BROWNWOOD – September 3, 2013 – Howard Payne University recently announced the decision to rename its multidisciplinary academic honors program the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy: The Program for Civic Leadership and Public Policy. The name change followed unanimous votes by the Academy Board of Directors and HPU’s Board of Trustees.
Previously the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom, the program was founded in 1962 under the leadership of Dr. Newman, who served as president of the university from 1955 to 1973.
“The new title is descriptive of the Academy’s academic mission as envisioned by Dr. Newman,” said Dr. Justin D. Murphy, the program’s director.
Dr. Newman was serving as Baylor University’s vice president in charge of developing and fundraising in 1955 when the HPU (then Howard Payne College) Board of Trustees elected him president.
According to Dr. Robert Mangrum, HPU’s university historian and professor of history and political science, Dr. Newman became concerned that many Americans were losing touch with their great American heritage and particularly with the influence of Christianity in the development of the “American Way of Life.” Dr. Newman’s autobiography, “One Guy’s Dream” (1985), described his vision for the honors program.
“Our purpose was to reach the totality of the individual students, giving them a true perspective not only of our American system but also of the world in which they live, enabling them to go out and encounter with courage and confidence the exigencies thrust upon all youth of all times in a meaningful and perceptive way,” he wrote.
More than 400 students have graduated from the Academy since its inception, going on to serve in a variety of fields including law, politics, business, ministry, government, medicine, education, economics, psychology and social work.
In addition to the creation of the Academy, Dr. Newman’s tenure saw the construction of six new campus buildings, increased enrollment, improved faculty salaries and numerous other campus improvements.
Dr. Newman met personally with General MacArthur in 1962 to seek permission to name the program in his honor. According to Dr. Murphy, General MacArthur’s unwavering loyalty to America will continue to remain a central image of the Academy and its ideals.
After serving for 18 years as president, Dr. Newman retired and was named chancellor of the university. He passed away in 1988 at the age of 82.
“The Academy has always and will always continue to align with Dr. Newman’s vision of promoting Judeo-Christian values, Western civilization and principles of free enterprise,” said Dr. Murphy.
Photo cutline: HPU recently announced its decision to rename its multidisciplinary academic honors program after former president Dr. Guy D. Newman.