BROWNWOOD – October 2, 2013 – Howard Payne University will recognize six outstanding alumni during the Homecoming 2013 celebrations, October 4-6.
The honorees include Dr. William H. Bates’66, Distinguished Alumnus; Robert N. Green II ’04, Outstanding Young Graduate; Dr. S.L. Harris ’48, Grand Marshal; Rev. Walter B. Haynie’52, Distinguished Alumnus; Clifford McGuire ’06, Outstanding Young Graduate; and Leona Williams ’45, Coming Home Queen.
The individuals will be recognized during the Alumni Awards Banquet, sponsored by the HPU Alumni Association, on Friday, October 4. The banquet begins at 6 p.m. For ticket information, visit homecoming.hputx.edu or call 1-800-950-8465 or 325-649-8069.
Dr. William “Bill” Bates was born in Brownwood and graduated from HPU in 1966 with two music degrees. As a young man and throughout college, Dr. Bates served as organist for Brownwood’s First Baptist Church. He earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in organ from Indiana University and went on to have a 46-year career performing recitals and workshops around the world and teaching at institutions including Indiana University, University of West Florida and University of South Carolina. Dr. Bates currently serves as professor of music emeritus (organ and music history) at University of South Carolina, at which he is a retired faculty member and dean. In 2012, he received the Oswald Gleason Ragatz Distinguished Organist Alumni Award from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
According to a letter nominating Dr. Bates for the Distinguished Alumnus award, he continues to impact his local community by serving in his church, tutoring under-privileged children and volunteering at a hospital two days each week. Dr. Bates’ wife, Carol Henry Bates, passed away in 2010. The couple has one son and one grandson.
Robert N. Green II of Zephyr graduated from HPU’s Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom multidisciplinary honors program (now the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy) in 2004 with a degree in political science and a minor in mathematics. Since graduation, Green has taught high school math in three settings – at a public school, at Paradigm Accelerated Charter School and at Ron Jackson State School in Brownwood, where he currently serves. While at Paradigm, he started and ran a successful martial arts program that helped many troubled youth find proper ways to deal with life’s stress.
Green holds a second-degree black belt in Kaju Bujutsu Kwai and teaches the system as head instructor of K.B.K. Martial Arts in Early. He is skilled in more than 13 different forms of weapons and was inducted into the Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame as the 2012 Distinguished Instructor.
Green is married to Marie Stephanie S. Green, a published writer/journalist, and they live on their family farm in Zephyr.
Dr. Sidney Lewis “S.L.” Harris was born in Miles and graduated from HPU (then Howard Payne College) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948. He went on to earn Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Divinity degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a Master of Arts degree from Sam Houston State Teachers College and a Doctor of Arts degree from Western Colorado University. Dr. Harris served as pastor at Decker Branch Baptist Church and Woodlawn Baptist Church of Austin as well as First Baptist Church of Joshua. He also served as interim pastor of a number of other churches.
Dr. Harris came back to HPU in 1979, serving as vice president for student affairs and professor of sociology. By 1980, he was dean of the School of Social Sciences, director of the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom and chair of the sociology department. He served as associate pastor and director of the counseling ministry at First Baptist Church of Brownwood from 1984 to 1992, and rejoined the HPU faculty in 1985 and from 1991-1992 as part-time instructor of sociology.
In addition to teaching appointments at other universities, Dr. Harris has published several books and articles. Dr. Harris has three daughters with his wife, Fleta Lindley Harris, who passed away in May. He currently lives in San Angelo.
Rev. Walter B. Haynie was 11 years old when he left school to help support his family. He joined the Navy as a young adult and served in the Pacific Theater in World War II. After the war, Rev. Haynie met and married Marian Jo Dolby, started a family and began working for the railroad. During this period of his life, he surrendered to the ministry. His pastor recommended that Rev. Haynie attend Howard Payne College. With a sixth-grade education, he came to Brownwood, took the VA entrance exam and made a 98, earning his GED. He was accepted into the university in 1949 and graduated with honors in 1952 with degrees in Bible and sociology and minors in English and Greek.
Rev. Haynie went on to pastor several churches in Texas and one in Oklahoma. After the death of his wife, he later married Clara Shults and together they helped start the Montague County Cowboy Church in Bowie. He retired from the church in April 2010 at the age of 84. Rev. Haynie and his wife have completed mission trips to Afghanistan and Honduras and are currently working to create a jail and after-jail ministry in their area to help people get back on their feet and learn about Jesus. The couple has seven children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Clifford McGuire of Haskell graduated from HPU in 2006 with a degree in exercise and sport science. McGuire went on to coach and teach in several Texas school districts. While serving as varsity assistant basketball coach in Olney, the boys’ teams made three playoff appearances and McGuire was named the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches 2009 Assistant Coach of the Year. McGuire became the head boys’ basketball coach at Winters in 2009. His team made the playoffs in 2011, Winters’ first playoff appearance since 1992. He served as head boys’ basketball coach in Merkel from 2011 to 2013, where he was in charge of the entire boys’ basketball program, including the junior high teams.
McGuire and his wife, Erica, live in Wichita Falls where he coaches the boys’ basketball teams and teaches world geography at Rider High School.
Leona Williams ’45 – Coming Home Queen
Leona (Sansom) Williams of Burnet graduated from Howard Payne College in 1945. Williams had a family legacy at the university. Her father, Leslie Sansom, served as the captain of the HPC football team in 1912 and her mother also attended HPC. Williams graduated from HPC at the same time as her sister, Emagene. While attending Howard Payne, Williams worked in the registrar’s office.
Williams is a retired school teacher who influenced countless lives. She continues to assist others by teaching Sunday School at First Baptist Church of Burnet. She works part time at a local funeral home, leads worship at the nursing home once a month and often visits those in need. Her husband, C.W. Williams, is deceased.