First student graduates from HPU’s New Braunfels Center

Dan Pryor and Matt MorganBROWNWOOD – December 17, 2013 – Matt Morgan of New Braunfels, who serves as the information technology manager at the Capital Area Council of Governments in Austin, was the first graduate of the Howard Payne University New Braunfels Center. He received his Master of Business Administration degree during the university’s Commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 14, in Brownwood.

Morgan completed the program in just one year, taking courses solely at night and on weekends.

“I always wanted to get my master’s degree,” he said. “I’ve worked in the public sector for almost 18 years now, and I figured an MBA would give me that cutting edge should I decide to venture off into the private sector.”

Morgan also wanted to set an example for his daughter, Riley Rose, a middle school student.

“I feel I’ve done my best and I hope she always remembers to never give up and to seize opportunities,” he said. “You are never too old to keep learning. My daughter and my wife, Debbie, have been extremely supportive and helpful to me this past year.”

Morgan attended other universities during his undergraduate career, but said none offered the type of relationships he found at HPU.

“The effect that support from others can have on your endeavors is really amazing, and even more so when it’s coming from instructors and staff,” he said. “I never felt like just a number at Howard Payne.”

In addition to working full time and completing his degree, Morgan also plays accordion for Poor J. Brown, a band out of New Braunfels and San Antonio.
“I’ve received an enormous amount of support from my family, my parents, my in-laws and my bandmates,” he said. “It’s a wonderful feeling to realize people support you.”
Morgan said he enjoyed the convenience of obtaining his master’s degree in New Braunfels.

“I would highly recommend the HPU MBA program to those thinking of continuing their education,” he said. “The convenience is unmatched. Classes were scheduled so that they did not interfere with my work schedule and the location was perfect. For anyone in the New Braunfels area the convenience of not having to drive to Austin, San Antonio or San Marcos is worth it alone – not to mention parking!”

Most of all, he said, he loved the overall experience the program offered.

“I had a great group of professors who were all very involved and very accommodating as I balanced my career and family life while working towards my MBA,” he said. “I feel very lucky to have gone through the program with the group of students that started with me. There are about 12 of us and every individual brought something to the table from which we could all learn. We had some great group projects and discussions that could have lasted all night had we let them. It’s a really close knit group and I’m sure we will all continue to maintain our friendships long after everyone completes their MBA degrees.”

The HPU New Braunfels Center office is located at 1423 N. Walnut Ave., Suite 105. Until HPU’s permanent campus is constructed as part of the Veramendi development project, courses are being offered at New Braunfels High School, at the Aflac Suite (1259 Loop 337 North, Suite #200) and online. For more information, visit www.hputx.edu/newbraunfels or call (830) 629-2366.

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Photo cutline: Matt Morgan, right, received his Master of Business Administration degree during the HPU Commencement ceremony held on Dec. 14 in Brownwood. He is pictured with Dr. Dan Pryor, assistant professor of business.