News Archives

HPU’s El Paso Center awards two undergraduate degrees, first MBA degree

EP Fall 16 Graduates for webBROWNWOOD – January 24, 2017 – Three students recently graduated from Howard Payne University’s El Paso Center including the first student from the center to receive the university’s Master of Business Administration degree. Commencement activities were held in Brownwood, the location of HPU’s main campus.

El Paso Center graduates are Blanca Manuela Gamez, Master of Business Administration degree; Grace Christine Stout, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree in Christian studies; and Alma Veronica Quintero, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree in business administration.

“We are so very proud of our HPU El Paso graduates, notably our very first El Paso Center MBA graduate,” said Dr. Adrian Gil, director of the El Paso Center and associate professor of business. “I am certain these women will utilize their Christ-centered education to enact positive change in our world.”

Gamez, who earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree from HPU in 2009, said the Christian servant-leadership model of HPU’s MBA degree program was a great fit for her.

“The MBA at HPU has helped me to grow professionally and spiritually with the added benefit of making lifelong friends along the way,” she said.

For more information about HPU’s El Paso Center, call 915-533-8500 or e-mail


Cutline: The fall 2016 graduates from HPU’s El Paso Center are pictured with faculty members. Left to right: Dr. Adrian Gil, Dr. Carmen Santana-Melgoza, Grace Christine Stout, Alma Veronica Quintero, Blanca Manuela Gamez and Dr. Stephen Kovach.

HPU to exhibit work of senior art student Colby Compton

Colby ComptonBROWNWOOD – January 20, 2017 – Howard Payne University will exhibit the artwork of Colby Compton, senior studio art major from Early. The exhibition is scheduled January 23 through February 17 in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery inside HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center.

Compton’s senior project has centered upon the completion of a body of consistent acrylic landscape paintings, evoking his interests in both fantasy and science fiction. He has studied the paintings of 19th-century artists such as Frederic Church and George Inness as well as several 20th century surrealist artists including Rene Magritte.

“A sense of mood, place and space are all revealed,” said David Harmon, professor of art and chair of HPU’s Department of Art. “Visual interest is achieved and maintained as a result of his use of a limited palette of colors, evident in his mysterious landscape paintings.”

Harmon said Compton is devoted to the formation of artistic concepts, craftsmanship, imagination and skills.

“This has resulted in consistent, original creative solutions in his overall HPU studio coursework,” he said.

The gallery is open weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Doakie Day Art Center is located on the HPU campus, on Center Avenue, near Lipscomb Street in Brownwood. All inquiries may be directed to Harmon at (325) 649-8088 or


Cutline: HPU senior Colby Compton is pictured with “Violet Eye,” one of the paintings from his upcoming exhibition.

HPU Concert Choir to perform on tour

BROWNWOOD – January 20, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Concert Choir will tour select schools and churches in Texas and Arkansas near the end of January. The choir will travel Friday, January 27, through Tuesday, January 31.

The concert tour is titled “Creator Created Creating: My Maker’s Bounding Line.” A variety of musical selections will be presented including works from Joseph Haydn’s “The Creation” which depict the days of creation. During each concert, many allegorical references will be made to Yahweh’s presence through light, water, trees, mankind and the vastness of the firmament, all of which speak to the unfathomable omnipotence of our Creator.

“We are excited for this year’s tour,” said Dr. Christopher Rosborough, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities. “We look forward to sharing what HPU has to offer, connecting with alumni and friends and sharing music in honor of God’s creation. We hope to be a blessing to each audience we visit.”

This year’s Concert Choir tour will take the group to Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, Marshall High School in Marshall, Meadows Baptist Church in Plano, Travis Academy of Fine Arts in Fort Worth and Granbury High School in Granbury. The group will also have the opportunity to travel to Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Woodland Heights Baptist Church in Conway, Arkansas. The choir will finish the tour with concerts at Brownwood High School and Early High School.

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

HPU’s Alumni Association eliminates annual dues, introduces “alumni by choice”

Alumni Assocation new logo BBROWNWOOD – January 16, 2017 – In an effort to further bolster the close-knit community of Howard Payne University alumni, the university’s Alumni Association has eliminated annual dues. All HPU alumni and “alumni by choice” may take part in the Association at no cost.

Alumni with at least 24 credit hours at HPU have been automatically deemed members of the Association. Individuals who did not attend HPU or former students with fewer than 24 credit hours may become alumni by choice by contacting HPU’s Office of Alumni Relations.

“Members of the Alumni Association have been so loyal to their alma mater by volunteering, attending regional events, engaging in the lives of students and giving back financially,” said Stephen Sullivan ’11 and MBA ’14, director of development and alumni relations. “We’re excited to give back to them by offering this membership free of charge.”

Alumni Association members are invited and encouraged to take part in fun events each year. A list of events is maintained at

To declare yourself an HPU alumnus/alumna by choice, or to learn more about the benefits of an HPU Alumni Association membership, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at or 325-649-8044.


Attached: HPU Alumni Association logo

Dr. Roger E. Olson to speak at HPU’s 10th annual Currie-Strickland lectures

Roger OlsonBROWNWOOD – January 12, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s 10th annual Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics will feature guest speaker Dr. Roger E. Olson, Foy Valentine Professor of Christian Theology and Ethics at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. The lectures will take place Thursday, February 23, and Friday, February 24, and are free to the public.

Speaking on the theme “Both-And Ethics: Reconciling Niebuhr and Hauerwas,” Dr. Olson will begin his lectures at 7:30 p.m. Thursday evening and 10 a.m. Friday morning with a question-and-answer session following each lecture. Both events will be held in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of HPU’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center.

Dr. Olson holds degrees from Rice University, North American Baptist Seminary and Open Bible College. He has written numerous articles for such publications as Theology Today, Dialog, Scottish Journal of Theology, Christian Century and Christianity Today. His recent books include “Reformed and Always Reforming: The Postconservative Approach to Evangelical Theology,” “The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform,” “The Mosaic of Christian Belief: Twenty Centuries of Unity and Diversity” and “Who Needs Theology?” with Dr. Stanley J. Grenz. Dr. Olson received two awards for “The Story of Christian Theology” including a Gold Medallion from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association in 1999. In 1993 he and co-author Dr. Grenz received Christianity Today’s award for best book in theology/biblical studies for “20th Century Theology: God and the World in a Transitional Age.”

A past president of the American Theological Society (Midwest Division), Dr. Olson has been the co-chair of the Evangelical Theology Group of the American Academy of Religion for two years. An expert in historical theology, he is a frequent preacher, teacher and speaker for local churches and organizations.

“We’re looking forward to Dr. Olson’s discussion of ‘both-and ethics’ and well-known ethicists and theologians Reinhold Niebuhr and Stanley Hauerwas,” said Dr. Donnie Auvenshine dean of HPU’s School of Christian Studies and professor of Christian studies. “Studies of ethics are crucial in today’s society, particularly for Christians. We know Dr. Olson will deliver thoughtful and timely discussion on the subject.”

The Currie-Strickland lecture series is made possible through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Gary Elliston and was established to honor the life of Dr. David R. Currie, retired executive director of Texas Baptists Committed, and the memory of Phil Strickland, who dedicated nearly 40 years of ministry to the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Christian Life Commission.

Admission is free but reservations are requested. For reservations or more information, contact Howard Payne University’s School of Christian Studies by e-mail at or by phone at (325) 649-8403.


Cutline: Guest speaker at HPU’s 10th annual Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics will be Dr. Roger E. Olson, Foy Valentine professor of Christian theology and ethics at Baylor University’s Truett Seminary.

HPU University Singers to begin rehearsals

BROWNWOOD – January 12, 2017 – The University Singers, Howard Payne University’s community and collegiate choral opportunity, is welcoming new musical enthusiasts into its membership for the spring 2017 semester. Rehearsals are set to begin Monday, January 16, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. in the choral rehearsal hall in the university’s Davidson Music Complex.

The goal of the University Singers is to cultivate an ensemble of singers within the community and university who strive to offer a high level of artistry, while advocating for great choral music in Brownwood and its surrounding areas. Participants can expect to glean a balance of exposure to great choral literature, vocal instruction and a knowledge and execution of musical excellence.

This unique choral group presents two concerts per year, one at Christmastime and one in the spring. Highlighted works for the upcoming spring concert include the Gabriel Fauré “Requiem” and a collection of hymn arrangements based on the topic of eternity.

The choir is under the direction of Dr. Christopher Rosborough, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities at HPU.

“The University Singers had a terrific semester of music-making this past fall,” said Dr. Rosborough. “I look forward to what the future of this ensemble will hold as we enter into this fantastic and timeless literature!”

Membership is not limited to Brownwood residents and HPU students. All are welcome to take part in this ensemble. If you are interested in joining, please contact Dr. Rosborough before the first rehearsal at 325-649-8503 or

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


HPU Pre-College Music and Art Program to begin spring semester

Pre-College Music & Art Program LogoBROWNWOOD – January 11, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program is set to begin its spring semester lessons this month. Pre-college music lessons will begin the week of Monday, January 16, and pre-college art lessons will begin the week of January 23.

The program, presented by HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts, serves Brownwood and the surrounding communities by offering music and art lessons to children and adults. Music lessons, which will be 45 minutes in length each week for 14 weeks, include instruction in piano, voice, strings, guitar and band instruments. The program also offers Kindermusik for pre-school children. Art lessons, which will be one hour in length each week for 12 weeks, will feature beginning and intermediate drawing and painting. Instructors in the program include the HPU music and art faculty, experienced area teachers and student teachers.

Existing pre-college students will keep the same schedule assigned in the fall unless a change in day or time is requested. No new forms are required, but fees and first tuition payment are due at the first lesson. New students are encouraged to register for classes.

“We look forward to a rewarding semester and appreciate the opportunity of working with your children,” said Diane Owens, director of the program. “We encourage all who are interested to come be a part of this program. Classes are still available.”

For more information, contact Owens at or (325) 649-8501 or Jill Holamon at or (325) 649-8500.


HPU to host Yellow Jacket Monday free preview event

Yellow Jacket MondayBROWNWOOD – January 9, 2017 –Howard Payne University will host a Yellow Jacket Monday preview day for prospective students and their parents next Monday, January 16, from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free but registration is required at

Yellow Jacket Mondays are designed for high school juniors and seniors and allow prospective students to experience life at HPU. Registrants will meet faculty and staff, tour the campus and residence halls, dine in HPU’s Beadel Dining Hall, meet with a financial aid counselor and more.

“Yellow Jacket Monday is a great opportunity for future students to get to know more about HPU,” said Lacy Culpepper, admission counselor and campus visit coordinator. “If you plan to attend HPU or if you’re not quite sure where you want to go to college, come spend the day with us and let us show you all that HPU has to offer.”

HPU offers a wide range of financial aid opportunities including the Heart of Texas Scholarship which awards $60,000 over four years to eligible students from Brown and surrounding counties.

For more information and to register, visit For those unable to attend in January, additional Yellow Jacket Monday events will be held February 20, March 20 and April 24.


Cutline: Prospective HPU students and their families check in at a recent Yellow Jacket Monday preview event.

HPU alumna “pays it forward” with scholarship benefiting female ministerial students

jespersen-familyBROWNWOOD – January 6, 2017 – Joanna (Cornelius) Jespersen, a 1998 Howard Payne University graduate, recently established the Jespersen Direct Scholarship with the university to benefit females studying in HPU’s School of Christian Studies at the Brownwood campus or the New Braunfels extension center. The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded each fall and spring semester ($500 each semester).

The spring 2017 recipient is Elizabeth Allen, a senior from Kempner double-majoring in cross-cultural studies and English at the Brownwood campus.

After graduating from HPU with a Bachelor of Science degree in counseling and psychology, Jespersen served as a journeyman with the International Mission Board in Brazil. She returned to the United States and, in 2006, graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Today she serves as minister to children and families at Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church in Dallas.

Jespersen is married to Dr. Ryan Jespersen, director of urban missions through the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and they have two daughters, Rachel Beth, 6, and Mary Kate, 4.

“I am excited about giving back to HPU through this scholarship that Ryan and I have set up for female ministerial students,” she said. “I am forever indebted to HPU for all that I received during my time there including scholarships, forever friendships, the deepening of my own faith and practice, and the Godly instruction and guidance by my wonderful Christian professors and the helpful staff there.”

Jespersen said she knew, even as a student, that she wanted to give back to the university when she was in a position to do so.

“I feel compelled and responsible to ‘pay it forward’ in this way since so many blessed me on my own journey at Howard Payne,” she said. “My hope and prayer for Howard Payne is that she continues to be a school focused on educating and training up future Christian leaders who will make an eternal impact on our country and world. I am so happy that I am a part of that legacy and I pray that Howard Payne continues to shine for the Lord in these years ahead.”

If you would like to establish a scholarship at HPU, please contact Stephen Sullivan, director of development and alumni relations, at or 325-649-8069.


Cutline: Joanna Jespersen, 1998 HPU alumna, recently established a scholarship with the university. She is pictured with her husband, Dr. Ryan Jespersen, and daughters Rachel Beth and Mary Kate.

Eight graduate from HPU’s New Braunfels Center

BROWNWOOD – December 15, 2016 – Eight students from Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels Center were recognized during the university’s Commencement ceremony in Brownwood on December 10. Two of the students completed degree requirements in May while the remaining six completed their degrees in December.

“We’re proud of these students and excited for their futures,” said Dr. Dale Meinecke, HPU’s assistant vice president for external affairs and assistant professor of Christian studies. “We look forward to seeing the great things they will continue to do in life.”

HPU New Braunfels graduates included Glenda Brownlow, Bachelor of Science degree in business administration; Darryl Fresne, Master of Business Administration degree (May graduate); Ashley Greene, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree in general studies; Justin Hall, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree in Christian studies (youth ministry concentration); Elizabeth Kensing, Master of Business Administration degree; Francene Larrabee, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree in business administration (May graduate); Jolind Tavs, Master of Business Administration degree; and Courtney Wilder, Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.

HPU’s New Braunfels Center is now enrolling for the spring 2017 semester. For more information, visit, call (830) 629-2366 or e-mail


Cutline: Recent graduates from HPU’s New Braunfels Center are pictured with university administration and faculty. Left to right: Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president; Ashley Greene; Glenda Brownlow; Francene Larrabee; Justin Hall; Darryl Fresne; and Dr. Dale Meinecke, assistant vice president for external affairs and assistant professor of Christian studies. Not pictured are Elizabeth Kensing, Jolind Tavs and Courtney Wilder.