News Archives: Student Life

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.

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

HPU announces 2018 Homecoming Court

2018 Homecoming Court for webBROWNWOOD – October 25, 2018 – Howard Payne University has announced its 2018 Homecoming Court. The Homecoming queen and princess will be crowned next Friday, November 2, at 2 p.m. during Homecoming Convocation in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

Homecoming queen nominees are seniors Sabrina Martinez of San Antonio, Angelica Ramirez of Austin and Gabrielle Roque of Houston. Princess nominees are Amanda Collins of New Orleans, Jada Jones of Cibolo and Sarah Ramos of Pflugerville.

Sabrina Martinez is the daughter of retired Major Paul A. Martinez and Yvonne E. Martinez. An elementary education major, Martinez’ campus involvement includes the Delta Chi Rho sorority.

Angelica 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.

Gabriella Roque, the daughter of Cris Roque and Ruby Robinson, is a biology major. She is vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a member of the HPU softball team. Additionally, she volunteers through the Special Olympics and at an animal hospital.

Amanda Collins is the daughter of Wayne Smith and the late Rhonda Collins. An elementary education major, Collins’ campus involvement includes Chi Alpha Omega and Jacket Journey.

Jada Jones is the daughter of Kenneth and Carla Matthews and Mr. and Mrs. Dwight Jones. A biology major, Jones is active with Chi Alpha Omega and the HPU women’s basketball team.

Sarah 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.

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

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Cutline: Howard Payne University’s 2018 Homecoming Court includes (top row, left to right) Angelica Ramirez, Gabrielle Roque and Sabrina Martinez and (bottom row, left to right) Jada Jones, Amanda Collins and Sarah Ramos.

HPU to host Encounter Week fall revival September 17-19

1. Saleim Kahleh photoBROWNWOOD – September 13, 2018 – Howard Payne University will host Encounter Week fall revival services next Monday, September 17, through Wednesday, September 19. This year’s guest speaker is Saleim Kahleh and worship will be led by the Clayton Tyner Band.

Kahleh was raised as a Muslim in a loving Islamic home. After his first year of college, he went on a quest to find the truth about God and religion. The Lord Jesus revealed Himself to Kahleh, and now he testifies around the world about the goodness of God. He graduated in 1984 from Houston Baptist University and is now employed there in the role of associate university minister. He is founder of Saleim Kahleh Ministries.

The Clayton Tyner Band is from San Antonio. Tyner graduated from HPU in 2012 and went on to lead worship at San Antonio City Church where he met the rest of the band. Last year, they became involved with a City Church campus getting ready to become a church plant. They believe music is just a small part of what it means to worship Jesus and hope their passion invites others to experience Him as well.

2. Clayton Tyner Band photoEncounter Week services will be held in HPU’s Mims Auditorium at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and at 7:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. All Encounter Week services are open to the public.

“Mr. Kahleh has been a part of HPU’s revival services in the past and it’s always a blessing to have him back on campus as well as HPU alumnus Clayton Tyner, who is amazing in worship,” said Keith Platte, Chapel coordinator and director of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry. “The community is invited to join us for this time of worship and prayer.”
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Cutlines: 1. Saleim Kahleh, founder of Saleim Kahleh Ministries, is the scheduled speaker for HPU’s Encounter Week services.
2. The Clayton Tyner Band will lead worship at HPU’s Encounter Week services.

HPU students and alumni serve at 2018 Wyoming Youth Evangelism Conference

Wyoming photo for webBROWNWOOD – June 27, 2018 – Howard Payne University students and alumni were among a group of 13 from May First Baptist Church that traveled to Wyoming toward the end of the spring semester to serve at the state’s Youth Evangelism Conference (YEC). The event was held at College Heights Baptist Church in Casper, Wyoming.

HPU students who made the trip were junior Isaac Williams, college minister at May FBC; sophomore Eli Williams, church intern at May FBC; freshman Hannah Williams; and sophomore Abi Brown. Alumni who served were Dr. Nicholas Ewen ’02, assistant professor of theatre at HPU and music minister at May FBC; Clarrisa Ewen ’96; and Dustin Wright ’12, youth minister at Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Brownwood. Kase Cox, Taylor Cox, Josh McFarland, Wayne Snell, Linzie Wright and Bethanie Ewen, daughter of the Ewens and dual-credit student at HPU also participated.

While there, the group served in many capacities. Dr. Ewen preached during the general sessions at the conference, Eli Williams led worship and Isaac Williams spoke to students during a small-group session.

Lynda Roark, director of Wyoming YEC, invited the group to lead at this year’s conference. Roark is also the director of Mountain Top Assembly Baptist Camp in Casper, Wyoming, where members of the group have served during the past two summers.

“This group has had a huge impact on the entire state of Wyoming by encouraging, evangelizing and discipling an entire generation of Wyoming’s young Christian minds and hearts,” said Roark.

Dr. Ewen has a long-existing connection to the state, having grown up in Wyoming and attending the camp.

“It was a huge honor and wonderful experience to go back to Wyoming with a group of talented and passionate HPU students,” said Dr. Ewen.

Isaac Williams will continue to serve in Wyoming over the summer as an intern at Mountain Top Assembly Baptist Camp.

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 students and alumni were among a group that traveled to Wyoming to speak and lead worship at the state’s 2018 Youth Evangelism Conference.

HPU to hold Commencement ceremony this Saturday

DSC_0879.2BROWNWOOD – May 1, 2018 – Howard Payne University will hold its spring Commencement ceremony this Saturday, May 5, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum. The coliseum is located at 500 E. Baker Street in Brownwood.

Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, and other university representatives will confer the undergraduate and graduate degrees. Delivering the charge to the graduates is Dr. Ray Martinez III, president of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, Inc.

Commencement will be preceded on Friday, May 4, by the Chime Out ceremony, an HPU tradition in which graduating seniors pass a chain of ivy to underclassmen, symbolizing the passing of authority, responsibility and privileges to those students who remain on campus to carry on the traditions of the university. Chime Out begins at 6:00 p.m. at the university’s Mims Auditorium.

For more information, visit the HPU website at www.hputx.edu.

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Cutline: HPU’s Commencement ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, May 5, at the Brownwood Coliseum.

Commitment to service: Following God’s will is foremost for graduating HPU senior Josh Dykes

JD photo (cropped)By Seth Rainey, HPU Junior

BROWNWOOD – May 1, 2018 – As Howard Payne University senior Josh Dykes of Mount Pleasant  prepares to graduate in several days, it is clear that there has been a single overriding influence on his life. Obedience to God’s will is the reason why he is at HPU committed to ministry as a vocation and is the guiding factor in his everyday life.

A double-major in youth ministry and the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy with a minor in Spanish, Dykes said he has been called to ministry from an early age. As a sophomore in high school, he felt that he wanted to go into youth ministry. He said God affirmed this interest after time spent in prayer and receiving advice from mentors.

“While looking at colleges, I contacted one of my favorite speakers from summer camp and asked him where I should attend college to study ministry,” Dykes said. “He told me, ‘Go to HPU. They have a great youth ministry program.’”

God’s leading, coupled with the speaker’s recommendation, gave Dykes confidence as he prepared to visit and choose colleges.

“On my first visit here I knew HPU was it,” he said.

He maintained a firm commitment to attending HPU. Because of finances, he remained home in Mount Pleasant for a year and studied at a local community college before transferring to HPU.
The care displayed for him by those at HPU has positively shaped his view of the university.

“Dr. Gary Gramling, a professor in the Christian Studies department, met me during my first visit to HPU,” he said. “The next year when I came to HPU, he still remembered my name and where I was from.”

Dr. Gramling noted the ways that Dykes displays care for others in his everyday interactions.

“He is always desiring to learn more and has a servant’s heart,” Dr. Gramling said. “He listens to others, genuinely cares about their needs, and does his best to meet those needs.”

Other faculty also notice how Dykes shares the love of Christ with his fellow students.

“He’s someone students are drawn to because they know he cares,” said Dr. Wheelington, professor of Christian studies. “When he asks ‘How are you doing?’ and ‘How can he pray for you?’ he really means it.”

At HPU, the university’s personnel and students foster an atmosphere conducive to fellowship, friendship and learning. To Dykes, this is an example of why HPU is a great university.

“It’s about the people,” he said. “The people make this university what it is. That’s what HPU is about.”

He added that the faculty, combined with small classes, have provided him with an atypical, positive college experience while at HPU.

“I’ve had classes go get coffee together,” he said. “Everything’s just very personable. Various faculty members, like Dr. Wheelington and Jennings Hall resident director Wes Curton, have really helped me on my walk in ministry.”

In addition to mentoring Dykes in the classroom, Dr. Wheelington serves with Dykes and another HPU student, Julie Jo Yarbro, at Southside church in Brownwood.

“As I look back over mine and Josh’s time together, I wonder if I have helped Josh or if he has helped me in my walk with the Lord. More likely the former than the latter,” said Dr. Wheelington. “And I’m glad for that.”

Dykes plays an active role in the student community of HPU. He is a resident assistant in Jennings Hall, is a member of the Model U.N. team, serves on the Student Appeals Committee and is a member of Delta Epsilon Omega. In past years at HPU, Dykes served on the leadership team of the Baptist Student Ministry, was a member of the Student Government Association and participated in Mock Trial.

Recently, he was presented with the Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award. This award is given to selected HPU students in acknowledgement of their character and commitment to service honoring Jesus Christ. He was also recognized as an Outstanding Christian Studies Student during HPU’s spring Academic Awards Convocation.

“The Lord brought me to HPU to be loved and love others,” Dykes said.

He said that the university where he has spent the past three years of life has been an important part of his walk in ministry and his personal growth as he prepares to graduate.

“If you are looking for a place to grow, especially in your faith,” he said, “you can find it at HPU.”

HPU’s Commencement will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Brownwood Coliseum. For more information and a livestream of the event, visit www.hputx.edu/commencement.

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: Howard Payne University senior Josh Dykes is committed to following God’s will for his life.

Finding community at HPU: Haylee Maddox uses her time to challenge herself and form relationships

By Seth Rainey, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – April 27, 2018 – As she searched for colleges to continue her academic career, sophomore Haylee Maddox of Bellville sought out a place where she would be challenged to grow spiritually and academically.

“College is this beautiful time to be challenged in every way because you’re not going to get this time back,” Maddox said.

Haylee Maddox for webIn her college search, she found Howard Payne University to be an institution that would fulfill her academic and spiritual goals, while also giving her the possibility of playing softball at the collegiate level. However, due to injuries in her later years of high school, she was unable to pursue college athletics. Additionally, Maddox chose to participate in a year-long Christian Leadership program known as “Link Year,” paving a nontraditional path for the future HPU student.

She did not visit the campus until Day 1, an HPU-hosted event at which incoming students come to campus in the spring and early summer to register for their first classes at HPU. Upon arriving, she immediately recognized a sense of intentional interconnectedness between fellow students and determined to find her place within this community.

“Right off the bat, I found a solid friend group and got plugged in with the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM),” said Maddox.

These first experiences in university life, what she dubbed the “real world” away from family and familiar surroundings, gave her hope of finding belonging at college.

Maddox is challenging herself academically as a double major in practical theology and communication. She is also very involved in extracurricular activities, participating in numerous student organizations.

She recently became the president of HPU’s Christian women’s sorority Pi Theta Chi. Additionally, she is on the BSM’s leadership committee and serves as a sophomore senator in the Student Government Association. She also writes for “The Yellow Jacket” student newspaper and serves as the treasurer for Appointed, an organization for women going into ministry.

Maddox believes that student involvement in campus life enhances the university experience. She is active in a variety of capacities to help others benefit from personal participation.

“I truly want HPU to be for everyone else what it is for me,” said Maddox.

She appreciates the chances HPU has offered her to get to know a diverse group of people. The university’s size and structure allow students to serve in multiple ways. She said this accessibility to involvement is part of what makes HPU unique.

“There are so many influential people here, but they aren’t concentrated in one area,” said Maddox. “I really like the involvement that everyone has here on campus.”

Looking back, Maddox recalled that she thought she knew what to expect from college when she was in high school. However, the differences between her expectations and reality have been enriching to her.

“HPU has been exactly what I needed from my college experience,” she said, “and what I continue to need.”

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 students. 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 Haylee Maddox speaks during the weekly university chapel service.

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.

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 (www.hputx.edu/student-life/spring-sing-2018/) 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.

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