

Back row, left to right: Michael Hanscheck, freshman from Mason; Zachary Eller, junior from Temple; and Kris Lowrey, sophomore from Brownwood.

Middle row, left to right: Samantha Guerrero, senior from Big Lake; Fallon Ferguson, freshman from Milano; Shelby Creed, senior from Brownwood; Lindsey McKinney, freshman from Brownwood; Kelci Feist, junior from De Leon; and Alahna Baze, freshman from Alvarado.

Front row, left to right: Jessica Huckaby, freshman from Eastland; Kindell Hill, freshman from Jarrell; Dorian Buitron, freshman from Floresville; Rosalinda Gonzales, freshman from San Antonio; and Krista Cook, freshman from Brownwood.

New students arrive on HPU campus

JJ group 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – Aug. 20, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s class of 2018 arrived on campus yesterday for Jacket Journey, a week-long introduction to their classmates, the university and the HPU way of life. Classes begin on Monday, August 25.

The new students, in yellow shirts, are pictured with upperclassman group leaders; “Secret Service,” a behind-the-scenes setup and teardown committee; the Student Planning Committee; and student life staff.

HPU students embark on summer mission trips

BROWNWOOD – May 30, 2014 – In preparation for summer mission trips through the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Go Now Missions, Howard Payne University students Ashley Chapman, Daniel Harris and Paula Johnson spent time reflecting on Isaiah 6:8.

The verse reads, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”

“The last words in that verse really stuck out to me,” said Chapman, a junior from Ennis. “I already had a plan for my summer, but the one God had for me is so much better. I now have a chance to serve in two areas that desperately need the Word of God and His unconditional love.”

Chapman will serve in Mission, Texas, and Mexico City, helping with backyard Bible clubs, Vacation Bible School, food distribution, personal evangelism, prayer walking, medical missions and more as she connects with the people living in those cities.

“I just hope with all my heart that I will be able to find those who are lost or have strayed from their faith and show them that God’s love will never leave us,” she said.

Daniel Harris, a sophomore from Boerne, will work with families, students, senior adults and children in a vastly underserved area of inner-city Houston. Harris will work at the Mission Centers of Houston, helping with English as a Second Language (ESL), sports camps, prayer walks, food and clothing drives and much more.

“My goal is to build bonds with my teammates and the people we are serving,” he said. “I really hope I can show people how they can have a lasting relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Paula Johnson, a junior from Spring, is already in Orlando serving with Give Kids The World, an organization through which children with life-threatening illnesses and their families are treated to weeklong, cost-free vacations.

“My hope is that I can make an impact on these children,” she said. “I want them to know that, though they are hurting now, God loves them and they are here for a reason.”

Keith Platte, director of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry, encourages the university family and surrounding communities to be in prayer for the missionaries and the work they are doing this summer.

“I’m very thankful HPU has students each summer who are willing and excited to forego typical vacations in order to serve others,” he said. “I pray that God’s hand will be upon them and that His will is accomplished through them.”

Kelsan Wolverton of Lampasas receives HPU Yellow Rose Scholarship

2014 Yellow Rose Scholarship for webBROWNWOOD – May 22, 2014 – Howard Payne University sophomore Kelsan Wolverton of Lampasas was named the recipient of the Yellow Rose Scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year. The award was presented at the tenth annual HPU Woman’s Club Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon held on campus last month.

Wolverton is a cross-cultural studies and Bible major and minors in theatre. She is involved in a wide range of campus activities and is a member of the Student Planning Committee, the Student Activities Council and the Baptist Student Ministry leadership team. She has also been selected as an officer of the Ministerial Alliance and president of the HPU chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, a national theatre honor society. She is a student worker in HPU’s special events department.

Wolverton is the daughter of Kelly ’96 and Susan Wolverton. Her sister, Sharon, is a freshman at HPU.

The HPU Yellow Rose Scholarship is presented annually to a female HPU student who will begin her junior year in the upcoming fall semester and who has maintained a 3.0 GPA since beginning her freshman year at HPU. The recipient participates in campus extracurricular activities and exhibits leadership qualities representative of the Christian values and beliefs foundational to the university.

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Photo cutline: Kelsan Wolverton, second from left, received the HPU Yellow Rose Scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year. She is pictured with (from left) Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady; Sharon Wolverton, her sister and HPU freshman; and Susan Wolverton, her mother.