News Archives: Student Life

Ammons and Scofield crowned Homecoming Queen and Princess

BROWNWOOD – October 12, 2012 – Carlee Ammons of Houston (left) and Robin Scofield of Naples, Fla., were crowned Howard Payne University’s Homecoming Queen and Princess during a ceremony held on campus today.

ammons_and_scofield_for_webAmmons is a senior communication studies major and Scofield is a junior Academy of Freedom student and communication studies major. The pair will be featured in Saturday’s Homecoming Parade and during the halftime show of the HPU football game.

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.

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 announces 2012 Homecoming Court

homecoming_court_2012_for_webBROWNWOOD – October 3, 2012 – Howard Payne University has announced the Homecoming Court for 2012. The HPU Homecoming queen and princess will be crowned on Friday, Oct. 12, at 2 p.m. during the Homecoming Convocation in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

Homecoming queen nominees are Carlee Ammons, a senior communication studies major from Houston; Gayle Erdman, a senior criminal justice major from Scottsbluff, Neb.; and Laura Peisker, a senior math major from Cedar Park.

Homecoming princess nominees are Gabi Guerrero, a junior Academy of Freedom student and communication studies major from Red Oak; Hannah Hicks, a junior exercise and sport science major from Flower Mound; and Robin Scofield, a junior Academy of Freedom student and communication studies major from Naples, Fla.

The Homecoming Court will be featured in the parade on Saturday, Oct. 13, beginning at 11 a.m., and in the half-time show of the football game versus Mississippi College 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’s 2012 Homecoming Court includes (back row, from left): Carlee Ammons, Gayle Erdman and Laura Peisker. Front row, from left: Hannah Hicks, Robin Scofield and Gabi Guerrero.

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’s Jazz Ensemble to present fall concert

jazz_ensemble_for_webBROWNWOOD – September 28, 2012 – Howard Payne University’s Jazz Ensemble will present its fall concert October 4, at 7:30 p.m., in HPU’s Mims Auditorium. There is no charge for admission and the public is welcome to attend.

The group, led by Stephen Goacher, professor of music, will present a variety of selections from composers such as John Carisi, Paul Lohorn, Andrew Neu, Astor Piazzolla and Billy Strayhorn. In addition, the Jazz Ensemble will play a piece titled “Latin Blue,” composed by Joseph Dunlap, a 2009 HPU graduate.

Dunlap, a native of Brownwood, is influenced by jazz musicians such as Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane, and classical artists such as Samuel Barber, Johannes Brahms, P.I. Tchaikovsky and Philip Glass. While at HPU, his principal teacher was Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music. He went on to complete a Master of Music in Theory and Composition at Hardin-Simmons University in May 2012. Dunlap will perform at the concert with members of the Jazz Ensemble.

HPU’s Jazz Ensemble is composed of Kevin Baker, a senior from Brownwood, guitar; Christopher Burnett, a sophomore from Early, trumpet; Johnathan Cox, a junior from Brownwood, trombone; Joshua Farquharson, a freshman from Iowa Park, soprano and alto saxophone; Jonathan Grady, a senior from Goldthwaite, alto saxophone; Jamison Greenhaw, a freshman from Brownwood, baritone saxophone; Matthew Hazelwood, a freshman from Brownwood, trombone; Juan Hernandez, a sophomore from Brownwood, tenor saxophone; Micah Huebner, a sophomore from Brazoria, tenor saxophone; Megan Irwin, a sophomore from Brownwood, trumpet; Nicholas Johnson, a sophomore from Lockhart, trombone; Jose Lopez, a May 2012 graduate from Brownwood, drums; Tyler Matthews, a senior from Peaster, trombone; Jason Murphy, a freshman from Brownwood, trombone; Kristin Musgrove, a sophomore from Brownwood, trumpet; Dustin Rollings, a sophomore from Mineral Wells, trombone; Zacchaeus Steidel-Santiago, a freshman from San Antonio, bass; and Ethan Yeats, a sophomore from Big Spring, trumpet.

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500 or via e-mail at jholamon@hputx.edu.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s Jazz Ensemble will present its fall concert on October 4.

Howard Payne University student spends summer in Malaysia

galindo_with_camper_for_webBy Jes Miera, Howard Payne University junior

BROWNWOOD – September 21, 2012 – Many Howard Payne University students spend their summers working at camps. This summer Jessi Galindo, an HPU athletic training major from Del Rio, followed in the footsteps of her peers. However, Galindo’s camp was in Malaysia.

The camps at which Galindo volunteered were offered through the Christian Sports Medicine Alliance (CSMA) through a partnership with the International Sports Federation. Galindo served as an athletic trainer and volunteered at camps in four Malaysian cities.

A goal of the camps was to teach fundamental basketball skills to students from elementary through high school. Additionally, Galindo functioned as an athletic trainer, taping ankles, helping players stretch and attending to other minor scrapes and bruises. CSMA’s other main goal with the camps was for the volunteers to build relationships and share the Gospel with students.

“We held basketball camps in the morning and in the afternoons we played pick-up games against colleges and other teams,” Galindo said. “After the games we would go out to eat with the teams and talk to them.”

Galindo spoke about one student with whom she grew close while she was there. One night at dinner she simply asked him, “What do you believe?”

He replied “When you do bad, you have to do good to make up for it. Otherwise you won’t go to heaven.”

Then it was Galindo’s turn and she began to tell him what she believed. Galindo quoted Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Then she asked him if he had ever heard of Jesus. He had not.

Reflecting back on the conversation Galindo said, “It was so peculiar to me that he was 19 and didn’t know who Jesus was. It really made me think about how many people have probably never heard about Christ. If there was no one to tell this teenager, then it was likely his parents and grandparents didn’t know about God either.”

Through her experiences this summer, Galindo was greatly encouraged because God showed her that He is the one who leads her steps. Not only was she able to encourage the students, but she was encouraged by the relationships she built with them. “He puts the right people in your life to encourage you and push you along, because He knows exactly what you need,” she said.

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Photo cutline: Jessi Galindo volunteered at summer camps in Malaysia. She is shown with one of the camp participants.

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.