News Archives: Alumni Relations

HPU congratulates alumnus Dr. Ronnie Floyd on SBC CEO post

With reporting by Baptist Press

BROWNWOOD – April 4, 2019 – Dr. Ronnie Floyd, 1978 Howard Payne University graduate, was recently named president and CEO of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in Arkansas, served as SBC president from 2014 to 2016.

According to a news release distributed by Baptist Press, the official news service of the SBC, Dr. Floyd has 43 years of pastoral experience dating back to First Baptist Church in Cherokee, Texas, in 1976 and subsequently including congregations in Milford, Palacios and Nederland, Texas. He began leading Cross Church in 1986, a post from which he will resign on April 7 to assume leadership of the Executive Committee.

Dr. Floyd is the author of more than 20 books and host and lead speaker of The Summit businesspersons’ luncheon of northwest Arkansas, equipping more than 400 business leaders each week.

“It is wonderful to see one of our graduates called to such a great Kingdom opportunity,” said Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president. “On behalf of the university, I congratulate Dr. Floyd on his appointment and wish him all the best in this new role.”

###

Cutline: Dr. Ronnie Floyd, 1978 HPU graduate, was recently named president and CEO of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. Photo courtesy of Cross Church, posted on Baptist Press. Used by permission.

Dr. Cory Hines named Howard Payne University’s 20th president

BROWNWOOD – March 18, 2019 – Howard Payne University has named Dr. Cory Hines as the institution’s next president, the 20th in HPU’s 130-year history. The announcement was made following a special called meeting of HPU’s Board of Trustees on Monday, at which the board voted unanimously in favor of Dr. Hines’ appointment. He will begin work at HPU on April 1.

A 1997 graduate of HPU, Dr. Hines has a broad range of experience in higher education administration. Before moving to his current post as vice president of enrollment at Dallas Baptist University, he served that institution in other capacities as vice president in the areas of advancement, graduate affairs, external affairs, and alumni and community relations. He has taught at DBU and provided leadership in the creation of several graduate programs there. Active in Baptist life, he also has experience in the ministry, having served as executive pastor and student pastor at Ferris Avenue Baptist Church (now The Avenue Church) in Waxahachie.

He earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in religious education from HPU, followed by the Master of Arts degree in Christian education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2000 and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in leadership studies – higher education from Dallas Baptist University in 2012.

“Dr. Hines’ combination of education and experience makes him a perfect fit for Howard Payne University,” said Pastor Ray Still, chair of HPU’s Board of Trustees. “As our institution continues to seek to glorify God and prepare our students to fulfill His calling on their lives, Dr. Hines will provide the kind of leadership needed for the next stage in HPU’s long, distinguished history.”

Dr. Hines and his wife, Melinda, have two children, Mackenzie and Caleb. The family currently resides in Waxahachie and will relocate to Brownwood. Dr. Hines expressed his eagerness to renew his relationship with HPU and the Brownwood area.

“Howard Payne University had a life-changing impact on me as a student, and I’m honored to have been chosen to lead my alma mater as president,” he said. “My family and I are eager to come back home to Brownwood and plant our lives here.”

Monday’s announcement is the culmination of a process that began in the summer of 2018, following the retirement of Dr. Bill Ellis as president and his transition to the role of chancellor. To assist HPU’s search committee, the university enlisted the executive search firm of CarterBaldwin of Atlanta.

“The search process yielded a wide range of applicants from across the U.S.,” said Dr. David Lowrie, chair of the search committee, member of HPU’s Board of Trustees and senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Decatur. “We are grateful to our associates at CarterBaldwin for their help in securing such an impressive pool of candidates, and we are thankful to God for His leadership through this entire journey. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

In addition to Dr. Lowrie, committee members from the Board of Trustees were 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 executive recruiter from Waxahachie; and Lesley Collier Wyse, HPU alumna and retired educator from Boerne. Representing HPU employees on the committee were 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 the search committee devoted many hours and countless prayers to this process,” said Pastor Still. “Their diligence is a testament to their commitment to our university and the monumental importance of their task.”

Dr. Paul W. Armes, longtime educator, administrator and minister, has served as HPU’s interim president since June 1. His service to HPU will end on March 31.

“Howard Payne University has great days ahead,” Dr. Armes said. “Dr. Cory Hines is already part of the university family and brings a proven track record of excellence and effectiveness in the field of faith-based higher education. We are at a very exciting moment of HPU’s history. Surely God’s hand of blessing is on this university.”

Pastor Still expressed his thanks to Dr. Armes for his service to HPU.

“On behalf of the entire HPU family, I offer my gratitude to Dr. Armes for his willingness to step into this role and serve our university with characteristic warmth, wisdom and grace,” Pastor Still said. “As he returns to retirement, he takes with him our best wishes and lasting appreciation.”

More information about Dr. Hines will follow in the weeks ahead. For more details about HPU, please visit www.hputx.edu.

###

Photo #1 cutline: Dr. Cory Hines speaks to an assembly of HPU students, faculty and staff shortly after his appointment as the university’s 20th president.

Photo #2 cutline: Dr. Cory Hines is pictured with his wife, Melinda, and children, Mackenzie (far left) and Caleb (far right).

HPU graduates 94 at close of fall 2018 semester

BROWNWOOD – March 4, 2019 – Howard Payne University graduated 94 students during its Commencement ceremony held at the close of the fall 2018 semester.

Dr. Paul Armes, HPU interim president, and other university representatives conferred the degrees.

The list below includes December and August graduates. Students must have a 3.55-3.69 grade-point average to graduate Cum Laude, a 3.70-3.84 GPA to graduate Magna Cum Laude and a 3.85-4.0 GPA to graduate Summa Cum Laude.

Graduates included:

Abilene
Sarah Elizabeth Carey, Bachelor of Science in general psychology

Alvarado
Audrey Mae Kirkland, Bachelor of Arts in general psychology

Amherst
Shawnece Vandela Wormly, Bachelor of Science in athletic training

Arlington
Tayler Brittany Rushing, Master of Business Administration

Athens
Jeffrey Ryan Quattlebaum, Master of Arts in theology and ministry

Auburn, Washington
Blake A. Null, Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice

Austin
Dominique Marie Featherstone, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in general studies
Marissa Cheyenne Godbey, Bachelor of Music in music education (choral – all-level certification), Cum Laude

Bangs
Frank L. Westover, Master of Science in criminal justice

Brownwood
Emile Georges Accaoui, Bachelor of Arts in social science (American political studies)
Ryan A. Adams, Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (multimedia)
Travis Toby Adams, Bachelor of Science in studio art
Titus J. Brown, Bachelor of Business Administration in management
Melodee Lynne Carrier, Bachelor of Arts in youth ministry
Briana Dawn Coody, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in general studies
Tanner Wayne Donathan, Bachelor of Arts in communications (public and media)
Chanse Ray Frenette, Master of Business Administration
Crystal Aliyah Hernandez, Bachelor of Arts in social work
Kimberlyn Elaine Ho, Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6), Cum Laude
Jessica Carol Huckaby, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice (restorative justice)
Justin Alan Lawson, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice
Jensen Lee Limer, Bachelor of Science in criminal justice, Cum Laude
Cheyanne Denise Miller Lovelady, Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (personal trainer)
Cassia Noelle Rose, Bachelor of Arts in theatre, Summa Cum Laude
Gip Alan Sills, Bachelor of Science in athletic training
Danny Kyle Steele, Bachelor of Science in criminal justice
Clara Octani Tarigan, Bachelor of Science in engineering science
Stephanie Michelle Thompson, Bachelor of Science in kinesiology (general)
Keegan Ryan Torres, Bachelor of Business Administration in management, Cum Laude
Daniel Maurice Weatherly, Bachelor of Science in business administration
Andres Jose Zambrano, Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice

Cedar Park
Tracer J. Moore, Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (general)

Comanche
Micah Jo Taylor, Master of Business Administration

Crockett
Dillon Layne McDugle, Master of Education in instructional leadership

Cross Plains
Morgan Hayley Megarity, Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing

Early
Terrell Veron St. Julian, Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (multimedia)
Austin Caleb Throckmorton, Bachelor of Business Administration in management, Summa Cum Laude
Jason Ryan Washburn, Bachelor of Arts in history and Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting

El Paso
Jesus Arturo Barraza, Master of Business Administration
Janet Nicole Carrillo, Master of Education in instructional leadership
Roberto Elizalde, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (composite concentration), Summa Cum Laude
Fernando Louis Fernandez, Associate in Ministry
Kacie Lynn Greseth, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (composite concentration)
Steven Cathcart Lewis, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (composite concentration)
Priscilla Marie Macias, Master of Business Administration

Eldorado
Anna Kaye McBride, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (composite concentration), Magna Cum Laude

Farmington, New Mexico
Crisharo Rayne Begay, Bachelor of Arts in youth ministry

Fort Morgan, Colorado
Nicole Ann Karas, Master of Business Administration

Fort Worth
Justin Michael Harris, Bachelor of Arts in social science (jurisprudence)
Benjamin Buchanan Lewis, Bachelor of Science in kinesiology (personal trainer)

Frisco
Charles Christopher Whitson, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (composite concentration)

Gatesville
Augusta Marie Johnson, Bachelor of Arts in history, Honors Academy and social science (global studies), Magna Cum Laude

Godley
Breanna Danielle Hunt, Bachelor of Science in mathematics (high school: grades 7-12)

Granbury
Katelyn Leigh O’Conner, Bachelor of Arts in family studies, Magna Cum Laude

Grandview
Bailey Brian Smith, Master of Business Administration

Greenville
Anna Lauren Jeffers, Master of Arts in theology and ministry

Humble
Hunter Gordon Bazan, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration

Jarrell
Anissa Joyce Peralta, Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)

Katy
Tobias Ty Turney, Master of Arts in theology and ministry

Keller
Tyla Joyce Tipton, Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (general)

Kerrville
Catrina Leigh Hooten, Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)

Killeen
Kaytlin Dianne Hunkins, Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting
Tyler Lee James, Bachelor of Science in kinesiology (all-level certification)

Kyle
Stephen Kyle Wright, Bachelor of Science in business administration

Liberty Hill
Chesney Beth Goza, Bachelor of Science in general psychology

May
Allison S. Williams, Master of Education in instructional leadership

McAllen
Emily Annette Villarreal, Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)

McKinney
Tara Brooke Carroll, Bachelor of Arts in cross-cultural studies

Mexia
Stephen Featherston, Bachelor of Science in communications (public and media)

Monahans
Garrett Ford, Bachelor of Arts in cross-cultural studies, Magna Cum Laude

Natalia
Andrew William Overmiller, Bachelor of Arts in Christian education

New Braunfels
Jerome Agnew, Master of Business Administration
Patrick Scott Akers, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice
David Bradley Blevins, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice
Emily Elaine Dixon, Bachelor of Science in business administration, Summa Cum Laude
Audrie Nicole Drummond, Master of Business Administration
Kirstin Lorrel Henderson, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice
Olivia Ann Hetherington, Bachelor of Science in business administration
John Christian Hjort, Master of Business Administration
Travis Logan Kiers, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Christian studies (composite concentration)
Jennifer J. Knighton, Master of Business Administration
Raul Medina, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration, Summa Cum Laude

Round Rock
Eugene Justin Barrera, Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (personal trainer)
Stacy Rachaun Beattie-Anderson, Bachelor of Arts in English language arts and reading (high school: grades 8 -12)

Runaway Bay
Taylor Madison Edwards, Bachelor of Arts in social studies composite (high school: grades 7-12)

San Angelo
Adriana Alexandra Mata, Bachelor of Science in elementary education (early childhood – grade 6)
Marshall Ray Simpson, Master of Arts in youth ministry

San Antonio
Andria Garza, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in criminal justice
Cody Tyler Hastings, Bachelor of Science in kinesiology (general)

San Marcos
Joseph Zenus Torres, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in business administration

San Saba
Jacey MaKenna Martinez, Bachelor of Arts in social work

Stephenville
Shadd C. Cole, Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science (personal trainer)

Tolar
Holly Ann Leatherman, Bachelor of Arts in mathematics (high school: grades 7-12)

Tomball
Kayla Kenzie Boucher, Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing, Cum Laude

HPU library displays Nativity scenes donated by Lumans of Columbus

BROWNWOOD – December 13, 2018 – A collection of Nativity sets from around the world are on display at Howard Payne University’s Walker Memorial Library. The pieces were donated by Howard Payne University alumnus Merrill J. Luman and his wife of 68 years, Elaine. The couple resides in Columbus.

The collection includes approximately 75 Nativity sets from 30 different countries, including Brazil, China, former Czechoslovakia, Israel and South Africa. Each of the sets is unique in design, some having been made of gold or silver, while others were carved out of wood or molded from clay. Many of the Nativities were designed by well-known artists whose cultures can be seen reflected in their distinct depictions of the infant Jesus and His family.

“Every time we made a trip,” Mrs. Luman said, “we got at least one Nativity from every country. Every nation had its own take on the features of the Nativity.”

These diverse artistic interpretations of the story of Christ’s birth are a reflection of the broad nature of the good news of His coming. All the Nativities bear that in common. Each serves as a reminder of the miraculous birth of Christ and the eternal impact it has for all of humankind.

The Lumans’ love for Nativities originated from Mrs. Luman’s appreciation for the season of Christmas. They received their first Nativity in 1968 as a gift celebrating the birth of their youngest son. Their appreciation for Nativities paired well with their love of travel and a remarkable collection was born.

Mr. and Mrs. Luman expressed their desire to leave behind a lasting legacy through their collection.

“We wanted to make sure that, when we are gone, they are in a place where people can enjoy them as much as we have enjoyed them,” said Mr. Luman.

After approximately 50 years of collecting these Nativities, the Lumans admitted letting them go was bittersweet and some tears were shed.

“Merrill and I just love them because they hold so many memories for us,” Mrs. Luman said.

Even so, the Lumans are glad to know their treasured pieces will be seen by many at HPU.

“It’s the birth of our savior,” Mr. Luman said. “If this helps more people to know about the birth of Jesus, or just to think about the birth of our savior, that makes it very important to us.”

Pieces of the collection are already on display in cases located in HPU’s Walker Memorial Library. The Nativities can be viewed by the public from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The library will be closed for the Christmas holidays from December 19 until January 1. The library plans to display more of the Nativities on a year-round basis. The Lumans have expressed their desire to ultimately give their entire Nativity collection to HPU.

###

Cutline: A porcelain Nativity scene from China, based on the Japanese art of origami, is on display at the HPU library. The set is part of a collection donated by Merrill J. Luman ’50 and his wife, Elaine.

HPU graduate Karli Conrad ’18 serving as campus missionary intern

BROWNWOOD – November 19, 2018 – Howard Payne University graduate Karli Conrad is serving with the HPU Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) as campus missionary intern for the 2018-2019 school year.

Conrad, a native of Katy, graduated from HPU in May 2018 with a degree in marketing. As a student, she was active in the BSM, serving as a leader and in the senior adult ministry. She also was a member of the Student Activities Council, the Student Planning Committee and business leadership organization Phi Beta Lambda.

She initially had other plans following graduation but felt led to change them as her final year at HPU drew to a close.

“I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do after college and was kind of on the fast track to an internship at a corporation in Houston,” said Conrad. “Then God called me to go into a ministry position to serve HPU. When Keith [Platte, director of HPU’s BSM] mentioned the position and asked if I would be interested, I said no initially, but then God changed my heart.”

Keith Platte noted that Conrad has been an immediate contributor to the functions of the BSM.

“She is a very welcoming, inviting person,” he said. “Students find it easy to open up and talk to Karli. She has a passion to see people grow in Christ, to become disciples and disciple-makers.”

The initial adjustment from student to worker was somewhat difficult for her. She had to adapt to her new role as a guide and mentor, rather than a peer, to students. However, she saw the importance of the position, and her recent status as a student made her more relatable to current students. She has enjoyed flipping sides in the student/staff equation.

“I like it because I’m very goal-driven,” she said, “and my goal for students is for them to know Christ and then go out to make Christ known,” she said. “If I can help in any way and plant seeds like the Lord wants me to, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

There are many ministry opportunities available to students through the BSM. Opportunities include mission fundraising events, free meals for all students, student-led worship nights, on-campus fellowship groups for students and various outreach opportunities in the local community.

“Being active with the BSM can help in your personal walk, growing with Christ,” said Conrad. “To get involved is to be in communion, to be together with your peers in a tight-knit ministry that is so rewarding.”

Applications are still being accepted for the spring 2019 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 HP U, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

###

Cutline: HPU graduate Karli Conrad ’18 is working as the campus missionary intern for the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters.

HPU thanks 2018 Homecoming attendees, volunteers and sponsors

HPU Homecoming 2018 ParadeBROWNWOOD – November 14, 2018 – Following a fun and active Homecoming weekend, Howard Payne University expressed its appreciation to the many individuals, groups and business who contributed to the weekend’s success. HPU Homecoming 2018: The Carnival of Blue and Gold was held November 2-3 with approximately 750 alumni and area guests in attendance.

“It was exciting to welcome a large group of HPU alumni and other guests from the community,” said Laura Benoit, director of alumni relations. “Our volunteers worked hard to make sure the event was fun for everyone and, of course, we couldn’t have a successful event without the many wonderful businesses who partnered with us to make Homecoming a special time for the HPU family.”

Gold-level sponsors included Brownwood-Area Chamber of Commerce, Bruner Auto Group, Underwood’s Cafeteria, Visit Early Texas, Wendlee Broadcasting and Willie’s T’s. Navy-level sponsors were Brookshire’s, Dr Pepper Bottling, Marsh & McLennan Companies – Brian Borovay and Daniel Prescott, Mills County State Bank, TexasBank and United Supermarkets. White-level sponsors included Adidas, Citizens National Bank, Double H Mercantile, PF&E Oil Company and Porter Insurance Agency. Partner sponsors were Painter & Johnson Financial and Smith & Sharpe Agencies.

###

Cutline: HPU alumni and community members lined the streets for the Homecoming parade. Pictured here are Buzzsaw, HPU’s Yellow Jacket mascot, and the HPU cheerleaders.

Ramirez and Ramos crowned HPU Homecoming Queen and Princess

Ramos, Dodds and Ramirez for webBROWNWOOD – November 2, 2018 – Angelica Ramirez, senior from Austin, and Sarah Ramos, junior from Pflugerville, were crowned Howard Payne University’s Homecoming Queen and Princess during a ceremony held today on campus.

Ramirez, the daughter of Jesus L. Ramirez I and Kimberly Ramirez, is a biology major. She serves as chaplain for Delta Chi Rho and Tri Beta and is a Student Government Association senior senator, a resident assistant and a college outreach intern at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church.

Ramos, the daughter of Eric and Anna Ramos, is a business management major. Her campus involvement includes Delta Chi Rho, Jacket Ambassadors and Student Activities Council. Additionally, she serves as a Jacket Journey leader and as a student worker in HPU’s Office of Admission.

The Homecoming Court will be featured during the halftime show of the football game as HPU takes on Southwestern University on Saturday, November 3. The game begins at 4 p.m. at Gordon Wood Stadium.

###

Cutline: Angelica Ramirez, left, and Sarah Ramos, right, were named HPU’s Homecoming Queen and Princess, respectively. They are pictured with Karen Coppock Dodds, HPU’s 2018 Coming Home Queen.

HPU announces change in location for Homecoming bonfire, fireworks display

BROWNWOOD – October 31, 2018 – Howard Payne University has changed the venue for its Homecoming bonfire and fireworks display. The event will now take place at the Bert V. Massey II Sports Complex in Brownwood.

The festivities will kick off at 8:45 p.m. on Friday, November 2, with a pep rally. The bonfire will begin at 9 p.m. and the fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

For a complete list of Homecoming 2018 activities, visit www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

HPU theatre to present “Missing Link” during Homecoming 2018

Missing Link for webBROWNWOOD – October 30, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Department of Theatre will present “Missing Link” by Jack Sharkey in conjunction with HPU’s Homecoming 2018 festivities. Performances are this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. each evening at HPU’s Mims Auditorium.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children and students and are available for purchase at the door on the evenings of the performances.

“The story takes place in 1975 and revolves around Lindy Baxter who, 30 years earlier at the age of 16, pledged her eternal love to Lincoln Sinclair,” said Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, chair of HPU’s Department of Theatre and professor of theatre. “Link went off to World War II and has not returned so, for 30 years, Lindy has been ‘missing Link.’ After a trip down the stairs, Lindy meets orthopedist, Simon Fletcher, and they eventually decide to marry. Of course, the day before the wedding, guess who shows up! With a convoluted plot and lots of fun action, ‘Missing Link’ can be enjoyed by people of all ages.”

Cast members include Taylor Davis, junior from Alvin; David “Zeke” Frost, freshman from Bertram; Hailey Green, senior from Kennedale; Sara Heinrichs, sophomore from Hico; Michael Hord, sophomore from Montgomery; Bryce McWhirter, junior from Pflugerville; Alek Mendoza, freshman from Bangs; Deejay Moses, junior from May; Laurel Pinkney, sophomore from Carrollton; and Cassia Rose, senior from Winnsboro. Dr. Humfeld is directing the play and additional crew members include Dr. Nicholas Ewen, assistant professor of theatre; Jake Bowren, junior from San Antonio; and Shannon Sheehan, senior from Brownwood.

For more information about “Missing Link,” contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500. More than 30 other events are scheduled for HPU’s Homecoming. For complete details and the latest schedule information, visit www.hputx.edu/homecoming or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 325-649-8007 or via e-mail at alumni@hputx.edu.

###

Cutline: HPU will present “Missing Link” by Jack Sharkey in conjunction with HPU’s Homecoming 2018 festivities. Left to right: Cassia Rose, Alek Mendoza, Michael Hord, Hailey Green, Sara Heinrichs and Deejay Moses. Photo by Katie Cravey, HPU junior.

Garland’s Marvin “Doc” Utecht named to HPU’s Sports Hall of Fame

Marvin Doc Utecht for webBROWNWOOD – October 29, 2018 – Marvin “Doc” Utecht of Garland has been named to Howard Payne University’s Sports Hall of Fame. He is among eight who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming 2018 festivities, November 2-3. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Utecht and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni & Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, November 2, beginning at 5:45 p.m. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, November 3, beginning at 10 a.m. Ticket information for the banquet and a full schedule of the weekend’s events are available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Utecht graduated from HPU in 1970 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He went on to complete a Master of Education degree from Stephen F. Austin University and received his Mid-Management Certification from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University – Commerce).

At HPU, he was a four-year basketball letterman (1965-1969), a track letterman for two years (1969-1970) and a letterman on the football team during the 1969 season. He played basketball for Coach Glen Whitis and was an integral player on some of the most recognized teams in HPU history. The 6’7” Utecht was a great shooter, known for his leaping ability.

During his basketball career, the Yellow Jackets won the Lone Star Conference championship and the teams on which he played were nationally ranked in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). After completing his eligibility in basketball, he joined the track team for the 1969 season participating in the javelin, hurdles and jumping events. He won numerous times and set the HPU record in the javelin. Utecht also set a record in the 440 intermediate hurdles with a time of 52.3.

He went on to compete at the national level at the 1970 NAIA National Championships in Billings, Montana, where he competed in the ten-event decathlon. Utecht earned the honor of being fourth in the nation just behind the eventual Olympic champion, Bruce Jenner. During that decathlon event, he broke a NAIA decathlon record in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.8.

Utecht also joined the football team during his fifth year at HPU, lettering as a wide receiver.

He has served as a teacher, administrator and as an assistant superintendent at various school districts in Texas and coached high school football, basketball, track and golf. In 2001, he retired from Garland ISD as the executive director of building and construction. He then went on to serve on the Dallas Appraisal District for Dallas County for 10 years.

“I came to HPU as a very shy young man with few experiences beyond the small town in which I lived all my life,” he said. “College opened up a whole new world of possibilities and, for the first time, I could see myself having an opportunity to be whatever I chose to be. My HPU coaches helped me to become the leader for students who I would teach and coach in the future years as I became an educator.”

He and his wife, Julie Utecht, attend First Baptist Church of Garland. They have two children and five grandchildren.

###

Cutline: Marvin “Doc” Utecht of Garland has been named to HPU’s Sports Hall of Fame.