BROWNWOOD – October 11, 2012 – With Homecoming festivities coming up at the end of this week, Howard Payne University freshman Ashley Miller recalls her past memories of Homecoming weekends spent at HPU. For the 2012 graduate of Austin’s James Bowie High School, college has always been a part of life. For as long as she can remember, Miller has been attending HPU events with her grandparents, Dr. Damon ’54 and Betty ’58 Miller.
When her grandfather was inducted into the HPU Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, the student rode in the Homecoming Parade with her cousins. She also remembers getting to wear an HPU mum for the annual Homecoming celebrations.
Miller says that her grandparents have many other stories about their years at HPU. One of her favorites is when her grandfather and some of his friends put a Volkswagen Beetle into the boys’ dorm lobby and then hid the keys.
Miller also says that back when HPU was still called Howard Payne College, “the freshmen were required to wear green and gold beanies at all times. Upperclassman could tell any freshman to ‘button up’ at any time or any place, both downtown or on campus. To ‘button up,’ the freshman had to stand up with his or her thumb on the button of the beanie and do some sort of HPC yell.”
A liberal arts and biology major, Miller plans to go into pediatric nursing.
“I chose this field because I knew I wanted to work with kids and I have an appreciation for those in the medical field and the kind of work they do,” she says.
Miller says that she loves HPU because, “everyone is so close and friendly. It’s really like a big family!”
Dr. Damon Miller of Austin received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1954 and his master’s degree in 1958. His wife, Betty, graduated in 1958. They are delighted that their granddaughter is attending their alma mater. She also has many other relatives, including two aunts, who graduated from HPU.
“I am looking forward to meeting new friends, getting my degree and making my grandparents and aunts proud,” Miller says as she discusses her excitement about embarking on her new life at HPU.
Photo cutlines: As a child, Ashley Miller often came to HPU events with her grandparents. She is shown wearing a mum at Homecoming 2001.
Ashley Miller poses with Buzzsaw, HPU’s mascot, while attending a preview event on the HPU campus in 2012.