News Archives

HPU Model United Nations team dominates Germany conference

HPU Munster AwardsBROWNWOOD – April 16, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Model United Nations team won six awards at the 2018 Münster University International Model United Nations conference, more than any other team in attendance. The conference was held recently in Münster, Germany, with more than 200 student delegates representing 40 nations.

Model United Nations takes current world issues and asks students, who represent various countries as delegates, to try to solve them through diplomatic means. Students learn the art of diplomacy through caucusing, writing position papers and presenting in formal settings, all while following the model of the United Nations. The theme of this year’s conference was “Might Makes Right? Challenging Power and Privilege.”

Bringing home awards for HPU were Lainee Hasty, senior from Runaway Bay, representing South Africa on the United Nations Environmental Assembly; Caleb Kostreva, junior from Clifton, Colorado, representing Kuwait on the UN Security Council; Morgan Andie McCoy, junior from Whitehouse, representing India on United Nations Women Council; Emma Reed, junior from Kennedale, representing the Russian Federation on the UN Security Council; Penny Stehlik, sophomore from Round Rock, representing the Russian Federation on the 4th General Assembly: The Special Political and Decolonization Committee; and Jessica Swonger, junior from Midway, Arkansas, representing El Salvador on the Economic and Social Council.

Hasty, Kostreva and McCoy were each named Outstanding Delegate, while Reed, Stehlik and Swonger received Best Position Paper awards. Also representing HPU were Alex Bingham, junior from Bridge City; Jessica Catlett, senior from Alleyton; Joshua Dykes, senior from Mount Pleasant; and Charles Lewis, sophomore from Boerne.

Dr. Kevin Kelley, associate professor of psychology and chair of HPU’s Department of Psychology and Family Studies, advises the team.

“I am very excited that HPU’s Model United Nations team is bringing strength and expertise to the world stage,” he said. “Six of our 10 delegates won awards, including taking the top two honors on the Security Council. All of our delegates should be proud as we also were able to humbly spread the Good News far and wide.”

Kostreva and Reed led the HPU team as co-delegate and head delegate, respectively.

“As co-delegate for the HPU MUN team, I am so proud of all our delegates and the immense effort put into the conference,” Kostreva said. “So much of our success is because of Emma’s incredible leadership, and I know I speak for the entire team in saying this. While we brought home six awards, we also saw success in other ways, including having one delegate compete excellently in a Spanish-speaking committee!”

Reed also praised team members for their preparation and effort.

“I’m incredibly proud of and thankful for the hard work that this team put into preparing for this conference,” she said. “They all put in hours of research and represented HPU well. This was my sixth MUN trip, and it was possibly the most fun because I was able to travel and compete with a great group of friends! We go abroad so that we can expand our worldviews and meet people from around the world, and that was definitely the focus of this team. The awards are definitely an exciting aspect of it, but I’m more proud of the hard work that was put in by everybody.”

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University. 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: HPU’s Model United Nations team brought home six awards from the 2018 Münster University International Model United Nations conference. Left to right: Penny Stehlik, Caleb Kostreva, Jessica Swonger, Lainee Hasty, Morgan Andie McCoy and Emma Reed.

HPU receives grant from James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation

HPU Winebrenner Hall photoBROWNWOOD – April 13, 2018 – Howard Payne University has received a grant of $207,000 from the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation of Midland. The funds are designated for HPU’s Biomedical Science Program, with $150,000 to be used for an endowed scholarship in Mr. Davidson’s name and the remaining $57,000 to be used for new furnishings and fixtures in Lecture Hall 123 of HPU’s Winebrenner Memorial Hall of Science.

HPU launched its Biomedical Science Program in January 2017. The program is designed for students pursuing fields such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, physician assistant, physical therapy, biomedical engineering and biomedical research.

Dr. Kristen Hutchins, associate professor of biology, serves as director of the Biomedical Science Program.

“In addition to the generous scholarship fund for biomedical science students, we are also looking forward to updating the look and function of one of our lecture halls in Winebrenner,” she said. “This space is utilized by our Biomedical Science Program as well as other campus departments year-round. Most of the current furnishings and fixtures are original to when the room was completed, making them right at 55 years old.”

Improvements will include replacing the stadium-style seating with large tabletop work spaces which will allow for greater levels of collaboration; replacing the existing tile flooring with carpet to reduce noise and create a warmer classroom setting; and adding a new mobile podium/desk which will provide faculty members and presenters with more flexibility and complement the updated furnishings.

HPU has received significant support from the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation in the past. The foundation has given approximately $766,000 to HPU for the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Chair of Christian Studies and an additional $58,000 for computers, furnishings and lab supplies for the university’s School of Nursing.

“We’re extremely thankful for the foundation’s ongoing support of HPU and our students,” said Karina Daniel, the university’s director of corporate, community and foundation relations. “The scholarship funds and much-needed facility updates will not only benefit students and faculty within the Biomedical Science Program, but offer immeasurable encouragement to the university’s efforts to provide students with high-quality facilities that match our high-quality academic programs.”

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University. 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: HPU has received a grant of $207,000 from the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation of Midland. The funds are designated for the university’s Biomedical Science Program. Photo of HPU’s Winebrenner Memorial Hall of Science by Vivian Nguyen, HPU senior.

HPU’s Abraham Cooper to present junior recital

Abe Cooper 1BROWNWOOD – April 13, 2018 – Howard Payne University student Abraham Cooper, of Early, will present a junior piano recital on Tuesday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. This public event will be held in the university’s Grace Chapel and there is no charge for admission.

Cooper is majoring in music performance (piano) and biochemistry. He is a piano student from the studio of Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, chair of the Department of Music and tenured professor of music.

Selections for the recital will include “Sonata in E major, K. 380” and “Sonata in C major, K. 421,” both by Domenico Scarlatti; “Piano Sonata No. 2 in F sharp minor,” by Johannes Brahms; and “Three Moods,” by Aaron Copland.

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

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: HPU student, Abraham Cooper of Early, will present a junior piano recital on Tuesday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Grace Chapel.

HPU’s Stephen Goacher to perform at Eastland Jazz Festival this Saturday

Goacher photo with saxophoneBROWNWOOD – April 12, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Stephen Goacher, professor of music, will appear as guest artist at the fifth annual Eastland Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 14. The festival’s performances, scheduled to run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., will be held at the Majestic Theatre in downtown Eastland along with open-air performances in the Town Square.

The festival will feature jazz bands from Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene-area high schools and other schools from west-central Texas. Goacher will be a soloist with several of the bands and serve as a clinician to the various bands’ performances.

A noted performer on all the woodwind instruments, Goacher performed in concert with the San Angelo Symphony in February. In March, he joined Christopher Adkins, Dallas Symphony Orchestra principal cellist, and Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, chair of HPU’s Department of Music and professor of music, in recital performing Brahms’ “Clarinet Trio, Opus 114.” Also in March, he performed at the Temple College Jazz Festival with Grammy-winner John Clayton of Los Angeles. In early April, Goacher performed with All Hands on Deck, the Broadway musical touring Texas and billed as “America’s #1 patriotic show.”

In addition to appearing at the Eastland Jazz Festival, he will also present a faculty recital with Dr. Wallace in HPU’s Grace Chapel on April 23 at 7:30 p.m. Following that performance, he will return as principal saxophonist with the San Angelo Symphony in the “Dance to the Movies” Concert. In May he will join the National Touring Company of the Broadway Show Chicago as lead woodwind for the tour of west Texas.

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: HPU’s Stephen Goacher, professor of music, will perform at the fifth annual Eastland Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 14.

Japanese Debate Association members participate in forum at HPU

Japanese National Debate TeamBROWNWOOD – April 9, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau Speech and Debate Team recently held discussion sessions with Japanese students Kanaru Sato and Takuya Higuchi, the 2018 Japanese National Team from the Japan Debate Association.

The campus events, which focused on the importance of dialogue as a means of understanding intercultural and international differences, were hosted by the Student Speaker Bureau as a part of the National Communication Association’s Committee on International Discussion and Debate.

“The exchange of culture and opinions is a good opportunity for us and the institutions we are touring,” said Higuchi. “Through this exchange, we can learn more about our own culture as well as other cultures.”

Sato and Higuchi spoke with HPU students about the criminal justice system of Japan, cultural differences between the United States and Japan, and the value of and strategies for academic debate.

“Hosting these two Japanese students was an excellent opportunity for HPU students to engage with international students on a one-on-one basis,” said Dr. Julie Welker, professor and chair of HPU’s Department of Communication.

The visiting debate team members stopped at HPU during a two-week tour of seven U.S. colleges and universities. Other academic institutions on the tour were Weber State University, Randolph-Macon College, Duquesne University, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Southern California and California State University.

“It has been interesting to visit some of the states in the U.S. and see their unique cultures,” said Higuchi.

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University. 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: Takuya Higuchi (left) and Kanaru Sato (right) field questions from HPU students.

HPU to present an evening of food, fun and music

AMSEvent2018BROWNWOOD – April 5, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Symphonic Band will present its 23nd annual “American Music Spectacular” on Tuesday, April 24. The evening’s activities will begin at 5:30 p.m. outside in front of the university’s Mims Auditorium with food available from local food truck vendors. Live outdoor music will begin at 6:00 p.m. The main concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Mims Auditorium, with doors opening at 7:00 p.m. The event is open to the public and there is no charge for concert admission. Donations will be accepted at the door on behalf of the Wounded Warrior Project.

Food truck vendors will include Jack-a-Don’s and Chipster’s Grill. Both will be set up on the small road between the Bell Towers on campus and the parking lot across from Mims Auditorium. Cupcakes will also be available for purchase.

While eating, patrons can enjoy a live musical showcase in an informal outdoor setting featuring the talents of HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts faculty and students. Faculty who will perform outdoors include Dr. Gregory Church, professor of music; Dr. Celeste Church, professor of music, dean of institutional research and effectiveness and accreditation liaison to SACSCOC; Joseph Dunlap, instructor of music; Stephen Goacher, professor of music; Dr. Christopher Rosborough, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities; and Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, chair of the Department of Music and tenured professor of music. Students performing include senior Abraham Cooper of Early, senior Brendyn Porter of Red Oak and junior Suzanne Schad of Briggs. Also performing in the showcase are HPU’s Heritage Singers choir, under the direction of Dr. Rosborough, as well as the Winds of Triumph and Jazz Ensemble, both under the direction of Goacher.

The event will culminate with an indoor concert performance by the Symphonic Band in a concert titled “‘The American Experience’ – 1776-2018”, which pays homage to veterans and active personnel from the United States military, law enforcement as well as all first responders.

Selections for the concert include John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever”; Robert W. Smith’s “Inchon,” which is a fast-paced and thrilling ride-along with a Korean War helicopter incursion; “American Riversongs” by La Plante; and many more.

The Symphonic Band is under the direction of Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands.

“This event has become a popular tradition in the Heart of Texas region,” said Ash. “We will celebrate the American spirit and those who have put their lives on the line to help secure our freedom and democracy. You won’t want to miss this amazing night of music celebrating America and her heroes.”

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

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University. 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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Alumnus discusses how HPU set him on path to med school

TJ CounceBROWNWOOD – April 5, 2018 – T.J. Counce, a 2016 Howard Payne University graduate from Lockhart, has been accepted into the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine in San Antonio. He will begin coursework next fall upon his graduation from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Counce, who was granted interviews at three medical schools, attributes a great deal of his success to the support he received from HPU personnel.

“The number one best thing, the biggest selling point of Howard Payne, is the faculty and staff,” he said. “It would be hard to find a more caring and dedicated group of professionals, and their mentorship has molded me into the student and learner I am today.”

At HPU, Counce was a double major in biochemistry and the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy.

“As a double major, I was able to take part in a wide range of activities and programs I would have otherwise not experienced, and these were all featured heavily in my medical school applications,” he said. “Ultimately, you must stand out, and I had the opportunity in every application and interview to elaborate about my time at HPU and in the Academy.”

He also shared in interviews about the research he conducted through the Academy and HPU’s chemistry department.

“I truly feel this contributed to my acceptance,” he said. “Beyond that, taking a full 17- or 18-hour course load every semester has allowed me to successfully navigate graduate school. I have found that what you’ve done in the past contributes to your opportunities in the future, and my time at Howard Payne and in the Academy has without a doubt contributed to the path I am currently on.”

Counce first learned of HPU through his mother who was a student at the university her freshman year.

“Although she left to be closer to family, she loved her time at Howard Payne,” he said. “She encouraged me to apply. I met with an admission counselor at a college fair in San Marcos and that really piqued my interest.”

He encourages high school students considering HPU to meet with an admission counselor and tour campus.

“If you let yourself, Howard Payne is an excellent place to not only learn, but grow,” he said. “If you find yourself succeeding in environments that offer rich discussions, experiential learning, inquisitive exploration and enthusiastic support of students, then Howard Payne is an excellent school for you to consider.”

Counce has not yet committed to a specific specialty in medicine and is looking forward to third- and fourth-year clinical rotations to further refine his calling.

“I am pursuing medicine to help people and to help those who need it the most,” he said. “Wherever I feel that I can serve that goal the best and most effectively will ultimately be my choice of specialty.”

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Cutline: T.J. Counce, a 2016 HPU graduate, has been accepted into the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine in San Antonio.

HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau earns first national title in prose at championship

SSB 2018 NCFFIBROWNWOOD – April 4, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently earned the university’s first national champion title in prose interpretation. Junior Christopher Freeland, theatre major from Bangs, competed in prose interpretation and was awarded the title of 2018 national champion. On the judges’ panel, Freeland received straight “one” rankings in the final round which secured him the win.

The national championship was accomplished during the National Christian College Forensics Association national tournament, held at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. More than 220 students from 21 universities from across the nation participated in the 2018 championship. All schools represented are members of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.

“I am so proud of Chris for winning the national championship in prose interpretation,” said Dr. Julie Welker, speech and debate team coach and chair and professor of communication. “This is an extremely competitive tournament and his hard work has paid off. Christopher has been working very hard for the last three years to achieve this. He set his mind to it and has continually improved each year.”

In the debate competition, freshman Lucy Manning, Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, communication and social science jurisprudence major from Fort Worth, won second place as top speaker in junior varsity International Public Debate Association debate. Manning also advanced to quarterfinals in debate.

Other students competing in the tournament were sophomore Madison Neal, communication major from Chandler; junior Tyler Olin, social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Howe; and senior Aimee Orozco, communication major from Shepherd. Richelle Hair, instructor of communication, assisted with the team.

While in California, the team enjoyed a day of sightseeing at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, both in Anaheim, California. The group also visited with HPU alumni in the area.

“These trips are about more than just competing,” said Dr. Welker. “We want our students to have a well-rounded education through travel, and to experience the culture of each city we visit. While competition is our primary focus, getting out to network with HPU alumni is an important part, too.”

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 Cutline:  HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau recently competed at the 2018 National Christian College Forensics Association national tournament at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. Pictured from left are Dr. Julie Welker, speech and debate coach, and chair and professor of communications; junior Tyler Olin; freshman Lucy Manning; sophomore Madi Neal; senior Aimee Orozco; junior Christopher Freeland; and Richelle Hair, instructor of communications.

HPU students named 2018 Young Maston Scholars by Logsdon Seminary

HPU 2018 Maston Scholars (McIlwain, Pitman)BROWNWOOD – April 3, 2018 – Howard Payne University students Cecily McIlwain, junior from Dayton, and Jordan Pitman, senior from Bangs, were among 16 Texas Baptist students recently honored as 2018 Young Maston Scholars by Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary. The awards were announced during the 18th annual T.B. Maston Lectures in Christian Ethics held at Logsdon Seminary on the HSU campus in Abilene.
Each year, officials from partnering Texas Baptist universities nominate two students from their universities to become Young Maston Scholars, an award recognizing outstanding undergraduate students for their interest in, engagement with and integration of Christian ethics. Nominations for the award are based upon a student’s demonstrated faithfulness to the ethical example of Christ; a commitment to Christian ethics lived out in theological inquiry and academic excellence; an established reputation among peers for ethical Christian leadership; and an articulated clarity in an occupational expression of ministry, though it is not required to be in a congregational setting.
“It was a privilege to be named a Young Maston Scholar,” said McIlwain. “I treasure this act of affirmation from my professors. The lectures and conversations with members of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Christian Life Commission were an encouragement to my heart.”
Pitman also offered thoughts on being selected as a Young Maston Scholar for 2018.
“I was surprised when I first found out I was chosen for this award,” said Pitman. “But I was also appreciative of the Christian studies faculty for pointing out a strength that I didn’t realize I had. At the lectures, I learned a lot about how to better love people and how Christ would love those same people.”
McIlwain majors in cross-cultural studies. Pitman majors in cross-cultural studies as well and minors in psychology. Dr. Derek Hatch, associate professor of Christian studies, nominated the pair for the award.
“While nominating only two students each year is a tough task, Cecily and Jordan are excellent students who are worthy of this honor,” said Dr. Hatch. “Not only do they exemplify the criteria for selection, but they embody the essence of what it means to be a Young Maston Scholar. All of the Christian Studies faculty members consider it an honor to nominate them, and we look forward to what God will do in their lives going forward.”
For more information about Howard Payne University’s School of Christian Studies, visit www.hputx.edu/christianstudies or call 325-649-8403. More information about Logsdon Seminary at Hardin-Simmons University can be found at www.logsdonseminary.org.
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Cutline: HPU students Cecily McIlwain, junior from Dayton, and Jordan Pitman, senior from Bangs, were named Young Maston Scholars during the 18th annual T.B. Maston Lectures in Christian Ethics held at Logsdon Seminary on the Hardin-Simmons campus in Abilene.

Jessica Catlett has found a place to learn and grow at HPU

Jessica CatlettBROWNWOOD – April 2, 2018 – When one of her high school teachers recommended she look at Howard Payne University, Jessica Catlett was hesitant at first.

She was initially nervous about leaving home in Alleyton to attend college more than four hours away in Brownwood. However, she decided to follow her teacher’s advice. She scheduled a visit and quickly knew where she would be going to college.

“Immediately, I just loved HPU so much,” she said. “I felt peace here. When I arrived to visit, the campus felt like home. Every person we met was welcoming and kind.”

The friendly atmosphere that HPU exudes is one reason Catlett has enjoyed her time at HPU so much. For her, the faculty have contributed significantly to the appeal of HPU.

“The professors here want their students to succeed so much,” she said. “Because they want us to succeed, they do everything possible to help us. That is what makes HPU so unique. Our professors care genuinely for us.”

Catlett, now a junior, is a double major in social work and the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy. When she began college, she felt she might not be prepared for the challenge of the Honors Academy and that it would not fit her academic goals.

The multidisciplinary honors program was founded as the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom in 1962 under the guidance of its current namesake, Dr. Guy D. Newman, HPU president from 1955 to 1973. The Honors Academy’s aim is to equip intellectually gifted students with knowledge to excel as citizens and a proficient grasp of political systems to become leaders in their communities. Twenty-five students are admitted to the Honors Academy per year.

“Going into the Honors Academy, I was super intimidated,” she said. “I was expecting to find many political science majors and felt I wouldn’t fit in with my major. But, there are actually a wide variety of other students with other majors in the Honors Academy.”

According to Catlett, the curriculum of the Honors Academy has been complimentary to her other classes and has benefitted her personally.

“Some people think the Honors Academy is just for people who want to go into politics. It’s really not,” she said. “It teaches us how our government operates and how to be a good citizen.”

In addition to in-class studies, there are many other opportunities provided by the Honors Academy. One such opportunity is the Sumners Scholar Program, from which Catlett herself benefits.

The Sumners Scholar Program is administered by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation to provide students displaying academic excellence, a sense of civic responsibility and leadership potential with an additional resource to supplement their education. The program includes a scholarship provided by the Sumners Foundation. Each year, up to twelve students are nominated from HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy to take part in the program.

As a Sumners Scholar, Catlett attends leadership and political science conferences facilitated by the Sumners Foundation throughout the year. She said the Sumners program and the curriculum in the Honors Academy have helped to bring her two seemingly unrelated majors together.

“If I ever wanted to become an advocate,” she said, “the Honors Academy and the Sumners program are really teaching me ways to do that better, and learn about policies not just related to social work, but also ways that I can help people through policies.”

In addition to her involvement in the Honors Academy, she is a part of the Social Work Club, serves on the Baptist Student Ministry leadership team, is a member of honors organization Gamma Beta Phi, participates in Model UN and works as a resident assistant in Veda Hodge Hall, the women’s residence hall on the HPU campus.

Catlett spoke highly of the benefits of being active in organizations at HPU to students and the impact that organizations have had on her.

“Organizations here are a great way to make friends and help me to become invested in HPU even more because of all the great things we are doing,” she said. “When you are involved on campus, you enjoy your experience more and it is a way for you to serve others.”

Catlett’s time at HPU has been a significant influence on her life. When choosing to attend college, she was concerned about not finding where she fit. However, at HPU she has managed to do that well, growing personally in the process.

Looking back on her time in college, she named specific areas of her life in which she has seen growth through the years.

“Coming to HPU and knowing it is a safe place where I wouldn’t get lost has helped me mature a lot, boosted my confidence and really helped solidify who I am in Christ.”

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University. 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: Jessica Catlett of Alleyton has found HPU to be a great place to study and belong.