News Archives

HPU freshman looks forward to another Homecoming

BROWNWOOD – October 11, 2012 – With Homecoming festivities coming up at the end of this week, Howard Payne University freshman Ashley Miller recalls her past memories of Homecoming weekends spent at HPU. For the 2012 graduate of Austin’s James Bowie High School, college has always been a part of life. For as long as she can remember, Miller has been attending HPU events with her grandparents, Dr. Damon ’54 and Betty ’58 Miller.

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When her grandfather was inducted into the HPU Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, the student rode in the Homecoming Parade with her cousins. She also remembers getting to wear an HPU mum for the annual Homecoming celebrations.

Miller says that her grandparents have many other stories about their years at HPU. One of her favorites is when her grandfather and some of his friends put a Volkswagen Beetle into the boys’ dorm lobby and then hid the keys.

Miller also says that back when HPU was still called Howard Payne College, “the freshmen were required to wear green and gold beanies at all times. Upperclassman could tell any freshman to ‘button up’ at any time or any place, both downtown or on campus. To ‘button up,’ the freshman had to stand up with his or her thumb on the button of the beanie and do some sort of HPC yell.”

A liberal arts and biology major, Miller plans to go into pediatric nursing.

“I chose this field because I knew I wanted to work with kids and I have an appreciation for those in the medical field and the kind of work they do,” she says.

Miller says that she loves HPU because, “everyone is so close and friendly. It’s really like a big family!”SONY DSC

Dr. Damon Miller of Austin received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1954 and his master’s degree in 1958. His wife, Betty, graduated in 1958. They are delighted that their granddaughter is attending their alma mater. She also has many other relatives, including two aunts, who graduated from HPU.

“I am looking forward to meeting new friends, getting my degree and making my grandparents and aunts proud,” Miller says as she discusses her excitement about embarking on her new life at HPU.

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Photo cutlines: As a child, Ashley Miller often came to HPU events with her grandparents. She is shown wearing a mum at Homecoming 2001.

Ashley Miller poses with Buzzsaw, HPU’s mascot, while attending a preview event on the HPU campus in 2012.

HPU to present Homecoming theatre performances

homecoming_performance_for_webBROWNWOOD – October 10, 2012 – Howard Payne University will begin its theatrical season with the comedic musical, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” Performances correspond with HPU’s Homecoming 2012 celebration, Thursday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Oct. 14.

Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, chair of HPU’s theatre department and director/choreographer of the play, stated that “Forum” is one of her all-time favorite musicals.

“The songs are delightful and the story keeps you laughing all the way to the end,” she said.

“Forum” opened on Broadway in May of 1962. Humfeld says the musical is inspired by plays of the second century B.C. Roman playwright Plautus and is “gloriously free of serious moments.”

“The show’s action, dialogue, songs and dances are the essence of farce,” she said. “The single goal is to keep the audience laughing deliriously from the first note of the opening number, ‘Comedy Tonight,’ until the final curtain comes down.”

The original production was directed by George Abbott with choreography and musical staging by Jack Cole. Produced by Harold Prince, it ran for 964 performances and won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1963.

HPU cast members include Taylor Crow of Brownwood; Katie Dobson, a junior from Garland; Timmy Emery, a freshman from Brady; Timothy Hardy, a junior from Corpus Christi; Tucker Hull, a junior from Brownwood; Hannah Jansen, a sophomore from Erie, Colo.; Lindsey Jones, a junior from Georgetown; Lawrence Martinez, a freshman from Austin; Ben Mohundro, a freshman from Frisco; Elizabeth Oliver, a freshman from Snyder; Ben Palmer, a junior from Van; Judi Parten, a junior from Goldthwaite; Chris Phelps, a senior from Brownwood; Tiffani Peeples, a freshman from Eastland; Jared Russell, a sophomore from Hillsboro; Alexandra Taliaferro, a sophomore from Haslet; Dorie Walton, a freshman from Lolita; and Jarrod White, a junior from Ben Wheeler.

Performances will be Thursday through Saturday, October 11-13, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, October 14, at 2:30 p.m. in HPU’s Mims Auditorium. Tickets are $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and children. Reservations may be made through the box office at (325) 649-8516 or tickets may be purchased at the door. For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.

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Photo cutline: HPU students rehearse a scene from the university’s Homecoming performance, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”

HPU announces Homecoming Parade route

Campus map LATESTBROWNWOOD – October 8, 2012 – Howard Payne University has announced the parade route for Homecoming 2012. The parade will travel around the HPU campus Saturday, October 13, beginning at 11 a.m., and the community is welcome and encouraged to attend.

The parade will wind its way from HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center around the Mabee University Center, down Fisk Street to Austin Avenue, where it will turn and re-enter the campus on Center Avenue. The parade will end on HPU’s Wilson Walkway.

A variety of reunions and other events will also be held throughout the weekend. Alumni and visitors can register for Homecoming events by visiting homecoming.hputx.edu or by calling 1-800-950-8465 or 325-649-8069. A full calendar of events, various ticket packages and other information can be found online.

HPU announces Homecoming 2012 Honorees

BROWNWOOD – October 5, 2012 – Howard Payne University will recognize nine outstanding alumni during Homecoming 2012 weekend, Oct. 12-14.

Honorees include Distinguished Alumni – Joe ’55 and Almola ’55 James; Outstanding Young Graduate – Chad Gann ’97; Medal of Service – Winifred Dodds ’58 (posthumous); Medal of Service – Chuck Gartman ’72; Coming Home Queen – Joyce Clay ’77; Grand Marshals – Dale ’55 and LaVerne ’54 Gore; and Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award – Dr. Moises Rodriguez’81.

Six of the awards will be presented during the Sodexo Alumni Banquet on Friday, Oct. 12, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Mabee University Center’s Beadel Dining Area. Tickets packages for Homecoming Weekend can be purchased by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-950-8465 or 325-649-8069 or by visiting http://homecoming.hputx.edu/.

The Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award will be presented at the Hispanic Alumni Breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 a.m. This event will be held in the Mabee University Center’s Bullion Suites and is free of charge.

Biographies of the honorees follow:

Joe ’55 and Almola ’55 James – Distinguished Alumni
joe_and_almola_james_for_webA native of Spur, Texas, Joe James graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from HPU in 1955 and later completed a Master of Science degree in 1963. He received many awards while attending HPU and is a member of the HPU Sports Hall of Fame and former president of the Letterman’s Club.

James was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1954 and began his coaching career in 1955 at Hamilton High School. Later he served at LaVega High School as assistant coach, athletic director and head football coach. In 1964, he returned to HPU as head football coach. He served four years at HPU before becoming a sporting goods representative. He also served in the National Guard, 142nd Infantry, 36th Division, and has been an active deacon at First Baptist Church in Brownwood for many years.

His wife, Almola (Clements) James, is also a 1955 HPU graduate. A native of San Saba, she received a Bachelor of Science degree from HPU, followed by Master of Education and Master of Art degrees in 1966. Her teaching career of 34 years includes tenures at LaVega High School, Brownwood High School and HPU. She has been an active member of FBC Brownwood for many years and enjoys active membership in numerous organizations, such as The Mary Garland Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Welcome C. Chandler Chapter of the Republic of Texas, the Pecan Valley Genealogy Society, Brown County Retired Teachers and the National Society of Colonial Dames, to name just a few.

The couple was married in 1954. They enjoy traveling and consider themselves fortunate to have visited all fifty states. They have two children.

 

Chad Gann ’97 – Outstanding Young Graduate
chad_gann_for_webChad Gann graduated from HPU in 1997 with a Bachelor of Music degree. While at HPU, he participated in several campus groups including the A Capella Choir, Heritage Singers, Iota Chi Alpha fraternity and the Student Senate. As a student, Gann was active in the local community through work as a licensed paramedic. He also served a student ministry internship at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church, where he was promoted to a fulltime associate minister to students upon graduation.

In 2000, Gann joined the Arlington Police Department and, in 2004, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Gann was asked to serve as the accreditation manager and policy analyst for the Arlington Police Department in 2007. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2008 where he served as patrol commander until his appointment as the Special Operations (SWAT) Commander in 2011. Currently, he serves as the acting deputy chief over the Operations Support Division, which includes overseeing SWAT, traffic investigations, homeland security and special events.

He earned a Master of Arts degree in marriage and family counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2006, a Master of Arts in criminology and criminal justice from The University of Texas at Arlington in 2008 and is currently in the dissertation phase of a Doctor of Philosophy degree in public and urban administration with an emphasis in criminal justice administration, also from UTA.

Lt. Gann has served as an adjunct professor at HPU, UTA and Dallas Baptist University.

 

 

Winifred Dodds ’58 (posthumous) – Medal of Service
winifred_dodds_for_webWinifred Dodds, a graduate of Early High School, was a member of HPU’s Class of 1958. While a student at HPU, he was on the Howard Payne CenTex Aggies judging team, which he greatly enjoyed. He later went on to receive his master’s degree from Hardin-Simmons University in 1967.

Dodds spent a total of 34 years in the public school system, 31 of those years in administration. He loved working with students. His first teaching and coaching job was in Norton. From there, Dodds served in Noodle-Horn, where he received the honor of Basketball Coach of the Year in 1971 for the Abilene West Texas Area. He later became superintendent at Noodle-Horn, as well as at Paint Creek, Jonesboro and Blanket.

He was one of four Dodds brothers who graduated from HPU. Winifred, Marlin ’54, Bobby ’60 and Roy ’63 were all superintendents for independent school districts in the state of Texas at the same time. Research showed that no other family in Texas had ever had four brothers accomplish this.

Dodds wanted to stay involved with students even after his retirement in 1989, so he began working with Scholastic Analyst to complete teacher appraisals throughout the state. He also worked nine years with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. During his retirement, he also served as interim superintendent in a variety of locations. In 1994, he was employed by HPU as the student teacher supervisor, a role he held for 17 years. In 2010, he was chosen to serve on the HPU School of Education’s Advisory Council.

Dodds was married to the love of his life, Shirley Boyd, for almost 54 years. They have three children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Dodds passed away in November 2011.

 

Chuck Gartman ’72 – Medal of Service
chuck_gartman_for_webCharles “Chuck” Gartman graduated from McAllen High School before coming to HPU. During his time at HPU, he was the president of the Baptist Student Union and later the BSU student assistant, student assistant athletic dorm director, president of his fraternity and was named to the Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. He graduated from HPU in 1972.

Upon graduation Gartman attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned his Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in ethics and pastoral care in 1974. Later, he attended the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary to continue post graduate studies in youth ministry. Soon after returning to HPU in 2002 as assistant professor of Christian studies, Gartman received the university’s award for Excellence in Teaching for the 2003-2004 academic year.

Gartman was instrumental in helping HPU establish a youth ministry emphasis in its religious education program. He also served as a consultant in creating the Master of Arts degree in youth ministry. Active in a variety of missions and educational endeavors, Gartman currently teaches as adjunct for the Christian Studies department and is president of “Go To” Youth Ministry, Inc., a national youth ministry consulting firm. He also serves as the minister of education/leadership development at Field Street Baptist Church in Cleburne.

Gartman met his wife, Connie (Glass) Gartman, while they were students at HPU. They have three daughters and three grandchildren.

 

 

Joyce Clay ’77 – Coming Home Queen
joyce_clay_for_webJoyce Clay, a native of Clarendon, is a 1977 HPU graduate. She is a member of the HPU Alumni Association and has served for three years on the organization’s Board of Directors. Additionally, she is a member of the HPU African American Alumni Association where she has served as both secretary and vice president.

Clay has served in many churches across the state, working as a youth director, Acteens director and director of a reading improvement program. She has also served in the Navarro County Food Pantry as a volunteer and on its board as vice president. Additionally, she served on the Mary Peterson Day board in Corsicana and the Martin Luther King Board of Directors.

Clay is currently a member of the Giddings New Horizons Lions Club, where she is a member of the board, the Lion Tamer and was named Lion of the Year in 2011.

She is a member of Concord Church in Giddings, where she is a deaconess, director of The Kitchen and former member of the Praise Team. Clay met her late husband, Chester, during their time at HPU. They have one son.

 

 

 

Dale ’55 and LaVerne ’54 Gore – Grand Marshals
dale_and_laverne_gore_for_webDale Gore, a native of Corpus Christi, enrolled at HPU upon the influence of his pastor, Kenneth Hiner, an HPU graduate. Gore was editor of the Yellow Jacket for two years and was involved in the Life Service Band and Mission Band. Following graduation, he was on the staff of First Baptist Church Uvalde and later First Baptist Hillsboro. He then pastored Baggett Creek Baptist Church in Comanche County while attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.

After graduation from seminary, he served as music and youth director at First Baptist Church of Brownwood. After two years in Brownwood, Dale was called to be pastor of FBC Whitewright. Other pastorates included FBC Goldthwaite; Trinity Baptist, Sherman; and FBC Denison. In 1989, he was called to be the executive director of the Austin Baptist Association where he served for 10 years. Upon retirement he pastored the Elm Grove Baptist Church in Bell County for 12 years.

While he was an HPU student, he met his future wife, LaVerne Dennis. They shared several classes, sat in consecutive rows of assigned seats in Mims Auditorium at Chapel and sang in the school chorus. They were engaged by the beginning of their junior year.

LaVerne grew up in Brownwood, where her father pastored Melwood Baptist Church. She graduated from HPU in August 1954, and the couple married the same month. While her husband completed his senior year, she taught school in Cross Plains. She went on to teach at schools across the state, retiring in 1989. For six years she served as a special education consultant for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, helping churches begin and maintain Sunday school and Vacation Bible School programs for special-needs children and adults. She also taught in the education department of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor for four years.

The Gores have remained active at HPU through Homecoming and the Alumni Association. They each served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, with Dale serving as president for a term. He also served on the HPU Board of Trustees for nine years and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1988. He is presently serving on the board again. LaVerne was named Coming Home Queen during Homecoming 2002.

They are now retired, enjoying their home in Salado and engaging in activities at FBC Salado. They particularly enjoy time spent with their children, grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

The couple’s son Jeffrey graduated from HPU in 1984 and, since 2007, four of their grandchildren have graduated from HPU: Addie Barnett and husband R.J., Emily Gore and Molly Gore.

 

Dr. Moises Rodriguez ’81 – Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award
moises_rodriguez_for_webDr. Moises Rodriguez, a native of Carrizo Springs, enrolled in HPU’s Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom program in 1977. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in 1981, he pursued his Master of Divinity degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, gaining that degree in 1986. In 1997, he completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree at Baylor University.

Dr. Rodriguez has served as the outreach worker for Southside Area Ministries in Fort Worth, providing assistance and orientation to American life for refugees. He has also served as the pastor for Mision Bautista of Dublin, Primera Baptist Church of Fort Worth and Iglesia Bautista Del Salvador of Waco, growing those churches during his time with them.

From 1990 until 1997, Dr. Rodriguez and his family lived and served in Atlanta, working as field staff for the Southern Baptist Convention. He was the associate director of ethnic leadership development for the SBC and also interim pastor at Mision Bautista Briarlake. Later, he became the director of the Church Multiplication Department for the SBC before moving on to a position as manager for the SBC’s Hispanic Church Planting Unit.

Recently, Dr. Rodriguez has served as the pastor and senior pastor of Primera Baptist Church in Fort Worth while also serving as director of the North Texas Church Planting Institute and Leadership Development Center. Active in a wide range of ministry and training roles, his current work includes serving as dean of the Baptist Bible Institute and continuing education departments for the Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio.

Dr. Rodriguez married Abigail Dominguez in 1984. They have two children, one of whom – Julia – is a junior at HPU.

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HPU appoints assistant vice president for external programs and church relations

dale_meineckeBROWNWOOD – October 5, 2012 – Howard Payne University has expanded to three campuses across the state, and the university recently created a new administrative position to serve these extension centers. Dale Meinecke, a 1998 HPU graduate, was appointed assistant vice president for external programs and church relations.

In this capacity, Meinecke will oversee enrollment services and development of the university’s New Braunfels and El Paso campuses. He will also work to build relationships with area churches and associations to the mutual benefit of all institutions. His wife, Christy, also a 1998 graduate, was hired as an admission counselor, primarily for the New Braunfels campus.

“We are proud to welcome the Meineckes back to the HPU family,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “They are outstanding alumni and we are thrilled to have them return as ambassadors of the university.”

The Meineckes were highly engaged as students on campus and later returned to serve on staff. He was an HPU football coach and chapel coordinator from 2005 to 2006, and she served as an admission counselor from 1998 to 1999. The couple most recently worked at Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington – he as dean of students and she as a kindergarten teacher. He graduated with a master’s degree in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2005 and is working toward his doctorate in leadership studies at Dallas Baptist University.

“As I thought about the future, I was continually drawn to the Christian college and especially to our Baptist schools in Texas,” he said. “I believe a large part of that is due to the life-change I experienced while attending Howard Payne. My hope is for other students to be drawn into a passionate and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Christy and I feel very blessed to be a part of the Howard Payne family once again. We look forward to serving the students and campuses.”

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Photo cutline: Dale Meinecke will serve HPU as assistant vice president for external programs and church relations.

HPU music students to present concert Monday night

BROWNWOOD – October 5, 2012 – The public is invited to a special concert at Howard Payne University featuring eight of the university’s music students. The concert will be held, free of charge, on Monday, October 8 at 5 p.m., in the university’s Grace Chapel.

“The hour-long event is a recital of selected music majors performing on their respective instruments or voice,” said Dr. Rob Tucker, dean of music, fine arts and extended education. “It promises to be a rewarding musical experience. Everyone is invited to this important event.”

Performing will be Allen Andrus, a senior from Anson – alto saxophone; Kevin Baker, a senior from Brownwood – guitar; Johnathan Cox, a junior from Brownwood – euphonium; Katie Licce, a junior from Bertram – flute; Sarah Moreau, a sophomore from Fort Worth – voice; Alejandro Munoz, a sophomore from Mineral Wells – French horn; Jessica Nymoen, a junior from Aledo – piano; and Jesse Smith, a senior from Brownwood – voice.

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

Homecoming volunteers needed

PrintOctober 5, 2012 — Homecoming Week is fast approaching, and the university is in need of volunteers to make the celebration the best it can be. Some of the jobs will only require an hour of someone’s time, and each volunteer will receive a free t-shirt.

Visit this link to see the jobs available and sign up for the one that best fits your schedule.

For more information, contact Miranda Marsh, Homecoming volunteer coordinator, at (325) 647-8632 or mmarsh@hputx.edu.

HPU designated “Military Friendly School”

mfs_logoBROWNWOOD – October 4, 2012 – Howard Payne University was named to the Military Friendly Schools® list by Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The 2013 Military Friendly Schools® list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the U.S. that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

“Inclusion on the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools® shows HPU’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, director for G.I. Jobs and vice president at Victory Media. “As interest in education grows, we’re thrilled to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in the search for schools.”

The Military Friendly Schools® website, found at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com, features the list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences. The 1,739 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.

“HPU is honored to have been named to this distinguished list,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “We have been incredibly blessed by the men and women serving our country and we are proud to be recognized as a university that, in turn, serves them.”

Now in its fourth year, the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools® was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 schools across the nation approved by the Veterans Administration. The survey results that comprise the 2013 list were independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by G.I. Jobs. Each year, schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country. A full list of board members can be found at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com/board.

A full story and detailed list of 2013 Military Friendly Schools® will be highlighted in the annual G.I. Jobs Guide to Military Friendly Schools®, distributed in print and digital format to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel in early October.

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HPU announces 2012 Homecoming Court

homecoming_court_2012_for_webBROWNWOOD – October 3, 2012 – Howard Payne University has announced the Homecoming Court for 2012. The HPU Homecoming queen and princess will be crowned on Friday, Oct. 12, at 2 p.m. during the Homecoming Convocation in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

Homecoming queen nominees are Carlee Ammons, a senior communication studies major from Houston; Gayle Erdman, a senior criminal justice major from Scottsbluff, Neb.; and Laura Peisker, a senior math major from Cedar Park.

Homecoming princess nominees are Gabi Guerrero, a junior Academy of Freedom student and communication studies major from Red Oak; Hannah Hicks, a junior exercise and sport science major from Flower Mound; and Robin Scofield, a junior Academy of Freedom student and communication studies major from Naples, Fla.

The Homecoming Court will be featured in the parade on Saturday, Oct. 13, beginning at 11 a.m., and in the half-time show of the football game versus Mississippi College at Gordon Wood Stadium starting at 2 p.m.

The student body selects the court each year by elections coordinated through the Student Government Association.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s 2012 Homecoming Court includes (back row, from left): Carlee Ammons, Gayle Erdman and Laura Peisker. Front row, from left: Hannah Hicks, Robin Scofield and Gabi Guerrero.

Generous grant allows HPU to hit the highways

mgc_side_1_for_webBROWNWOOD – October 2, 2012 – Howard Payne University is now mobile thanks to a generous grant from the Texas Pioneer Foundation and assistance from the Bruner Auto Group of Brownwood. The new Mobile Go Center, a 42-foot trailer equipped with laptop computers, satellite Internet and more, will allow HPU to take the university to prospective students across the state.

HPU’s Mobile Go Center (MGC) will provide information on HPU and the general college search process, with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of students enrolled and succeeding in higher education programs in Texas. The MGC will visit schools, community events, festivals, churches and more to present information about higher education in an atmosphere comfortable to prospective students and their families.

The MGC center is adorned with HPU graphics and photography. It is pulled by a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Crew Cab, secured with assistance from the Bruner Auto Group of Brownwood.

“Thanks to this new recruiting tool, HPU is going to be able to reach students who may not have otherwise considered applying to college,” said Stephen Sullivan, MGC coordinator and admission counselor. “With all the technology and resources at our fingertips, the MGC is the next step to helping every student achieve his or her dream of receiving a higher education.”

The Texas Pioneer Foundation is a private, independent foundation created in 2004 to fund programs that will expand access to higher education for all Texas students.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s new Mobile Go Center will allow the university to share information about higher education across the state.