News Archives

HPU to host 21st annual Spring Sing

Spring Sing 2016BROWNWOOD – March 21, 2017 – Howard Payne University will host its 21st annual Spring Sing event this Friday and Saturday with performances beginning at 7:30 p.m. each evening. Tickets for the family-friendly event are $5 each and the community is welcome to attend.

Three Howard Payne University student organizations will take part in the production, each performing an original musical skit. Participating groups are Chi Alpha Omega, Delta Chi Rho and Pi Theta Chi.

“Spring Sing is a popular event on campus each year,” said Joshua Snow, director of student activities. “The groups have rehearsed their performances for several weeks and each is really creative and unique.”

Tickets may be purchased at the door on the evening of the performances or online at The doors open at 7 p.m. each evening.

For more information, contact HPU’s Office of Student Activities at 325-649-8305.


Cutline: An HPU student organization performs in Spring Sing 2016.

Sponsors announced for HPU’s Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon

Dr Shirley Cothran BarretBROWNWOOD – March 21, 2017 – The Howard Payne University Woman’s Club will host its annual Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon on Thursday, April 6, with area businesses and individuals serving as sponsors for the popular event. The ticketed luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Bullion Suites of HPU’s Mabee University Center.

Sponsors include Big Country Ford (Gold sponsor), Sally Porter (Gold sponsor), Bangs Flower & Gift Shop, Brownwood Regional Medical Center, Citizens National Bank, Creative Image Laser Solutions, Painter & Johnson Financial, Deborah Cartwright, Dr. Diana Ellis, Mary Johnson, Dr. Mitzi Lehrer and Karen Dodds, Sarah McAlpine, Jarene Price and Ann Towery.

The guest speaker for this year’s luncheon is Dr. Shirley Cothran Barret. A former Miss America, Dr. Barret has more than 40 years of experience as a keynote. She has spoken at numerous events and organizations including churches, women’s workshops and retreats, state education organizations and conventions. Dr. Barret has also appeared on many television shows, been a contributing author to magazine articles and was a contributing author for Thomas Nelson’s “The Woman’s Study Bible – Spring 1995.”

During the luncheon, the Woman’s Club will announce the recipient of the Yellow Rose Scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year as well as honor one of the guests with the prestigious 2017 Yellow Rose Award.

Luncheon tickets are $25 and a limited number are still available. For ticket information, visit, e-mail or call 325-649-8007.


Cutline: The HPU Woman’s Club will host its annual Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon Thursday, April 6, with guest speaker Dr. Shirley Cothran Barret.

HPU to close for Spring Break

BROWNWOOD – March 10, 2017 – Howard Payne University will be closed for Spring Break next week, March 13-17. No classes will be held and administrative offices will be closed.

The university will reopen and classes will resume at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 20.

HPU names 2017 Currie-Strickland Scholars in Christian Ethics and Theology

Currie-Strickland Scholars 2017BROWNWOOD – March 10, 2017 – Four Howard Payne University students were named Currie-Strickland Scholars in Christian Ethics and Theology at the university’s tenth annual Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics event in late February.

Those honored include Joseph Flanigan, junior cross-cultural studies major from Round Rock; Kindell Hill, junior cross-cultural studies major from Salado; Daniel Palacios, senior practical theology major from Kaufman; and Jordan Pitman, junior cross-cultural studies major from Bangs.

Each year, the scholars are selected based on an evaluation of achievement in their classes and on the ways they have excelled in their thinking in the fields of Christian ethics and theology. This year, each student received a certificate and two books including “Do Justice, Love Mercy” by Phil Strickland.

“We are very proud of these four students and their accomplishments,” said Dr. Derek Hatch, associate professor of Christian studies. “Among all of our wonderful HPU students, these four exemplify what it means to be dedicated to serious critical reflection within the life of the church.”

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Christian Studies at 325-649-8403.


Cutline: HPU recently named four students as Currie-Strickland Scholars in Christian Ethics and Theology. Left to right: Kindell Hill, Jordan Pitman, Daniel Palacios, Joseph Flanigan and Dr. Derek Hatch, associate professor of Christian studies.

HPU to host Yellow Jacket Monday on March 20

PrintBROWNWOOD – March 10, 2017 – Howard Payne University will host the next Yellow Jacket Monday preview day for prospective students and their parents on Monday, March 20, from 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 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. Attendees will meet faculty and staff, tour the campus and residence halls, dine in HPU’s Beadel Dining Hall, meet with admission counselors, learn about financial aid and more.

“All students who want to attend HPU, and even those who aren’t sure yet, are welcome to register for Yellow Jacket Monday,” said Lacy Culpepper, assistant director of admission. “It’s a great way to learn about our academics, campus life, scholarship opportunities and more.”

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 March, the last Yellow Jacket Monday of the semester will be held on April 24. Prospective students may also schedule an individual campus visit by completing the form at or by calling 325-649-8020.


HPU’s Hernandez to present senior recital

BROWNWOOD – March 10, 2017 – Howard Payne University senior Jose Angel Hernandez from Brownwood will present a recital on Tuesday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m. The recital will take place in the choral hall, room 503, of the university’s Davidson Music Complex located at 106 Whaley Street in Brownwood. The recital is free to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

Hernandez is a music education major specializing in percussion under the teaching of Dillon Phillips, music consultant, and will graduate in December 2017. He will perform a varied repertoire including pieces for the solo marimba and solo snare drum as well as two jazz combo pieces. Assisting on the jazz pieces are Juan Hernandez, 2015 HPU graduate and Brownwood ISD teacher on tenor saxophone; Suzanne Schad, sophomore from Florence on piano; and Bobby Martinez, senior from Copperas Cove on string bass.

“We are very proud of Angel and the hard work that he has put in to perform these percussion works at a high level,” said Corey Ash, director of bands and associate professor of music. “We hope that he will have a lot of community support as he completes his work toward his degree.”

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

HPU hosts Living WELL Aware™ event

Living WELL Aware EventBROWNWOOD – March 10, 2017 – Howard Payne University recently hosted guest speaker Patricia J. Sulak, MD, founder of the Living WELL Aware™ wellness educational program, who led members of the HPU community in a high-energy discussion on holistic wellness.

Dr. Sulak is a researcher, professor, practicing physician, nationally acclaimed speaker and author of “Should I Fire My Doctor? Eleven Essential Elements to Living WELL Aware.” She began her discussion on the HPU campus by leading the audience in a series of light exercises and described her program, which endorses a comprehensive view of health and wellness.

“I’m so happy that Dr. Sulak was able to present her wellness program to the HPU community,” said Amy Kresta, instructor of biology at HPU. “Most people are aware of the benefits of eating well and exercising, but her program was a great opportunity to remind us that there are many other aspects of wellness such as emotional, spiritual, social and even financial wellness. We were very fortunate to have her visit our campus.”

For more information about Dr. Sulak’s program, visit


Cutline: Dr. Patricia J. Sulak, founder of the Living WELL Aware™ wellness educational program, recently led a discussion on the HPU campus. She began her presentation by leading the audience in a series of light exercises.

HPU alumnus named men’s athletic chaplain at Texas Tech University

Corbin YoungBROWNWOOD – March 9, 2017 – Howard Payne University alumnus Corbin Young was recently appointed by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes the new men’s athletic chaplain at Texas Tech University. In this position, Young serves the seven men’s sports teams at Texas Tech by encouraging and equipping the coaches and athletes through Christ.

“I’m excited and humbled beyond words by this opportunity to represent Christ, through the ministry of FCA, at one of the largest state schools in Texas,” Young said. “Serving in this capacity, as a college sports chaplain, has been a ministry dream job for me since I first surrendered to God’s calling on my life at 18 years old.”

Young said college students, particularly male student-athletes, are among the church’s most unreached people groups in the nation.

“Consequently, I see this as one of the most strategic and vital ministry opportunities for advancing the Gospel in our sports-obsessed culture,” he said. “As I seek to earn the trust of these Red Raiders, my role will be all about building relationships and making disciples by encouraging and equipping them in their faith, character and leadership through the loving ministry of presence.”

Young, a former HPU student-athlete, earned his bachelor’s degree in practical theology in 2010 and a master’s degree in theology and ministry in 2014. He was a four-year letterman in football (2006-2009), team captain (2009), American Southwest Conference all-conference slot receiver (2009), three-time academic all-conference selection (2007-2009) and a collegiate national championship qualifier in Olympic weightlifting (2007).

“Corbin was a model student-athlete while he attended HPU,” said Hunter Sims, the university’s athletic director. “We are extremely proud of his service to the Kingdom and to have him as an alumnus.”

Young began working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in 2010 as the Big Country area representative based in Brownwood. In 2013, he became the founding area director for the organization in Midland where, under his leadership, the FCA staff and ministry rapidly grew around the Permian Basin.

He is a licensed and ordained Baptist minister and has served on staff at churches in Brownwood and Paradise as well as in Saskatchewan, Canada. Most recently, he served as the lead pastor at First Baptist Church of Tarzan, Texas.

Young is married to Kandace (Schuelke) Young, also an HPU graduate and former student-athlete. They have a 4-year-old son, Kensler, and a second child due in August 2017.


Cutline: HPU alumnus Corbin Young was recently named the men’s athletic chaplain at Texas Tech University through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

HPU’s Sport and Wellness Leadership accepting applications for fall 2017

HPU SWELL at FCABROWNWOOD – March 9, 2017 – Howard Payne University is seeking applicants for the second cohort of graduate students in the university’s Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership (SWELL) degree program. The group will begin classes in August, and the first cohort of 18 students will finish degree requirements this spring.

The SWELL program at HPU seeks to prepare future leaders for the $4-trillion sport and wellness industries. The program consists of 10 classes over 20 months, most of which are held on Monday evenings. Courses include instruction in event planning, public relations, legal foundations, leadership and more.

“We are seeking another fine group of future leaders who are committed to enhancing the quality of life for those impacted by the sport and wellness industries,” said Dr. Graham Hatcher, SWELL program director. “Several of our program participants are in new careers that have become available by participation in this program.”

A distinctive feature of the program is the two-week travel course in June 2018, which will enable students to engage sport and wellness industry leaders throughout the United States.

“Last summer, we visited more than 20 venues including the National Collegiate Athletic Association offices in Indianapolis, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Support Center in Kansas City, the Center for Disease Control offices in Colorado Springs and the National Wellness Institute’s annual meeting in Minneapolis,” said Dr. Hatcher.

The coursework, travel and HPU’s Christ-centered academic community make the affordable SWELL program a unique offering among master’s programs in the United States.

For more information about the program, e-mail or call 325-649-8966. Applications for admissions and consideration for graduate assistantships in intramurals, outdoor recreation and department administration/instruction are available online at


Cutline: Students in HPU’s Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership degree program are pictured at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Support Center in Kansas City.

HPU librarian Alexia Riggs named to prestigious TALL Texans Leadership Institute

Riggs and Library Staff for web updatedBROWNWOOD – March 9, 2017 – Alexia Riggs, dean of libraries and associate professor of library science at Howard Payne University, was recently selected for the highly competitive Texas Accelerated Library Leaders Institute. More popularly known as the TALL Texans Leadership Institute, the program has recognized the best of the rising Texas library leaders for more than 20 years.

The program takes place at the Montserrat Retreat Center in Lake Dallas and includes instruction by Jack Siggins, recently retired library director at George Washington University, and Harvard University’s Maureen Sullivan, past president of the American Library Association. Additional veteran leaders from Texas libraries serve as mentors.

Ted Wanner, continuing education specialist for the Texas Library Association, wrote to Dr. W. Mark Tew, HPU provost and chief academic officer, to inform him of Riggs’ achievement.

“Librarians return to their institutions with deeper understanding of management, communication, and strategic planning,” Wanner wrote. “Graduates of the program have become directors of major library systems, administrators within school districts and universities, Executive Board members for the Texas Library Association, and leaders in critical initiatives within their own communities.”

Dr. Tew and other HPU administrators notified Riggs of her accomplishment Thursday morning at HPU’s Walker Memorial Library.

“I was honored to recommend Dean Riggs for this prestigious position,” said Dr. Tew. “In the recommendation, I was able to share several of the initiatives she has already accomplished at HPU’s library.”

Since joining HPU’s faculty in 2014, Riggs has bolstered the library’s efforts in supporting the teaching and learning goals of HPU’s faculty and students.

Riggs received a Bachelor of Science degree from HPU in 2002, a Master of Divinity degree from Hardin-Simmons University in 2007 and a Master of Library Science degree from the University of North Texas in 2009. She has completed all but her dissertation toward a doctoral degree from Texas A&M University in Commerce. Her past experience includes serving as reference librarian at Del Mar College, 2012-2014; technical services librarian at Paris Junior College, 2009-2012; government document librarian intern at Texas Christian University, 2009; and as a music library assistant at Hardin-Simmons University, 2004-2005.


Cutline: Alexia Riggs, dean of libraries and associate professor of library science at HPU, was recently selected for the highly competitive Texas Accelerated Library Leaders Institute. She is pictured with members of the library staff. Left to right: Sarah Griffin, Amy Ripple, Juanita Sypert, Alexia Riggs, Doris Goacher, Mary Dunham, Wade Kinnin and Mary Griffin.