News Archives

HPU to host CBF’s Rev. Suzii Paynter for Currie-Strickland lectures

Suzii Paynter for webBROWNWOOD – February 6, 2018 – Howard Payne University will host Rev. Suzii Paynter, executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, for the university’s 11th annual Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics. The lectures will take place Thursday, February 15, and Friday, February 16, and are free to the public.

Centered on the theme “Women’s Leadership, Global Mission, and Course Correction,” Rev. Paynter’s lectures will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday evening and 10 a.m. Friday morning. Both discussions will take place in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of HPU’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center.

According to the organization’s website, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is a Christian network comprised of people and churches that work together to spread the hope of Christ. Prior to joining CBF in 2013, Rev. Paynter served in executive management of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (Texas Baptists) as the director of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission and as director of the Advocacy Care Center. Her tenure with Texas Baptists spanned more than a decade during which she focused on creating and managing large-scale ministry and advocacy programs.

Rev. Paynter serves on the board of Christian Ethics Today, is a member of the executive committee of the Baptist World Alliance and chairs its Human Rights Advocacy Committee. A nationally recognized faith leader and ordained deacon and Sunday School teacher of more than 40 years, Rev. Paynter has held positions of leadership in Baptist churches in Texas, Kentucky and Mississippi.

In 2013, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty honored Rev. Paynter with the J.M. Dawson Religious Liberty Award. Her work has also been highlighted on television programs such as Moyers in America and in print publications such as the Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker. In April 2014, Rev. Paynter was invited to the White House, where she discussed immigration reform with President Obama and a small group of faith leaders in the Oval Office.

“We’re honored to host Rev. Paynter and look forward to her thought-provoking discussions on women’s leadership roles and the global church,” said Dr. Derek Hatch, associate professor of Christian studies. “We invite the community to join us for these important and timely lectures.”

The Currie-Strickland lecture series is made possible through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Gary Elliston and was established to honor the life of Dr. David R. Currie, retired executive director of Texas Baptists Committed, and the memory of Phil Strickland, who dedicated nearly 40 years of ministry to the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Christian Life Commission.

Admission is free but reservations are requested. For reservations or more information, contact Howard Payne University’s School of Christian Studies by e-mail at currie-strickland@hputx.edu or by phone at 325-649-8403. More information is available online at www.hputx.edu/curriestrickland.

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Cutline: Rev. Suzii Paynter, executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, will be the guest speaker for HPU’s 11th Annual Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics.

HPU Moot Court students clinch national championship title

Hahn and Sommers National ChampsBROWNWOOD – February 1, 2018 – Howard Payne University students Jordan Hahn, sophomore from Burnet, and Isaac Sommers, senior from Boerne, were recently named National Brief Writing Champions during the American Moot Court Association’s national competition at the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law. Hahn and Sommers secured HPU’s second national championship title in the history of collegiate Moot Court with the previous title occurring in 2002.

Moot Court is a competition during which students participate in the preparation and arguing of cases in front of judges, designed to simulate argument before the United States Supreme Court.

In addition to writing the top brief, HPU’s team was ranked ninth in the oral component of the tournament placing in the top three percent in the country. Additionally, each student was recognized as a top orator in the tournament, with Hahn finishing as the 13th top speaker and Sommers finishing as the 20th top speaker.

Lorianna Kelley, HPU’s assistant professor of government, advises the Moot Court team.

“This tournament tops off an incredible year for HPU, with several wins, top orator awards and countless hours of hard work behind us,” she said. “It also is a great way to finish the collegiate career of our one graduating senior on the team, Isaac Sommers. He has advanced to nationals every year of competition, so it’s great to go out with a win!”

Hahn said it was an immense blessing to have had such success at the national championship tournament.

“I would never have expected to be at this point in only my second year of Moot Court,” she said. “I’m thankful for my fantastic partner and my coach who made it possible. Isaac and I have worked hard all year to prepare for this tournament, so it feels amazing to have that recognized and bring home a win for HPU.”

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Cutline: HPU Moot Court competitors Jordan Hahn (left) and Isaac Sommers recently secured the university’s second national championship title in the history of collegiate Moot Court.

HPU professor to perform with San Angelo Symphony Orchestra

Stephen Goacher 1BROWNWOOD – February 1, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Stephen Goacher, professor of music, has been invited to perform as principal saxophone with the San Angelo Symphony Orchestra at the group’s concert Saturday, February 3. The concert will be held at 7:00 p.m. in The Murphey Performance Hall in San Angelo.

Goacher has frequently performed with the San Angelo Symphony and with the Loveland Chamber Orchestra in Loveland, Colorado, as principal oboe from 1996-1999. During the 1980s and 1990s, Goacher performed as an adjunct member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra on oboe, saxophone and clarinet including a performance with the city’s Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York.

A member of the HPU faculty since 1999, Goacher teaches students who play woodwind instruments and conducts Winds of Triumph, the university’s church music ensemble that performed for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He is also director of HPU’s Jazz Ensemble.

“Mr. Goacher is widely acknowledged as a sought-after and highly skilled performer in many musical settings and on multiple instruments,” said Dr. Richard Fiese, dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts. “His accomplishments inspire both his students and colleagues to pursue excellence. Mr. Goacher is a true treasure to HPU.”

The concert, titled “Gypsy Jazz,” will include selections such as “Bolero” by Maurice Ravel, “Libertango” by Astor Piazzolla, scenes from “The Moldau” by Smetana and “Scheherazade” by Rimsky-Korsakov. The concert’s conductor is Maestro Hector Guzman of San Angelo. Featured performers are accordion star Julien Labro of Toronto, Canada, and Vinny Raniolo of New York who has performed more than 1,000 concerts around the world.

The concert is open to the public and tickets are available at http://sanangelosymphony.org/event/gypsyjazz. For more information, contact the San Angelo Symphony Orchestra at 325-658-5877.

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: HPU’s Stephen Goacher, professor of music, will perform with the San Angelo Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, February 3, at the group’s concert titled “Gypsy Jazz.” The concert will be held at 7:00 p.m. at The Murphey Performance Hall in San Angelo.

HPU hosts art show by four Waco artists

Art Show Photo 2 Art Show photo 1BROWNWOOD – January 26, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Department of Art will host an art show through February 27 titled “Intimate Studies: Nature and Landscape Forms.” The exhibit is available for viewing at the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery in HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center on the university’s campus. There is no cost to view this exhibit.

“The work in this exhibition is comprised of four Waco-based artists who all studied visual art at Baylor University,” said David Harmon, professor and chair of the Department of Art. “Each artist brings her unique vision in terms of interpretations of nature and landscape forms in various art media including charcoal, graphite, oil and acrylic.”

Featured works of art in the exhibit are by artists Kim Abercrombie, Katherine Makowsky, Jennifer Seo and Trisstah Wagstaff.

According to Abercrombie, her work, a lithograph titled “Flower Study #4,” is a visual interpretation and documentation of the familiar. She captures reflections of the past and present and takes in what draws her to nature by bringing it to the canvas.

Makowsky, a native of Waco, was trained as a printmaker but says her artistic influences derive from a wide variety of mediums in nature. Her featured work is graphite on Mylar and paper and titled “Forest Track I.” Makowsky’s says her art seeks to uphold the classical ideals of goodness, truth and beauty and is inspired by local and familiar landscapes.

Seo is currently a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts degree at The University of Texas-San Antonio. She says her artwork, including her exhibited acrylic and charcoal work titled “Sanctum,” is based in personal memories to explore the cognitive process of an experience becoming a memory and how those memories are built into self-perception.

Wagstaff is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. She says her acrylic on canvas painting titled “The Kind Storm” explores how people are affected by beauty and how that beauty is found and experienced even through deep loss and sadness. She says her paintings also acknowledge hope as something sacred and spiritual.

“We are pleased to have these artists exhibit their artwork here at HPU and encourage the public to come view each of the pieces,” said Harmon. “Information on each of the artists’ inspirations and works will be available at the exhibit.”

The gallery is open 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Fridays and is closed on weekends. The Doakie Day Art Center is located on the HPU campus, on Center Avenue, near Lipscomb Street in Brownwood.

All inquiries may be directed to Harmon at 325-649-8088 or dharmon@hputx.edu.

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: Photo 1: HPU’s Department of Art will feature the works of four Waco-based artists who each bring unique vision in terms of interpretations of nature and landscape forms.
Photo 2: Available for viewing through February 27, HPU’s art show titled “Intimate Studies: Nature and Landscape Forms” features artwork in various media including charcoal, graphite, oil and acrylic.

HPU social work students participate in Mission Waco’s poverty simulation

Poverty simulation group HPU 2017BROWNWOOD – January 24, 2018 – Seven Howard Payne University students and one faculty member recently took part in one of Mission Waco’s poverty simulations, an experience designed to give participants a firsthand look at poverty in America. This was HPU’s ninth year to participate in the event.

Mission Waco creates a safe, controlled weekend of experiences that is designed to increase empathy for those living in poverty in America. HPU students joined approximately 30 other people of various ages to go through this simulation together.

Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of HPU’s Department of Social Work and Sociology, takes part in the simulation with his students each year.

“The whole group of participants was smaller this year which was actually a good thing,” said Humeniuk. “We were able to go through the simulation and spend more time in processing the experience which is difficult with a larger group.”

Attendees experienced a very small sample of the hunger, tiredness and hardship many homeless people have to endure on a daily basis. Morgan Lacy, a senior from Early, attended the simulation and gave his perspective of the event.

“Those who are from a poor background are not less than me; they are my equals according to God,” Lacy said. “Having a better understanding of the hardships of those in poverty, I can understand what their needs are.”

The poverty simulation participants were not given any luxuries, including transportation. They walked everywhere they needed to go which totaled about 18 miles over the weekend.

The group had the opportunity to experience a church service and worship under the I-35 bridge over 8th Street in Waco on Sunday morning. Mission Waco conducts the church services and, as part of the simulation, participants walk one-and-a-half miles from the site to the bridge. Groups of people from all over Waco including college students, families and homeless people join together to worship under the bridge.

Another HPU student who attended the poverty simulation weekend, junior Lyn Norway from Brownwood, shared her takeaway from the event.

“I believe that all people, no matter what career they go into, should go through this poverty simulation, so that they will have a better understanding of what poverty truly is and how they can help to end it,” said Norway.

Besides Humeniuk, Lacy and Norway, others from HPU who attended were junior Jessica Catlett from Alleyton, senior Jacob Escobar from Brownwood, 2017 HPU graduate Gabriella Guest from Brownwood, senior Crystal Hernandez from Brownwood and junior Marina Sheets-Ochoa from Brownwood.

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Photo cutline: Eight from HPU participated in the 2017 Poverty Simulation in Waco. They are pictured on the HPU campus. Left to right: Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of the Department of Social Work and Sociology; Jacob Escobar; Gabriella Guest; Crystal Hernandez; Lyn Norway; Marina Sheets-Ochoa; Jessica Catlett; and Morgan Lacy.

HPU Baptist Student Ministry leaders attend state summit

HPU BSM student leaders 2018BROWNWOOD – January 22, 2018 – Three student leaders from Howard Payne University’s Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) recently attended the annual Texas BSM Winter Summit at Baylor University in Waco. Student leaders from university BSMs across Texas came together as the BSM State Lead Team for the summit.

Students who exhibit leadership qualities within their BSM are chosen from each university. Seniors Karli Conrad of Katy, Joseph Flanigan of Round Rock and Jordan Pitman of Bangs were the leaders chosen to attend the summit for HPU.

“Texas BSM Winter Summit was challenging and powerful,” said Flanigan. “I came back with new ideas and renewed motivation to be missional on the HPU campus.”

Keith Platte, HPU’s BSM director, said the students got the opportunity to hear from speaker Caleb Crider, instructional design leader for the International Mission Board and co-author of “Tradecraft: For the Church on Mission.” Crider challenged the students to be leaders and disciple-makers on their home campuses. Conrad shared what she took away from Crider’s teaching.

“The Gospel must be shared through the unreached spaces just as much as the reached ones,” said Conrad. “There is beauty in schools coming together to share similarities and differences in how they approach this concept. I feel blessed to have attended.”

The students who attended received training on how to engage their campuses and culture. Participants also planned Texas BSM’s upcoming prayer event, “Abide,” a retreat for all Texas BSM students scheduled for February 2-3 at Highland Lakes Camp near Spicewood.

Also attending the Summit were HPU alumni Dylan Hughes ’17, BSM assistant at Texas A&M University-Commerce; Adam Jones ’17, BSM assistant at Rice University in Houston; and Hannah Williamson ’17, BSM assistant at HPU. All three alumni served as HPU’s BSM student leaders while students at HPU.

“I had an impactful and refreshing experience that has prepared me for the upcoming spring semester,” said Williamson.

Pitman commented that she brought home a lot from the Summit as well.

“This year’s Summit showed me the importance of discipleship during college,” Pitman said. “Our BSM at HPU seeks to help students know Christ and make Him known, and I pray that we continue that mission as we grow in our discipleship abilities. We don’t want the BSM to be known only for the events hosted but for the Christ-like attitude its leaders and members display.”

For more information about HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry, contact Platte at kplatte@hputx.edu or 325-649-8319.

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options including the Heart of Texas Scholarship, which awards $60,000 to 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: Alumni and student leaders from HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry recently attended the State Lead Team Winter Summit at Baylor University in Waco. Giving the official HPU Yellow Jacket “Sting ’Em” sign are (left to right): senior Joseph Flanigan, student leader; Adam Jones ’17, HPU alumnus and BSM assistant at Rice University in Houston; senior Karli Conrad, student leader; Hannah Williamson ’17, alumna and BSM assistant at HPU; Dylan Hughes ’17, HPU alumnus and BSM assistant at Texas A&M University-Commerce; and senior Jordan Pitman, student leader.

HPU’s University Singers group gears up for spring rehearsals

BROWNWOOD – January 12, 2018 – The University Singers, Howard Payne University’s community and collegiate choral opportunity, is welcoming new and returning musical enthusiasts into its membership for the spring 2018 semester. Rehearsals will be held on Mondays starting January 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. at the choral rehearsal hall, room 503, in the university’s Davidson Music Complex. No childcare is provided.

This unique entity within Howard Payne presents two concerts per year (one at Christmastime and one in the spring). Through participation, choristers can expect to glean a balance of exposure to great choral literature, thorough vocal instruction and ultimately a knowledge and execution of musical excellence.

“It is the goal of this ensemble to cultivate an ensemble of singers within the community and university who strive to offer a high level of artistry, while advocating for great choral music in Brownwood and its surrounding areas,” said Dr. Chris Rosborough, assistant professor or music and director of choral activities. “This semester, we will prepare a concert centered on the American choral tradition and will sing a variety of music from sacred harp and Broadway to African-American spirituals and more.”

For more information, please contact Dr. Rosborough at crosborough@hputx.edu or HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options including the Heart of Texas Scholarship, which awards $60,000 to 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.

HPU’s jazz ensemble to present concert Thursday, January 18

BROWNWOOD – January 11, 2018 – The Howard Payne University Jazz Ensemble will present a winter concert titled “January Jazz” on Thursday, January 18, at 7:30 p.m. This concert will be held in the university’s Mims Auditorium and is open to the public. There is no charge for admission.

The ensemble will perform songs that span many jazz styles including Swing, Bop, Cool and Latin. Selections will include original arrangements from the popular bands of Benny Goodman and Stan Kenton as well as big band adaptations of jazz classics by Chick Corea, John Mahoney, John Lewis and Wayne Shorter.

The HPU Jazz Ensemble is under the direction of Stephen Goacher, professor of music.

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

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options including the Heart of Texas Scholarship, which awards $60,000 to 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.

Central Texas Community Band to begin rehearsals at HPU

BROWNWOOD – January 10, 2018 – It’s time once again to dust off that old clarinet or trombone and get back in the band! The Central Texas Community Concert Band will begin rehearsing for the spring 2018 season on Tuesday, January 16, at Howard Payne University. Rehearsals will be held in HPU’s Davidson Music Complex beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands at HPU, will lead the group along with several guest conductors from the area.

“The band will perform varied literature for its annual spring concert,” said Ash. “From high school students to those who are older but still have the desire to play, all are invited to come and be a part of this wonderful community project.”

HPU’s Davidson Music Complex is located on the university’s campus. For more information, contact Ash at 325- 649-8502 or cash@hputx.edu.

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options including the Heart of Texas Scholarship, which awards $60,000 to 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.

Dr. Robert Bicknell retires from HPU, named first Provost Emeritus

Tew, Bicknell and Ellis at Commencement for webBROWNWOOD – December 15, 2017 – Dr. Robert Bicknell, who has served at Howard Payne University for almost 30 years, retired from his role as accreditation liaison at the close of the fall 2017 semester after stepping down from his concurrent role as dean of extended education in May. In appreciation of Dr. Bicknell’s faithful service to the university, Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, named Dr. Bicknell HPU’s first Provost Emeritus.

Dr. Bicknell began his career at HPU in 1989 as vice president of academic affairs before being named provost. He has since served the university in a variety of administrative and academic roles. Prior to coming to HPU, Dr. Bicknell served at Enterprise State Junior College, Wayland Baptist University and Southwest Baptist University.

As accreditation liaison to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Dr. Bicknell has successfully shepherded HPU through three decennial reaffirmations, numerous substantive change proposals and countless period reports and has served on 24 SACSCOC visiting and off-site committees, many of these as committee chair. He is a sought-after speaker regarding the subject of regional, peer-reviewed accreditation and is frequently enlisted as consultant to institutions beginning the reaffirmation process.

Dr. Bicknell also led the university in the innovation of distance learning, including the development of curriculum and the initiation of HPU’s extension centers in El Paso and New Braunfels.

He is active in the community and has served as an officer of the Brownwood Rotary Club, the Brownwood Economic Development Corporation, the Brownwood Regional Medical Center Institutional Review Board, the Brownwood Technology Board and the West Texas Telecommunications Consortium.

Dr. Ellis informed Dr. Bicknell of his Provost Emeritus designation in a recent letter thanking the retiree for his many years of dedicated leadership.

“Your service to Howard Payne and your commitment to the cause of Christian higher education deserve nothing less,” Dr. Ellis wrote.

Dr. W. Mark Tew, HPU’s provost and chief academic officer, commended Dr. Bicknell on his leadership and said his presence at HPU will be missed.

“Dr. Bicknell approached his time at HPU not only as his career but as his calling,” Dr. Tew said. “We’re appreciative of his dedication to the university and wish him all the best in the years to come.”

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Cutline: A Resolution of Appreciation honoring Dr. Robert Bicknell was read during HPU’s fall 2017 Commencement ceremony. Left to right: Dr. W. Mark Tew, Dr. Bicknell and Dr. Bill Ellis.