News Archives: Student Life

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.

HPU dean of students to serve on NASPA Region III board

Dr Brent Marsh NASPA for webBROWNWOOD – May 20, 2014 – Dr. Brent Marsh, vice president for student life and dean of students at Howard Payne University, was recently appointed to a two-year term as the Student-Athlete Knowledge Community Representative for NASPA Region III, an organization for student affairs administrators in higher education.

Dr. Marsh just completed his tenth year at HPU, a career through which he has had the opportunity to collaborate with and supervise a team of student affairs professionals and athletics personnel.

“I am thankful for this leadership and service opportunity within NASPA,” said Dr. Marsh. “The position will provide a platform to advocate for the needs and interests of student-athletes at large, but my experience at HPU should be especially helpful in providing a voice for NCAA Division III participants.”

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Photo cutline: Dr. Brent Marsh, vice president for student life and dean of students at Howard Payne University, was recently named the Student-Athlete Knowledge Community Representative for NASPA Region III.

HPU Cheer Team places second at American Cheer Power Competition

HPU Cheer Team Spring 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – May 15, 2014 – The Howard Payne University Cheer Team traveled to San Antonio recently to participate in the American Cheer Power Competition. The team was awarded second place in the College Division and received the New School Award.

The team is coached by Alyson Price and coordinated by Gretchen Campbell, executive assistant to the vice president for student life and dean of students.

HPU cheerleaders perform at all home football and basketball games throughout the academic year. The team raised money to cover travel expenses for the trip through fundraisers such as bake sales, child care and cheer judging at area middle and high schools.

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Photo cutline: The HPU Cheer Team recently placed second at the American Cheer Power Competition. Back row, left to right: Dalton Sembritzky, freshman from Fredericksburg; Kris Lowrey, sophomore from Brownwood; Zach Eller, junior from Temple; Luis Solis, senior from Prosper; and Cameron Garcia, senior from Rosenberg. Front row, left to right: Sierra Damron, sophomore from Baird; Krista Cook, freshman from Brownwood; Cassi Parsons, freshman from Gordon; Kathryn Riddle, freshman from Midland; Raven Gilreath, sophomore from Stinnett; Shelby Creed, senior from Brownwood; and Kelci Feist, junior from De Leon.

HPU “beach reachers” minister at South Padre Island

Beach Reach Group Photo for webBy Rachel Ellington, Howard Payne University junior

BROWNWOOD – April 28, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s Baptist Student Ministry facilitates many events and trips that send students to spread the gospel. One of those annual trips is Beach Reach. For 34 years, college students from across the United States have traveled to South Padre Island during Spring Break to reach other students for Christ.

The founder of Beach Reach, Buddy Young, stated on the website that the main objective is to ensure a safe Spring Break while starting meaningful conversations about Jesus. While on the island, HPU students focused on servant hood and conversation while offering van rides, pancakes, bottled water and prayer, all free of charge.

This year’s Beach Reach kicked off on March 15, 2014, at Island Baptist Church, the base of operations. More than 800 students prayed for the week and shared a meal together.

Activities Sunday through Thursday consisted of van rides every day from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. The Beach Reach volunteers gave rides and took every opportunity to have conversations with each person. They also served pancakes in the church parking lot at the same times.

Giant sand sculptures in the middle of the beach – each depicting a different biblical theme or scene – also served as conversation starters. Beach Reach teamed up with Randy Hofman, a professional sand sculptor who created a different sculpture every day. Then students would stand around the sculpture and ask people what they thought about it. Hofman has created these sculptures at Beach Reach for 25 years in a row.

This year, according to Keith Platte, HPU’S BSM director, HPU partnered with Hardin-Simmons University and took 28 students. Seven of those students participated last year as well.

“We hope that every year the number of students we take on this trip increases because they keep coming back and they are bringing more students with them to be a part of this ministry,” said Platte.

HPU students had numerous favorite parts of the Beach Reach experience.

“My favorite part of Beach Reach was connecting with people on van rides, serving people and starting conversations about the sand sculptures,” said Courtney Tatum, a sophomore from Stephenville.

Beach Reach Sand Sculpture for webZac Sterling, a transfer student from Farmington, N.M., recalled, “Making connections and having real conversations with real people on the vans was awesome.”

“Being able to reach people and show them the love of Jesus when they think they don’t deserve it was incredible,” said Dalton Clark, a freshman from Abilene.

Sophomore Ruby Johnson from Alvarado, who was a returnee to Beach Reach, recalled the prayer room the students arranged.

“We had different stations around the room with a prayer request table, a praise table and even a Twitter feed on a big screen,” she said. “The more people who were in there praying, the more cool stuff you could see happening. You could really see God moving!”

In addition to Tatum, Sterling, Clark and Johnson, other HPU students participating in the trip were: Shaefer Church, freshman, Bloomfield, N.M.; Kaiti Cochrum, sophomore, Burnet;
Lacy Culpepper II, junior, Zephyr; Ruth Davis, freshman, San Antonio; Cristalyn Fitzgerald, senior, Burleson; Allyson Gainey, junior, Kermit; Trent Gainey, junior, Kermit; Samantha Hill, freshman, Irving; TaShana Hooker, freshman, Carrollton; Dillon Hughes, freshman, Richardson; Kim Lilley, senior, Brownwood; Xavier McFalls, sophomore, Amarillo; Andi Peaster, sophomore, Edinburg; Emily Selman, freshman, Red Oak; Rebekah Steadman, senior, Fort Worth; Katie Vernon, junior, Bangs; Colette Wilcoxen, junior, Austin; Ashley Willis, sophomore, Mansfield; Joshua Woods, sophomore, Annapolis, Md.; and Brandon Yost, senior, Roseville, Calif.

“Beach Reach is about showing people Jesus through actions rather than just words,” said Keith Platte. “Our students met physical needs as well as a need for Christ.”

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Photo cutline #1: HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry took a group to South Padre Island to minister during Spring Break. Pictured are (back row, left to right): Shaefer Church, Lacy Culpepper, Dalton Clark, Brandon Yost, Trent Gainey, Joshua Woods, Dillon Hughes, Ruby Johnson.

Middle row, left to right: Keith Platte, Andi Peaster, Rebekah Steadman, Allyson Gainey, Kaiti Cochrum, Ashley Willis, TaShana Hooker, Colette Wilcoxen, Courtney Tatum, Zac Sterling, Xavier McFalls

Front row, left to right: Cristalyn Fitzgerald, Emily Selman, Kim Lilley, Katie Vernon, Ruth Davis, Samantha Hill

HPU’s Resurrection Week to begin April 14

Dave EdwardsBROWNWOOD – April 9, 2014 – Howard Payne University will host Resurrection Week, the university’s annual spring revival, April 14-16. The featured speaker for the week is Dave Edwards of Dave Edwards Ministries in Oklahoma City. Worship will be led by recording artist Jami Smith.

Edwards, who describes himself as an “itinerant postmodern pastor,” has shared his unique brand of ministry with young people for more than a decade. He speaks more than 500 times each year and has authored 14 books. More information can be found at www.davetown.com.

Smith, one of the premier worship leaders in the country, travels around the world using music as a tool to help believers connect with the Lord. According to her website, www.jamismith.com, “Salt and Light” from her 2002 release Wash Over Me hovered at the top of the charts, while her 2008 release Faith In You was named one of the top worship albums of 2008 by Christianity Today.

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.

Jami Smith“We are very excited about our upcoming services related to the greatest event in human history, man’s redemption through the death and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ,” said Corey Ash, chapel coordinator and director of bands. “I know that Dave and Jami will challenge us to be more like the Savior we serve. I’m really looking forward to what God is going to do in our lives on campus, throughout our community and beyond!”

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Photo cutline: Dave Edwards and Jami Smith will headline Resurrection Week at Howard Payne University next week.