BROWNWOOD – March 5, 2014 – Howard Payne University will be closed for Spring Break next week, March 10-14. No classes will be held and administrative offices will be closed. The university will reopen at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 17.
BROWNWOOD – March 4, 2014 – Just in time for spring training, a Howard Payne University faculty member has published “The Last Three Outs,” a baseball novel with Christian themes. The author is John Nickols, assistant professor of history and political science at HPU.
Nickols serves as special assistant to the athletic director at HPU and spent many years as a high school and college basketball coach. His sports background and former career as an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation heavily influenced his writing.
“The Last Three Outs” tells the story of Danny Hill, a bright pitching prospect whose baseball career is suddenly threatened by a shoulder injury. According to Nickols, the book loosely parallels the life of Joseph in the Old Testament.
“Joseph’s story has always intrigued me,” Nickols said. “There were many injustices in his life, but God redeemed him in a much greater way. In a very trivial way, the same thing happens to Danny in my story.”
The best part about writing a book, according to Nickols, is the use of imagination.
“It is fun to create something where there was nothing before,” he said.
The book, the entirety of which was handwritten by Nickols on a legal pad before being transcribed to the computer, also features a mafia story and a love connection. The author stated, however, that it was written to be encouraging.
“The book is intentionally Christian,” he said. “There is no profanity. It is a clean and moral story.”
“The Last Three Outs” (Tate Publishing) is available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. There will be a book signing at Hastings in Brownwood on Saturday, April 12, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Photo cutline: John Nickols, assistant professor of history and political science at HPU, recently published a Christian baseball novel, “The Last Three Outs.”
BROWNWOOD – March 3, 2014 – Large groups of Howard Payne University students, personnel and area residents attended the university’s seventh annual Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics recently, as Dr. Beth Newman of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond addressed the issue of “Work and Rest: Vice, Virtues and Christian Practices.”
“Dr. Newman’s lectures were insightful and thought-provoking,” said Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of the School of Christian Studies. “Some of us are still talking and thinking about significant issues of resting in God’s gift of rest. As Dr. Newman says, ‘God’s gift of true rest heals our restless (slothful) selves.’ In addition to bringing significant content, Dr. Newman connected with her audience very well. As a result, these lectures were a great experience for us here at HPU.”
Dr. Newman is the Eula Mae and John Baugh Professor of Theology and Ethics at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University, a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Duke University.
Dr. Newman joined the faculty of BTSR in 2002 after serving on the faculty at Saint Mary’s College, in Notre Dame, Ind., for 12 years. She is the author of Untamed Hospitality: Welcoming God and Other Strangers (Brazos Press, 2007) and Attending the Wounds on Christ’s Body: Teresa’s Scriptural Vision (Cascade Books, 2012). She currently serves on the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Doctrine and Christian Unity and has participated in Baptist World Alliance Conversations with the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. She is on the editorial board of Studies in Baptist History and Thought and has helped plan and lead the Young Scholars in the Baptist Academy. She was named a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology for 2009. Her husband, Jon Baker, is a United Methodist pastor and they have a daughter, Jessica (16), and a son, Jacob (13).
During the event, four students were honored by HPU faculty as Currie-Strickland Scholars in Christian Ethics and Theology. Recognized for their achievements were Lillie Davis, senior cross-cultural studies major from Lampasas; Rick Henderson, senior Christian education major from Plainview; Jared Huntley, senior Bible major from Brownwood; and Zach Tharp, senior youth ministry major from Brownwood.
“These outstanding students have excelled in the areas of Christian ethics and theology,” said Dr. Derek Hatch, assistant professor of Christian studies. “We are immensely proud of all of their hard work here at Howard Payne, and we look forward to the great things they will accomplish in the future.”
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.
Currie-Strickland group photo: The Currie-Strickland lecture series is made possible through the generosity of Dr. Gary and Mrs. Molli Elliston and was established to honor the life of Dr. David R. Currie, retired executive director of Texas Baptists Committed, and the memory of Mr. Phil Strickland, who dedicated nearly 40 years of ministry to the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Christian Life Commission. From left: Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president; Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady; Dr. Clark Elliston, son of Dr. and Mrs. Gary Elliston; Mrs. Molli Elliston; Dr. Beth Newman, guest speaker; Mrs. Carolyn Strickland, wife of the late Mr. Phil Strickland; Mrs. Loretta Currie, wife of Dr. David Currie; and Dr. David Currie.
Dr. Beth Newman: Dr. Beth Newman of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond addressed the issue of “Work and Rest: Vice, Virtues and Christian Practices.”
Students recognized during Currie-Strickland: Four students were named Currie-Strickland Scholars in Christian Ethics and Theology during the event. From left: Dr. Derek Hatch, assistant professor of Christian studies; Zach Tharp, senior youth ministry major from Brownwood; Jared Huntley, senior Bible major from Brownwood; Rick Henderson, senior Christian education major from Plainview; Lillie Davis, senior cross-cultural studies major from Lampasas; and Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of the School of Christian Studies.
BROWNWOOD – February 28, 2014 – The Howard Payne University Symphonic Band will present its first concert of the spring semester on Thursday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium. There is no admission charge for the concert, and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend.
The band will perform a varied and exciting program, including the Sinfonians, a symphonic concert march; October by Eric Whitacre; Abram’s Pursuit by David Holsinger; Pastime by Jack Stamp; Second Suite in F by Gustav Holst; and much more.
“There is sure to be something to delight the musical tastes of everyone in attendance,” said Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands. “Come enjoy an evening of exciting music, compliments of Howard Payne University’s School of Music and Fine Arts and the HPU Symphonic Band.”
BROWNWOOD – February 28, 2014 – Juan Hernandez, a Howard Payne University music education major and saxophonist from Brownwood, will present his senior recital on Tuesday, March 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Grace Chapel. The recital is titled “Latin American Music for the Classical Saxophone.”
“Music is the universal language and the language that goes beyond words,” said Stephen Goacher, professor of music and director of the jazz orchestra. “I am pleased that Juan has chosen a recital program highlighting his interest in cultural diversity through the arts. The artistic thoughts of the Latin American music will have universal appeal.”
Assisting Juan will be his brother Angel Hernandez, a freshman music education major, on marimba. Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of piano at HPU, will also accompany Juan.
The public is welcome to attend the recital and there is no charge for admission. For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.
Photo cutline: Juan Hernandez, right, will present his senior recital at Howard Payne University on March 4 at 7:30 p.m. He will be accompanied by his brother, Angel Hernandez, left.
BROWNWOOD – February 28, 2014 – In honor of American Heart Month in February, several Howard Payne University faculty and staff members wore special t-shirts for a day as part of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign for heart health awareness.
Pictured (back row, left to right) are Ferrisa Childs, assistant director of student aid; Kim Rosato, instructor of exercise and sport science; Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication; Tammy Dake, custodian; Diane Hackney, facilities department coordinator; Dr. Julie Welker, chair of the Department of Communication and professor of communication; and Martha Fothergill, coordinator of records and reports. In the front row (left to right) are Susan Sharp, administrative assistant for the School of Education and certification officer; Gretchen Campbell, executive administrative assistant to the vice president for student life and dean of students; Dr. Mitzi Lehrer, associate professor of education; Ann Johnson, custodial services supervisor; and Cheryl Mangrum, associate director of admission.
BROWNWOOD – February 26, 2014 – The artwork of David Harmon, professor of art and chair of the Department of Art at Howard Payne University, was selected for inclusion in a national exhibition. Two of Harmon’s pastel pieces will be featured in The Pastel National 2014 Exhibition at the Wichita Center for the Arts in Wichita, Kan.
The exhibit will be showcased at the Wichita Center March 28 through May 11, with an opening reception to be held on Friday, March 28, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“Professor Harmon is very talented, both as an artist and as a teacher,” said Lawson Hager, interim dean of HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts. “We’re very pleased that his work is being recognized at the national level.”
Photo cutline: Artwork by David Harmon, professor of art and chair of the art department at HPU, will be showcased in a national exhibition.
BROWNWOOD – February 21, 2014 – Howard Payne University students will perform in the annual Spring Sing event on Friday and Saturday, February 28 and March 1, at 7:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, in Mims Auditorium.
This year’s theme is “Remember When” and each participating group will perform a 12-minute original musical/theatrical sketch that will be filled with action, hilarity and inspiration. Student organizations participating in this year’s event include the Archery Club, Chi Alpha Omega, Delta Chi Rho, Iota Chi Alpha, Kappa Kappa Psi, Sigma Theta Phi and Tau Beta Sigma.
Spring Sing is a popular event on the HPU campus, drawing audiences of students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community. General admission tickets are $5 for all audiences and are available for purchase beginning Monday, February 24. Tickets may be purchased at the Cashier’s Office (room 203 of HPU’s Packer Administration Building) or during lunch in the Mabee University Center. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door on the evenings of the event. Reserved seating tickets are available for $10 at the HPU Cashier’s Office but must be purchased by Thursday, February 27.
A Spring Sing student committee, co-chaired by Kaitlin Vernon, a junior from Bangs, and Brandon Yost, a senior from Fresno, Calif., is coordinating this year’s production. Staff advisers include Francie Harvey, director of student activities; Nancy Pryor, resident director; Jake Sneath, resident director; and Dr. Brent Marsh, vice president for student life and dean of students.
“As a treasured tradition on campus, Spring Sing is the perfect opportunity for alumni and community members to visit campus,” Harvey explains. “We have more groups than ever, and audiences are going to experience each organization’s qualities and humor.”
Photo cutline: HPU will present its annual Spring Sing event February 28 and March 1 at the university’s Mims Auditorium.
HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau competes at Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association championship tournament
BROWNWOOD – February 19, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s competitive speech and debate team, Student Speaker Bureau, recently competed at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association spring championship tournament at Rice University. The team won 5th place overall sweepstakes, losing only to Division I universities.
“This is a great accomplishment,” said Dr. Julie Welker, head of the communication department and SSB coach. “It is outstanding when a university the size of HPU comes in right behind larger universities. Most of those schools have upwards of 20 students on their team and enter twice as many events. We are competing with eight students. Our students pack a lot of bang for their buck!”
The team had a strong showing in debate, as the open division team of Katie Mullaney, senior English and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Boylston, Mass., and Ben Palmer, senior youth ministry major from Brownwood, advanced to quarterfinals.
HPU had four speakers in the top 20 for parliamentary debate speaker awards. Winning top speaker awards were Mullaney and Adam Jones, freshman communication, youth ministry and Academy major from Irving, both of whom ranked in the top 10. Palmer and Andres Zambrano, freshman Academy and political science major from Brownwood, ranked in the top 20.
Palmer also advanced to semifinals in extemporaneous speaking, and Jones advanced to semifinals in impromptu speaking.
“I am extremely proud of all of these students,” said Welker. “This was our first parliamentary debate tournament since last September, so we were a little rusty. It’s impressive that we had a team break to quarters and receive such great speaking awards.”
Welker added that the HPU students have been able to step in and succeed, even with such a young team.
“We only have two graduating seniors on our team, Katie and Ben, and they are great leaders,” she said. “Their debating experience really shines through at these tough tournaments.”
Other students who competed at the tournament were Marcos Corley, junior criminal justice major from Corpus Christi; Meg Eakin, freshman political science major from Plano; Jaclyn Bonner, freshman communication major from Lytle; and Adrianna Perez, junior political science major from Rowlett. Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication, also helps coach the team.
BROWNWOOD – Feb. 10, 2014 – For Howard Payne University alumni Ben and Angela (Haney) Butler, the university will forever represent more than just an education – it’s also where they met and fell in love. The couple was married on November 2, 2013, just one month before they crossed the stage to receive their Master of Business Administration degrees.
Ben, a Graham native, and Angela, from Denison, both started at HPU in the fall of 2008. After seeing each other around campus for a year, they became friends in the fall of 2009.
“I could always tell that there was something special about Ben,” said Angela. “He was always the guy who would do anything to help out a friend. If you ask any of his friends from HPU, they’ll tell you that he goes above and beyond to take care of other people.”
It wasn’t until the next year, however, that Angela noticed her feelings for Ben were evolving into something deeper.
“I finally told a mutual friend of ours, and he got so excited that he immediately went and told Ben,” she said.
According to Ben, he didn’t quite believe the news for the first few weeks.
“I wasn’t sure if it was true or if my buddies were just playing a joke on me,” he said. “Angela was the type of girl that I always felt was out of my league, and I still do. But on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving that year, as I was getting ready to head home for break, I decided to text her.”
A month later, the couple was “officially” dating and they continued to do so throughout the rest of their undergraduate careers.
“Ben actually chose to get his Master of Business Administration degree through HPU before I did,” said Angela. “He had an extra year of eligibility left in baseball and thought the MBA program sounded perfect.”
Angela, who had taken an internship in her hometown after graduating with a bachelor’s degree, discovered that a long-distance relationship was not what she wanted. Fortunately, she applied for an admission counselor position with HPU’s Office of Admission and was hired soon after.
“I didn’t really think anything about getting an MBA until after I came back to work at HPU and more people began to tell me about their great experiences with the program,” she said. “It was enticing to me because an MBA can help you in so many different fields, and it can be completed in only one year. I decided to follow in Ben’s footsteps and get mine too.”
In between busy work schedules, baseball and other events, Ben and Angela attended graduate classes together at nights and on weekends. Their relationship continued to blossom, and they became engaged on March 16, 2013, at a family friend’s house after a home baseball game.
“I turned a corner and saw Ben standing there with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, his Bible and a little blue box wrapped in white ribbon,” Angela said. “He proposed and I said yes in front of our friends and family. We celebrated the night away.”
Due to the fact that Ben finished his MBA in August and Angela finished hers in December, they had the rare opportunity to graduate together a month after their wedding.
“It was a really cool thing to do,” Angela said. “I even had the registrar’s office make sure that my name said ‘Angela Nicole Butler’ on my diploma instead of ‘Haney.’ When I walked the stage they had me wait for Ben’s name to be called too. We were able to get our picture taken together on the platform, as husband and wife, both graduating with our Master of Business Administration degrees. It was a really great experience to get to share with him.”
The couple now lives in The Colony, with Ben working for Evantage, Inc., and Angela for Lewisville ISD. They’ve joined Prestonwood Baptist Church and say they have been blessed by God’s continual provision.
“As far as the future goes, sometimes it seems like we have a ton of plans and sometimes it seems like we’re just playing it fast and loose,” Angela said. “We would both eventually like to pursue entrepreneurship. We want to travel. We want to raise a family. But right now, we’re just taking it one step at a time and loving each other with everything we have.”
Photo cutline: Ben and Angela (Haney) Butler graduated from HPU with Master of Business Administration degrees just one month after their wedding. They are pictured with Dr. Les Plagens, left, dean of the School of Business, and Dr. Lois Patton, right, professor of business administration and director of the MBA program.