News Archives: Student Life

HPU students, employees among Empty Bowls volunteers

empty bowls 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – March 27, 2015 – More than 50 students and employees from Howard Payne University joined the volunteers at Tuesday’s Empty Bowls fundraiser hosted by Good Samaritan Ministries of Brownwood.

For a $10 donation, guests received a hand-painted ceramic bowl and a meal of soup and water. HPU volunteers were among those ladling soup and assisting the diners.

The project raised $19,000 all of which will be used to fight hunger. Ninety percent of the funds will stay in Brown County, while 10 percent will be tithed to an organization that fights hunger internationally.

Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology, coordinated the volunteers.

“We’re very fortunate to have organizations such as Good Samaritan Ministries in our community,” he said. “The staff of that organization does excellent work in fighting hunger in Brownwood. I was proud to be a part of the Empty Bowls project.”


Photo cutline: Danyel Bradley, right, a junior criminal justice major from DeSoto, was among the HPU volunteers at Tuesday’s Empty Bowls fundraiser hosted by Good Samaritan Ministries of Brownwood.

HPU’s Resurrection Week to be time of renewal

BROWNWOOD – March 25, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s spring revival, Resurrection Week, will be next Monday, March 30, through Wednesday, April 1. The community is invited to attend these services, intended as a time of spiritual renewal for the campus.

Mike Satterfield for webThis year’s speaker is Mike Satterfield, the founder of Field of Grace Ministries. Satterfield has a tremendous passion for God’s Word coupled with a love for God’s people. He has a contagious spirit of generosity that flows through every facet of his ministry. Having received his mandate from God, Satterfield obediently fulfills his calling communicating spiritual truths to all audiences, both students and adults. He is an effective communicator with fresh and original illustrations. God has given him the ability to engage the audience with his skilled use of words and his warm personality. He combines both to reflect the vitalizing truths laid out in God’s Word in a relevant message to the world. His vision is uncompromisingly clear, with one central principle: to build and develop a kingdom of empowered people for God. Holding firmly to the commissioned mandate in Matthew 28:18-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,” he has taken the Gospel into national and international communities of the world.

Satterfield is the teaching pastor at Fielder Church in Arlington. He and his wife, Rhonda, have two children.

Mike Romero for webWorship will be led by Mike Romero Music out of Houston. Originally from Seattle, Mike Romero moved to Texas in 1998 to manage the Robbie Seay Band and practice live sound engineering for that band as well as the David Crowder Band. He later transitioned into full-time student ministry at First Baptist Church in Magnolia where he developed a love for ministry and a passion for leading others in worship. Mike Romero Music was birthed from Romero’s ministry at FBC Magnolia, the band being comprised of several of his former students. Romero and his bandmates have released two studio albums, both produced by The Digital Age and recorded in their Waco studio, Asterisk Sound. Mike Romero Music’s long history as friends and partners in ministry has created a unique chemistry and fueled their vision to write music that resonates with listeners inside and outside the church. The band believes that authentic stories of life, relationships, pain and redemption have the power to point people to the Gospel and the glory of Christ.

“Resurrection Week is always a powerful time at HPU,” said Corey Ash, director of bands and Chapel coordinator. “The campus community comes away rejuvenated and we’re glad that we can open it up so the public can experience that as well.”

Services on Monday and Tuesday will be held at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., and the last service will be at 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Each will take place in HPU’s Mims Auditorium. For more information, contact Ash at (325) 649-8502 or


Photo cutlines:

Mike Satterfield, founder of Field of Grace Ministries, is the speaker for this year’s Resurrection Week at HPU.

Mike Romero Music will lead worship during Resurrection Week at HPU.

HPU Health Fair aims to enhance wellbeing of students, personnel

Students at intellectual health booth for webBROWNWOOD – March 17, 2015 – Howard Payne University celebrated the upcoming spring season recently with a “Spring into Health Fair” for faculty, staff and students. The second annual fair featured health screenings, demonstrations, exhibits, games and a variety of giveaways.

“The purpose of the Health Fair is to assist our campus community in taking a proactive and holistic approach to health,” said Dr. Graham Hatcher, professor and chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science.

Campus personnel and vendors from the community set up booths that addressed health from seven perspectives: physical, spiritual, occupational, intellectual, emotional, environmental and social.

At the “social” booth, for example, students and faculty from HPU’s Department of Communication led attendees in impromptu speaking challenges designed to enhance communication skills.

“Many face-to-face conversations have been replaced with texting and social media,” said Dr. Julie Welker, chair of the Department of Communication and professor of communication. “We wanted to help students regain confidence with interpersonal communication and conversational skills.”

Leslie King and student for webDr. Hatcher said that people often overlook many of the components that comprise one’s overall health and wellbeing.

“Humans are very complex beings,” he said. “It’s necessary to take a well-rounded approach as we care for ourselves.”

Vendors included the Brown County Extension Agency, Brown County Health Department, Brownwood Regional Medical Center, Chick-fil-A, Cook Children’s Hospital, Family Services Center, GNC, Public Health Preparedness, Sodexo, United Health Services and the WIC Program.


Photo cutlines: Students gather around a booth at HPU’s second annual “Spring into Health Fair.”

HPU’s rock climbing instructor Leslie King, left, assists Dominic Packer, a freshman from Austin, with a hanging challenge.

Chili’s to support HPU’s Spring Sing 2015

BROWNWOOD – March 16, 2015 – A portion of Chili’s proceeds tomorrow, March 17, will benefit Howard Payne University’s Spring Sing 2015. With each flyer presented, the Brownwood restaurant will donate 10 percent of the event day sales in support of HPU’s annual musical event.

The flyer may be downloaded at The event will take place Tuesday from 10:45 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. at Chili’s Brownwood location, 210 E. Commerce Street.

Spring Sing is slated for Friday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. in HPU’s Mims Auditorium with a repeat performance the same time on Saturday. This year’s theme is “Night at the Cinema” during which student organizations will recreate some of their favorite movie moments. Participants include members of Alpha Psi Omega, Chi Alpha Omega, Delta Chi Rho, Kappa Kappa Psi, Sigma Theta Phi, Tau Beta Sigma and Zeta Chi.

“These groups have been practicing hard for many weeks to put on a great show for the community,” said Francie Clark, director of student activities. “We’d like to encourage everyone to support our students by eating at Chili’s tomorrow evening and coming out to see the shows this weekend.”

Tickets for reserved Spring Sing seats may be purchased at HPU’s Cashier’s Office inside the Packer Administration Building for $10 and general admission tickets will be $5 at the door on the evening of the event.

For more information, contact HPU’s Office of Student Life at (325) 649-8017.

HPU to celebrate Black History Month with special Chapel service

BROWNWOOD – January 30, 2015 – Howard Payne University will celebrate the lives and achievements of African-Americans during the past 100 years at a Black History Recognition Chapel service on Wednesday, February 4, at 10 a.m. The service, to be held in the university’s Mims Auditorium, is hosted each year in honor of Black History Month.

HPU students and members of the HPU African-American Alumni Association will be the primary participants and act as narrators for the presentation. Alexandra Galloway ’11 serves as the association’s president. The program is written and directed by Wilbert Rogers ’75. Gladys Murray ’79 serves as the assistant coordinator and technical specialist.

The program will celebrate significant events and accomplishments from each decade, including a special remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the historic march from Selma to Montgomery.

“We’re very thankful for the leadership of Mr. Rogers and Mrs. Murray in developing an educational, creative, and inspiring program for our campus community,” said Dr. Magen Bunyard, vice president for student life and dean of students.

Mustache fun funds mission trips for HPU students

MWOD 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – December 19, 2014 – Howard Payne University recently ended the fall 2014 semester with the annual “Mustache Wheel of Doom” fundraiser sponsored by the Baptist Student Ministry. The popular event raised $2,933 for missions and left several HPU men with interesting facial hair throughout final exams week.

Teams of students, along with their faculty and staff sponsors, grew their beards throughout the month of November while collecting money for the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Go Now Missions. Go Now sends students from universities across Texas, including HPU, to mission fields around the world.

The teams that raised the least amount of money spun the “Mustache Wheel of Doom” and shaved in whichever style the wheel determined. This year’s choices included stripes, half-beards, “No-Tee Goatees” and more.

“I love this time of year and all the fun that the Mustache Wheel brings,” said Keith Platte, HPU’s BSM director. “Plus, it is all for a good cause. It is great to see so many students who will do something silly or crazy for the sake of raising money to help others serve on mission trips. This is a pretty selfless act, especially when you see the kinds of beards some of the guys have to wear during finals week.”

Three HPU students will take part in Go Now experiences this year. Ruby Johnson, a senior from Alvarado, and Xavier McFalls, a junior from Amarillo, will both serve in the mission field during Christmas break. Rebekah Steadman, a December graduate from Fort Worth, will serve overseas during the spring semester.

Samuel Marich-Edwan, a senior from Arlington and Mustache Wheel of Doom participant, said he always enjoys the atmosphere the event creates.

“It is a great way to raise funds to help a wonderful cause, but it is also an incredibly fun and exciting event as well,” he said.

Platte said the BSM and the Mustache Wheel of Doom are both part of a bigger plan to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ around the world.

“I am glad that we can do that by growing beards and raising money, but we are always looking for ways that we can share the love and joy of Jesus,” he said.


Photo cutline: Emily Selman, a sophomore from Red Oak, shaves stripes into the beard of Scott Turner, a junior from Georgetown, as part of HPU’s Mustache Wheel of Doom fundraiser event. Photo by Jaclyn Bonner, HPU sophomore.

Daniels, champion team inducted into ASC Hall of Honor

Champs Stuckly for webRICHARDSON, Texas – Meia Daniels and the 2007-2008 HPU women’s basketball team will be honored in the Class of 2014-15 members of the American Southwest Conference Hall of Honor.

The Class of 2014-15 represents the fifth group inducted to the ASC Hall of Honor and includes the first team to be honored. The American Southwest Conference Hall of Honor recognizes outstanding former student-athletes, coaches, administrators and teams who brought pride and honor to the conference through their contributions. On-campus recognition ceremonies are planned for each Hall of Honor inductee during February.

Meia Daniels and the 2007-08 HPU women’s basketball team will be honored in between the women’s and men’s basketball home games on Saturday, February 21, 2015 in the Brownwood Coliseum.

Read the full story on the HPU Sports website.

Photo by Derrick Stuckly, Brownwood Bulletin

HPU celebrates the season with Christmas on the Plaza

Christmas on the Plaza for webBy Jaclyn Bonner, HPU sophomore

BROWNWOOD – December 10, 2014 – Music, Scripture readings, beautiful lights and hot cocoa once again marked the official beginning of the Christmas season at Howard Payne University. HPU recently hosted its annual Christmas on the Plaza event sponsored by the Student Activities Council (SAC).

Students, alumni and HPU personnel gathered around Old Main Tower on Tuesday, December 2, to sing carols led by Efrain Garces, sophomore from San Antonio; Bobby Martinez, sophomore from Copperas Cove; Rebekah Johnson, senior from Missoula, Mont.; and Daniel Palacios, sophomore from Kaufman. Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, then read the Christmas story as those gathered honored the birth and life of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

Dr. Bill Fowler, associate professor of Christian studies and 1975 HPU graduate, was chosen by SAC as this year’s keynote speaker. Dr. Fowler talked about “going all in” just as Jesus exemplified through His life, earthly ministry and, ultimately, His death on the cross.

Following the program, the HPU maintenance team illuminated Old Main Park and other parts of campus with Christmas lights, which are enjoyed by both the campus community and those who drive by the university on Austin Avenue.

President Ellis and his wife, Dr. Diana Ellis, also opened their home to the student body for an evening of fellowship over hot cocoa and Christmas cookies.

Francie Clark, director of student activities, spoke of the significance of Christmas on the Plaza.

“This event serves as a great reminder that Christmas is not just about the lights and hot chocolate but also about the birth of Jesus,” she said. “We are very fortunate to work at a university where the president reads the biblical Christmas story to all the students. This tradition represents Howard Payne’s values and the blessing the university is to so many people.”


Photo cutline: HPU students celebrate Christmas on the Plaza festivities. Gathered around the Christmas lights are (back row, from left) Jaclyn Bonner, Caitlin Wood, Bailey Waller, Nicole Hamilton, Jenna Underwood and Mason Samsel. Students in the front row, from left, are Hannah Williamson, Emily Selman and Olivia Belsher.

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.


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.”

SmithGroupJJR of Dallas, one of the nation’s largest architecture and engineering firms, was in charge of the redesign. Bill Fishback, HPU’s assistant vice president for business and human resources, worked closely with the firm.

“During the construction phase of the Mabee Center renovation project, SmithGroupJJR representatives Nick Back, Kenda Draper and Eden Vaughn were invaluable as we worked with Waldrop Construction and subcontractors to ensure the end result would be a great facility for students,” said Fishback. “Nick Back, associate construction manager, is the consummate professional and was our ‘go to’ person at SmithGroupJJR, assisting us daily throughout project.”

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


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