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Grand opening of Newbury Family Welcome Center marks historic day in HPU history

BROWNWOOD – May 13, 2022 –Howard Payne University unveiled its newly constructed Newbury Family Welcome Center at a grand opening celebration last week. The new “front door” of HPU was opened to hundreds of guests who gathered inside the nearly 8,000-square-foot facility. The event included self-guided tours of the building and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president, expressed how pleased he was with the success of the event.

“The opening of the Newbury Family Welcome Center was a wonderful experience,” said Dr. Hines. “The building was full of people who had come to see the building and celebrate with us. It was a great day in the history of our university and a great day for the Newbury family.”

The facility is named for the family of Dr. Don Newbury, a 1961 graduate of HPU, president of the university from 1985 to 1997 and current chancellor. The Newbury family was present for the event and joined in the ribbon cutting alongside Dr. Hines and his wife, Melinda; and Ronnie Andrews, chairman of HPU’s Board of Trustees, and his wife, Teri.

In addition to words from Dr. Hines, guests heard from Ronnie Andrews and Stephen Haynes, mayor of Brownwood.

The Newbury Family Welcome Center is the first all-new construction project on the HPU campus in more than two decades. Dr. Hines said the opening day was the culmination of efforts of numerous people committed to the ongoing vitality of HPU.

“A new welcome center has been the dream of the HPU family for a long time,” Dr. Hines said. “As we were preparing for the grand opening ceremonies, we were delighted to discover how many people had contributed to the project over the years. The very first commitment of a gift for a welcome center at Howard Payne was from Dr. Leonard Underwood back in the year 2000, and I am most grateful for his leadership in this endeavor. Here we are, 22 years later, seeing that dream become a reality and celebrating God’s faithfulness in the completion and full funding of this building project.”

The welcome center is located at the intersection of Austin and Center Avenues near the historic former site of Old Main, the university’s original building, which was destroyed by fire in 1984. The facility will be the first stop for future HPU students visiting campus, providing an inviting space for students and their families to meet with admissions staff and learn about the university. It will also house offices for admissions personnel and provide spaces for meetings and events.

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Photo #1: At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for HPU’s Newbury Family Welcome Center, Dr. Don Newbury (center) is joined by members of his family as well as Dr. Cory Hines and his wife, Melinda (right); and Ronnie Andrews, chairman of HPU’s Board of Trustees, and his wife, Teri (far right).

Photo #2: HPU recently celebrated the opening of the Newbury Family Welcome Center.