News Archives

HPU announces search committee for next president

BROWNWOOD – May 18, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Board of Trustees has named a committee to conduct the search for the institution’s next president. The move follows the recent announcement of Dr. Bill Ellis’ upcoming retirement as president and transition to the role of chancellor.

The search committee is chaired by Dr. David Lowrie, senior pastor from Decatur and member of HPU’s Board of Trustees. Other committee members from the Board of Trustees are Ronnie D. Andrews, HPU alumnus and business executive from Houston; Marc Dingler, HPU alumnus and attorney from Midland; Carter M. Sharpe, insurance executive from Brownwood; Jonathan “Jonny” Snow, HPU alumnus and professional clothier from Dallas; and Lesley Collier Wyse, HPU alumna and retired educator from Boerne. Representing HPU employees on the committee are Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, dean of the School of Education and professor of education; Lynn Humeniuk, director of the criminal justice program and associate professor of criminal justice and sociology; and Hunter Sims, athletic director.

“The members of this search committee have a wide range of experiences and perspectives, but they all share a heartfelt commitment to Howard Payne University,” said Pastor Ray Still, chair of HPU’s Board of Trustees. “I am confident in their ability to locate the right candidate and I appreciate their leadership through this process.”

Dr. Paul W. Armes, longtime educator, administrator and minister, will take office as HPU’s interim president on June 1.

For more information about HPU, please visit www.hputx.edu.

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Registration open for HPU’s Summer and Young Scholars camps

Summer and Young Scholars logoBROWNWOOD – May 18, 2018 – Registration is now open for Howard Payne University’s Summer and Young Scholars day camps for children entering first through sixth grades. The camps, scheduled July 16-20 from 9 a.m. to noon each day, feature fun and innovative instruction in a variety of subjects.

In the Summer Scholars program, students entering fourth through sixth grades will study robotics, 3D printing, science and recreation. The Young Scholars program is designed for children entering first through third grades and the campers will receive instruction in music, robotics, science and recreation.

“The students always have a great time and the parents appreciate that their children have something fun and educational to do during the summer,” said Dr. Julie Welker, director of the programs, professor of communication and chair of HPU’s Department of Communication Studies. “Many of our campers return to the program each year.”

The camps will be held in HPU’s Winebrenner Memorial Hall of Science. Program participants will also have supervised access to HPU’s wellness center, climbing wall and other campus locations.

Cost for the Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs is $100 per student and includes a souvenir, snacks and supplies.

Online registration is available at www.hputx.edu/summerandyoungscholars. For more information about the Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs, contact Dr. Welker at 325-649-8508 or via e-mail at jwelker@hputx.edu.

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HPU’s Central Texas Scholarship offers financial assistance to area students

HPU campus skylineBROWNWOOD – May 16, 2018 – The Central Texas Scholarship offered by Howard Payne University provides financial support to area students. The scholarship awards $15,000 annually, totaling $60,000 over four years to each eligible student. Students become eligible for the scholarship if they are graduates of high schools in the Central Texas area, meet unconditional admission requirements for HPU and enroll full time in the fall and spring semesters.

HPU’s Central Texas Scholarship area encompasses high schools or homeschools in Bell, Blanco, Bosque, Burnet, Coke, Concho, Coryell, Erath, Fisher, Gillespie, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Johnson, Jones, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Lampasas, Llano, Mason, McLellan, Menard, Nolan, Palo Pinto, Runnels, Schleicher, Shackelford, Somervell, Stephens, Sutton, Taylor, Tom Green and Williamson counties.

Students have the opportunity to thrive in HPU’s Christ-focused atmosphere while choosing from more than 100 majors, minors and pre-professional programs. HPU students benefit from a 10:1 student-faculty ratio that affords more individualized interaction and attention.

Numerous opportunities for extracurricular student involvement at HPU include the Baptist Student Ministry, collegiate athletics, intramural sports, Moot Court, Model U.N. and Student Speaker Bureau, along with many more student events and activities. Athletes at HPU compete in the NCAA Division III’s American Southwest Conference in six men’s sports and six women’s sports.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options. For more information about the Central Texas scholarship and other opportunities at HPU, please visit www.hputx.edu or contact the Office of Admission at enroll@hputx.edu or 325-649-8020.

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Cutline: Located in Brownwood, Howard Payne University offers the Central Texas Scholarship specifically to area students.

HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship offers financial assistance to students from local area

HPU seal on gateBROWNWOOD – May 16, 2018 – The Heart of Texas Scholarship offered by Howard Payne University provides financial support to future students from Brown and surrounding counties. The scholarship awards $15,000 annually, totaling $60,000 over four years to each eligible student. Students become eligible for the scholarship if they are graduates of high schools in the Heart of Texas area, meet unconditional admission requirements for HPU and enroll full time in the fall and spring semesters.

The Heart of Texas area encompasses high schools or homeschools in Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, McCulloch, Mills and San Saba counties.

Caleb Callaway, sophomore Christian studies major from Early and Heart of Texas scholarship recipient, said the scholarship has proven to be helpful to him as he studies at HPU.

“The Heart of Texas Scholarship helps me to pursue my desire to get a Christian education,” said Callaway. “Having the Heart of Texas Scholarship gives me a lot of financial security.”

Students have the opportunity to thrive in HPU’s Christ-focused atmosphere while choosing from more than 100 majors, minors and pre-professional programs. HPU students benefit from a 10:1 student-faculty ratio that affords more individualized interaction and attention.

Hannah Williams, a fellow Heart of Texas scholarship recipient and sophomore elementary education major from May, notes that this interaction is a significant benefit of studying at HPU.

“I love how the professors love the students like their own families,” said Williams. “That’s exactly what HPU is – a family.”

Numerous opportunities for extracurricular student involvement at HPU include the Baptist Student Ministry, collegiate athletics, intramural sports, Moot Court, Model U.N. and Student Speaker Bureau, along with many more student events and activities. Athletes at HPU compete in the NCAA Division III’s American Southwest Conference in six men’s sports and six women’s sports.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: Located in Brownwood, Howard Payne University offers the Heart of Texas Scholarship specifically to students in Brown County and surrounding counties.

HPU students give presentation at Texas Academy of Science meeting

Cooper presentingBROWNWOOD – May 16, 2018 – Two Howard Payne University chemistry majors recently presented at the 2018 Texas Academy of Science meeting at Midland College. Abraham Cooper, senior biochemistry and piano performance major from Early, and Richard Treviso III, junior chemistry major from Oak Cliff, each presented on different aspects of implementing cactus fiber and mucilage for water purification.

Faculty advisors Dr. Derek L. Smith, associate professor of chemistry, and Dr. Dennis Gibson, assistant professor of physical sciences, accompanied the students to the conference and, under their guidance, the students explored different aspects of the potential benefits of the abundant natural material that has been demonstrated to be effective at removing heavy metals from contaminated waters.

Treviso presentingTreviso confirmed that the gelling extract also reduces calcium and magnesium concentrations.

“Even if waters are not impacted by heavy metals, such as arsenic, the quality can be impaired by excessive hardness that is treatable with this method,” he said.

Cooper focused his presentation on the potential biocidal effects of the cactus fibers. To date, the natural fibers have only been applied to inorganic contaminants, but biological impurities may also be present.

“The results are preliminary but indicate that the water treated with fibers impedes the development of bacterial colonies on culture plates,” he said.

Dr. Smith said that, to his knowledge, this is the first application of this proven treatment method to this class of contaminant.

“This could be significant for communities where water sources are bacterial-laden rather than mineral-laden,” he said.

The trip was facilitated by faculty development funds.

“Those in the research group are greatly appreciative for the sponsorship that allows students to participate in technical conferences,” said Dr. Smith.

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Cutlines: HPU senior Abraham Cooper of Early presents at the 2018 Texas Academy of Science meeting at Midland College.

Richard Treviso III, HPU junior from Oak Cliff, speaks to attendees of the 2018 Texas Academy of Science meeting.

HPU president Dr. Bill Ellis retires, will become chancellor

Dr. Bill Ellis at deskBROWNWOOD – May 10, 2018 – Dr. Bill Ellis has announced his retirement as president of Howard Payne University. The move will become effective on May 31, at which time he will become the institution’s chancellor. The announcement was made the week after the close of HPU’s spring 2018 semester.

“I am honored to have served as president of this treasured institution,” said Dr. Ellis. “I look forward to seeing what great things God has in store for HPU in the years ahead.”

Dr. Ellis, the 19th president in HPU’s 129-year history, joined the university’s administration in 2009. During his years as president, HPU welcomed its largest new-student class in more than three decades, made a variety of facility upgrades including an extensive renovation of the Mabee University Center, and expanded operations to create an extension center in New Braunfels.

“Dr. Bill Ellis is a distinguished proponent of Christian higher education and has a great love for Howard Payne University,” said Rev. Ray Still, chair of HPU’s Board of Trustees. “I am grateful for his service to HPU as president and I appreciate his continued involvement as chancellor.”

Primary duties for Dr. Ellis as chancellor will be to work with major donors and to develop HPU’s extension centers in El Paso and New Braunfels.

“The work our university is doing at all three locations is vital,” said Dr. Ellis. “I am excited to be able to focus all of my attention on growing the financial resources to support these efforts.”

Prior to his role as HPU president, Dr. Ellis served as provost and chief academic officer at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. His experience in higher education also includes administrative and/or faculty positions at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas; Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi; Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana; and Clarke College in Newton, Mississippi.

HPU’s Board of Trustees named Dr. Paul W. Armes as interim president. Dr. Armes, who will take office on June 1, has a multifaceted, respected career in education and church life, having served as president of Wayland Baptist University and San Marcos Baptist Academy as well as having held numerous faculty roles, pastorates and leadership positions in denominational service. More information about Dr. Armes and details on the search process for the university’s 20th president will be shared in the weeks ahead.

For more information about HPU, please visit www.hputx.edu.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Bill Ellis will retire as president of Howard Payne University and become the institution’s chancellor.

HPU faculty and staff members honored for service to the university

Martha Fothergill - award 2018 2

Corey Ash - award 2018BROWNWOOD – May 4, 2018 – Members of Howard Payne University’s faculty and staff were recently honored at an annual personnel recognition luncheon held on the HPU campus. Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands, was named the Outstanding Faculty Member for the 2017-2018 academic year, and Martha Fothergill, coordinator of records and reports, was presented the Outstanding Staff Member award.

The outstanding faculty and staff member awards are made possible by Underwood’s Cafeteria and Porter Insurance Agency, respectively.

Certificates recognizing excellence in teaching were presented to Mike Dillard, assistant professor of business administration; Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of HPU’s Department of Social Work and Sociology; and Dr. Kristen Hutchins, associate professor of biology.

Certificates recognizing excellence in service were presented to staff members Jeremy Hogue, database administrator; and Katrina Lynn, business and human resources coordinator.

A special plaque commemorating retirement after 38 years of service to the university was presented to Mary Dunham, collection organization and management librarian and assistant professor of library science.

Also receiving awards were:

Five years of service – Wes Contreras, assistant director of admissions; Roger Dewell, maintenance supervisor; Ethan Fisher, financial accountant; Dr. Graham Hatcher, professor of kinesiology; Dr. Kevin Kelley, department chair and associate professor of psychology; Lori Kelley, assistant professor of government; Dr. Melody Maxwell, assistant professor of Christian studies; Dr. Dan Pryor, associate professor of business; Dale Ross, general maintenance – plumber; Josh Snow, director of student activities; Joey Withers, grounds lawn maintenance foreman; Randy Yeakley, vice president for development; and Dr. Craig Younce, department chair and associate professor of biology.

Ten years of service – Tammy Arreola, career services coordinator; Gretchen Campbell, executive assistant for student life and cheerleading coordinator; Toni Damron, assistant professor of social work; James Darby, adjunct in kinesiology; Dr. Kristen Hutchins, associate professor of biology; Alexa Maddox, academic services coordinator and instructor of developmental studies; and Larry Meadows, adjunct in business administration.

Fifteen years of service – Martha Fothergill, coordinator of records and reports.

Twenty years of service – Kathy Hagood, associate professor of English; Scott Owen, assistant professor of kinesiology; Diann Prickett, gift processing and prospect research associate; and Dr. Julie Welker, department chair and professor of communication.

Twenty-five years of service – Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of the School of Christian Studies; and Eydie Henderson, administrative assistant for the School of Christian Studies.
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Cutlines: Corey Ash (third from left), recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Member Award, is pictured with Jill Underwood (left), Paul Underwood (second from left) and Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president (right). The Outstanding Faculty Member Award is made possible by Underwood’s Cafeteria.

Martha Fothergill (center) recipient of the Outstanding Staff Member Award is pictured with Robert Porter (left) and Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president. The Outstanding Staff Member Award is made possible by Porter Insurance Agency.

God transforms HPU senior Jordan Pitman’s passion into calling

Jordan Pitman - HPU 2018BROWNWOOD – May 3, 2018 – As Jordan Pitman, Howard Payne University senior from Bangs, would attest, God cares deeply about the individual interests and desires of His children. In fact, Pitman, who will be among the graduates crossing the Commencement stage this Saturday, has already witnessed God planting passions in her heart and beginning to cultivate them for His purpose.

“Ever since I was little, I wanted to chase storms,” she said. “My favorite movie is ‘Twister’ and I watch it all the time. I knew that I wanted to study meteorology to help people understand weather patterns and to help keep them safe.”

God further clarified Pitman’s future career path through a mission opportunity in high school. While a student in the youth group at First Baptist Church of Gonzales, Pitman had her first experience with the Baptist General Convention of Texas (Texas Baptists) BOUNCE Student Disaster Recovery program. BOUNCE offers high school students the opportunity to assist communities in recovery efforts following natural disasters.

Pitman and others from her youth group traveled to Moore, Oklahoma, one year after a massive tornado ripped through the community, killing 24 people and leaving utter destruction in its wake.

“I was shocked to see how much help the community needed even after a year,” she said. “I was grateful for the opportunity to be able to come in and help after a real disaster like that.”

Though her plan from a young age had been to study weather patterns to forewarn individuals of impending storms, God used BOUNCE to show Pitman a new calling in life. Rather than chasing storms, she would be arriving in communities after disasters to serve people and help them rebuild their lives.

“It’s great that I don’t have to stray too far from a career that is related to meteorology,” she said. “It’s a blessing from God that He still uses my desires to fulfill His Kingdom work.”

Pitman, who had previously been applying to universities to study meteorology, changed her focus to ministry. Through prayer and research, God led her to HPU. She’s found HPU’s faculty and staff to be supportive spiritually as well as academically.

“I am able to tell my professors when my week has been rough and ask them for extra prayer,” she said. “I’ve also found the faculty and staff to be great resources as I continue my ministry work.”

In the summer of 2017, Pitman returned to BOUNCE as a member of the collegiate staff. She served as the communications/missions specialist as the team traveled to five relief locations in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. At each location, the collegiate staff of four individuals worked with a different group of high school students – around 600 in all – to provide relief and support to those in need.

“My job was to reach out to local media contacts to hopefully get them to cover the relief work we were doing in their communities,” she said. “I also promoted different future mission opportunities to the students at each location. I encourage other people to get involved, even if it’s not with BOUNCE. Through service to others, I was able to experience God in a new way by seeing how He is moving in people’s lives.”

At HPU, Pitman has continued to serve God by serving her classmates and her community. She is an active member of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry, serving as a ministry co-leader as well as on the BSM State Lead Team. She is president of the Ministerial Alliance, which seeks to prepare men and women preparing for ministry; is a member of the Pi Theta Chi sorority; a member of HPU’s Gamma Beta Phi scholastic honor and educational-service organization; and a member of Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology students. She is also a member of Appointed, an organization that strives to encourage ministry-driven women. In addition to her work through BOUNCE, she has participated in mission opportunities through the BSM and Texas Baptists’ Go Now Missions.

HPU designated Pitman as a 2017 Currie-Strickland Scholar in Christian Ethics and Theology and Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary named her one of the 2018 Young Maston Scholars, an honor given each year to two students from each partnering Texas Baptist university. Additionally, Pitman was named a 2018 recipient of HPU’s Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award, given to selected HPU students in acknowledgement of their character and commitment to service honoring Jesus Christ. She was also recognized as an Outstanding Christian Studies Student during HPU’s spring Academic Awards Convocation.

A cross-cultural studies major in HPU’s Christian studies accelerated degree program – through which students can earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in as few as five years – Pitman will return to the HPU campus in the fall to complete her Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry degree.

Dr. Gary Gramling, professor of Christian studies and director of HPU’s graduate programs in Christian studies, said, in his experience, it is unusual for a person so young to have such a defined sense of what God is calling her to be and do.

“Jordan’s love for missions, compassion for others, and thoughtful approach to service combine to make her a wonderful minister,” he said. “Since I have known her, Jordan has continually articulated a sense that God is calling her to help those in need, especially those who find themselves in need due to natural disasters or other emergency situations. Because of her gifts, experience, and genuine devotion to Christ, I believe God will use Jordan greatly in the days ahead.”

HPU’s Commencement will begin at 10:00 a.m. Saturday at the Brownwood Coliseum. For more information and a livestream of the event, visit www.hputx.edu/commencement.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu

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Cutline: Howard Payne University senior Jordan Pitman pursues her passion through God’s calling on her life.

HPU’s Spirit Store to be operated by Willie’s T’s of Brownwood

Spirit Store entranceBROWNWOOD – May 3, 2018 – Howard Payne University is pleased to announce that operation of its Spirit Store will soon be handled by Willie’s T’s, a successful screenprint and embroidery company based in Brownwood. Willie’s T’s will assume control of the store, located in HPU’s Mabee University Center, on July 2 with a soft opening to follow soon afterward.

Willie’s T’s has longstanding ties to HPU. The company is owned and operated by HPU alumni Will and Tracey Carrier, who founded Willie’s T’s in 1990 with two other business partners at the time, Joe Baucom and Brad Wardlow, who are also HPU graduates. Willie’s T’s has served as a vendor of official HPU apparel, banners, vehicle wraps and various other items and has operated HPU’s online store. MaryClaire Swallow, another HPU graduate and Willie’s T’s employee, will manage the Spirit Store. Additionally, Willie’s T’s has announced that a percentage of every dollar spent at the new store will be donated back to HPU.

“Willie’s T’s has been a valued partner of HPU’s through the years,” said Mike Rodgers, HPU’s chief financial officer and vice president for finance and administration. “We look forward to the expanded role the company will have on our campus and are excited to see the new line of products.”

With Willie’s T’s 15,000-square-foot facility situated just a few blocks from campus, the company is well positioned to regularly produce a wide array of merchandise to meet customer demand. Will Carrier expressed his company’s eagerness for the new arrangement.

“We are excited to be on campus,” said Carrier. “We look forward to working with campus groups and departments as well as others who love HPU to make sure we carry what they need and want in the Spirit Store.”

The store’s new hours of operation, specific merchandise, promotional specials and more will be announced as the details are finalized.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: The Spirit Store, located in HPU’s Mabee University Center, will be operated by Willie’s T’s beginning on July 2.

HPU Yellow Rose Award presented to Sharon Guthrie of Stephenville

Yellow Rose Award 2018 HPUBROWNWOOD – May 3, 2018 – The Howard Payne University Woman’s Club presented the prestigious Yellow Rose Award to Sharon Mitchell Guthrie of Stephenville during the club’s annual Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon held recently on campus.

Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady and Woman’s Club president, surprised Guthrie with a commemorative plaque and bouquet of yellow roses. The award is given annually to a woman who has exhibited exemplary leadership within her sphere of influence, who has exhibited fiscal, emotional or physical support to the ongoing of the university and who represents Christian values and beliefs foundational to HPU.

Guthrie and her husband, Neal, are both HPU graduates. They have two adult children — Glen and Tysha – and four grandchildren — Daradyn, Steel, Cade and Case. The couple works at Neal Guthrie Companies, Inc., established in 1975 in Stephenville.

Guthrie has taught high school English and business courses in central Texas and Baytown. She enjoys sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with children through her involvement in writing and directing choreography for children’s choirs and helping raise the next generation of godly men and women in her church, First Baptist Church of Stephenville. She is loved and respected by her handbell choir, valued by her family and appreciated by countless friends.

Caring about the destiny of others, Guthrie and her husband continue to impact the lives of current HPU students through gifts to the Annual Fund and the A Call To Send campaign. Guthrie also serves HPU as a member of its Board of Trustees and spends many hours promoting the university.

Diana and Jinny YRL 2018“I cannot say enough about what Mrs. Guthrie has done and continues to do on behalf of HPU,” said Dr. Diana Ellis. “Her faithful spirit and commitment to serving in God’s work here is a beautiful blessing to us all.”

The guest speaker for this year’s luncheon was Jinny Henson. This highly sought-after speaker and author is a native Houstonian and a graduate of Baylor University in Waco and Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth.

For more information about the HPU Woman’s Club, visit www.hputx.edu/womansclub, e-mail womansclub@hputx.edu or call 325-649-8305.

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Cutlines: 1. (Top) The Howard Payne University Woman’s Club recently presented the prestigious Yellow Rose Award to Sharon Mitchell Guthrie (left) of Stephenville. She is pictured with Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady and Woman’s Club president.

2. (Bottom) Jinny Henson (right), a native Houstonian and highly sought-after speaker and author, was the guest speaker at this year’s Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon at HPU. She is pictured with Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady and Woman’s Club president.