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Five HPU seniors honored at annual Sumners Scholars Banquet

Graduating seniors from Howard Payne University’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy were honored during the recent Sumners Scholars Banquet. The students, who were selected as Hatton W. Sumners Foundation Scholars during their junior year, were each awarded a plaque and a copy of the book “The Wisdom of Hatton W. Sumners and The Sumners Foundation Scholarships.”
Honored for completing four semesters as Sumners Scholars were Joel Justice of Brownwood, Augusta Johnson of Gatesville, Emma Reed of Fort Worth, Jessica Catlett of Alleyton and Tyler Olin of Howe. The students also took the opportunity to express gratitude for the opportunities provided to them by the foundation.
The highly competitive and prestigious Sumners Scholar program offers students the opportunity to attend special lectures, seminars and conferences featuring world-renowned leaders from both public and private sectors. It also provides a generous scholarship of $7,500 per semester for two years. The trustees of the Sumners Foundation select students from an impressive pool of applicants following an in-depth application and interview process.
Named for its founder, former U.S. Rep. Hatton W. Sumners of Texas (Democrat, 1912-1947), who served as the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation is dedicated to the study, teaching and promotion of self-government.
“We’ve benefitted tremendously from our decades-long partnership with the Sumners Foundation,” said Dr. Matthew McNiece, chair and professor of history and government and director of the Academy. “Their mission to empower students to engage leadership and citizenship benefits us here at Howard Payne while the Sumners Scholars are students, but it’s even more impressive to know how impactful our Scholars have become in their worlds after graduation. They truly help us train for, and model, servant leadership in our communities.”

For more information about the Sumners Scholars program at HPU, visit


Cutline: Five HPU students were honored during HPU’s annual Sumners Scholars Banquet. Pictured from left are Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president; Eileen Resnick, Sumners Foundation program officer; Augusta Johnson, HPU Sumners Scholar; Charles Pierson, Sumners Foundation executive officer; Jessica Catlett, HPU Sumners Scholar; Emma Reed, HPU Sumners Scholar; Tyler Olin, HPU Sumners Scholar; Joel Justice, HPU Sumners Scholar; Lon Williams, Sumners Foundation trustee; and Scott Higginbotham, Sumners Foundation trustee.

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