News Archives

HPU to host Arbor Day observance November 4

BROWNWOOD – October 17, 2016 – Howard Payne University will celebrate Arbor Day, November 4, with an educational program and a tree-planting ceremony. The events, which begin at 3 p.m. at HPU’s Mabee University Center, are free of charge and open to the public.

Nick Harrison, Texas A&M Forest Service Firewise coordinator and former Brownwood resident, will lead the training session on planting and pruning trees. At the activity’s conclusion, HPU representatives will plant a tree near the Mabee Center in recognition of Arbor Day.

Harrison, who was born in Brownwood and lived for a number of years in a home that now houses HPU’s advancement and alumni relations offices, looks forward to returning to his hometown to take part in the Arbor Day festivities.

“It will be great to be in my hometown of Brownwood to assist with the Howard Payne University Arbor Day events,” Harrison said. “I applaud HPU for taking the steps to establish, maintain and sustain the university’s trees, which add to the beauty of the campus and benefit the students and the residents of Brownwood.”

HPU values the opportunity to present the upcoming Arbor Day activities, said Terry Pritchett, who serves as HPU’s assistant vice president for facilities and planning as well as chair of the university’s Campus Tree Advisory Committee.

“It is an honor to work with the Campus Tree Advisory Committee and the Texas A&M Forest Service to provide our community with an Arbor Day observance as well as training regarding recommended tree-planting and pruning methods,” Pritchett said. “We at HPU value these partnerships and strive to be good stewards of the environment God has given us to manage.”

Questions about HPU’s Arbor Day events may be directed to the university’s facilities office at 325-649-8608.

More information about Howard Payne University is available online at


HPU plans more than 30 events to celebrate Homecoming 2016

Homecoming 2016 logoBROWNWOOD – October 17, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s extended “family” of alumni, students, personnel, friends and community members will gather this month to take part in the university’s Homecoming 2016 celebrations. More than 30 Homecoming events, many of community-wide interest, are scheduled Friday, October 28, through Sunday, October 30.

Alumni and visitors may register for Homecoming events online. Some events require purchased tickets while many are free of charge. For complete details and the latest schedule information, visit or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (325) 649-8044 or via e-mail at

This year’s theme is “The HPU Family Tree,” honoring the university’s commitment to fostering a close-knit, familial environment.

“We always say that HPU is a family and that is never more evident than during Homecoming each year,” said Laura Benoit, associate director of alumni relations. “We’re excited to welcome everyone back to campus for this year’s festivities.”

New events this year include Bonfire and Fireworks on the Bayou at Brownwood’s Riverside Park at 9 p.m. on Friday. Also new this year is the Alumni Association Remembrance and Reflection, a time designated to gather in memory of alumni who have passed away throughout the year. The remembrance event will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday at HPU’s Muse Plaza and Mall by the statue.

Additional events are highlighted below.

Performances of “Bone-Chiller!” will be held at the HPU Theatre on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. each evening and on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased through the Homecoming website or at the door on the evenings of the performances. Those who purchase tickets online for Thursday’s performance should contact the Office of Alumni Relations prior to the event at (325) 649-8044.

The photography of Julie Mize ’96 will be exhibited in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art gallery located inside HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center. Gallery hours during Homecoming weekend are Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Golden Graduate Luncheon honoring the Class of 1966, sponsored by Wendlee Broadcasting, will be held Friday from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of the university’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center.

The Homecoming Court will be presented during Homecoming Convocation at 2 p.m. on Friday in Mims Auditorium.

The Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet, sponsored by HPU’s Alumni Association, will be held Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Beadel Dining Hall of the Mabee University Center. During the banquet, the Homecoming 2016 honorees will be recognized. Doors open at 5:45 p.m.

Following the banquet on Friday will be Cobbler on the Campus sponsored by Underwood’s Cafeteria. This event begins at 7:30 p.m. at HPU’s Muse Plaza and Mall.

Saturday morning’s Decades Breakfast, sponsored by Willie’s T’s, begins at 8 a.m. During this time, alumni are invited to reunite with friends from their class decades in the Beadel Dining Hall of the Mabee University Center. Also at 8 a.m. on Saturday will be the Hispanic Fellowship Breakfast in Bullion Suites B and C of the Mabee University Center and the Letterman’s Breakfast in the Beadel Dining Hall.

HPU’s Walker Memorial Library will host an Authors’ Reception and Archival Display on Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The Homecoming Parade, sponsored by Bruner Auto Group, begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. The parade will begin at the Brownwood Coliseum, travel down Center Ave. and end at the university’s Doakie Day Art Center. The best areas to view the parade are downtown and on campus along Center Avenue.

Following the parade, a Pep Rally sponsored by Brownwood Chamber of Commerce will take place in HPU’s Old Main Park.

Little Jackets’ Nest, games and other free activities for children, will be held from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday behind the Packer Administration Building.

A Family Picnic Lunch, sponsored by the Early Chamber of Commerce, will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Muse Plaza and Mall and Beadel Dining Hall.

HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts will present a Choir Concert at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in the university’s Grace Chapel.

A variety of departmental and student-organization receptions will be held Saturday afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. A complete list of participating departments and organizations is available online at

The HPU Yellow Jacket football team will play McMurry University at 4:00 p.m. Saturday at Gordon Wood Stadium. Prior to the game, beginning at 3 p.m., all HPU classes are invited to participate in a tailgate event featuring games, snacks and beverages. Additional tailgates will be held for the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy reception and African-American Alumni Chapter reception.

Married alumni will have the opportunity to renew their vows Sunday morning in HPU’s Grace Chapel. The service begins at 9 a.m.

A variety of reunions, athletic events and other events will be held throughout the weekend. A complete schedule of events and ticket prices are available online at

In addition to the sponsors mentioned above, HPU thanks the following business for their support: PF&E Oil Company, Mills County State Bank, Dr Pepper Bottling, United Supermarkets, Early Blooms & Things, Prosperity Bank, TexasBank, Citizens National Bank, Painter & Johnson Financial, Porter Insurance Agency, Robnett Integra Insurance Services, Kool Kreations Custom Boat Docks and Repair, and Smith & Sharpe Insurance.


HPU’s Walker Memorial Library presents “Postcards from Home” display

BROWNWOOD – October 13, 2016 – The Howard Payne University Walker Memorial Library will present a “Postcards from Home” display through Monday, October 24, in the library’s main lobby.

The display features postcards and letters sent during World War I and World War II to and from loved ones who were HPU alumni and friends. There is also a desk set up for current HPU students to write postcards to send home to their family or friends.

“We are excited to offer the opportunity for our students to send messages home,” said Doris Goacher, digital archives assistant. “It was inspired by our display of postcards and letters sent home from Europe during World Wars I and II as well as the letters back from the recipients here at home. There is such power in the written word, conveying our thoughts to someone we care about who is a distance away. The messages are always treasured.”

postcards-for-webThe display is available for public viewing during normal library operation hours, Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Private tours of the full postcard collection are available Tuesday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Goacher will give brief tours of the materials held in the library’s archive at this time as well.

For more information, call HPU’s Walker Memorial Library at 325-649-8602.

HPU’s “Postcards from Home” Display is available for viewing through October 24.

HPU junior Carrie Leach, from Hurst, writes a postcard home at HPU’s “Postcards from Home” student writing desk.

HPU Jazz Band to present fall concert featuring Dr. Tarik Hassan of New Orleans

BROWNWOOD – October 13, 2016 – The Howard Payne University Jazz Band’s fall concert will feature jazz bassist Dr. Tarik Hassan and will be held on Thursday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium. The concert is free of charge and open to the public.

Dr. Hassan is a distinguished scholar, performer and composer from New Orleans who has performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Les Cultures du Monde in France, and Snug Harbor and House of Blues jazz clubs in New Orleans.

This year, the band’s program will present classic jazz styles such as Cool, Bebop and Latin Jazz. A new jazz arrangement of George Gershwin’s 1932 orchestral work “Cuban Overture” will be presented as well as a big-band adaptation of the Modern Jazz Quartet’s 1953 tribute to gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt.

“We are pleased to present our students and Dr. Hassan to our campus and community,” said Stephen Goacher, director of the ensemble and professor of music. “This concert will be a celebration of this great American music – jazz.”

The HPU Jazz Band has garnered numerous accolades in its rich history. More recently, it won consecutive Outstanding Collegiate Band awards at the Temple Jazz Festival from 2006 to 2009 and gave other performances and awards at the festival in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Additionally, the band performed at the North Texas Jazz Festival in 2010.

For more information, call HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.


Cutline: New Orleans jazz bassist Dr. Tarik Hassan will perform during the HPU Jazz Band’s fall concert on Thursday, October 20.

HPU Herbarium to sponsor worldwide WeDigBio event

BROWNWOOD – October 13, 2016 – The Howard Payne University Herbarium will sponsor a Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Bio Collections event on Saturday, October 22, from 9:00 a.m. to noon in room 113 of the university’s Winebrenner Memorial Hall of Science. The public is invited to participate.

WeDigBio is a four-day event to promote biodiversity that engages participants online and onsite as they digitize natural history collections. Onsite events are hosted by museums, herbaria, universities and other institutions and enable participants to get involved with local collections. Online events engage volunteers from around the globe by facilitating the transcription of specimen information from images hosted by worldwide transcription platforms.

“We are very excited to be a part of this worldwide endeavor,” said Dr. Marilyn Mathis, associate professor of biology. “This event will help make biological collections available to everyone.”

The HPU group will work with Botanical Research Institute of Texas to build a database of Texas flora. Volunteers will transcribe various plant specimen labels at the event. During the transcribing process, volunteers with have the opportunity to win prizes and play various games, such as Habitat Locations, Geo Locator and Timeline Tracker. There will also be short programs for volunteers to view titled “A Visit to Kew Gardens in London, England” with senior Sara Wood, biology major from Orange Grove, and “A Visit to Eastern Australia” with senior Keaton Fletcher, biology major from Perryton.

For more information, call HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics at 325-649-8400.


HPU students receive top speaker awards at Moot Court tournament

BROWNWOOD – October 13, 2016 – Five Howard Payne University students recently competed in their first Moot Court tournament of the year, with three receiving top speaker awards. The event was held at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio.

HPU students who brought home awards were sophomore Bailey Myler, a Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major and social science jurisprudence major from Brownwood (fourth speaker); junior Jakob Morgan, a Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major and social science jurisprudence major from Blanket (sixth speaker); and freshman Jordan Hahn, a Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major and political science international studies major from Burnet (ninth speaker).

HPU took two Moot Court teams to the competition. The Moot Court 1 team was comprised of Hahn and freshman Andie McCoy, a Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major and social studies composite high school major from Whitehouse. Hahn and McCoy’s team advanced to the semi-finals. The Moot Court 2 team was comprised of Myler and junior Justin Harris, a social science jurisprudence major from Fort Worth. Morgan had the opportunity to partner with a student from The University of Texas San Antonio to form a hybrid team.

“This was our first competition of the 2016-2017 season, and I could not be more proud of our Moot Court team,” said Lorianna Kelly J.D., assistant professor of government and HPU Moot Court sponsor. “The entire team has worked hard to prepare arguments and practice answering difficult questions, and it is great to see that hard work pay off. I can’t wait to see how well our team does throughout the season.”

In recognition of their achievement, Stephen M. Sheppard, dean of St. Mary’s University School of Law, awarded Hahn and McCoy with a $5,000 scholarship each. Sheppard also awarded a $2,500 scholarship to each of the other HPU team members.


HPU Homecoming festivities to include bonfire, fireworks and parade

hpu-bonfire-raft-2016 BROWNWOOD – October 11, 2016 – Howard Payne University will host a bonfire, a fireworks show and a parade as featured parts of the university’s Homecoming 2016 celebration. The Bonfire and Fireworks on the Bayou event is scheduled for Friday, October 28, at 9:00 p.m. at Riverside Park in Brownwood. The parade is scheduled for Saturday, October 29, at 10:00 a.m. The public is invited to attend each of these events.

The bonfire will be built on a steel 8-foot-by-8-foot raft that will float on Pecan Bayou. The steel for the raft was donated by Sweetwater Steel in Early and the raft was constructed by Ricky Brooks of Kool Kreations Custom Boat Docks at Lake Brownwood. The HPU men’s soccer team collected the wood that will be used for the bonfire, which will be lit by a flaming arrow shot by HPU senior Ivy Nichols of Richardson. Following the bonfire, an exciting, 15-minute fireworks show will light the night sky. The fireworks are made possible by a generous donation from an anonymous donor to HPU.

“We are excited to have the bonfire and fireworks this year as part of our Homecoming events,” said Stephen Sullivan ’11, MBA ’14, director of development and alumni relations at HPU. “Our hope is that these events will provide an opportunity for HPU alumni to engage with current students as well as the community. Everyone is invited to attend.”

In addition to the bonfire and fireworks, various HPU student organizations will provide games and activities at Riverside Park during the events. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs and snacks for this event. No alcoholic beverages are permitted.

Parade Route Map_Revised_2014This year’s HPU Homecoming parade will follow the same route as last year. Beginning at Brownwood Coliseum, the parade will travel north on Baker St., turn left onto Center Ave., move across Austin Ave. and enter the HPU campus. The procession will end in front of HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center on Center Ave. The best areas to view the parade are downtown and on campus along Center Ave.

The parade will feature student-designed floats and other attractions including the HPU Yellow Jacket Marching Band and the HPU mascot, Buzzsaw. Additionally, there will be a variety of floats and participants from the community.

“HPU’s Homecoming parade will include community, alumni and current student participants,” said Laura Benoit, associate director of alumni relations at the university. “We are excited this year to have Rick Phelps of Victory Life Church in Brownwood to help us coordinate the parade and we look forward to seeing many community members on Saturday morning enjoying this HPU tradition.”

The Homecoming parade is sponsored by Bruner Auto Group.

Community organizations interested in participating in the parade can register online at

A complete schedule of Homecoming events is available online at


An 8-foot-by-8-foot bonfire raft will float on the Pecan Bayou during HPU’s Homecoming 2016 Bonfire and Fireworks on the Bayou event. The raft was constructed by Ricky Brooks of Kool Kreations Custom Boat Docks using steel donated by Sweetwater Steel.

HPU’s Homecoming 2016 parade will begin at Brownwood Coliseum and end in front of the Doakie Day Art Center on the HPU campus.

Scholarships awarded to three HPU pre-college music students

BROWNWOOD – October 11, 2016 – Three students from Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program were recently awarded scholarships at the 18th Annual Music Scholarship Awards in Eastland during the town’s Rip Festival. The scholarship awards were presented by the Nancy Seaberry Frost Arts Endowment.

The Mary Frances Bishop Memorial Scholarship was awarded to 13-year-old Sarah Ann Reeves, a piano and voice student from Goldthwaite. The Wilda Dragoo Music Scholarship was awarded to piano students Christopher Ivy, age 6, and Kyle Ivy, age 12, both of Brownwood. The three scholarship recipients are students of Diane Owens, director of HPU’s Pre-College Music Program.

Each student must present letters of recommendation to the scholarship committee and write a personal letter explaining why he or she is deserving of this monetary award. Academic accomplishments and community service are also factors in becoming a recipient of one of the scholarships.

“I am very proud of these three students,” said Owens. “They all work hard to do their best, are always well-prepared for their lessons and have a love of music. It is a great pleasure to work with them and see them develop into fine musicians.”

NSF Arts has awarded hundreds of music scholarships and sponsored more than 100 concerts across Texas since 1999. NSF Arts is a proud sponsor of many youth music programs in the state that provide concert tickets and music education experiences for Texas school children.

For more information about HPU’s Pre-College Music and Art Program, call 325-649-8500.


HPU’s Yellow Jacket Band given new drum major stand

BROWNWOOD – October 11, 2016 –  Howard Payne University’s Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma groups recently purchased a new drum major stand for the HPU Yellow Jacket Band. Pictured are HPU’s Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma group members along with Corey Ash, director of bands and associate professor of music (second row, far right), and Dr. Robert Mangrum, group sponsor, university historian and professor of history and government (third row, far right).



HPU to host UIL speech and debate workshop for area schools

BROWNWOOD – October 7, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau, the university’s award-winning speech and debate team, will host a University Interscholastic League speech and debate workshop for area high schools. The workshop will take place on Thursday, December 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Bullion Suites of HPU’s Mabee University Center. The cost is $25 per student and coaches are admitted at no charge.

Workshops will be held for both novice and experienced competitors. Events will include prose, poetry, informative and persuasive extemporaneous speaking and Lincoln-Douglas and Cross-Examination debate. Experienced competitors are encouraged to bring competition pieces and cases. Students will receive experiential learning and coaching help from college competitors with innovative ideas, creative instruction and results-driven performance.

“We are pleased to be offering this annual speech and debate workshop for area schools,” said Dr. Julie Welker, chair of the Department of Communication and professor of communication.
“We have an exceptional team of 14 forensic competitors on our HPU team this year and they have both the experience and expertise to help coach high school students.”

For registration and other details, please contact Dr. Julie Welker at

More information about Howard Payne University is available online at