News Archives

HPU University Singers to begin rehearsals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


HPU to host Yellow Jacket Monday free preview event

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Eight graduate from HPU’s New Braunfels Center

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

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

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

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


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

Community Band to begin rehearsals at HPU

BROWNWOOD – December 13, 2016 –The Central Texas Community Band will begin rehearsals for the spring 2017 season on Monday, January 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the band hall of Howard Payne University’s Davidson Music Complex.

All musicians high school age and up are invited to bring their instruments and be a part of this community project. The band will rehearse varied literature to perform at its annual spring concert.

The band’s director is Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands at HPU, and several from the area will serve as guest conductors.

“It’s time to dust off that old clarinet or trombone and get back in the band,” said Ash.

For more information, contact Ash at 325-649-8502.


HPU announces holiday schedule

BROWNWOOD – December 12, 2016 – Howard Payne University will be closed Monday, Dec. 19, through Friday, Dec. 30, in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. Offices will reopen on Monday, Jan. 2.

HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement (The Harrison House), located at 803 Center Ave., will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 27, to process end-of-the-year gifts. Gifts can also be arranged to be made in person or over the phone by calling (325) 649-8804 or (325) 649-8069 anytime throughout the Christmas break.

HPU’s spring 2017 semester begins Monday, Jan. 9.

Ten HPU students recognized for achievement in Spanish for Law Enforcement

spanish-for-law-enforcement-for-webBROWNWOOD – December 9, 2016 – Ten Howard Payne University students were recently recognized for the successful completion of the university’s Spanish for Law Enforcement course. Each student received a certificate recognizing his or her accomplishment.

Dr. Danny Brunette-López, associate professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Modern Languages, explained the importance of the course.

“Spanish for Law Enforcement is so necessary in our society today,” he said. “I believe that by knowing a second language, in this case Spanish, many situations faced by law enforcement officers can more quickly come to a peaceful resolution.”

The students learned vocabulary and phrases in Spanish and were taught the importance of establishing trust between members of the community and law enforcement officers.

“The students completed assigned tasks professionally and have worked together as a tight-knit group for the common good,” said Dr. Brunette-López. “I am so proud of what they have accomplished.”

Lynn Humeniuk, director of HPU’s criminal justice program and associate professor of criminal justice and sociology, said a working knowledge of the Spanish language is an important skill that sets these candidates apart from many others entering the law enforcement profession.

“These students are well equipped to handle a wide variety of situations,” she said. “I look forward to seeing the great things they will accomplish in their law enforcement careers.”

The students who completed the course were Derick Boese, sophomore from Mercedes; Sebastian Contreras, senior from Brownwood; Jordan Easterling, junior from Junction; Lorenzo Flores, senior from Brownwood; Matthew Gomez, sophomore from Brownwood; Maria Mireles, junior from Brownwood; Krystal Moreno, junior from Marion; Kyle Ramon, senior from Floresville; Jacob Salazar, junior from Lockhart; and Serayah Smith, junior from Fredericksburg.


Cutline: Ten HPU students were recognized for the successful completion of the university’s Spanish for Law Enforcement course. Left to right: Kyle Ramon, Sebastian Contreras, Lorenzo Flores, Derick Boese, Matthew Gomez, Jordan Easterling, Jacob Salazar, Serayah Smith, Krystal Moreno and Dr. Danny Brunette-López, associate professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Modern Languages. Not pictured is Maria Mireles.

HPU Model United Nations wins Distinguished Delegation award at national conference

By Jimmy Abbatiello, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – December 7, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Model United Nations team recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent Spain at the National MUN conference, which involved more than 1,000 participants from universities around the world. The team was presented a Distinguished Delegation award, with its representation of Spain among the top 23 percent of the more than 125 countries represented.

HPU students majoring in political science, history, family studies and communication met with others interested in developing possible solutions to world crises through a detailed recreation of the different bodies of the United Nations. MUN conferences have been established around the world, allowing students to learn how the United Nations functions internally and immerse themselves by becoming representatives of countries with views possibly different than their own. Delegates are expected to research their respective countries’ positions on certain subjects and debate from that perspective during formal and informal sessions. The end results are resolutions outlining how to effectively solve current problems which are submitted, debated and voted upon with the same procedures the actual UN utilizes.

Topics discussed in the various councils included the implication of technology on global security, international counterterrorism measures, empowering youth through sustainable development and promoting nuclear safety and security.

“Model United Nations, as always, opens doors for deeper cross-cultural communication,” said Braxton Clark, senior social science major from Southlake. “Learning the viewpoints of foreign students and working with them toward common goals allows us to grow as academics and become more well-rounded global citizens.”

Due to the timing of the conference, the group visited the Capitol in the midst of the presidential election. Some members even witnessed the president-elect’s motorcade as he left his first audience with Senate leadership. The team also was able to tour the facilities of the United States Department of Agriculture, meet and network with legal and communication staff and learn more about the day-to-day work of the executive branch. The delegates explored the major historical and political sites of Washington, D.C., including the National Mall, Library of Congress, National Archives, Smithsonian Museums and Mt. Vernon.

In addition to Clark, team members included Jimmy Abbatiello, senior from Kerrville; Mike Hord, freshman from Montgomery; Augusta Johnson, junior from Gatesville; Joel Justice, junior from Brownwood; Cody Perrin, senior from Eastland; Emma Reed, sophomore from Arlington; Sydney Spencer, senior from Georgetown; Penny Stehlik, freshman from Round Rock; and Caitlin Wood, senior from Miles.


Cutline: HPU’s Model United Nations team recently received a Distinguished Delegation award at a Washington, D.C., conference. Team members, pictured at the Potomac River making the HPU “sting ’em” gesture, are Cody Perrin, Joel Justice, Mike Hord, Caitlin Wood, Sydney Spencer, Braxton Clark, Penny Stehlik, Jimmy Abbatiello, Emma Reed and Augusta Johnson.

HPU students raise funds for missions through Mustache Wheel of Doom

kelley-mustache-wheel-of-doom-for-webBROWNWOOD – December 7, 2016 – Several Howard Payne University men recently stepped up to the Baptist Student Ministry’s Mustache Wheel of Doom to learn the fate of their facial hair. The popular annual event raised more than $9,000 for the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Go Now Missions.

Teams of students, along with their faculty and staff sponsors, grew their beards throughout the month of November while raising money for the organization which sends students from universities across Texas, including HPU, to mission fields around the world.

The two teams that raised the least amount of money spun the Mustache Wheel of Doom and shaved in whichever style the wheel determined. The choices included stripes, half-beards, “No-Tee Goatees” and more.

“Mustache Wheel of Doom is a fun event with a big impact on missions,” said Keith Platte, director of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry. “HPU students serve through Go Now Missions each year so we are excited to help support the organization.”

student-half-beard-for-webCutlines: Dr. Kevin Kelley, assistant professor of organizational psychology, reacts after spinning the Mustache Wheel of Doom.

Paden Seidel, freshman from Proctor, shows off his half-beard following the Mustache Wheel of Doom fundraiser.