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HPU celebrates Spring Family Reunion

BROWNWOOD – April 6, 2021 – Howard Payne University alumni, students, personnel, board members and friends gathered on March 20 to celebrate the Spring Family Reunion. The highlights of the weekend were the HPU Yellow Jacket football team’s 24-3 victory against McMurry University at Gordon Wood Stadium and a tailgate celebration prior to the game.

“It was wonderful to have so many alumni, students, prospective students and families join together for the HPU Spring Family Reunion,” said Kalie Lowrie, assistant vice president for alumni relations. “We enjoyed a great time of fellowship, food and cheering the Yellow Jackets on to victory. Our alumni and friends truly are family and it was a blessing to be together for such a great day.”

Alumni honoree Ramona Tennison Akins ’52 (2020 Coming Home Queen) was present and was recognized during the game. Mrs. Akins was a 2020 alumni honoree with Edward E. Cody ’10 (Outstanding Young Graduate); Dr. Ronnie Floyd ’78 (Distinguished Alumnus); Dr. Richard A. Jackson ’60 (Medal of Service); Grace Rivas Stearns ’67 (Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award); and Dr. Elizabeth Ellis Wallace ’71 (Grand Marshal). Honorees for 2020 were celebrated at a luncheon during HPU’s Fall Family Reunion on Oct. 10.

The Spring Family Reunion was originally scheduled for Feb. 20, but was rescheduled following the American Southwest Conference’s decision to postpone competition through Feb. 21 due to extreme weather conditions. The Spring and Fall Family Reunions were planned in lieu of Homecoming 2020 activities in response to the safety concerns and protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

HPU thanks the following sponsors for their support of the HPU Spring Family Reunion: Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce; Bruner Auto Group; Citizens National Bank; Dr Pepper; MC Bank; Painter & Johnson Financial; Smith and Sharpe Agencies; TexasBank; Underwood’s Bar-B-Q; United Supermarkets; Visit Early Texas; Wendlee Broadcasting; and Willie’s T’s.

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Photo #1: Visiting at HPU’s Spring Family Reunion are, from left, Joe Childs; Jacob Lehrer, HPU senior; Jenna Stuard, HPU senior; Melinda Hines, HPU first lady; and Debbie Childs, director of university events.  

Photo #2: Ramona Tennison Akins ’52 (center), 2020 Coming Home Queen, enjoys the Spring Family Reunion tailgate with her husband, Ferris Akins Sr. ’52, and their daughter Ferrisa Childs, assistant director of student financial aid.  

Photo #3: The Yellow Jacket football team takes the field prior to their game against McMurry University at Gordon Wood Stadium.

Photo #4: Jason Bachtel ’03, head football coach, is interviewed by James Weller, sales manager for KYOX 94.3 FM “The Ox,” prior to the Yellow Jacket football team’s game. 

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