News Archives

HPU to celebrate Easter with Resurrection Week services

Michael Criner BROWNWOOD – March 23, 2018 – HRoger Cullins Imageoward Payne University will host Resurrection Week, an annual spring revival event, March 26-28. Held annually in the week preceding Easter, the services are intended to be a time of spiritual renewal and are open to the community in addition to HPU students, faculty and staff.
This year’s speaker, Dr. Michael Criner ’03, is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Bellville. He and his wife, Abigail ’05, have three children. Roger Cullins ’03 will lead worship at each service. Cullins serves as the worship pastor at Bay Area Church in League City. He and his wife, Katherine, have one child.
“Michael and Roger are familiar faces at HPU and we will be blessed by their leadership,” said Corey Ash, director of bands and Chapel coordinator. “Resurrection Week will be a powerful time of growth and worship of our risen Savior.”
Resurrection Week services will be held in HPU’s Mims Auditorium on Monday and Tuesday, March 26-27, at 10:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., and at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 28.
For more information, contact Ash at 325-649-8502 or

Attached: Photos of Michael Criner and Roger Cullins

HPU’s Social Work Club offers free prom dresses to area high school students

Spruill with prom dressBROWNWOOD – March 21, 2018 – Members of Howard Payne University’s Social Work Club are excited to once again assist area high school students in securing the prom dresses of their dreams. The club will host its annual Cinderella Project this Friday, March 23, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, March 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at HPU’s Girling Center for Social Justice, 1308 Austin Avenue in Brownwood.

Young women from area high schools may each receive one free prom dress while supplies last. The gently used dresses are current fashions donated by HPU students and others from the community.

“This is the twelfth year the HPU Social Work Club has hosted this event,” said Dan Humeniuk, club adviser, assistant professor of social work and chair of HPU’s Department of Social Work and Sociology. “Last year, 52 dresses were distributed to students from a variety of area high schools.”

Social Work Club members, led by the group’s president, Sierra Spruill, senior from Ranger, create a boutique experience for the high school students complete with music and fitting rooms.

“Many girls look forward to prom night and the perfect dress plays a large role in that,” said Spruill. “Our goal is to help make prom a memorable and positive experience for as many girls as possible.”

For more information, contact Spruill at 254-433-0242.


Cutline: Sierra Spruill, president of HPU’s Social Work Club, displays one of the dresses that was available during the club’s 2017 Cinderella Project event.

HPU to present Spring Sing 2018

MARCH 23 - 24 at 7_00 p.m. (1)BROWNWOOD – March 21, 2018 – Howard Payne University students will perform in the annual Spring Sing event this Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24, at 7:30 p.m. each evening. The event will be held in Mims Auditorium. Tickets are $5 each and may be purchased online ( or at the door.

Spring Sing is a popular event on the HPU campus, drawing audiences of students, personnel, alumni and members of the community.

This year’s theme is “TV Shows: Then & Now” and each of the three participating groups will perform an original musical/theatrical sketch that blends elements of classic television with current TV. Student organizations participating in this year’s event include Delta Chi Rho, Chi Alpha Omega and Pi Theta Chi.

“The goal of Spring Sing is to honor God, represent HPU in a positive manner and present a fun and entertaining production that showcases the talents, skills and creativity of HPU students,” said Joshua Snow, director of student activities. “We hope the community will make plans to join us.”

For more information, contact the Office of Student Life at 325-649-8017.


HPU to present choir concert featuring guest conductor Dr. John Dickson

dicksonBROWNWOOD – March 21, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Concert Choir will present a concert on Friday, March 23, at 6:30 p.m. in the university’s Grace Chapel. Dr. John Dickson, director of choral studies at Louisiana State University, will be featured as guest conductor for the concert. The public is invited to attend this free concert.

This concert is the culminating event to HPU’s inaugural session of the Secondary Educators’ Choral Conducting Workshop. The goal of the workshop is to host Texas high school and middle school conductors, and their respective students, in a two-day intensive process of polishing and honing their craft of conducting. Dr. Dickson serves as this year’s clinician for the workshop.

“It is truly an honor to have Dr. Dickson join us this week,” said Dr. Christopher Rosborough, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities at HPU. “As my former teacher and mentor, I know that he will bring both HPU’s Concert Choir and the visiting conductors to a new level of musical achievement.”

Dr. Dickson will conduct the selection “Fern Hill” arranged by John Corigliano.

“Dr. Dickson is the foremost scholar on this particular piece of music,” said Dr. Rosborough. “Attendees will be enraptured by a choral arrangement of the poem by the same name written by Dylan Thomas.”

In addition to Dr. Dickson, four conductors attending the workshop will direct the Concert Choir in various arrangements. Also taking the podium to conduct will be HPU junior Camilla Cotter, music education major from Garden Ridge, and HPU senior Marissa Godbey, music education major from Austin. Cotter and Godbey are both from the studio of Dr. Rosborough.

Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, chair and tenured professor of music, will accompany the choir on piano.

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


Cutline: Howard Payne University’s Concert Choir will present a concert on Friday, March 23, featuring guest conductor Dr. John Dickson, director of choral studies at Louisiana State University.

HPU receives 2017 Tree Campus USA® recognition from Arbor Day Foundation

PrintBROWNWOOD – March 19, 2018 – Howard Payne University was once again honored by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management. HPU recently received 2017 Tree Campus USA® recognition.

“Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Participating in Tree Campus USA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for us all.”

Tree Campus USA, an Arbor Day Foundation program, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Howard Payne University achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning project. Currently there are 344 campuses across the United States with this recognition.

As part of its ongoing efforts in making future generations aware of forest management, HPU hosted a large group of Brownwood fifth-grade students for a Texas Arbor Day event in November 2017. The students took part in fun, outdoor experiences and participated in a tree mulching demonstration on campus.

“We really enjoyed having students from Coggin Intermediate School on campus and look forward to future years of collaboration,” said Terry Pritchett, assistant vice president for facilities and planning and chair of the university’s Campus Tree Advisory Committee. “We’re proud to be honored with Tree Campus USA recognition again this year and we’re thankful that God has entrusted HPU with this beautiful campus to manage for His glory.”

The Arbor Day Foundation has helped campuses throughout the country plant thousands of trees, and Tree Campus USA colleges and universities invested more than $48 million in campus forest management last year. More information about the program is available at The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information is available at

HPU celebrates Black History Month during special Chapel service

Black History ChapelBROWNWOOD – March 19, 2018 – Howard Payne University celebrated Black History Month in February with the university’s annual Black History Recognition Chapel service.

Participants comprised of members of the African American Chapter of HPU’s Alumni Association and current HPU students, read stories and shared facts in recognition and celebration of the contributions of African Americans in society.

The program is written and directed each year by Wilbert Rogers ’75. Gladys Murray ’79 serves as the assistant coordinator and technical specialist.

“We’re so thankful for Mr. Rogers and Mrs. Murray and the tremendous amount of effort that goes into this program each year,” said Dr. Magen Bunyard, vice president for student life and dean of students. “We’re honored to come together as a university to celebrate Black History Month.”


Cutline: HPU students and members of the African American Chapter of HPU’s Alumni Association participated in the university’s annual Black History Recognition Chapel. Back row, left to right: Wilbert Rogers, Mary Collins Lawton, Ernest Kirk, Otis Fields, LJ Clayton, Ne’Lexia Galloway, Gladys Murray and Diane Jones. Front row, left to right: Shirley Sanders, Esmeralda Maldonado, Bettina Ballet, Isaac Sommers, Titus Brown and Wanda Rainey.

Miller leads discussion as HPU’s School of Humanities recognizes Black History Month

Draco Miller at HPUBROWNWOOD – March 9, 2018 – In recognition of Black History Month in February, Howard Payne University’s School of Humanities hosted a viewing and academic discussion of the 2011 film “The Help.” Following the screening, Draco Miller, Brownwood city council member and mayor pro-tem, led students and other attendants in a discussion of the film’s themes.

“Following the movie’s vivid depiction of discrimination in the early 1960s, Mr. Miller led a follow-up discussion on the current state of race relations in our country,” said Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of HPU’s Department of Social Work and Sociology.

Humeniuk said the evening’s activities provided the students with an opportunity to see how far we have come as a nation, to discuss their impressions of where we are now, and to visualize how far we have to go to realize Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream for racial equality in our country.

“We’re thankful to Mr. Miller for leading this thought-provoking session for our students,” said Humeniuk.

Cutline: Draco Miller, Brownwood city council member and mayor pro-tem, leads an academic discussion at HPU following the screening of the 2011 film “The Help.”

HPU New Braunfels Center participating in 24-hour online giving event

Big Give logoBROWNWOOD – March 8, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels Center is participating in this year’s the Big Give S.A., a 24-hour online giving event that will begin at midnight on March 22. The Big Give is designed to introduce supporters to non-profit organizations located in south-central Texas.

Last year, HPU’s New Braunfels Center raised more than $15,000 through the Big Give. An endowed scholarship for students at the center was created with the funds and will be awarded annually beginning in fall 2018.

“We’re so thankful to all of those who have supported us during previous Big Give events and those who continue to make gifts throughout the year,” said Ginger Taylor, development and event coordinator for HPU’s New Braunfels Center. “We owe a great deal of our success in the New Braunfels area to our faithful supporters.”

HPU, based in Brownwood for almost 130 years, began offering classes in New Braunfels in 2012 and has continued to grow each semester. HPU’s New Braunfels Center offers degrees for undergraduate and graduate students as well as coursework for dual-credit students. In the fall 2016 semester, the center opened a new facility at 4102 Loop 337, Suite 100, in New Braunfels. The university is planning a permanent campus in the city as part of the Veramendi development project.

HPU’s donation page will be live from midnight to 11:59 p.m. on March 22 at If you’re interested in supporting HPU’s New Braunfels Center but unable to give on March 22, please contact HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at 325-649-8006 or

To learn more about HPU’s New Braunfels Center, visit or call 830-629-2366.


Attached: Big Give S.A. logo

HPU receives $5,000 from United Supermarkets for scholarship funds

United check presentation Feb 2018.1BROWNWOOD – March 2, 2018 – United Supermarkets recently presented $5,000 to Howard Payne University to be used as scholarship funds that will be awarded to local and area HPU juniors and seniors who also receive the university’s Heart of Texas Scholarship. The grocery store chain plans to make this a yearly scholarship donation to HPU.

The purpose of the United Supermarkets Scholarship Fund is to help deserving students attend HPU. The donation will specifically benefit HPU students who meet the criteria mentioned above and who are majoring in business management or marketing. Another benefit of the scholarship is that its recipients will be considered for internships with United Supermarkets or for part-time jobs while attending HPU.

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, expressed his appreciation to United Supermarkets.

“HPU is blessed to have United Supermarkets and our other community partners who recognize the great value of higher education to our community and state,” he said. “United’s financial support of HPU through this scholarship demonstrates this corporation’s commitment to our area students.”

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 the Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: United Supermarkets recently presented $5,000 to HPU to be used as scholarship funds for local and area students. Pictured from left are Brandon Price, assistant store director; Lynn Day, store director; Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president; and Randy Yeakley, vice president for development at HPU.

Dr. Benjamin Martin named assistant vice president at HPU New Braunfels Center

Dr. Benjamin MartinBROWNWOOD – March 2, 2018 – Howard Payne University has named Dr. Benjamin Martin, 2004 HPU graduate, as assistant vice president at HPU’s New Braunfels Center. Dr. Martin will assume leadership of the center in March, filling the position vacated by Dr. Dale Meinecke in 2017. The public is invited to meet Dr. Martin on April 9 during a come-and-go reception from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at HPU’s New Braunfels Center, 4102 Loop 337, Suite 100, in New Braunfels.

Based in Brownwood for almost 130 years, HPU has maintained a presence in New Braunfels since March 2012 when the HPU Board of Trustees approved extending education to the community. In fall 2016, the center opened a new facility in the city and is planning to build a permanent residential campus in conjunction with the Veramendi development project.

“My family and I have experienced God’s grace and mercy in many ways over our lifetime, and we believe this opportunity with Howard Payne University is another gracious gift from God,” said Dr. Martin. “We are excited about the future opportunities for Howard Payne University and our family in New Braunfels.”

Upon graduating from HPU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian studies and business, Dr. Martin earned a Master of Higher Education Administration degree from Dallas Baptist University (2007) and a Doctor of Higher Education Administration degree from Texas Tech University (2016).

He has served in a variety of higher education roles since 2008, most recently as assistant dean of student services and director of recruiting at Western Texas College in Snyder. Additionally, he has taught college courses at Texas Tech University and Western Texas College including resource management, economics, learning frameworks and workforce management.

He is a city council member in Snyder and has served in a variety of civic and professional associations including the Texas Distance Learning Association, Texas Association of College Registrars and Admission Officers, Texas Association of College & University Student Personnel Administration and the Texas Municipal League. He has also served as a high school student-athlete mentor, United Way volunteer, Snyder Chamber of Commerce committee member and volunteer with the Boys & Girls Club of America.

“We’re honored to employ one of our own graduates to assume this leadership role at HPU’s New Braunfels Center,” said Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer. “Dr. Martin is well suited to assist HPU in the realization of a full academic, residential community in New Braunfels.”

Dr. Tew thanked Dr. Daniel Rivera, the center’s interim director, for his effective leadership. Dr. Rivera, who has many years’ experience in both higher education administration and Christian ministries, has served as interim director of the New Braunfels Center since October 2017. Dr. Rivera’s higher education experience includes roles at American InterContinental University, the Baptist University of the Américas, Texas State Technical College System and Delgado College. He additionally served as president of the Valley Baptist Academy, regional director of development for Buckner Baptist Benevolences and, most recently, president of ABBA Ministries.

For more information about HPU’s New Braunfels Center, visit, call 830-629-2366 or e-mail


Cutline: HPU recently named Dr. Benjamin Martin, 2004 HPU graduate, as assistant vice president at the university’s New Braunfels Center.