News Archives

HPU to present Spring Sing 2013

spring_sing_logo_2013BROWNWOOD – February 27, 2013 – Howard Payne University students will perform in the annual Spring Sing event on Friday and Saturday, March 1-2, at 7:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, in Mims Auditorium.

This year’s theme is “Once Upon a Time” and each participating group will perform a 12-minute original musical sketch incorporating pieces from fantastic stories and fairy tales. Student organizations participating in this year’s event include Chi Alpha Omega, Delta Chi Rho, Iota Chi Alpha and Sigma Theta Phi.

Spring Sing is a popular event on the HPU campus, drawing audiences of students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community. Tickets are $4 for HPU students, $6 for non-students and $8 for reserved seating, and can 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.

A Spring Sing student committee, chaired by Lara Hernandez, a junior from Brownwood, and Haley Jones, a junior from Terrell, is coordinating this year’s production. Staff advisers include Nancy Pryor, resident director; Jake Sneath, resident director; Tyler Sellers, associate dean of students and director of student activities; and Dr. Brent Marsh, vice president for student life and dean of students.

“The students have put a lot of hard work into their performances,” Sneath said. “We are excited to welcome the community to this event to get a glimpse of the fun student life at HPU.”


Photo cutline: HPU will present its annual Spring Sing event March 1-2 at the university’s Mims Auditorium.

New Braunfels community invited to learn more about Howard Payne University

BROWNWOOD – February 27, 2013 – Howard Payne University New Braunfels Center invites all who are planning to enroll in undergraduate classes at New Braunfels – or those who are just interested in learning more about the university – to attend an HPU Preview Night at New Braunfels High School. These Monday-evening sessions are scheduled for March 4, April 1 and May 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Check-in for the preview events will begin at 6 p.m.

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from HPU professors in the bachelor’s degree programs and learn about the future plans of the HPU New Braunfels Center. Each prospective student who registers for the event at will also receive a free HPU t-shirt. There is no cost to attend a preview night and participants are invited to bring their families.

“We are excited to welcome even more students from the New Braunfels area into the HPU family,” said Christy Meinecke, admission counselor for the New Braunfels Center.

Christy and her husband, Dale, who serves as assistant vice president for external programs and church relations at HPU, live and work full-time in New Braunfels.

“We’ve loved getting to know this area of Texas and have especially enjoyed meeting the people who make New Braunfels such a special community,” she said. “HPU is our passion and we find great joy in introducing more people to the university every day.”

New Braunfels High School is located at 2551 Loop 337, New Braunfels, TX, 78130.

To register for an HPU Preview Night or to learn more about the HPU New Braunfels Center, visit For more information, contact Christy Meinecke at (325) 649-8833 or via e-mail at

HPU faculty and staff members wear red for heart health awareness

heart_month_2013_for_webBROWNWOOD – February 22, 2013 – Several Howard Payne University faculty and staff members wore red on Friday in support of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign for heart health awareness.

Pictured are (back row) Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication; Susan Sharp, administrative assistant and certification officer for the School of Education; Mary Hill, administrative assistant for the School of Business; and Gretchen Campbell, student accounts coordinator. The front row, from left, includes Diane Hackney, administrative assistant for the School of Science and Mathematics; Tammy Dake, custodian; Kim Bryant, associate professor of communication; Nikki Donathan, cashier; and Kim Rosato, instructor of exercise and sport science.

Presidential biographer reflects on lives of Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan at HPU lecture

morris_lectures_for_webBROWNWOOD – February 14, 2013 – Edmund Morris, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and well-known presidential biographer, addressed area residents, students, faculty, staff and board members at a lecture held on Howard Payne University’s campus Monday.

Morris spent several years as President Ronald Reagan’s official biographer and is the author of The New York Times bestseller Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan.

Morris described Reagan as reserved in one-on-one situations and animated in front of a crowd. He went on to call Reagan a “consummate actor” with a strong moral code.

The speaker also noted the parallels between the presidencies of Reagan and Theodore Roosevelt, whom he also considered a great showman. Morris’ book The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, the first in a trilogy, won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.

“It was a great privilege to have a prominent historian of Mr. Morris’ stature address Howard Payne University students, faculty and staff, as well as area high school students,” said Dr. Justin D. Murphy, Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of HPU’s Academy of Freedom honors program. “This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime event that will be remembered by all.”

A frequent guest commentator on television and radio programs, Morris was born and educated in Kenya and immigrated to the United States in 1968. He has authored several books throughout his career and extensively written on the topics of literature and music for such publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times and Harper’s Magazine. His television appearances include a two-part profile segment on 60 Minutes. Among other elite venues, he has lectured at Harvard, Princeton and Brown universities.

In addition to HPU students, approximately 100 students and sponsors from local and area high schools were in attendance. Students represented Brownwood, Dublin Premier, Granbury, Lampasas, Panther Creek and Richland Spring high schools and Brownwood’s Victory Life Academy. Prospective Academy of Freedom students from around the state were also in attendance. These high school students and HPU’s Academy of Freedom students received complimentary, autographed copies of Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan and attended a luncheon before the lecture.

“Howard Payne was thrilled to give these students the opportunity to interact with Mr. Morris,” said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management. “This experience allowed the students to see the level of world-class educational opportunities that are available at HPU.”morris_signs_book_for_web


Photo cutlines: Edmund Morris discusses the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan at a lecture held on the HPU campus.

Edmund Morris signs a copy of his book Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan for HPU Academy of Freedom student Lauraleticia Alvarado of Early.

MBA program begins at New Braunfels Center

student_group_with_dr__pryor_croppedHoward Payne University’s New Braunfels Center Master of Business Administration program began January 14 with seven total students. Two more students are currently enrolled to begin during later terms.

Dr. Dan Pryor teaches a course on leadership, while Dr. Larry Meadows teaches about legal issues for managers.

“Momentum for the MBA in New Braunfels is picking up speed,” said Dale Meinecke, assistant vice president for external programs and church relations and director of the New Braunfels Center. “At nearly every event and meeting I attend in the community, someone tells me that they or someone they know is planning to begin the program.”

Pictured above is Dr. Pryor’s leadership class. From left are Linda Cox, Frank Wall, Brittney Overstreet, Stephen Ellery, Dr. Pryor, Matthew Morgan and Kimberly Stevens.

HPU to host sixth annual Currie-Strickland lectures

jeph_holloway_for_webBROWNWOOD – February 5, 2013 – Howard Payne University will host the sixth annual Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics on Thursday, February 28, and Friday, March 1. Anyone interested in theology and Christian issues is encouraged to attend this free lecture series. Reservations are requested.

Dr. Jeph Holloway, professor of theology and ethics at East Texas Baptist University, will present discussions on “The Practice of Christian Moral Discernment.”

“We are looking forward to Dr. Holloway’s lectures,” said Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, dean of HPU’s School of Christian Studies. “I believe that he will provoke us to think carefully about living out our commitment to Christ.”

Dr. Holloway holds Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, focusing in the field of Christian ethics. He has also done additional graduate study at Duke University and Columbia Theological Seminary. Since 1990, he has served Baptist institutions of higher learning at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Since 1978, his ministry experiences have included serving in the positions of youth minister, assistant pastor, interim pastor and pastor.

Dr. Holloway’s academic contributions include 17 publications and presentations. He has been featured in publications such as Christian Ethics Today, Southwestern Journal of Theology and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Thursday’s lecture, “Deciding Against Decisionism: There’s Just More to It than That” will begin at 7:30 p.m. The following day at 10 a.m., Dr. Holloway will present “The Juncture of Mind and Spirit: Moral Discernment in the Letters of Paul.” Each lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

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.

Both lectures will take place in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of the university’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center. To reserve a seat at the lectures, please contact HPU’s Office of University Marketing and Communications by e-mail at or by phone at 325-649-8009.


Photo cutline: Dr. Jeph Holloway, professor of theology and ethics at ETBU, will speak at Howard Payne University’s sixth annual Currie-Strickland lectures.

HPU adjunct addresses Houston attorneys

BROWNWOOD – February 5, 2013 – David Balkum, adjunct instructor in Howard Payne University’s criminal justice department, addressed the Houston Chapter of the Christian Legal Society on January 31.

Operating in the nation’s capital, the Christian Legal Society is, according to its website, “a growing nationwide fellowship of Christian lawyers and law students who act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God.”

Adopting Micah 6:8 as its corporate vision, it exists “to inspire, encourage, and equip Christian lawyers and law students both individually and in community to proclaim, love and serve Jesus Christ through the study and practice of law, the provision of legal assistance to the poor and needy, and the defense of the inalienable rights to life and religious freedom.”

The group supports chapters in major cities, in many law schools and on some undergraduate campuses for pre-law groups.

Balkum’s audience included attorneys in private practice, ministerial staff and appellate judges. His address focused on the ethical and spiritual dilemmas faced by attorneys called on to represent their own churches, creating a dynamic known as a “dual relationship.”

While Balkum, author of Sheep Among Wolves: Texas Churches and the Law, stressed that all believers have a duty to support their churches, there are times when an attorney’s ethical obligations may conflict with his or her spiritual obligations. This particularly can occur over issues of confidentiality and when the parties involved have different expectations of an attorney’s role.

“That conflict also can arise even over rather mundane matters in which church members harbor hard feelings for the manner in which the attorney’s legal opinion happens to fall,” he said.

Balkum recounted one instance in which he was serving on his church’s missions committee and a committee member loudly blamed the church’s lawyers for scrapping a mission project which she supported.

“These situations can create problems for the attorney’s family, as well,” he said. “A solution is for Christian attorneys to be more proactive in developing referral networks to assist each other and sister churches in those times when representation is necessary. Such networks can bring much needed independence, formality, clarity and objectivity, in the form of an outsider looking in, to sometimes emotionally charged situations.

“That simple referral can keep the member attorney from becoming a lightning rod and, in so doing, safeguard his and his family’s more important roles as members of that congregation.”

Lynn Humeniuk, director of HPU’s criminal justice program and associate professor of sociology, calls Balkum a “blessing to the university.”

“He lives out his faith in his professional law practice as well as in his interactions with our HPU students.”

HPU to present a “Night at the Movies” musical event

BROWNWOOD – January 31, 2013 – The community is invited to join the fun as faculty from Howard Payne University’s Department of Music present a “Night at the Movies” concert Friday, February 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium. There is no charge for admission, and a popcorn reception will immediately follow the event.

Members of HPU’s music faculty will perform selections from movies and Broadway musicals such as Les Miserables, Oklahoma!, Modern Times, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and more.

“We’re excited about our Night at the Movies concert because these songs are easily recognizable and really loved,” said Dr. Robert Tucker, dean of music, fine arts and extended education. “We think the audience is going to have a lot of fun as we perform these numbers.”

Performers will include Tucker; Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands; Dr. Celeste Church, associate professor of music; Dr. Gregory Church, associate professor of music; Dr. Monte Garrett, associate professor of music and director of choral activities; Danny Ingram, instructor of music and low brass; and Dr. Allen Reed, professor of music.

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500 or via e-mail at

HPU hosts 15th Annual CASL Conference

mike_jorgensen_at_hpu_for_webBROWNWOOD – January 31, 2013 – More than 250 Christian student leaders from nine Baptist universities participated in the 15th Annual Christian Association of Student Leaders (CASL) Conference hosted by Howard Payne University last weekend.

Mike Jorgensen, executive director of I am Second, a ministry of e3 Partners Ministry, spoke at the event. I am Second seeks to inspire a revolution of “second” by helping people learn how to put Jesus first in their lives. In addition to his role with the I am Second project, Jorgensen has served e3 Partners in a variety of capacities including director of operations, vice president of church planting, international vice president and executive vice president. He and his wife of 37 years, Woodlyn, have three children, two of whom graduated from HPU – Alycia (Jorgensen) Darilek ’03, Joanna (Jorgensen) Medlock and Philip Jorgensen ’12.

The theme for this year’s conference was “Do as I Have Done,” which references John 13:15 in which Jesus tells his disciples, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” During one of his lectures on HPU’s campus, Jorgensen took the opportunity to remind students why they were in attendance.

“This conference is not for you,” he said. “It’s for the benefit of the people who God wants to bless through you.”

After the lecture, Jorgensen shared his enthusiasm about the caliber of students with whom he was interacting.

“I’m excited about the potential all of these students have already shown,” he said. “They were chosen to attend this conference because of their leadership skills. As they reflect and interact with other leaders, their potential will flower.”

Social media played a large role in this year’s event. Attendees were encouraged to share photos and thoughts throughout the conference on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Prizes were awarded to the students who interacted the most.

“Looking forward to challenging student leaders @caslconference,” posted Jorgensen on Twitter.
An attendee followed up that he “Had an awesome time at #CASL2013 with some awesome people.”

CASL was chartered in 1998 by the eight Baptist universities in Texas (HPU, Baylor University, Dallas Baptist University, East Texas Baptist University, Hardin-Simmons University, Houston Baptist University, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Wayland Baptist University) and is under the sponsorship of the Congregational Leadership Team of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The conference provides students with the opportunity to network with fellow students from different universities through a variety of activities including seminars, workshops and roundtable discussions. Topics covered this year included “How to Develop New Leaders” and “How to Have the Prayer Life of a Leader.”

HPU students planned the conference under the direction of Dr. Brent Marsh, vice president for student life and dean of students, and Tyler Sellers, associate dean of students and director of student activities. The student planning committee included Kathryn Barrackman, a senior from Houston; Jeremy Bartley, a junior from Brownwood; Shannon Bundy, a junior from Port Aransas; Jacee Cunningham, a senior from Crane; Rick Henderson, a junior from Plainview; Lara Hernandez, a junior from Brownwood; Becky Lamar, a senior from Ovilla; Robin Scofield, a junior from Naples, Fla.; David Stippick, a junior from Brownwood; Ashley Wellborn, a senior from Paradise; and Brandi Wright, a senior from Farmington, N.M.

The worship band included HPU students Alex Caro, a senior from Howe; Dustin Campbell, a senior from Paradise; Taylor Castleberry, a senior from Paradise; and Zacchaeus Miguel Steidel-Santiago, a sophomore from San Antonio.

“We are thrilled to have hosted the 15th annual CASL conference at Howard Payne,” said Dr. Marsh. “The event was a huge success, and our student planning committee did a fantastic job pulling it all together. Conference attendees were challenged and encouraged along their journeys to be Christ-like servant leaders.”


Photo cutline: Mike Jorgensen, executive director of the I am Second ministry, spoke at the 15th Annual CASL Conference at HPU.

HPU Lady Jackets basketball featured on ESPN’s “SportsCenter”

tresta_donahooBROWNWOOD – January 25, 2013 – The exciting conclusion of Thursday’s Howard Payne University Lady Jackets basketball game against Concordia University Texas was featured on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” segment “Top Ten Plays” Thursday evening, coming in at number 10.

HPU’s Tresta Donahoo, a junior from Early, made the final shot as time expired in overtime to give the Lady Jackets a 79-77 victory over visiting Concordia.

HPU student Molly Marriott, a senior from Corpus Christi, captured video footage of the game-winning play. Eric Villy, a senior from Paradise, shared the video with ESPN via Twitter, resulting in its airing on the national sports program. In addition, a number of Yellow Jacket fans shared their excitement on Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks.

To view Marriott’s raw video footage, visit HPU’s Facebook page at For more coverage from the game and other HPU athletic news, visit


Photo cutline: HPU’s Tresta Donahoo’s game-winning play aired on ESPN “SportsCenter” Thursday night.