News Archives

HPU designated “Military Friendly School”

BROWNWOOD – September 13, 2013 – Howard Payne University was named to the Military Friendly Schools® list by Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The 2014 Military Friendly Schools® list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the U.S. that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

“Inclusion on the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools® shows HPU’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, vice president at Victory Media and a nine-year Navy veteran. “The need for education is growing and our mission is to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”

The Military Friendly Schools® website, found at, features the list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best schools to suit their unique needs and preferences. The 1,868 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience. These schools have world-class programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility and other services to those who served.

Now in its fifth year, the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools® was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide approved for VA tuition funding. The survey results that comprise the 2014 list were independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media. Each year, schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country. A full list of board members can be found at


Founded in 1889, Howard Payne University is a Christ-centered academic community dedicated to excellence by developing and equipping the whole person for intellectual inquiry, personal and professional integrity, and service to God and humanity.

Located in Brownwood, Texas, HPU offers a full array of undergraduate programs and a limited number of graduate programs in a traditional residential academic community. The university also offers selected undergraduate and graduate course work by electronic means and at extended learning centers in El Paso, Texas, and New Braunfels, Texas. HPU maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio, which contributes to the university’s reputation of being “a place where everybody is somebody.”

Eight join faculty at Howard Payne University

fall 2013 new facultyBROWNWOOD – September 11, 2013 – The fall 2013 semester at Howard Payne University brought eight new full-time faculty members to the HPU classrooms.

“HPU sought and found the highest quality of individuals to add to our faculty,” said Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer. “We’re delighted to start the semester with an excellent group of new and returning faculty members to help shape the minds of our students.”

Dr. P. Graham Hatcher joins HPU as professor of exercise and sport science and chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science. He most recently served at Blue Mountain College in Mississippi.

Lori (Anderson) Kelley, J.D., serves as assistant professor of political science and holds the title of J.D. Sandefer Chair of Political Science. Kelley, a 2002 HPU alumna, most recently served at Dell, Inc.

Dr. Kevin Kelley is the new assistant professor of organizational psychology and business. His most recent professional experience includes TAD (Talent Assessment and Development) business development and consulting.

Dr. Brad Lemler, a certified public accountant, joined the full-time faculty as professor of accounting. Dr. Lemler, who previously served as an HPU adjunct, joined the university from Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind.

Dr. Melody Maxwell serves as HPU’s new assistant professor of Christian studies. She joins the university from East Texas Baptist University in Marshall.

Dr. Denny Megarity, who previously served as an HPU adjunct faculty member, joined the full-time faculty this semester as assistant professor of chemistry. Prior to HPU, he served at Mind Technologies Institute.

Dr. Dan Pryor also joined the full-time faculty this semester after serving as an adjunct. Dr. Pryor, assistant professor of business, previously served at St. Edwards University in Austin and Texas State University in San Marcos.

Dr. Craig Younce is HPU’s new assistant professor of biology. He most recently taught at Valencia College in Orlando.


Photo cutline: Eight individuals joined the faculty at HPU. From left: Dr. P. Graham Hatcher, Dr. Brad Lemler, Dr. Dan Pryor, Dr. Denny Megarity, Dr. Craig Younce, Dr. Kevin Kelley, Lori Kelley and Dr. Melody Maxwell.

HPU welcomes largest number of incoming freshmen in more than 30 years

jj_group (1)BROWNWOOD – September 4, 2013 – Howard Payne University announced today that the largest number of new students in more than three decades enrolled at the university for the fall 2013 semester. HPU welcomed 340 first-year students and 50 transfer students to the university. Total enrollment for the semester is 1,170 which includes undergraduate and graduate students from HPU’s Brownwood, El Paso and New Braunfels campuses.

“We’ve anxiously awaited the totals so that we could officially share the good news,” said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management. “This is the largest number of incoming freshmen the university has seen since the 1970s, and they are joining a great group of returning students.”

Kirk compared seeing the new students on campus to the excitement a child feels on Christmas morning.

“The HPU faculty and staff all worked so hard to bring in this incredible class of great students and we are so thankful that God chose to bless those many efforts,” he said.

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, says the enrollment figures are encouraging but he sees value beyond the numbers.

“There is so much potential in each and every one of these students,” he said. “We are extremely blessed to welcome so many into the HPU family and I pray that the university, in turn, is a blessing to them.”

TaShana Hooker, a music education major from Carrollton, is a member of the freshman class.

“I’ve already met so many wonderful people, and the professors are so kind and understanding,” she said. “Most importantly, I’m able to expand my faith here without worrying about feeling uncomfortable about it. I love HPU so much, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of this semester and school year holds.”

Photo cutline: HPU enrolled the largest number of new Yellow Jackets since the 1970s for the fall 2013 semester. New students are pictured doing the “Sting ’em” cheer during Jacket Journey, HPU’s new-student orientation week, with upperclassmen group leaders and student life staff.

HPU renames honors program after former president Dr. Guy D. Newman

NewmanBROWNWOOD – September 3, 2013 – Howard Payne University recently announced the decision to rename its multidisciplinary academic honors program the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy: The Program for Civic Leadership and Public Policy. The name change followed unanimous votes by the Academy Board of Directors and HPU’s Board of Trustees.

Previously the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom, the program was founded in 1962 under the leadership of Dr. Newman, who served as president of the university from 1955 to 1973.

“The new title is descriptive of the Academy’s academic mission as envisioned by Dr. Newman,” said Dr. Justin D. Murphy, the program’s director.

Dr. Newman was serving as Baylor University’s vice president in charge of developing and fundraising in 1955 when the HPU (then Howard Payne College) Board of Trustees elected him president.

According to Dr. Robert Mangrum, HPU’s university historian and professor of history and political science, Dr. Newman became concerned that many Americans were losing touch with their great American heritage and particularly with the influence of Christianity in the development of the “American Way of Life.” Dr. Newman’s autobiography, “One Guy’s Dream” (1985), described his vision for the honors program.

“Our purpose was to reach the totality of the individual students, giving them a true perspective not only of our American system but also of the world in which they live, enabling them to go out and encounter with courage and confidence the exigencies thrust upon all youth of all times in a meaningful and perceptive way,” he wrote.

More than 400 students have graduated from the Academy since its inception, going on to serve in a variety of fields including law, politics, business, ministry, government, medicine, education, economics, psychology and social work.

In addition to the creation of the Academy, Dr. Newman’s tenure saw the construction of six new campus buildings, increased enrollment, improved faculty salaries and numerous other campus improvements.

Dr. Newman met personally with General MacArthur in 1962 to seek permission to name the program in his honor. According to Dr. Murphy, General MacArthur’s unwavering loyalty to America will continue to remain a central image of the Academy and its ideals.

After serving for 18 years as president, Dr. Newman retired and was named chancellor of the university. He passed away in 1988 at the age of 82.

“The Academy has always and will always continue to align with Dr. Newman’s vision of promoting Judeo-Christian values, Western civilization and principles of free enterprise,” said Dr. Murphy.


Photo cutline: HPU recently announced its decision to rename its multidisciplinary academic honors program after former president Dr. Guy D. Newman.

Rev. Ray Still of New Braunfels speaks at HPU Convocation

Rev. Ray Still, senior pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church in New Braunfels, spoke at Howard Payne University’s Convocation on Wednesday.BROWNWOOD – August 29, 2013 – Rev. Ray Still, senior pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church in New Braunfels, addressed new and returning Howard Payne University students, faculty and staff at University Convocation on Wednesday. The event marked the first chapel service of the academic year.

Rev. Still, who has led Oakwood Baptist Church for 20 years, has served on the boards of McKenna Memorial Hospital, McKenna Legacy Foundation, Christus Santa Rosa and Houston Baptist University. He is also the chairman of the New Braunfels Bond Advisory Committee. Rev. Still has been married to his wife, Sandra, for 32 years and they have one son.

Rev. Still discussed the various journeys students will take during their years at HPU.

“God is always in motion,” he told the students. “Where does He want to take you? What does He want to show you? The faculty members at HPU will challenge you. What will you be open to experience with Jesus?”

Additional Convocation program participants included Dr. Bill Ellis, president; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer; Dr. Gregory Church, associate professor of music; Dr. Jennifer Clement, assistant professor of psychology; Mike Dillard, assistant professor of business administration; Katherine Licce, senior music major from Bertram; Catherine Mullaney, senior English major and president of the Student Government Association from Boylston, Mass.; Dr. Allen Reed, professor of music; Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music; and Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and president of the Faculty Assembly.


Photo cutline: Rev. Ray Still, senior pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church in New Braunfels, spoke at Howard Payne University’s Convocation on Wednesday.

Dr. Pamela Bryant named dean of HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics

Dr. Pamela Bryant has been named dean of the School of Science and Mathematics at Howard Payne University.BROWNWOOD – August 28, 2013 – Howard Payne University has named Dr. Pamela Bryant dean of the university’s School of Science and Mathematics. She had served as interim dean since the fall 2012 semester.

Dr. Bryant, a professor of chemistry, came to HPU in 2001. She holds a doctorate in chemistry from Louisiana State University and completed post-doctoral work in chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition, she holds a bachelor’s degree in math and a master’s degree in chemical education, both from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

In conjunction with other science and math faculty members, Dr. Bryant recently launched HPU’s new engineering science degree program. In addition, Dr. Bryant helped to develop a Teacher Quality Grant with Dr. Michael Rosato, dean of HPU’s School of Education, to promote improved instruction in mathematics and science for Texas schoolchildren by providing professional development for their teachers.

Dr. Bryant received HPU’s Excellence in Teaching award in 2003 and the Outstanding Faculty Member award for the 2005-2006 academic year.

“We’re very pleased with the excellent ways in which Dr. Bryant has served the university,” said Dr. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer. “We look forward to many more advances for the School of Science and Mathematics under her leadership.”


Photo cutline: Dr. Pamela Bryant has been named dean of the School of Science and Mathematics at Howard Payne University.

Fall semester underway at HPU’s New Braunfels Center

BROWNWOOD – August 27, 2013 – Thirty students are enrolled at Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels Center for the fall 2013 semester, the largest number since the university started offering courses in the community in January of this year.

Sarah Leahart, a freshman at the HPU New Braunfels Center, displays the t-shirt students receive upon admission to the university.“Seeing so many students in class is such a blessing,” said Dale Meinecke, a 1998 HPU graduate and assistant vice president for external programs and church relations. “It’s great to see the vision of a Christ-centered, quality education in New Braunfels realized in this way.”

HPU, with a flagship campus in Brownwood as well as an extension center in El Paso, plans to grow its presence in New Braunfels in anticipation of building permanent facilities as part of the Veramendi development project. Construction of the university is expected to begin in 2016.

Meinecke moved to New Braunfels last year with his wife, Christy (also a 1998 graduate), and their two children to oversee the growth of the campus. Christy Meinecke serves as an HPU admission counselor and says they are already working to enroll students for the spring 2014 semester.

“We are excited about the progress of the campus and we look forward to adding more students in the spring,” she said.

Administrative offices for the HPU New Braunfels Center are located at 1423 N. Walnut Avenue. For more information, call (830) 629-2366 or e-mail Visit the HPU New Braunfels Center online at


Photo cutline: Sarah Leahart, a freshman at the HPU New Braunfels Center, displays the t-shirt students receive upon admission to the university.

HPU welcomes new students with wide variety of activities

HPU students serve at the Brownwood Area Community Garden for the university’s annual Serving With A Right Motive (S.W.A.R.M.) project.BROWNWOOD – August 27, 2013 – Classes began last week at Howard Payne University, signaling the official start of the fall 2013 semester. New HPU Yellow Jackets transitioned onto campus earlier in the month with Jacket Journey, HPU’s new student orientation.

A variety of events were held on campus and around the community to introduce new students to their classmates, professors and the university they will call home for the next four years. After a week of games, picnics, Chapel services and other activities, Jacket Journey culminated with the university’s annual Serving With A Right Motive (S.W.A.R.M.) project.

Approximately 150 new students, upperclassmen and student life staff members participated in this year’s S.W.A.R.M. The volunteers, coordinated by Keep Brownwood Beautiful, completed community service projects at a variety of locations including Brownwood Area Community Garden, the Corinne T. Smith Animal Shelter and Lake Brownwood.

Stephen Gober ’07 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department was appreciative of the group’s efforts in cleaning the area surrounding Lake Brownwood.

“The bike trail and the lake shore both show a significant improvement and the team out here is very grateful for all the hard work HPU students provided,” he said. HPU students clear debris near Lake Brownwood.

According to Dr. Brent Marsh, vice president for student life and dean of students, S.W.A.R.M. is typically the highlight of Jacket Journey.

“Our goal is to help new students be more familiar with the surrounding community and be aware of various opportunities to serve,” he said. “The S.W.A.R.M. event is fun because the new students get to serve shoulder-to-shoulder with returning students and make lasting memories while helping others. This entering class of students is an amazing group, and I look forward to seeing the impact they’ll make on campus, in the local community and beyond.”


Photo cutlines:

Left: HPU students serve at the Brownwood Area Community Garden for the university’s annual Serving With A Right Motive (S.W.A.R.M.) project.

Right: HPU students clear debris near Lake Brownwood.

HPU food service employees honored for 25 years of service

sodexo staff with don green for webBROWNWOOD – August 20, 2013 – Howard Payne University’s food service provider, Sodexo, recently honored five staff members for longtime service to the company and to the university.

Those honored for 25 years of service to Sodexo included Margie Coker, cashier; Lyndia Collier, beverage attendant; Wanda Gibbs, salad production; Paulette Henderson, lead cook; and Roseanna Stone, administrative assistant. Additionally, each of the staff members were also employed by HPU – with tenures ranging from one to five years – before the university contracted its dining services to Sodexo.

The employees were presented with gifts from Sodexo and a reception attended by many across the university. Don Green, Sodexo general manager, said the staff members are known and appreciated by the HPU community.

“Good food and good service doesn’t just happen,” he said. “It takes a lot of work. These ladies have been very instrumental in making the food service program at HPU so great for our students, faculty and staff.”


Photo cutline: Five employees of Sodexo, HPU’s food service provider, were recently honored for 25 years of service. Left to right: Roseanna Stone, Paulette Henderson, Don Green (general manager), Wanda Gibbs, Margie Coker and Lyndia Collier.

HPU names Jodi Goode assistant vice president for information technology services

Jodi Goode named assistant vice president for information technology services BROWNWOOD – August 13, 2013 – Howard Payne University recently announced the promotion of Jodi Goode to assistant vice president for information technology services.

Goode’s tenure with the university began in 2004 as PC specialist and, in 2006, she became the systems administrator. After briefly leaving HPU, she was re-employed in 2011 and later named the director of information technology services. Goode has also served as an adjunct faculty member for a number of years.

In May, she received the “Outstanding Staff Member Award” for the 2012-2013 academic year.

“Jodi serves the university very competently and faithfully,” said Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer. “She and her staff do a remarkable job of attending to the computing and other technology needs of our faculty, staff and students.”


Photo cutline: Jodi Goode was recently promoted to assistant vice president for information technology services at HPU.