News Archives

HPU Board of Trustees to convene next week with four new members

BROWNWOOD – October 16, 2014 – Four individuals have joined the Howard Payne University Board of Trustees during the last year and will be on campus next week when the board convenes for a regular meeting. The board will meet in conjunction with the university’s Homecoming celebration, Oct. 24-26.

Dr. Daniel Sanchez and Ray Still were elected to the board in October 2013 and Dr. Bernardo “Bernie” Moraga and Annette (Brooks) Spikes were elected in March 2014.

“The university is honored to welcome the newest members of our Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president. “Each board election brings us supportive and caring individuals who truly have HPU’s best interests at heart.”

Dr. Daniel SanchezDr. Daniel Sanchez, a 1962 HPU alumnus, serves at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth in a number of positions including professor of missions; director of the Scarborough Institute of Church Planting and Growth; associate dean of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions; and director of the Hispanic Theological Studies Program. Dr. Sanchez received his Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, his Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford Centre for Mission Studies in Oxford, England. In addition to being an educator, he has served as church planter and missionary among other roles. He and his wife, Carmen, who passed away in May 2014, have three children.

Ray Still for webRay Still has served as senior pastor of New Braunfels’ Oakwood Church for 20 years. During that time, the congregation has grown to more than 4,500 members. Still has served on the boards of McKenna Memorial Hospital, the McKenna Legacy Foundation, Christus Santa Rosa Hospital and Houston Baptist University. He and his wife, Sandra, have one son.



Bernardo Moraga for webDr. Bernardo “Bernie” Moraga serves as pastor of Buena Voluntad Baptist Church in San Antonio and is former pastor of First Spanish/Fruit Ave. Baptist Church in Albuquerque. A 1974 HPU alumnus, Dr. Moraga received his Master of Arts degree from Southwest Texas State and his Master of Divinity degree from Golden Gate Theological Seminary. He is former pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of San Francisco, Grace Baptist Church of Weslaco and Good Shepherd Baptist Church of Comanche. Moraga is a former member of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico Executive Board; a former national consultant for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Hispanic Initiative; a former member of the Texas Baptist and California Baptist Executive Boards; and a former trustee for Dallas Baptist University. In 2001, Dr. Moraga received the HPU Distinguished Alumnus Award. He and his wife, Anita, have two sons.

Annette Spikes for webAnnette Spikes, an educator and community activist, is a 1963 HPU alumna who went on to earn a Master of Education degree from Sam Houston State University. She married Grady Spikes ’62 (deceased 1999) while at HPU. The Spikes both taught two years at Coleman ISD before moving to Conroe ISD. Annette Spikes organized the Volunteer League for the Conroe Symphony Orchestra. She is past president and a board member of the organization, as well as treasurer and acting executive director of the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance. Additionally, she is a member of the Conroe Service League and serves various other community organizations. The Spikes have two sons and five grandchildren.

HPU sophomore Sarahi Castillo awarded UPS Scholarship through ICUT Foundation

Sarahi Castillo for webBROWNWOOD – October 14, 2014 – Sarahi Castillo, a sophomore at Howard Payne University, was recently selected to receive a $2,425 UPS Scholarship provided through the ICUT Foundation.

Sarahi is the daughter of Maria C. Medina and Larry Medina of El Paso and a 2013 graduate of Montwood High School. She is majoring in exercise and sport science at HPU and is a member of the women’s basketball team.

The ICUT Foundation is a charitable organization operated by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, a statewide association for private colleges and universities. ICUT Foundation is an affiliate of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). Since 1985, The UPS Foundation has funded over $2.2 million in scholarships for Texas students.

The UPS Foundation (NYSE: UPS), which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2011, is responsible for facilitating community involvement to local, national and global communities. In 2010, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $95 million in charitable giving around the world.

Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation, said, “UPS is pleased to continue that spirit of giving by partnering with CIC to support thousands of students working to become the leaders of tomorrow by obtaining an education from our nation’s independent colleges.”

Richard Ekman serves as CIC president.

“Through this national scholarship program, CIC and UPS are delighted to make it possible for 614 deserving young men and women to attend the private college or university of their choice,” he said. “By directly assisting students with significant financial need, CIC and UPS are helping a new generation of students achieve their dreams of a college education.”


Photo cutline: HPU sophomore Sarahi Castillo was recently awarded a UPS Scholarship through the ICUT Foundation.

HPU Homecoming 2014 parade to follow new route

BROWNWOOD – October 13, 2014 – The Howard Payne University Homecoming parade, a community tradition, will be held Saturday, October 25, at 9:15 a.m. The parade will follow a new, longer route this year so that more people in the community have an opportunity to enjoy it.

Beginning at the Brownwood Coliseum, the parade will travel north on Baker St., turn left onto Center Ave., move across Austin Ave. and enter campus. The procession will end in front of HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center on Center Ave.

The parade will feature student-designed floats and other attractions including the HPU Yellow Jacket Marching Band. Additionally, there will be a variety of floats and participants from the community.

“We hope everyone makes plans to attend this fun event,” said Stephen Sullivan, director of development and alumni relations. “All of the participants are working hard to put on a parade everyone can enjoy.”

A complete schedule of Homecoming events is available online at Click the image below to download the map as a PDF.


HPU theatre department to present “Suite Surrender” during Homecoming 2014

Suite Surrender Poster for webBROWNWOOD – October 13, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s Department of Theatre will present performances of Suite Surrender in conjunction with HPU’s Homecoming 2014 celebration. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 23, through Saturday, October 25, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 26. Prior to the Saturday night performance, at 6:30 p.m., HPU theatre alumni will perform a special arrangement of songs, monologues and scenes.

Suite Surrender is a comedic play by Michael McKeever. The production is set in 1942 and focuses on a feud between two of Hollywood’s biggest divas, played by Gabi Guest, a junior from Midlothian, and Alexandra Taliaferro, a senior from Haslet.

Additional cast members include Abbey Beardsley, a freshman from Fort Worth; Megan Hoghaug, a freshman from Dripping Springs; Isaac Howell, a sophomore from Georgetown; Hayden Jacobs, a freshman from Lytle; Brittany Martin, a junior from Goldthwaite; Bryce McWhirter, a sophomore from Round Rock; and Jared Russell, a senior from Hillsboro.

“We hope HPU Homecoming guests and others from the community make plans to bring their entire family to watch Suite Surrender,” said Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, professor of theatre and head of HPU’s theatre department. “Our cast and crew are working tirelessly to put on a performance everyone can enjoy.”

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance through the School of Music and Fine Arts. For more information, contact Jill Holamon at (325) 649-8500 or via e-mail at A complete schedule of Homecoming events, lodging information and other details are available at

HPU’s speech and debate team begins competition season

SSB Fall 2014 for webBROWNWOOD – October 10, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s competitive speech and debate team, Student Speaker Bureau (SSB), began its 2014-2015 competition season in September.

The team first traveled to Texas State University to participate in practice British parliamentary (BP) debate rounds with the TSU team, followed by the Hill Country Swing individual events tournament.

“I’m really excited that we were able to have some practice debate rounds with the TSU team,” said Dr. Julie Welker, head of the communication department and SSB coach. “They are a highly competitive team and, since we only go to two BP tournaments a year, it was very beneficial to get in the extra practice.”

The team then traveled to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to compete in the United States Air Force Academy and Colorado College Tournament.

“This tournament is such a great experience for our team,” said Dr. Welker. “We get to compete against universities from all over the United States, including teams from Yale and University of Alaska-Anchorage. These schools are considered some of the best in the U.S., so it’s a privilege to get to compete with them.”

According to Dr. Welker, of the four HPU teams that competed, two of the teams missed advancing to the quarterfinals round by just a few points.

“That is quite impressive,” she added.

During the trip to Colorado Springs, the team was able to take the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway up to the Pike’s Peak Summit.

Kaleigh Tankersley, senior from Iraan and team captain, said the tournament was a good experience and the trip to Pike’s Peak was wonderful.

“The SSB trip to Pike’s Peak was a great time for all of us to bond and to really get to know each other,” she said. “We also got to experience some of the most gorgeous landscapes in the world.”

Dr. Welker said she believes the students deserve to have some fun in exchange for all their hard work.

“The Pike’s Peak trip was just amazing,” she said. “The views were unbelievable, and the experience together as a team was special.”

The team also visited the United States Air Force Academy and the Garden of the Gods.

Braxton Clark, a freshman from Southlake, said that the trip was an overall good experience.

“Going to Colorado with the SSB team has brought us closer together and helped us learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which will help us as we proceed,” he said.

While the debate team was competing in Colorado, two freshmen team members attended the Newbie Novice individual events tournament at Tarrant County College. Luis Rodriguez Ortiz of Brownsville placed fifth in impromptu and extemporaneous speaking, and Brianna Cruz of San Angelo placed fifth in prose and poetry.

“These two freshmen, although late additions to the team, really showed up and competed well at this tournament,” said Dr. Welker. “I’m looking forward to seeing how they continue to grow this year.”

In addition to Clark, Cruz, Rodriguez Ortiz and Tankersley, members of HPU’s SSB include Marcos Corley, a senior from Corpus Christi; Meg Eakin, a sophomore from Plano; Adam Jones, a sophomore from Irving; Lauren Long, a freshman from Grand Junction, Colo.; Jared Russell, a senior from Hillsboro; and Dorie Walton, a junior from Lolita.

The team is preparing for two major upcoming tournaments – the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association fall championships in October and the Oxford IV International BP Tournament in November.

For more information about the Student Speaker Bureau, visit


Photo cutline: HPU’s competitive speech and debate team, Student Speaker Bureau, recently began its competition season. Team members include, from left, Braxton Clark, Dorie Walton, Adam Jones, Meg Eakin, Marcos Corley, Kaleigh Tankersley, Jared Russell, Lauren Long and Dr. Julie Welker. Not pictured are Brianna Cruz and Luis Rodriguez Ortiz.

HPU named a 2015 Military Friendly® School

MFS logo for webBROWNWOOD – October 9, 2014 – Howard Payne University was recently designated a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media.

Now in its sixth year, the Military Friendly® Schools designation and list by Victory Media is, according to the organization, the premier, trusted resource for post-military success. Military Friendly® provides service members with ratings and information about post-military education and career opportunities.

The Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation.

“HPU is so thankful for the brave men and women who serve our country,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “We’re honored that Victory Media has seen fit to add us to the list for the sixth straight year.”


Photo cutline: HPU was recently designated a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media.

HPU’s Chuck Boland named FAR Fellow by NCAA Division III

Chuck Boland FAR for webBROWNWOOD – October 9, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s Chuck Boland, faculty athletic representative, professor of accounting and chair of the accounting department, has been selected as a 2014 NCAA Division III FAR Fellow.

According to the organization, the Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) Fellows Institute was launched in 2010 and aims to increase the effectiveness of Division III faculty athletic representatives at the campus, conference and national levels.

Boland has served at HPU since 1981.

“I am grateful that the NCAA selected me,” said Boland in a news release issued by the organization. “I plan to take the opportunity to enhance the FAR position and be more noticeable in the athletic-academic circles.”

As a FAR Fellow, Boland will participate in a three-day professional development program at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis October 17-19. The program is designed to examine best practices and issues surrounding the role and responsibility of faculty athletic representatives, help fellows develop the leadership skills necessary to carry out their responsibilities on campus and in their conference, and strengthen the network of FARs needed to serve on conference, divisional and association-wide committees.

“We’re very pleased that the NCAA has recognized Chuck in this way,” said Mike Jones, HPU athletic director. “He is a tremendous asset to our campus and the American Southwest Conference. It is a pleasure to work alongside Chuck to advocate for our student athletes and our coaches.”


Photo cutline: Chuck Boland, faculty athletic representative, professor of accounting and chair of the accounting department at HPU, has been selected as a 2014 NCAA Division III FAR Fellow.

HPU’s Dr. Rick Beelby inducted into WBU’s Athletic Hall of Honor

Rick Beelby WBU for webBROWNWOOD – October 8, 2014 – Dr. Rick Beelby, associate professor of exercise and sport science at Howard Payne University, was recently inducted into Wayland Baptist University’s Athletic Hall of Honor. Dr. Beelby coached track and field at WBU from 1988 to 2001.

A news release issued by WBU quoted Dr. Beelby as saying the development of character is the most essential element for participating in athletics.

“I like what athletics can do for young men and women,” he said. “It gives them a purpose and a direction and an opportunity to set goals and achieve those goals if they use discipline and honest effort. I was probably attracted to that aspect of (coaching) as much as anything.”

The news release listed Dr. Beelby’s accomplishments at WBU, including training 30 women and six men National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national champions, guiding the men’s and women’s track and field teams to NAIA indoor national championships and three times being named the NAIA National Coach of the Year.

Dr. Graham Hatcher, department chair and professor of exercise and sport science at Howard Payne University, said HPU also celebrates Dr. Beelby’s recognition by WBU.

“Since coming to HPU, Dr. Beelby has provided exemplary leadership across campus and in developing an instructional program that is noted statewide,” said Dr. Hatcher. “But most important is his Christian commitment and inspirational mentorship to hundreds of students.”


Photo cutline: Dr. Rick Beelby, associate professor of exercise and sport science at Howard Payne University, was recently inducted into Wayland Baptist University’s Athletic Hall of Honor. He is pictured on the HPU campus.

HPU’s Homecoming 2014 celebration slated for October 24-26

HC14-Final_RGBBROWNWOOD – October 8, 2014 – Howard Payne University will celebrate Homecoming 2014 on October 24-26, with many events for alumni and friends from the community and beyond. The festivities this year salute the university’s 125th anniversary.

Alumni and visitors can register for Homecoming events online; some require purchased tickets while many are free of charge. For complete details, visit or contact Stephen Sullivan ’11, director of development and alumni relations, at 325-649-8006, 800-950-8465 or

More than 40 events will be held throughout the weekend, including the following.

When they arrive on campus, alumni and visitors will have an opportunity to immediately reconnect with HPU friends at Registration, sponsored by Early Blooms. Stop by Mims Auditorium to register and pick up a free tote bag and HPU 125th anniversary book.

Performances of “Suite Surrender” will be held at the university’s Mims Auditorium throughout the weekend. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased through the Homecoming website; through the School of Music and Fine Arts beginning October 20; or at the door. The School of Music and Fine Arts may be contacted at 325-649-8500.

The Golden Graduate Luncheon for the Class of 1964, sponsored by Wendlee Broadcasting, will be held Friday from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of the university’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center.

HPU’s volleyball team will take on Hardin-Simmons University at the Brownwood Coliseum beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday.

Also at 2 p.m. on Friday, the university will hold its Homecoming Convocation in Mims Auditorium. The Homecoming Queen and Princess will be crowned at that time.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly remodeled Mabee University Center will take place outside the Mabee Center’s front doors at 5 p.m. on Friday.

The Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet, sponsored by the Alumni Association, will be held Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Beadel Dining Hall of the Mabee University Center. During the banquet, the Homecoming 2014 honorees will be recognized. There will also be a special unveiling of a Texas historical marker honoring Paul & Paula’s hit song “Hey Paula.” Ray Hildebrand (Paul) and Jill Jackson Landon (Paula) are HPU alumni who catapulted to fame when their record sold almost two million copies and spent three weeks at #1 on the Billboard pop chart in 1963.

Cobbler on the Campus, sponsored by Underwood’s Cafeteria, will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Muse Plaza and Mall.

Immediately following Cobbler on the Campus will be a concert featuring Paul & Paula and Holly Tucker, sponsored by Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce. In addition to HPU’s own Paul & Paula, audiences will be treated to a performance by Holly Tucker, a 2012 contestant on NBC’s The Voice. The concert begins at 9 p.m.

Saturday morning’s Decades Breakfast, sponsored by Willie’s T’s, begins at 7:30 a.m. During this time, alumni are invited to reunite with friends from their class decades in the newly renovated Beadel Dining Hall in the Mabee University Center.

Also at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday will be the Hispanic Alumni Breakfast in Bullion Suites A and B of the Mabee University Center and the Letterman’s Breakfast in the Balcony of the Mabee University Center.

The Homecoming Parade, sponsored by Big Country Ford, begins at 9:15 on Saturday morning. The parade will follow a new route this year, beginning at the Brownwood Coliseum, traveling down Center Ave. and ending at the university’s Doakie Day Art Center. The entire community is urged to participate in this fun tradition.

Little Jackets’ Nest, sponsored by Mills County State Bank, will be held from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday behind the Packer Administration Building. This is a time of games and other fun activities for children.

Picnic on the Plaza, sponsored by the Early Chamber of Commerce, will be a barbecue meal held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Muse Plaza and Mall.

The HPU Yellow Jacket football team will play Hardin-Simmons University at 2:00 p.m. Saturday at Gordon Wood Stadium.

On Sunday at 9 a.m., married alumni are welcome to participate in renewing their vows in HPU’s beautiful Grace Chapel inside the Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center. Dr. Donnie Auvenshine ’75, dean of the School of Christian Studies, will officiate. The next opportunity to renew vows at HPU will be in 2016.

A variety of reunions and other events will be held throughout the weekend. A complete schedule of events and ticket prices are available online at


Photo cutline: HPU’s Homecoming 2014 is a celebration of the university’s 125 years of excellence.

HPU band fraternity and sorority dedicate enhanced trailer in memory of former students

Band groups with trailer for webBROWNWOOD – October 1, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s chapters of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma, national honorary band fraternity and sorority, recently transformed the trailer which hauls equipment and instruments for the Yellow Jacket Band. The groups have dedicated the trailer in memory of two students who passed away while members of the band – Chris Jones (1987-2011) and Jeremy Lewis (1979-2000).

The upgraded trailer features a vinyl wrap which depicts images of the band and commemorates the lives of Jones and Lewis.

“We’re pleased to not only have a great looking trailer for the band but to be able to honor Chris and Jeremy in this way,” said Corey Ash, director of bands. “They were very special to us and we miss them both very much.”


Photo cutline: Members and sponsors of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma stand in front of their recently upgraded trailer. The trailer has been dedicated in memory of Chris Jones and Jeremy Lewis, former Yellow Jacket Band members.