News Archives

Registration open for HPU’s Pre-College Music and Art Program

BROWNWOOD – August 12, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program is now enrolling students for the 2015-2016 academic year. The program, part of HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts, serves the community by offering music and art lessons to children and adults.

Music lessons, which begin the week of September 7, will include instruction in piano, voice, guitar and band instruments. The program also offers Kindermusik for pre-school children. Art lessons begin the week of September 14 and include beginning and intermediate drawing and painting.

“Fine art education is very important for both young students and adults,” said Diane Owens, director of the program. “We’re proud to make these opportunities available to the public.”

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

HPU mourns passing of alumnus Dr. Gary Price

Howard Payne University mourns the loss of Dr. Gary Price, 1960 HPU graduate, who passed away Monday, August 10, 2015. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

The following story was originally published in the summer 2011 issue of the Link, the magazine of Howard Payne University.

Price for Student Aid

Forty years ago, HPU alumnus Dr. Gary Price was the driving force behind the creation of the Tuition Equalization Grant. Today, he looks back on his long crusade for the passage of this landmark legislation.

By Kyle Mize

If you’ve attended Howard Payne University or any other Texas private college or university since the early 1970s, you may owe Dr. Gary Price a word of thanks.

Four decades ago, this 1960 HPU graduate was the architect of the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG), which helps offset the difference in tuition rates between private and state institutions in the state of Texas. Since its passage by the Texas Legislature in 1971, three quarters of a million grants have been issued to students in Texas, improving access to private higher education. In 2010 alone, more than $101 million was allocated for students in Texas’ participating institutions, with more than $1.5 million benefiting students at HPU.

“For many students, the TEG is the determining factor that makes attendance at a private university possible,” says Glenda Huff ’76, HPU’s director of student aid. “I was one of those students. Shortly after the TEG was legislated, I enrolled at HPU and was the recipient of one of the first TEG awards.

“Gary Price formulated the idea of the TEG, wrote the legislation, obtained support for the program and did not rest until it was signed into law,” Huff continues. “He volunteered his time and expertise to make the TEG happen. He opened the door for hundreds of thousands of needy Texas college students to attend private universities. The TEG’s impact on private higher education in Texas is immeasurable.”

Price, whose service to HPU also includes a 21-year tenure on the university’s Board of Trustees, now enjoys his retirement following a distinguished career in law. He recently reminisced about the creation of the TEG, from his initial concept to the bill’s ultimate passage by the Texas Legislature.

Early Days

Aside from four years in Beaumont as a child and stretches of time spent in Houston and Waco for college, Gary Price has lived in Brownwood his entire life – as did generations of Prices before him.

“My parents were born in Brownwood and my grandparents all lived here from the time they were young children,” he says in his relaxed Texas drawl. “I used to be related to about half the county.”

In 1955, this graduate of Brownwood High School began his freshman year at Howard Payne. Price still recalls the excitement and good feeling prevalent on the campus.

“Everybody was optimistic and the school was growing,” he recalls. “Guy Newman was president. He was a very dynamic personality and had a great relationship with students. Everybody admired him and looked up to him.”

Dr. Guy D. Newman, who served as president from 1955 to 1973, remains one of the towering figures in the university’s history. His years at HPU were highlighted by increased enrollment, numerous campus improvements and the creation of HPU’s nationally recognized Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom.

For Price, Dr. Newman’s winning personality and ease with people of all walks of life still vividly come to mind.

“He could mix with the wealthiest people and the most powerful, big-time politicians,” Price remembers. “When he drove down the street, he waved at everybody in every car just like he’d known them all his life.”

Though Price ultimately pursued a career in law, he didn’t have that goal in mind when he entered HPU as a freshman. Soon, however, he gained exposure to two fields that would figure prominently not only in his professional life but also in the creation of what would ultimately become the Tuition Equalization Grant: law and politics.

“We had some legal work done within the family, and I saw lawyers in action and always thought it was interesting,” he recalls. “I’d also watch some guys get into politics.”

Though Price later graduated from Howard Payne, during his sophomore year he transferred to the University of Houston to be near his future wife, Jarene Thomas, who lived there with her family. Though UH is now state-supported, at that time it was a private institution, with higher tuition as a result. When registering for classes, Price was presented with an intriguing financial aid opportunity by a UH staff member.

“She asked, ‘Do you want Junior College Aid?’” he remembers. “I asked, ‘What’s Junior College Aid?’ She said, ‘If you’re a Texas resident and you have fewer than 60 credit hours, the state of Texas will pay part of your tuition. All you have to do is sign this card saying that you’re a Texas resident.’

“I said, ‘Gimme the card, I’ll sign that!’”

Price later returned to HPU and after graduation went on to the Baylor University School of Law in Waco. However, the type of financial aid he was offered at UH remained on his mind. He also recalled an important aid program from even earlier.

“Back in elementary school, when World War II ended, I was eight years old,” he says. “I had at least one cousin and knew lots of other people who went to all kinds of trade schools and colleges on the GI Bill. It was a big deal. It’s what educated America after World War II.”

The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, which became popularly known as the GI Bill, was enacted during World War II to assist veterans as they returned to civilian life. Though a variety of provisions were included, including those for unemployment pay and loans for homes, farms and businesses, the GI Bill is famous for providing funds for education. In 1947, for instance, 49% of the nation’s college enrollment consisted of veterans, according to the GI Bill website.

“I went to Howard Payne as soon as I got out of high school in ’55, and there were still guys from World War II going to college,” Price recalls. “The Korean War ended when I was a sophomore in high school, and you had a whole generation of those guys going. So I knew a lot of people who were going to school on the GI Bill. It was not an aid to Howard Payne or Baylor – it was an aid to that GI.

“And I thought, ‘Well, my folks and I pay taxes, and we’re helping educate people going to state schools,” he says. “Wouldn’t it be a good idea if there was something to help students attend private schools?”

Getting Started

Throughout his experiences attending Baylor’s School of Law, Price continued to ponder the prospect of the state of Texas making funds available to help students attend private colleges and universities, helping reduce the tuition differences between those and state-supported institutions. He took the law training he was receiving and used it to develop his financial aid concept. For example, though many private colleges and universities are operated by or affiliated with religious denominations, the type of aid Price had in mind would avoid any potential controversies over the separation of church and state. With his plan, the public funding would support the individual student, not the institution – just as the GI Bill had done.

Gary Price 2 for webA friend from Price’s Brownwood days also attended law school at Baylor. The late Lynn Nabers, a 1962 HPU graduate, would figure prominently into Price’s plans for the new aid program.

After Price completed his work at Baylor’s School of Law, earning a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in 1965, he and his wife moved back home to Brownwood, where Price began his law career. Two years later, Nabers earned his J.D. degree and soon decided to run for a state representative position – the seat in the Texas House of Representatives recently vacated by Ben Barnes, who was to become Texas’ lieutenant governor.

Price recalls a chance meeting with Nabers in Austin.

“When he was running for office, I ran into him on the steps of the courthouse,” Price says. “I told him briefly about this idea I had. He said ‘I can’t see the legislature passing something that would help pay the cost of college for all those rich kids in private schools.’ I said, ‘Well, I’ve been to three of ’em, and I’ve never seen too many rich kids. And anyway, how about the GI Bill? That was for everybody.’

“And he said, ‘Well, that’s right.’”

After Nabers received his party’s nomination, Price sent a letter to Lieutenant Governor-Elect Ben Barnes with copies to Nabers, Dr. Newman at HPU, key personnel at Baylor and the publisher of the Brownwood Bulletin. The letter informed them of Price’s intentions to find someone in the state’s House of Representatives to sponsor a bill providing grants to students attending Texas’ private colleges and universities.

“Lynn called me and said, ‘I’ll sponsor it if you want me to,’” Price says.

By now, Price had thoroughly developed his proposal. Through his research, he documented how Texas would actually save money. The state would provide grants to Texas residents attending private colleges and universities in amounts of roughly half what it cost the state to educate students at public institutions. By increasing access to private higher education, the plan would save additional state funds through the reduction of costs for instruction and new facilities at state schools as population increased. Texas would also see long-term benefits as a larger number of college graduates would ultimately contribute more to the state’s economy.

After Nabers was elected, the two met to review Price’s draft of what he then called the Tuition Equalization Act. Price recalls the bill’s first steps in the legislative process and one particular first impression.

“I talked to Lynn about the bill and showed him all the reasons for it, arguments for it, and he took it down to the Legislative Budget Board,” Price recalls. “They redrafted the bill and when they were doing it the guy said, ‘You know, this reminds me of Junior College Aid at the University of Houston.’ Lynn told me that and I said, ‘Well, that’s partly where I got the idea for it.’”

Through the course of the next year, Price would periodically call Nabers to check on the bill’s progress – or, more accurately, lack of progress.

“I’d call Lynn and I’d say, ‘Well, what’s happening?’” Price remembers. “He’d say, ‘Well, it’s in the committee. I can’t really find any opposition to it but if you can’t get it out of the committee…’”

Then one day Nabers and Price received an invitation to attend a meeting of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT), to be held on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Incorporated in 1965, ICUT works to advance the cause of the state’s private institutions of higher education and represents this network to the state’s lawmakers. The upcoming meeting would be attended by presidents, trustees and other representatives from a variety of private colleges and universities across the state.

When Nabers called Price to ask if he was interested in attending, Price eagerly accepted the opportunity to present his proposal to such an influential audience. He had already compiled a set of packets containing his plan and financial estimates and sent them to each of the presidents of ICUT’s member institutions.

Price and Nabers set off for Dallas, eager to build support for the Tuition Equalization Act. However, they discovered that the long meeting and full agenda would give them little opportunity to make their case.

“We were at this meeting, and they were about to dismiss, and we hadn’t been able to say anything,” Price says. “A president of a Catholic school said, ‘I received this packet in the mail from Mr. Price. I’d like to hear from him about these grants.’ And then a bunch of others spoke up, ‘I got it too, and I’m interested in it. I’d like to hear about it.’”

Price seized the chance to share about his plan. His presentation was well-received, but the meeting’s presiding officer, a college president, offered a dissenting opinion.

“When I sat down,” Price recalls, “he said, ‘I know Mr. Price’s bill sounds good, but I used to work for the Legislative Budget Board of the Texas Legislature and I can assure you: Nothing like that will ever pass.’”

Undeterred, Price and Nabers took their case to Lt. Gov. Barnes. He listened to their proposal, responded favorably and made a couple of phone calls: one to ask a state senator to sponsor the bill in the Senate and another to ask Dr. Bevington Reed, chairman of the state’s College Coordinating Board, to independently verify the proposal’s figures. Barnes set up a meeting for Reed to hear what Price and Nabers had to say.

Price was confident in his research, but was nonetheless apprehensive about the prospect of the bill being sidetracked by another round of official inspection and evaluation. The fact that Dr. Reed presided in Austin, home not only to the state capitol but also to The University of Texas, only added to Price’s fears.

“I’d heard that there’d been a school paper at UT that had been opposed to the TEG,” Price remembers. “The paper said, ‘There shouldn’t be one dime for those students going to private colleges until our requests have been 100% funded. When everything we want has been taken care of, then okay.’

“So I thought, ‘He’s sitting down here in the middle of Austin. Of all the colleges in the state of Texas, he’s going to be a UT guy – he’s not going to care about private schools.’”

Price and Nabers were in for a surprise.

“When we walked in there,” Price recalls, “Dr. Reed stuck out his hand and said, ‘How’s my old friend Guy Newman? He’s always trying to get me to come to Brownwood. I’ve only been there one time since I graduated from Daniel Baker College.’

“And I thought, ‘THANK YOU, LORD!’”

Price was stunned. Not only was Dr. Reed not a UT graduate, but he was a graduate of Daniel Baker College, the Presbyterian institution in Brownwood that had merged with Howard Payne in 1953. And best of all, he was a friend of Dr. Guy D. Newman, HPU’s president.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Price says, laughing. “He was so nice and friendly. He said, ‘Tell me about it.’ At the end, he said, ‘I can tell you, I’ve heard every kind of proposal you can think of, and that’s the most practical, the best one I’ve ever heard of. We’ll go to work on it.’”

After the meeting with Dr. Reed, Price and Nabers went to see the state senator who had been contacted by Lt. Gov. Barnes.

“He said, ‘I’ll introduce it because Ben asked me to, but it ain’t gonna pass,’” Price remembers.

Time would tell.

Moment of Truth

The final report on the proposed Tuition Equalization Act was forwarded to Lynn Nabers in early 1969. The bill didn’t make it through the committee process in time for the legislature’s session that year. The next year also passed without a decision. Price still remembers how he felt when the bill was reintroduced in 1971.

“I was scared to death,” he says. “Lynn called me and said, ‘Come down to Austin. I think they’re going to vote on it in the House today.’ So I went down there and sat up in the gallery.”

As private universities had gotten more involved in supporting the bill, it had been revised so that grants would be awarded based on need.

“When I introduced it, it was for all students,” Price says. “Like the GI Bill was aid to GIs because they were GIs, this is aid to Texas residents because they’re Texas residents, and they’re taxpayers. But two years later when it got introduced, it was limited to people who had financial need. They said, ‘It can’t ever pass otherwise.’”

That day in Austin, Price watched one of the representatives propose another amendment, this time to prevent students who receive athletic scholarships from receiving TEG funding. This amendment also passed.

“Then there were other things going on down there,” Price recalls, “so Lynn went over and grabbed that microphone. He did a super job. An absolutely super job. That ended it, they voted, it passed by a landslide and then passed a week or two later in the Senate by a landslide. That was it.”

Even with the two changes, limiting funds to students with financial need and who receive no athletic scholarships, the Tuition Equalization Grant has gone on to make an incalculable impact by improving access to private higher education in Texas. In each year since the bill became law, the Texas Legislature has appropriated funds for the TEG program. This funding has then been distributed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, providing direct assistance to selected students who meet the TEG program’s criteria.

While other states now have similar programs, to the best of Price’s knowledge Texas was the first. Thinking back over the sequence of events that took the TEG from his earliest concept to its final passage, Price is grateful for the experiences that helped make it possible.

“I’m glad that all those events happened, because if those circumstances hadn’t existed, I would never have just dreamed it up out of the clear blue,” he says. “Somebody might have, but I wouldn’t have. If I hadn’t gone to Howard Payne, if I hadn’t lived in Brownwood, if I hadn’t been at the age to hear about people going on the GI Bill after World War II and Korea, if I hadn’t gone to the University of Houston, if I hadn’t gone to law school at Baylor, it would have never happened.”

In the decades since the TEG’s creation, Price maintained a private practice and served variously as county attorney and district attorney while participating in a wide range of civic organizations in Brownwood. On the 20th and 30th anniversaries of the TEG bill’s passage, he was presented proclamations by the Texas Legislature in continuing recognition of his landmark achievement. In December 2010, in appreciation of his work on the TEG and other accomplishments, HPU awarded him the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree, the highest honor the university can bestow.

Through the years, Price has been surprised by occasional expressions of appreciation for his role in the TEG’s creation so many years ago.

“We were taking depositions over at the office one day, and took a recess for a minute,” he recalls. “A young lawyer came back in and said, ‘I owe you a debt of gratitude.’ Well, I was thinking about depositions for the lawsuit, so I asked, ‘About what?’

“He said, ‘I see you were responsible for the TEG, and I went to college and law school both on that.’

“And the other guy sitting there looked up and said, ‘Me too.’”

Now enjoying an active retirement, he still considers the process of creating the TEG one of the most gratifying experiences of his life.

“It was fun, it was interesting to do it and I met a lot of interesting people,” he summarizes, pensively. “And obviously, just knowing that that many people have gotten grants … There had to be many thousands of them who would never have gone to college otherwise. And college changes anybody’s life.”


HPU’s Dr. Nancy Romig presents Fitzgerald paper at Boston conference

Nancy Romig for webBROWNWOOD – July 31, 2015 – Dr. Nancy Romig, assistant professor of English at Howard Payne University, recently presented a paper at the 26th annual American Literature Association conference in Boston.

The ALA is a national association that encourages scholars to come together and share their research on and strategies for teaching American authors and writings.

Dr. Romig’s paper, titled “Fitzgerald’s Crisis of Masculinity in The Great Gatsby,” was presented during a discussion hosted by the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society. Each presentation for the panel centered on Fitzgerald’s life and his works.

“My paper examined Fitzgerald’s personal life and how his anxieties about and desires to meet social expectations for masculine behavior caused him to construct the central male characters in The Great Gatsby, like Nick Carraway and Tom Buchanan, in definite and extreme ways,” Dr. Romig said.

Dr. Justin D. Murphy, HPU’s Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, said he is proud of Dr. Romig’s academic accomplishments.

“Dr. Romig has struck a great balance between professional development and the needs of her students,” he said. “I’m impressed with the level of scholarship she is achieving.”


Photo cutline: Dr. Nancy Romig, assistant professor of English at HPU, recently presented a paper on F. Scott Fitzgerald at the annual American Literature Association conference in Boston.

HPU’s Summer Scholars and Young Scholars program sets new attendance record

By Chandler Condra, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – July 23, 2015 – A record number of children from around Texas attended this year’s Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs at Howard Payne University. A total of 111 children attended the five-day program which included lessons in robotics, 3D printing, science, music and physical education.

energy wars for webDr. Julie Welker, director of the program, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication, believes the quality of the program and expertise of the instructors contributed greatly to the program’s success.

A wide variety of activities were offered throughout the week to expose students to different aspects of the arts and sciences.

“Students designed their own items and printed them on a 3D printer, designed and programmed their own wind-turbine robots, created stepping stones from recycled materials from Kohler and designed and built wind turbines and other self-propelled engines,” said Dr. Welker.

Dr. Welker was impressed by the initiative of the students during the week.

“This year’s student group was exceptional,” she said. “The students were hard-working and anxious to learn all about the different issues of energy conservation, sustainability practices and technology. Howard Payne is all about engaging our world with intellectual curiosity, and it was exciting to see so many local children join us this year.”

Instructors of the Young Scholars program, for children in first through third grades, included Deanna Erxleben, instructor of music at HPU; Keith Taylor, robotics coach at Early Elementary School; and Megan Wilson, ceramic project engineer at Kohler Company.

Instructors of the Summer Scholars program, for children in fourth through sixth grades, included Tami Hull, robotics coach at Early Middle School; Dr. Kristen Hutchins, associate professor of biology at HPU; and Dr. Lester Towell, professor of computer information systems and chair of the Department of Computer Information Systems at HPU.

Melinda Elkins, Early ISD middle school teacher and coach, led physical education for both groups.

“Our instructors each year are outstanding and this time was no different,” Dr. Welker said.


Photo cutline: Dr. Kristen Hutchins measures the temperature in a solar oven constructed by fifth graders Kylie Chesser (center) and Ava Choate. The students made s’mores in their ovens.

HPU students recognized for academic achievement during spring 2015 semester

BROWNWOOD – July 21, 2015 – Howard Payne University recently honored many students for academic success during the spring 2015 semester. Students must earn a 4.0 grade point average to be named to the President’s List, a 3.65-3.99 grade point average to be named to the Dean’s List and a 3.5-3.64 grade point average to be named to the Honor Roll.

Receiving honors were:

Taryn Tynille Massey, Dean’s List
Ryan Cade Smith, Dean’s List
Brittony Nicole Walker, Dean’s List

Skyler Savanna Schoolfield, Dean’s List

Ruby Patricia Johnson, Dean’s List

Apex, N.C.
Kristen Nicole Terway, Dean’s List

Arkadelphia, Ark.
Rachel L. White, Honor Roll

Samuel Storm Marich-Edwan, Dean’s List

Hannah Denise Gaskamp, President’s List
Rebekah Elizabeth Weaver, President’s List

Ely Chance Self, President’s List

Callie Ann Adams, President’s List
Victoria Lee Hardin, President’s List
Charles Anthony Long, Honor Roll
Courtney Caprice Seybert, Honor Roll

Bryan Austin Baker, President’s List

Conner Trent Fisher, President’s List

Patricia Ann Burleson, Honor Roll
Katrina Nicole Mann, Honor Roll
Jakob Stefan Morgan, Honor Roll
Trevor Christopher Ray, President’s List
Cullan Ross Tidwell, President’s List

Bloomfield, N.M.
Shaefer McIntyre Church, President’s List

Blooming Grove
Amy Danielle Baskin, President’s List

Daniel Edward Harris, Honor Roll

Janis Dianne Groves, President’s List

Allison Victoria Eaton, President’s List

Luis Arturo Rodriguez Ortiz, Dean’s List

Christy Renee Ash, Honor Roll
Nicholas Calvin Bennie, Dean’s List
Sharon Michelle Berger, Honor Roll
Melissa R. Bernal, Dean’s List
Blake Lawton Biessener, President’s List
Christina Calleros, Dean’s List
Presley Neshaydith Davila, President’s List
Raymundo Delgado, Dean’s List
Caleb Nathan Dillard, Dean’s List
Jesus Antonio Esparza, Dean’s List
Chelsea Nicole Garcia, Dean’s List
Brady Wayne Glover, Honor Roll
Amanda Carlie Gober, President’s List
Aaron Albert Gomez, Honor Roll
Meagan Elizabeth Hall, Dean’s List
Michael Jeffrey Harmon, President’s List
Christy Benae Hazelwood, President’s List
Matthew James Hazelwood, President’s List
Kimberlyn Elaine Ho, Dean’s List
Molly Jane Hull, President’s List
Kelcie Michelle Hunter, President’s List
Alsatia Reighn Jowers, Dean’s List
Summer Christine King, Dean’s List
Kindry Cruz Kirbo, Dean’s List
Lindsey Rachel McKinney, Dean’s List
Saulo Elias Mendoza, President’s List
Kristin Maike Musgrove, Honor Roll
Kali Rachel Parks, Honor Roll
Andrea Shannon Peaster, President’s List
Sydnee Paige Petty, Dean’s List
Sandy Rodriguez, Honor Roll
Stormy San Miguel, Honor Roll
Taylor McKay Snow, Dean’s List
Chelsea Louise Taylor, Dean’s List
Brogan Shea Turner, President’s List
Laura Caroll Whiteley, President’s List
Andres Jose Zambrano, Honor Roll

Caleb Michael McConnell, Dean’s List

TaShana Rae Hooker, Dean’s List
Courtney Alyse Officer, President’s List

Cedar Park
Emily Janice Peisker, President’s List
Ethan Zachary West, Honor Roll

Geoffrey Vaughn Rolando, President’s List

Taylor Renea Bicknell, Honor Roll

Neal Edward Kucinski, President’s List

Nathan Wayne Byrd, Dean’s List
Angela Rose Parker, Honor Roll
Jaze Mance Randolph, Dean’s List

Corpus Christi
Samuel Lang Hoffman, Honor Roll

Cross Plains
James Lowell Sullivan, President’s List

Kelsan Marie Wolverton, President’s List
Sharon Allen Wolverton, Dean’s List

Clarissa Leigh Toler, Honor Roll

Melanie Elaine Clark, President’s List
Ryan Mathew Contreras, Dean’s List
Thomas Harrison Givan, President’s List
Holly Denise Jessup, Honor Roll
Morgan Tyler Lacy, Dean’s List
Christine Nicole Salmon, Dean’s List
Sydni Brooke Thompson, President’s List

Tiffani Rose Peeples, President’s List
Cody Neal Perrin, Honor Roll

El Paso
Yessenia Angelica Cazares, Honor Roll
Mark Andrew Montes, Dean’s List
Christina Noriz, President’s List
Grace Christine Stout, President’s List

Ashley Briann Chapman, Honor Roll

Erie, Colo.
Hannah Elizabeth Jansen, President’s List

Eufaula, Okla.
Erin E. McLeod, Honor Roll

Olivia Ann Belsher, President’s List

Luis Anthony Robles, Dean’s List

Fort Worth
Hannah Joan Ball, Honor Roll
Vivian Thi Nguyen, Dean’s List

Chandler Jacob Condra, President’s List
Asiyel Smith, Dean’s List
Tate Sullivan, Honor Roll

Will Orion Roberts, Dean’s List

Amanda Ruth Driggers, President’s List

Gage Logan Smith, Honor Roll

Marlie Amanda Austin, Dean’s List

Murry Roy Clingerman, Dean’s List
Colton Jess McCabe, Dean’s List

Rachel Ann Mahagan, President’s List
Sydney Drew Spencer, Dean’s List
Scott Thomas Turner, Honor Roll
Aaron William Walling, Dean’s List

Tolli Bre Wylie, President’s List

Julie Marie Hart, Honor Roll
Jody Michael Loudamy, President’s List
Janakay Frances Oliver, Dean’s List
Jaime Leann Swanner, President’s List

Michelle Elaine Teague, President’s List

Sierra Maurette Damron, President’s List
Tyler Kirk Jones, President’s List
Katelyn Leigh O’Conner, Dean’s List

Anna Lauren Jeffers, President’s List

J Brian Bailey, Honor Roll
Richard Austin Young, President’s List

Taylor Kay Reid, Dean’s List

Alexandra Rhea Taliaferro, Honor Roll

Lydia Mae Heinrichs, President’s List

Carrie Deann Leach, President’s List

Kaleigh Jo Tankersley, Dean’s List

Abner Abdia Reyes, Honor Roll

Kindell Amon Hill, President’s List

James Vincent Abbatiello, Dean’s List

Keandra Chante Gray, President’s List

Alissa Caitlan Brooks, Dean’s List

Brett Ollen Quackenbush, Dean’s List

Brittany Morgan Cavness, President’s List

Liberty Hill
Mason Marie Samsel, President’s List

Rachel Elizabeth Hughes, Honor Roll

Benjamin Paul Fountain, Honor Roll

Jaclyn Rose Bonner, President’s List
Katie Rose Bonner, President’s List
Rebekah Joyce Lytle, President’s List

Rebecca Danielle McFarland, President’s List
Nicole Mariah Nehf, Dean’s List
Vanessa Monique Pate, Dean’s List
Amber Rose Shipman, Dean’s List

Fred Zavala, Dean’s List

Lazhay Tranisha Winn, President’s List

Jeffery Grant Franklin, President’s List

Emily Nicole Ball, Dean’s List
Rebecca May Blohm, President’s List
Gabriella Glenn Guest, President’s List

Caitlin Courtney Wood, Honor Roll

Candace Leeann Montgomery, Dean’s List

New Braunfels
Kylie E. Cloud, President’s List
Dallas Joe Freeman, President’s List
Adam Richard Lalanne, Dean’s List
Francene Elizabeth Larrabee, Honor Roll

New London, Mo.
Allison Ann Ninedorf, Dean’s List

Carissa Caley Cromer, Dean’s List

Rebecca Nicole Hamilton, President’s List

Kaitlyn Nicole Bowling, Honor Roll

Christopher Glen Mitchell, President’s List

Keaton James Fletcher, Honor Roll

Burke Clifton Edwards, Dean’s List
Dillon Schuster Hughes, Dean’s List

Red Oak
Tiffany Michelle Bullock, Dean’s List
Nathan Richard Weyrauch, Honor Roll

Ivyanne Alyssa Nichols, President’s List

Richland Hills
Christian Dawnleigh Havens, Honor Roll

Round Rock
Shawn Michel-Alexa Brody, Dean’s List

Adrianna Nicole Perez, Honor Roll

Royse City
Hannah Marie Strebeck, Dean’s List

Thomas Parker Kyle, President’s List
Ruben Daniel Lemus, Dean’s List
Michael Joe Sellers, President’s List

San Angelo
Kyndal Nicole Broome, Dean’s List
Cara Ann DeLoach, President’s List

San Antonio
Alexis Ashley Acuna, Honor Roll
Taylor Ann Gorman, Honor Roll
Angelica Maria Gray, Dean’s List
Victoria Rene Krawczynski, President’s List

San Juan
Lorien Elisse Rubio, Dean’s List

Santa Anna
Shelbie Paige Deleon, President’s List

Vanessa Mae Marquez, President’s List

Joel Torres Muzquiz, Dean’s List

William Cody Cain, Honor Roll
Courtney Jean Tatum, Dean’s List

Michael Ryan Hazard, President’s List

Zachary Paul Eller, President’s List

Taryn Cheney Cover, Dean’s List

Nicole Ann Bird, Honor Roll

Diana Rebeca Puente Chavar, President’s List

Michael Nathan Snow, Dean’s List

Morgan Paige Ashmore, Honor Roll

Andrew Kirk Stevenson, Honor Roll

Wichita Falls
Eduardo Nunez, Dean’s List

Lacy Harrison Culpepper, President’s List

HPU hosts BGCT’s Super Summer camp for Texas youth

super summer 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – July 21, 2015 – Howard Payne University recently hosted the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Super Summer camp, a weeklong event designed to foster leadership skills in young Christians. In addition to hundreds of Texas youth, approximately 65 HPU alumni, students, faculty and staff members participated in the camp.

Youth ministers from churches across the state – 18 of them HPU alumni or graduate students – brought students to the camp. Additional Super Summer camps are hosted by other Texas Baptist universities throughout the summer.

At least nine of the young people who attended HPU’s Super Summer will start classes at the university in the fall.

Camp youth are divided into schools, designated by colors, based on their ages. This year, HPU was one of only two universities to also include a Purple School, which provides preparation for students who feel called to vocational Christian ministry. Dr. Rusty Wheelington, associate professor of Christian studies at HPU, served as dean of the Purple School.

“Spending a week with some of the best youth ministers and students across the state is always encouraging and a blessing,” said Dr. Wheelington. “This year we even had one student from Haiti. Super Summer is a week of intense teaching and training to help students become more effective leaders, disciples and sharers of the Gospel in their schools, communities and homes.”

According to Dr. Gary Gramling ’81, professor of Christian studies and director of HPU’s Christian studies graduate programs, other students also recognized God calling them to ministry throughout the week.

“I met two students who were not a part of Purple School who sensed during the week that God is calling them to vocational Christian ministry,” he said. “What a privilege for HPU to host such a week where God is at work in the hearts of so many students. I can’t imagine anything that would bring greater joy to the hearts of those who founded our university than to know the campus is being used for such events.”

Chuck Gartman ’72, adjunct instructor in HPU’s School of Christian Studies and minister of education/leadership development at Field Street Baptist Church in Cleburne, served as dean of Super Summer’s Leadership Forum at HPU.

“Howard Payne’s Leadership Forum at Super Summer continues to be a breath of fresh air for me personally as I facilitate this process,” he said. “Leaders have the opportunity to hear from some of our state’s best youth leaders and are also able to express concerns or sources of praise in their own settings. I’m privileged to be a part of this great opportunity for youth leaders around our state.”

Natalie Stary ’03, HPU admission counselor, coordinated HPU’s camp this year.

“Super Summer has had a huge impact on Baptist students for more than 40 years,” she said. “Super Summer at HPU will always be special to me because I attended as a student 19 years ago.”

It was during that time, Stary said, she felt called to ministry and to become a student at HPU.

“I feel very honored to get to now serve in a leadership role with the planning and implementation of Super Summer at Howard Payne,” she said. “The Lord continues to use Super Summer and HPU to train up future generations of Texas Baptists for His service locally and around the world.”


Photo cutline: Super Summer campers gather near HPU’s Old Main Tower.

Apply now for fall 2015 semester at HPU

BROWNWOOD – July 16, 2015 – Summer is passing quickly, but there is still time to apply for the fall 2015 semester at Howard Payne University. Visit us online at to complete a free application or to learn more about our academic offerings and student life.

Those living in Brown County or surrounding counties may be eligible for HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship, which awards $56,000 over four years to eligible applicants. Numerous additional scholarships are also available. Contact HPU’s Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020 or for more information.

HPU student studying in Mabee Center for webHPU offers more than 100 majors, minors and pre-professional programs in six schools: business, Christian studies, education, humanities, music and fine arts, and science and mathematics. Additionally, the university offers five master’s degree programs: the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry, Master of Arts in Youth Ministry, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education in Instructional Leadership and Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership.

HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy challenges students with a multidisciplinary curriculum and exciting travel opportunities. Co-curricular organizations include the Model United Nations, Moot Court and Student Speaker Bureau, and 30 student organizations round out the school’s extracurricular options.

Student athletes at HPU compete in six men’s and six women’s sports through the American Southwest Conference and others who enjoy athletics take part in well-attended intramural sporting competitions.

“Campus visits are a great way to learn more about the university and see if HPU is the right fit for you,” said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management. “It’s a great time to be a Yellow Jacket and we’re always excited to add more to our swarm.”

For more information about HPU, visit or contact the Office of Admission via any of the methods listed above.


Photo cutline: HPU offers students a high-quality educational experience in a friendly campus environment.

HPU students serve God and experience Spanish culture on Costa Rica trip

By Chandler Condra, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – July 15, 2015 – Thirteen Howard Payne University students, faculty and staff members visited the country of Costa Rica following the end of the spring 2015 semester. The international experience was led by Carla Hawkins, then assistant professor of Spanish, and Keith Platte, director of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry.

hpu group at irazu volcano for webThe expedition was HPU’s first hybrid trip combining students from Spanish class with mission volunteers of the BSM. However, all students participated in each of the activities during the 11-day trip.

The students and supervisors made their first stop at Hogar De Vida, an orphanage, where they witnessed to others by serving and repainting parts of the facility.

“We spent the first three days serving at this orphanage in Atenas,” said Platte. “The workers there rely on volunteers like us to help maintain or repair the facility. We also helped lead devotionals.”

The group then spent three days in Cahuita along the eastern coast experiencing the Caribbean culture, three days in the central mountainous region of Costa Rica at Paraíso and three days in San Jose, Costa Rica’s largest city.

Activities included guided tours of the mountain ranges, coffee plantations, art and history museums, churches, marketplaces and more. The goal was to give students an immersive experience in the Spanish-American and Caribbean cultures in a range of locations.

“The country has so much culture and a rich history,” said Platte. “We visited their oldest still-attended church, which is even older than the United States.”

A common greeting in the country is “pura vida,” or “pure life.” It epitomizes the cultural experience of the HPU group, according to the students.

“I love that they all say ‘pura vida’ because it shows that they aren’t worried about other things and that they love the life they live,” said Adrienne Sanchez, junior Spanish major from Ozona.

The diversity of the culture, geography and opportunity for service made Costa Rica a prime choice for HPU’s first hybrid trip. The students studied the country before arriving to better appreciate the experience.

“From the relaxing lifestyle of the coast, to the beautiful views from the volcanoes, to the ever-busy life of the markets in the cities, Costa Rica has it all,” said Ashley Chapman, senior Spanish and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Ennis.

Additional students on the trip included Kyndal Broome, senior management major from San Angelo; Anthony Bryant, criminal justice major and May 2015 graduate from Copperas Cove; Tara Carroll, sophomore Spanish major from McKinney; Yessenia Cazares, senior psychology major from El Paso; Camryn Lopez, senior Spanish major from Wallis; Cody Perrin, junior history and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Eastland; Trystin Teale, freshman liberal arts major from Midland; Hannah Williamson, junior Spanish major from Fort Worth; and Mikayla Warren, senior cross-cultural studies major from Salado.


Photo cutline: A group from HPU is pictured at the top of the Irazú Volcano at a national park in Costa Rica. Back row, left to right: Keith Platte, Anthony Bryant, Cody Perrin and Trystin Teale. Middle row, left to right: Camryn Lopez, Mikayla Warren, Hannah Williamson, Adrienne Sanchez, Kyndal Broome, Yessenia Cazares and Tara Carroll. Front row, left to right: Ashley Chapman and Gustavo Abarca, the group’s tour guide. Not pictured is Carla Hawkins.

HPU’s Pre-College Music students earn state honors

BROWNWOOD – July 7, 2015 – Twenty-eight students from Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art program participated in the Texas Federation of Music Clubs (TFMC) State Competition recently, with many taking high honors. The program, part of HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts, serves the Brownwood community by offering music and art lessons to children and adults.

The competition was held at Texas State University in San Marcos. Listed are the participants in the state competition and their ratings:

Vocal Solo/Musical Theatre
All State: Alex Fowler
Outstanding: Hannah Bessent, Angie Calfa, Kirsten Fijer, Kamry Keese, Mary McIver, Addison Miller, Sydney Neel, Shayna Oliver, Sarah Reeves, Drew Reynolds, Jordan Roberts and Ava Sparks-Hansen

Vocal Solo/Art Song
Outstanding: Addison Miller

Piano Solo
Outstanding: James Bautista, Michelle Cabrera, Becca Church, Vic Cooper, Christian Fijer, Alex Fowler, Kyle Ivy, Addison Miller, Michael Morales, Hannah Parson, Sarah Reeves, Natalee Rose, Cate Smith, Carter Wheeless and Trina Wheeless
Superior: Andrew Boren, Raya Hakim, Kamry Keese and Jordan Roberts

Forty-five students from the Pre-College program participated in the District 4A Junior Festival, held on the HPU campus in March. Of those students, 40 earned a “Superior” rating, making them eligible to compete in the TFMC Competition.

HPU’s Pre-College Music and Art Program, directed by Diane Owens, offers Kindermusik classes to pre-school children and lessons in art, musical instruments and voice to school-aged students and adults.

Enrollment for the fall semester will begin in mid-August. Classes begin on Labor Day and continue through mid-December. For more information, contact Owens at (325) 649-8501 or or Jill Holamon at (325) 649-8500 or

The Texas Federation of Music Clubs operates in conjunction with the National Federation of Music Clubs. The NFMC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to music education and the promotion of creative and performing arts in America. Since its founding in 1898, the NFMC has grown into one of the world’s largest music organizations with club and individual members of all ages. The NFMC is charted by the Congress of the United States and is the only music organization member of the United Nations.

Dedicated to finding and fostering young musical talent, the NFMC conducts annual Junior Festivals with more than 120,000 participants. The NFMC offers more than three quarters of a million dollars in awards through state and national competitions. Federation members work to create a dynamic musical and cultural environment in their communities through education and sponsorship of musical events.