News Archives

HPU to host 32nd annual Community Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving Feast Volunteers for webBROWNWOOD – November 2, 2015 – The 32nd annual Community Thanksgiving Feast at Howard Payne University will once again usher in the holiday season for area residents. It is scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at HPU’s Mabee University Center.

The tradition has been supported throughout the years by numerous individuals and organizations. Last year, more than 2,000 meals were served on campus and through the home-delivery program.

“The crisp mornings we have been enjoying remind us that it is again time to begin planning for a wonderful Thanksgiving day with family and friends at Howard Payne’s Mabee University Center,” said Bill Fishback, assistant vice president for business and human resources at HPU. “This community-wide effort of neighbors caring for neighbors seems to be as important to those who serve as it is to those who enjoy the meal each year. Volunteers will help serve meals at the Mabee Center or deliver meals in Brownwood and Early to those who cannot join us on campus. We have always been able to provide the meals free of charge because of the donations from the caring people and organizations in Brown County, so I am confident the money will be there by the time the bills must be paid.”

The staff of Howard Payne’s Sodexo Food Service give up their holiday to prepare the meals. Anyone unable to join friends and neighbors at the Mabee Center can have meals delivered to his or her home by calling the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce at (325) 646-9535 by noon on Monday, November 23.

“Many of the volunteers have helped for years, making serving others part of their annual Thanksgiving tradition,” said Fishback.

The traditional Thanksgiving meal will consist of turkey, dressing and all the trimmings.

“Last year, we served 689 meals at the Mabee Center and 1,438 meals were provided to those in the community who were unable to join us for lunch,” Fishback said. “The volunteers enjoy visiting with each other and our guests as they work to serve the meals as quickly as possible. Too often, we take for granted the fact that we are very blessed to live in a community where so many people willingly give their time and money to support this wonderful event. We look forward to being part of another joy-filled Thanksgiving Day as we also give thanks to the Lord for blessing us in so many ways.”

According to Fishback, volunteers do not need to call to let the university know they are coming.

“Volunteers simply need to show up at the Mabee Center at 10:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and we will put them to work,” he said.

If you would like to help support the Thanksgiving meal, please make checks payable to the “Community Thanksgiving Feast,” and send them to Bill Fishback at Howard Payne University, 1000 Fisk Street, Suite 210, Brownwood, TX, 76801.

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Photo cutline: Volunteers serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal during HPU’s annual Community Thanksgiving Feast.

HPU’s Farquharson and Johnson to perform senior recital

Josh Farquharson

BROWNWOOD – November 2, 2015 –Howard Payne University students Josh Farquharson and Ruby Johnson will present a senior recital on Thursday, November 5, at 7 p.m. The recital will be in the university’s Grace Chapel. Farquharson, a music major from Wichita Falls, will perform on the alto saxophone. Johnson, a music education major from Alvarado, will perform on the clarinet. Both Farquharson and Johnson are students from the studio of Stephen Goacher, professor of music at HPU.

“These seniors close four years’ intensive study with the time-honored tradition of a Debut Recital – an ending and a beginning,” said Goacher. “We are proud to present these students in concert.”

The recital is open to the public and there is no charge for admission. For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s Josh Farquharson and Ruby Johnson will perform a senior recital on November 5 at 7:00 p.m.

Ruby Johnson

HPU presents Douglas MacArthur Freedom Medal to alumnus

By Rachel Ellington, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – October 21, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy presented the Douglas MacArthur Freedom Medal to George Aldridge, a 1975 HPU graduate, during an Academy Board of Directors banquet held recently on campus. At the banquet, Aldridge spoke to students, faculty, staff and board members on his career in foreign affairs.

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

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, presented the award, given by the Academy to honor individuals who share Dr. Newman’s vision of promoting Judeo-Christian values, our Western heritage and the free enterprise system.

Aldridge is a 1975 HPU graduate who earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He received his master’s degree in comparative politics and American government from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University – Commerce) in 1981 and completed doctoral coursework in comparative politics and international affairs from the University of North Texas.

He has won a number of awards including three Superior Honor Awards (two individual, one group) and seven Meritorious Honor Awards (four individual, three group). He was listed in “Who’s Who Among Young American Men” in 1988.

Aldridge served as director of the southwest offices of the National Association of Arab Americans from January 1986 to June 1990, when he then became a U.S. Foreign Service officer. His overseas tour encompassed Jamaica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Belize, Morocco, Kenya, Tunisia and Sudan. He then took on the position of director of the Middle East Partnership office in Beirut, Lebanon. His domestic assignments included staff assistant in the Bureau of African Affairs and program officer for Palestinian refugees in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Aldridge and his wife, Marie, have three children. His daughters attend Texas State University and Virginia Commonwealth University and his son is a junior at the International School of Luxembourg, in his wife’s native country.

Dr. Justin D. Murphy, Academy director, HPU’s Brand professor of history and dean of the School of Humanities, said the Academy is honored to be associated with distinguished alumni such as Aldridge.
“We thank Mr. Aldridge for his contributions to our nation and for returning to HPU to address our students, faculty and Board of Directors,” said Dr. Murphy.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy recently presented George Aldridge, right, with the Douglas MacArthur Freedom Medal. He is pictured with Dr. Justin D. Murphy, director of the Academy, HPU’s Brand professor of history and dean of the School of Humanities.

Timeless Traditions: HPU Homecoming draws large crowd

BROWNWOOD – October 20, 2015 – More than 1,000 alumni, community members and other friends of Howard Payne University, as well as HPU faculty, staff and students, attended the university’s Homecoming this past Friday and Saturday to honor and celebrate HPU’s many “Timeless Traditions.”

Generations of alumni were welcomed home to relive memories of their time spent at HPU. Among the events was the popular Homecoming Parade featuring student-designed floats and other attractions. Several participating organizations based their floats on various campus traditions. The winning float, created by the Delta Chi Rho sorority, paid tribute to HPU’s annual Christmas on the Plaza event.

A variety of receptions and reunions were held throughout the weekend. Among those, the Golden Graduate Luncheon celebrated the 50-year reunion of the Class of 1965. Each returning alumnus/alumna from the class received a certificate from Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president.

The university recognized 10 honorees during the annual Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet held Friday evening. Following the banquet, hundreds gathered at HPU’s Muse Plaza and Mall for Cobbler on the Campus and a pep rally.

“It was an honor to meet and become friends with so many HPU alumni over the course of Homecoming 2015,” said Stephen Sullivan ’11, ’14, director of development and alumni relations. “The event was a great success and we’re so thankful for all of those who came to campus to celebrate with us.”

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Alumni friends gather outside HPU’s Mims Auditorium prior to Homecoming Convocation.
Drs. Bill and Diana Ellis, HPU president and first lady, wave to onlookers during the Homecoming parade.
Many future HPU Yellow Jackets enjoyed the opportunity to meet Buzzsaw, HPU’s mascot, during Homecoming.
Students ceremoniously beat the Freshman Drums in the hours leading up to the football game kickoff.

HPU invites businesses and organizations to take part in career fair for students and alumni

BROWNWOOD – October 20, 2015 – Howard Payne University will host a career fair for students and alumni on Thursday, November 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to the campus only, the fair will introduce current students and graduates to representatives from businesses and organizations around the area.

HPU is seeking businesses interested in participating. There is a $30 registration fee and the deadline to register is Friday, November 6.

To learn more, contact Tammy Arreola, HPU’s director of career services, at tarreola@hputx.edu or (325) 649-8630 or visit www.hputx.edu/careerfair.

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Chapman and Bonner crowned HPU Homecoming Queen and Princess

Homecoming Queen 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – October 16, 2015 – Ashley Chapman of Ennis and Jaclyn Bonner of Lytle were crowned Howard Payne University’s Homecoming Queen and Princess during a ceremony held today on campus.

Chapman, the daughter of Ricky and Diane Chapman, is a senior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in Spanish and political science. She is the presiding senior senator for the Student Government Association (SGA) and an honorary member of Sigma Theta Phi. She additionally serves as resident assistant for HPU’s campus apartments. Her future plans are to pursue an internship in public policy and eventually work in a district office.

Bonner, the daughter of James and Rosemary Bonner, is a junior public and media communication major. She is the president of Gamma Beta Phi, a National Collegiate Honor Society. She also serves as the junior class senator for the SGA, as a Yellow Jacket newspaper columnist and is a member of the Model United Nations team and the Baptist Student Ministry. Following graduation, she would like to represent a missions or humanitarian, non-profit organization in the public relations department and eventually be involved in human-rights advocacy.

Homecoming Princess 2015 for webThe Homecoming Court will be featured during the halftime show of the football game as HPU takes on East Texas Baptist University this Saturday. The game begins at 2 p.m. at Gordon Wood Stadium.

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Top photo: Katie Rose Bonner, HPU’s 2014 Homecoming Queen, crowns Ashley Chapman, the 2015 Homecoming Queen.

Bottom photo: Katie Rose Bonner, 2014 Homecoming Queen, crowns her sister, Jaclyn Bonner, the 2015 Homecoming Princess.

Final preparations underway for HPU Homecoming 2015

Homecoming banner installation for webBROWNWOOD – October 15, 2015 – The Howard Payne University Homecoming banner was installed today at HPU’s Mims Auditorium, the site of registration for the event. Homecoming activities, many of which are open to the community, will be held this Friday and Saturday. A complete list of events and corresponding ticket information is available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Homecoming 2015 was made possible through the generosity of the following sponsors: Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce (Pep Rally), the HPU Alumni Association (Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet), Early Chamber of Commerce (Picnic on the Plaza), Willie’s T’s (Decades Breakfast), Underwood’s Cafeteria (Cobbler on the Campus), Early Blooms & Things (Registration), Wendlee Broadcasting (Golden Graduate Luncheon), Big Country Ford (Parade), Mills County State Bank (Little Jackets’ Nest), TexasBank (Departmental Receptions), Dr Pepper Bottling, Citizens National Bank, Painter & Johnson Financial, Porter Insurance Agency, Winstar Marketing, Adidas, PF&E Oil Company, United Supermarkets, Robnett Integra Insurance Services and Smith & Sharpe Insurance.

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Photo cutline: Members of HPU’s maintenance department install a banner at Mims Auditorium in anticipation of Homecoming 2015.

HPU announces 2015 Homecoming Court

BROWNWOOD – October 14, 2015 – Howard Payne University has announced the 2015 Homecoming Court. The Homecoming queen and princess will be crowned this Friday, October 16, at 2 p.m. during Homecoming Convocation in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

Homecoming queen nominees are Ashley Chapman of Ennis, senior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in Spanish and political science; Dillan Hanks of Frisco, senior athletic training major; and Caitlin Wood of Miles, senior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in political science and public policy (pre-law).

Ashley, the daughter of Ricky and Diane Chapman, is the presiding senior senator for the Student Government Association (SGA) and an honorary member of Sigma Theta Phi. She additionally serves as resident assistant for HPU’s campus apartments. Her future plans are to pursue an internship in public policy and eventually work in a district office.

Dillan is the daughter of Chris and Dana Hanks. She is a student athletic trainer, is an alumna of Chi Alpha Omega and serves as secretary of the Tri Beta National Biological Honors Society. After graduation, she plans to become a physical therapist.

Caitlin, the daughter of Ron and Sandy Wood, is a member of Gamma Beta Phi and Pi Gamma Mu. She serves as SGA vice president and as chair of the organization’s Campus Beautification Committee. Additionally, she is a member of HPU Moot Court and is involved in the Baptist Student Ministry. She plans to attend law school and eventually work as a litigator or in-house counsel for a faith-based organization or non-profit.

Princess nominees are Jaclyn Bonner of Lytle, junior public and media communication major; Carrie Leach of Hurst, junior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student and social science major; and Sydney Spencer of Georgetown, junior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student who majors in social work.

Jaclyn, the daughter of James and Rosemary Bonner, is the president of Gamma Beta Phi, a National Collegiate Honor Society. She also serves as the junior class senator for the SGA, as a Yellow Jacket newspaper columnist and is a member of the Model United Nations team and the Baptist Student Ministry. Following graduation, she would like to represent a missions or humanitarian, non-profit organization in the public relations department and eventually be involved in human-rights advocacy.

Carrie is the daughter of Jason and Cindy Leach. She is a member of the Baptist Student Ministry leadership team, is an SGA Senator and is a member of the Model United Nations team. Her career aspirations include becoming a human-rights advocate.

Sydney is the daughter of Eric and Tina Spencer. She is a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar, the SGA secretary, the vice president of Gamma Beta Phi and is involved in the Honors Code Council, the Social Work Club, Model United Nations and Pi Gamma Mu. She also serves as an office assistant in HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy. Her future plans are to pursue a career in international adoptions or in the United Nations.

The Homecoming Court will be featured during the halftime show of the football game as HPU takes on East Texas Baptist University this Saturday. The game begins at 2 p.m. at Gordon Wood Stadium.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s 2015 Homecoming Court includes (from left) Dillan Hanks, Caitlin Wood, Ashley Chapman, Jaclyn Bonner, Carrie Leach and Sydney Spencer.

Sims to be head coach at end of semester

By HPU Sports Information

BROWNWOOD, Texas – The Howard Payne University athletic department today announced that current assistant head coach Hunter Sims will take over as head football coach at the end of the semester.

Following the recent announcement that Howard Payne head football coach Roger Geise would be retiring at the end on the semester, the university made it clear today that it already had the new head coach in Hunter Sims.

“I am very excited for Hunter,” said Mike Jones, director of athletics. “I know he will do a great job and he is a perfect fit for Howard Payne and the football program.”

Sims spent three years as an assistant at Howard Payne before being promoted to offensive coordinator and assistant head coach in the spring of 2012. His first two years with HPU, he was the wide receivers coach and then worked as defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator in his third season.

“Hunter Sims is a man of great character, wisdom and energy,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president. “Since I came to Howard Payne, I have been impressed with his commitment to our football players and to the program, and I am confident that in his new role, Coach Sims will advance HPU football and bring honor to our university.”

Sims’ offenses have been some of the best in the American Southwest Conference, setting a new Howard Payne record for total offense in a game last season at East Texas Baptist with 720 yards in a 54-53 road victory. He has coached current HPU career record holder for field goals Joshua Martinez and wide receiver standout Colby Mica, who is on pace to break the HPU career receptions record.

Sims worked as a graduate assistant wide receivers coach with Angelo State University before coming to HPU. Also during that time, he helped coach defensive backs for the professional arena football team San Angelo Stampede of the IFL (Intense Football League).

As a player, Sims was a three-year letterman and two-time Academic All-Conference selection at quarterback at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. After his college playing career was over, he served as a student assistant at McMurry University working with wide receivers and quarterbacks.

He went on to play quarterback in the GFL (German Football League) for the Professional Schwabisch Hall Unicorns. He also played one season with the San Angelo Stampede and Frisco Thunder of the IFL.

While in Germany playing professional football, he was also the head baseball coach of the Schwabisch Renegades Baseball team (Men’s team 18 and up). Sims led them to the Landesliga Championship and was named Coach of the Year. Sims has worked football camps around the state and spent extensive time working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a camp counselor.

Sims is a 2007 graduate of McMurry University with a degree in Education and a minor in History and in 2010 he finished a master’s degree in Sports Management. He was married in the summer of 2011 to his wife, Shannon.

HPU to present “Godspell” musical during Homecoming 2015

By Christy Ash, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – October 13, 2015 – Howard Payne University will present the musical Godspell, by Stephen Schwartz, in conjunction with the university’s Homecoming 2015 festivities. The showings will be October 15, 16 and 17, beginning at 8:00 p.m. each evening. Tickets may be purchased at the door and are $8 for adults and $5 for HPU students and children under 13.

Godspell portrays Jesus’ followers as they experience His parables through a variety of games, storytelling and comedy. The show uses musical styles that range from pop to vaudeville.

Dr. Celeste Church, dean of institutional research and effectiveness and associate professor of music, serves as director of the musical.

“I’m sure the fun and games in this show are not exactly the dynamic between Jesus and His disciples, but there must have been more of that than we realize between these dear friends who traveled together during Jesus’ ministry on earth,” she said. “Jesus invested His life in teaching the disciples what it means to love and care for others. He did it in ways they could understand – parables.”

Cast members include Dr. Gregory Church, associate professor of music; Brett Ellis, senior from Brownwood; Timothy Emery, junior from Brownwood; Marissa Godbey, sophomore from Austin; Josiah Horton, senior from Lockhart; Isaac Howell, junior from Georgetown; Victoria Malone, junior from Fort Worth; Brittany Martin, senior from Goldthwaite; Danielle Strickland, sophomore from Boerne; and Elizabeth Wallace, senior from Snyder. Nick Ewen, assistant professor of theatre, serves as technical director and Bryce McWhirter, sophomore from Pflugerville, serves as stage manager.

Band members are Joseph Dunlap, adjunct instructor of music; Jonathan Grady, 2014 HPU graduate; Angel Hernandez, junior from Brownwood; Micah Huebner, senior from Brazoria; Drew Lambert, senior from Brownwood; Dillon Phillips, music consultant; and Garrett Ratliff, sophomore from Cherokee.

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Photo cutline: HPU will present the musical Godspell during Homecoming 2015. Dress rehearsal photo by Christy Ash, HPU junior.