What I love about HPU

HPU senior Amaya Marshall writes about why the university is special to her

As a senior in high school, I had the opportunity to tour several college campuses. After visiting those campuses, I didn’t have a sense of peace, nor did I feel as though I was a good fit for what was being offered. It wasn’t until I attended the Yellow Jacket Monday at Howard Payne University that I felt at peace and a sense of belonging to something bigger. I was looking for a home away from home where I could experience what I had felt every day of my high school journey – God, family and academics. My mother has always instilled in me to have a relationship with God and to obtain a quality education. After she and I left the orientation, I said to her, “HPU is where I want to be.” 

I was looking for a campus where there was community and true genuine love for God. I wanted a great education, but also to develop a better relationship with God. When I toured HPU as a high school senior, I knew this was where I belonged. It is the perfect mix of both academic excellence and Christ-centered environment. It’s been three years now since I started here at HPU, and every day I am amazed at how God has used this university to mold me into the woman that He has planned for me to be. 

I love the fact that HPU truly is a family of many backgrounds. All of the faculty and staff are passionate about every student. Everyone you encounter around campus wants you to be successful. They are not just going through the motions when conversing with a student, as they take the time to know each individual personally. This makes for a more effective learning environment and creates an open door to ask questions. Everyone here is so friendly; the first time you meet someone, you feel like you’ve known that person forever. It’s impossible to not have a friend at HPU. 

"It's the perfect mix of both academic excellence and Christ-centered environment."

The Howard Payne community follows Jesus Christ. This university was built on a strong foundation. During my time here at HPU, I’ve made amazing friendships that will last a lifetime and connected with professors who not only know their content but truly know their students by name and need. I admire all my professors. However, Dr. Kristen Hutchins, professor of biology and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, will always have a special place in my heart. Not only does she want to know my short- and long-term goals, but she always builds my capacity in the field of biology by challenging me to give and do my best on a daily basis. The care that she has for all of her students is endless. In addition, Dr. Hutchins took me and a small group of my classmates to visit Texas A&M to tour the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and it was absolutely amazing! From that experience, I’m determined to be one of the best veterinarians to earn a biology degree from Howard Payne University.

Just as any other college student being away from home for the first time, I experienced times of amazing happiness and challenges that would remind me of all the lessons learned during Chapel and have deepened my walk with the Lord. Now I know the true purpose of suffering when the Bible says, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Peter 5:10, KJV).

Lastly, being a part of the Lady Jacket volleyball team as a student-athlete has helped me develop, cultivate and refine lifelong skills that will help me to be not only a godly woman but a true professional in the veterinarian arena. I’m very proud to be a Yellow Jacket and would highly recommend HPU to every graduating senior I know. It is truly a blessed place to be. Once a Yellow Jacket, always a Yellow Jacket. Sting ’em!

Photo #1: Amaya is proud to be an HPU Yellow Jacket and enjoys the atmosphere on campus. 

Photo #2: Amaya was joined by her mother, Phyllis Howard, at the HPU Women’s Club’s 2020 Yellow Rose Luncheon, at which Amaya was awarded the Yellow Rose Scholarship.

Photo #3: Amaya (at right) and classmates visit Texas A&M’s veterinary college on an academic excursion led by HPU faculty member Dr. Kristen Hutchins (at left).

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