HPU registrar retires after 43 years

Lana WagnerBROWNWOOD – February 2, 2017 – Lana Wagner, who retired from Howard Payne University at the end of January after 43 years, calls leaving HPU “surreal.”

“I know it’s time, but it’s a major life change,” she said. “It will take some regrouping for sure.”

Wagner began at HPU in 1972 as a loan collection officer in financial aid and moved into her current role of registrar in 1999, taking two years off work in the late 1970s when her daughter was born.

She described the reasons she’s stayed with the university for so long.

“The atmosphere and the people with whom I work are the biggest factors,” she said.

Wagner said she and her coworkers have become “like family.” She doesn’t use the term lightly. Two with whom she is particularly close – Glenda Huff, director of student aid, and Bobbie Price, certification coordinator and graduation assistant – have served alongside her at HPU for 41 years and 45 years, respectively.

Among many other roles, Wagner and the rest of the Office of the Registrar staff assist students with registration, maintain student records, prepare transcripts and play a large part in the university’s Commencement services twice each year.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better staff,” she said. “They make me look good with their professionalism and willingness to work hard.”

She also has high praise for HPU administrators, including the three provosts with whom she has served in her time as registrar: Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, now serving as dean of the School of Christian Studies and professor of Christian studies; Dr. Robert Bicknell, now serving as accreditation liaison and dean of extended education; and Dr. Mark Tew, current provost and chief academic officer.

“I’ve felt valued at Howard Payne,” she said. “Administrators ask your opinion and care about what you have to say.”

Dr. Tew said he has been blessed to work with Wagner throughout his almost 10 years at HPU.

“Lana was not someone who simply reported to me,” he said. “She has been my colleague and she will be missed.”

Though it’s hard to leave the HPU family, Wagner is excited to spend more time with her own. She has seven – soon to be eight – grandchildren and is looking forward to being able to attend their activities and devote more attention to them.

Wagner, who earned a degree from HPU in 1997, said HPU is unique in that faculty, staff and students are encouraged to openly and proudly live their faith.

“There are very few places of employment where you can do that,” she said. “That’s the thing that has always been a draw for me.”

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Cutline: HPU registrar Lana Wagner has retired from the university after 43 years of service.