News Archives

HPU New Braunfels Center to celebrate grand opening of new facility

HPU NB Center exteriorBROWNWOOD – September 2, 2016 – The grand opening of Howard Payne University’s new location in New Braunfels will be held on Thursday, September 8, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The event is sponsored by The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Numerous supporters including government officials and other dignitaries will be on hand for the festivities. The public is welcome to join in celebration of this new facility, located at 4102 Loop 337, Suite 100.

New Braunfels businessman Bob Knoll, HPU alumnus and CEO of Millennium Packaging/Supplize, recognized HPU’s need for an expanded space. He generously offered the university the use of a facility in New Braunfels as a home for the center to grow during the next several years. The university looks forward to eventually building a permanent campus in the community as part of the Veramendi development project.

Led by HPU’s Dr. Dale Meinecke, assistant vice president for external affairs and assistant professor of Christian studies, and Christy Meinecke, major gifts officer for the south-central region, the university raised funds to renovate the facility and prepare it for use by students.

“The opening of this beautiful, new facility furthers the mission of offering Christ-centered, quality higher education to the Austin/San Antonio corridor,” said Dr. Dale Meinecke. “It’s the next step in our vision to establish a full residential campus in New Braunfels on the Veramendi property. We praise God for his abundant blessing as the mission and vision take shape.”

HPU has maintained a presence in the community since March 2012 when the university’s Board of Trustees approved extending education to New Braunfels. Since that time, HPU’s New Braunfels Center has served more than 100 students in its graduate and undergraduate programs with classes located at New Braunfels High School and an office suite in the city.

The newly remodeled facility includes the McKenna Foundation Computer Center, administrative offices, classrooms, a conference room and study areas. Large wall designs featuring New Braunfels Center students and other HPU-related imagery complete the facility’s look.

For more information, contact HPU’s New Braunfels Center at 830-629-2366, visit, or e-mail


Photo cutline: HPU’s New Braunfels Center will celebrate the grand opening of its new facility on September 8 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Eleven join HPU faculty for the new academic year

New HPU Faculty Fall 2016BROWNWOOD – September 2, 2016 – Howard Payne University began the 2016-2017 academic year with 11 new faculty members. Joining HPU’s faculty were Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, dean of the School of Education and professor of education; Joseph Dunlap, instructor of music; Chuck Gartman, assistant professor of Christian studies and director of ministry guidance; Gina Gibbs, instructor of criminal justice; Dr. Gregory Hatlestad, associate professor of biology; Sidni Kirby, instructor of communication; Sarah Langford, instructor of mathematics; Dr. Christopher Rosborough, assistant professor of music; Laci Sutton, instructor of nursing; Dr. Hendra Tarigan, assistant professor of engineering and director of the engineering science program; and Jill Underwood, instructor of education.

“We’re pleased to welcome these eleven additions to the university’s extraordinary faculty,” said Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer.

Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff received a Bachelor of Science degree from Baylor University in 1995, a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2001 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Texas A&M University in 2008. Her experience includes serving as a teacher of English as a Second Language for the International Mission Board in Mocuba, Mozambique, from 2002 to 2004. She also served as a first-grade teacher at Washington Christian School in Rockville, Maryland in 2009-2010 and, most recently, as assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at Tarleton State University from 2011 to 2016.

Joseph Dunlap received a Bachelor of Arts degree from HPU in 2009 and a Master of Music degree from Hardin-Simmons University in 2012. His experience includes teaching in various music-related roles from 2007 to the present and serving as a fellowship grader for the Theory/Composition Department at Hardin-Simmons University from 2010 to 2012. Dunlap most recently served as an adjunct faculty member at HPU from 2015 to 2016.

Chuck Gartman received a Bachelor of Science degree from HPU in 1972 and a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1974. His experience includes various teaching roles at HPU and, most recently, serving as an instructor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary from 2001-2016. Gartman has been the owner and chief consultant of “Go To” Youth Ministry, Inc., since 2001 and has a combined total of 47 years in ministry at various churches in Texas and Tennessee.

Gina Gibbs received a Bachelor of Science degree from HPU in 2005, a Juris Doctor degree from The Catholic University of America in 2009 and a Master of Science degree from the University of North Texas in 2013. Her experience includes various positions in the judicial/legal field from 2007 to 2011 and criminal-justice teaching positions at the University of North Texas and the University of Cincinnati in 2013 and 2013-2014, respectively.

Dr. Gregory Hatlestad received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota in 2003 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 2010. His experience includes teaching and research roles at the University of Minnesota and The University of Texas. Most recently, he served as a post-doctoral fellow from 2010 to 2012 and clinical assistant professor from 2012 to 2016, both at The University of Texas.

Sidni Kirby received a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Texas at Tyler in 2011 and a Master of Arts degree from Texas State University in San Marcos in 2013. Her experience includes serving as marketing coordinator at CMMS Mobile Imaging Services in San Marcos from 2013 to 2014, academic advisor and public speaking instructor at Tyler Junior College from 2014 to 2015 and, most recently, admission counselor at HPU from 2015 to 2016.

Sarah Langford received her Bachelor of Science degree from HPU in 2012 and her Master of Science degree from The University of Texas at Arlington in 2015. Her experience includes serving as a graduate teaching assistant for The University of Texas at Arlington from 2013 to 2014 and serving twice as a Graduate Assistant in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellow in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Texas at Arlington, first from 2012 to 2013 and again from 2014 to 2016.

Dr. Christopher Rosborough received a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Bachelor of Music degree from HPU in 2008, a Master of Music degree from Mercer University in 2012 and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University in 2016. His experience includes music-related teaching positions at various levels from 2008 to 2013 and, most recently, serving as graduate assistant at Louisiana State University from 2013 to 2016 and contemporary music director at First United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from 2015 to 2016.

Laci Sutton received her Bachelor of Science degree from HPU in 2009 and a Master of Science in Nursing degree from Lubbock Christian University in 2014. Her experience includes clinical examiner and adjunct faculty positions from 2015 to 2016 and from 2016 to present, respectively, at Excelsior College in New York. She has also held positions at the Medical Intensive Care Unit of Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock, including unit nurse tech from 2010 to 2011, unit registered nurse from 2011 to 2016 and relief charge nurse from 2015 to 2016.

Dr. Hendra Tarigan received a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree from University of Nevada in 1988 and 1992 respectively; two Master of Science degrees from Texas Tech University, one in 2012 and another in 2013; and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Texas Tech University in 2016. His experience includes teaching and mentoring in various roles at the high school and collegiate levels, most recently serving as a physics teaching assistant at Texas Tech University from 2011 to 2016.

Jill Underwood received a Bachelor of Science in Education degree and a Master of Science in Education degree from Baylor University in 1988 and 1990 respectively. Her experience in education includes serving as elementary music teacher at Brownwood’s Coggin Elementary School from 1991 to 1993 and teaching fourth grade at East Elementary School, also in Brownwood, from 1993 to 1994. More recently, Underwood has served as an adjunct faculty member at HPU from 2002 to 2016. She has also been a private music instructor since 1991.


Photo cutline: Eleven joined the HPU faculty for the 2016-2017 academic year. From left to right are Dr. Hendra Tarigan, Joseph Dunlap, Laci Sutton, Jill Underwood, Gina Gibbs, Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, Sarah Langford, Chuck Gartman, Sidni Kirby, Dr. Christopher Rosborough and Dr. Gregory Hatlestad.

HPU holds Convocation ceremony

HPU Convocation 2016 photoBROWNWOOD – August 29, 2016 – Howard Payne University began its fall 2016 Chapel and Student Assembly season last week with its annual University Convocation ceremony. Dr. Dalton Bigbee ’69, professor of finance at Northeastern State University, addressed the audience.

Other program participants included Dr. Rick Beelby, associate professor of kinesiology; Dr. Gerry Clarkson, president of HPU’s Faculty Assembly and associate professor of physical science; Abraham Cooper, senior music performance major and biochemistry major; Dr. Bill Ellis, president; Dr. Melody Maxwell, assistant professor of Christian studies; Dr. Allen Reed, professor emeritus of music; Dr. Christopher Rosborough ’08, assistant professor of music; Sydney Spencer, president of HPU’s Student Government Association; Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer; and Dr. Elizabeth Wallace ’71, professor of music.


Photo cutline: Dr. Dalton Bigbee, professor of finance at Northeastern State University and 1969 graduate of Howard Payne University, delivered the address at HPU’s recent University Convocation ceremony. Pictured with Dr. Bigbee are Dr. Christopher Rosborough, assistant professor of music (left); Dr. Gerry Clarkson, chair of the department of physical sciences and associate professor of physical science (center); and Dr. Bill Ellis, president (right).

HPU student receives UPS Scholarship

Sarahi CastilloBROWNWOOD – August 29, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Sarahi Castillo, a senior kinesiology major from El Paso, has been selected to receive a UPS Scholarship in the amount of $2,600 provided by the ICUT Foundation and its national partner, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).

Castillo is the daughter of Maria C. Medina and Larry Medina of El Paso and a 2013 graduate of Montwood High School. She is also a member of the HPU women’s basketball team.

At the national level, CIC teams up with the UPS Foundation to distribute funding of the UPS Scholarship. Through this program this year, the ICUT Foundation awarded $101,400 in UPS Scholarships to 39 students at private institutions across Texas.

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of 765 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on providing services to leaders of independent colleges and universities as well as conferences, seminars, and other programs that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, and institutional visibility. CIC conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers. CIC also provides support to state associations that organize programs and generate contributions for their member colleges and universities, including the ICUT Foundation. The Council is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. For more information, visit

Photo cutline: HPU senior Sarahi Castillo is the recipient of this year’s UPS Scholarship.

HPU baseball team to hold donation drive for Louisiana flood victims

Baseball BuzzsawBROWNWOOD – August 26, 2016 – The Howard Payne University baseball team will be hosting a donation drive for the Louisiana flood victims on Saturday, August 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The team is partnering with charities in the Baton Rouge and southern Louisiana region.

Items in high demand are cleaning supplies such as mops, brooms, paper towels, gloves, trash bags, sanitizers and bleach; toiletries such as hand soap, shampoo, razors, bar soap, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste and toilet paper; baby items such as formula, wipes, diapers, sippy cups and bottles; pet items such as pet food, leashes, treats, bedding and food bowls; non-perishable food items such as canned goods, water, sports drinks, dry beans and rice; and other new items such as pillows, blankets, linens, batteries, toys, towels and school supplies.

The drop-off location for these items will be at 1800 Center Ave. (former Higginbotham’s Hardware Store) in Brownwood. Please bring items in either a box or plastic bag.

For more information, contact Robert Anders, assistant baseball coach, at 972-322-4116 or

Photo cutline: Buzzsaw, the mascot of the Howard Payne University Yellow Jackets

HPU hosts another successful Jacket Journey new-student orientation

Jacket Journey 2016 Group






BROWNWOOD – August 25, 2016 – Howard Payne University hosted another successful Jacket Journey new-student orientation last week for incoming HPU freshmen and transfer students. Approximately 320 incoming freshmen and 50 transfer students participated.

During Jacket Journey, new students spent their first week in residence halls, learned about HPU traditions and campus life and met faculty, staff and upperclassmen leaders.

Chime In 2016 lineHPU hosted Chime In on Friday, August 21, during which the new students were officially welcomed to the university. The participants ceremoniously walked through the university’s Wilson Gate before arriving at HPU’s Old Main Tower to sing the alma mater for the first time together as a class. As graduating seniors, the students will in turn participate in Chime Out, symbolically leaving HPU through the Wilson Gate.

A variety of games, workshops and team-building events were also held. A church social was hosted by the university’s Baptist Student Ministry and local churches. Students also participated in Serving With A Right Motive (S.W.A.R.M.), a community-service event.

S.W.A.R.M. 2016Now is the time to apply for HPU’s spring or fall 2017 semester. The Heart of Texas Scholarship, paid over four years, is automatically awarded to students from the Heart of Texas area who meet unconditional admission requirements and enroll full-time in the fall and spring semesters. Qualifying students will have graduated from high schools or homeschools in Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, McCulloch, Mills and San Saba counties. For more information about this scholarship and other opportunities awaiting students at HPU, contact the Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020 or More information may also be found online at


Approximately 320 freshmen and 50 transfer students participated in HPU’s Jacket Journey orientation this past week.

HPU freshmen and new transfer students walk through the Wilson Gate during Chime In, one of the many traditions for new students at the university.

HPU students participate in community-service events around Brownwood during S.W.A.R.M. this past weekend.

HPU’s University Singers choral group welcoming new members

BROWNWOOD – August 25, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s community and collegiate choral group, the University Singers, is welcoming new musical enthusiasts into its membership.
Membership is open to residents of Brownwood and the surrounding areas as well as HPU students.

The goal of this group is to cultivate an ensemble of singers within the community and the university who strive to offer a high level of artistry while advocating for great choral music in Brownwood and the surrounding communities. This unique choir at HPU presents two concerts per year, one at Christmastime and another in the spring.

The choir is under the direction of Dr. Christopher Rosborough, the newly appointed director of choral activities at the university.

“Through participation, choristers can expect to glean a balance of exposure to great choral literature, thorough vocal instruction and, ultimately, a knowledge and execution of musical excellence,” said Dr. Rosborough.

Rehearsals will be held each Monday night from 6:30 p.m. – 7:50 p.m., beginning on August 29, in Room 503 of the university’s Davidson Music Complex, located at 106 Whaley St.

If you are interested in joining, please contact Dr. Rosborough before the first rehearsal at or 325-649-8503.

For more information about HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts, please call 325-649-8500 or visit


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

BROWNWOOD – August 18, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program is now enrolling students for the 2016-2017 academic year. 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. Enrollment will continue through August 29.

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.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with you and hope your experience with our program will be a fulfilling and rewarding one,” said Diane Owens, director of the program. “We’re proud to make these opportunities available to the public.”

Enrollment forms are available in the music office of the Davidson Music Complex located at 106 Whaley on the HPU campus.

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


HPU alumni gather for Caribbean cruise

Cruise group photo 2016BROWNWOOD – August 12, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Alumni Association hosted a seven-night Caribbean cruise aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s “Liberty of the Seas” recently for alumni and friends of HPU. The cruise took guests from Galveston to Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico. Guests were offered a special rate to book with the HPU group.

Traveling with the group was Dr. Denny Megarity, assistant professor of chemistry, and his wife, Dianna.

“It was a great experience,” said Dianna Megarity. “Denny and I have been on several group cruises and this was one of the best.”

The cruise included a variety of entertainment such as comedy, magic shows, ice-skating performances and a Las-Vegas-style show.

“We enjoyed watching certain members of our group become a part of the evening’s entertainment,” said Randy Yeakley ’83, vice president for development at HPU. “We were blessed by the devotionals Dr. Dan Crawford ’64 brought on our days at sea and enjoyed coming together for dinner to catch up with each other on each day’s events and excursions. I would definitely do this again.”

Margaret Routt Howell ’76 and her husband, Tom, also joined the group.

“The cruise was so much better than I ever expected it to be,” said Margaret Howell. “It was fun getting to meet other alumni and share stories of HPU. It was a pleasure to meet the current HPU president, Dr. Bill Ellis, and I enjoyed getting updates on many of the professors I had while attending the university.”

The HPU Alumni Association is planning another group cruise for the summer of 2018.

“While the specific date has not yet been determined, the tentative plan is to offer HPU alumni and friends a trip to Alaska’s Inside Passage,” said Yeakley. “The size of the group that went to the Caribbean was perfect given it was our first cruise together. However, with the advanced notice and Alaskan destination, our hope is that even more in the HPU family will be able to go.”
For more information or to offer thoughts regarding the Alaskan Cruise, contact HPU’s Alumni Association at 325-649-8048 or visit

 Photo Cutline: A group from Howard Payne University recently enjoyed a group cruise to the Caribbean, hosted by the university’s Alumni Association.

More than 100 participate in HPU’s Summer and Young Scholars camps

Scholars climbing wall   BROWNWOOD – August 2, 2016 – Howard Payne University closed out a successful season of summer camps recently with 106 children on campus for the weeklong Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs. This year’s theme was “Brain Games” in honor of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The popular camps featured innovative instruction in robotics, 3D printing, music, science and physical education.

“It was a great week,” said Dr. Julie Welker, director of the programs, professor of communication and chair of HPU’s Department of Communication Studies. “Students participated in all kinds of hands-on learning activities, challenging their brains while having a fun time learning.”

Dr. Welker expressed her gratitude to education partner 3M of Brownwood.

“Six engineers from 3M gave of their time to come help teach the Summer Scholars students,” she said. “Their engineering science class was a hit with the kids.”

Scholars robotsAdditional personnel included Estevan Arbaiza, HPU head men’s soccer coach, who was in charge of recreation each day; Debby Dill, administrative assistant for HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics, who assisted in multiple areas; Deanna Erxleben, former instructor of music at HPU, who taught music; Tami Hull, head of robotics at Early Middle School, who taught robotics; Dr. Kristen Hutchins, associate professor of biology at HPU, who taught science; Keith Taylor, recently retired head of robotics at Early Elementary, who taught robotics; and Dr. Lester Towell, chair of HPU’s Department of Computer Information Systems and professor of CIS, who taught 3D printing.



Climbing wall – A student climbs HPU’s rock wall during the physical education component of HPU’s Summer Scholars and Young Scholars camps.

Robots – HPU Summer Scholars participants watch as robots they have programmed “dance.”