BROWNWOOD – October 8, 2021 – Howard Payne University welcomed alumni, prospective students and other friends of the university for Stinger Spectacular, a combination of Homecoming, Family Weekend and Yellow Jacket Preview held on October 1-2. Despite inclement weather, the HPU spirit remained strong as attendees celebrated the university’s rich legacy and close-knit community.
The weekend was highlighted by a pair of sports successes – the Yellow Jacket football team’s 73-30 victory over Sul Ross State and the Yellow Jacket women’s soccer team’s 1-0 victory over Belhaven University.
Friday’s Homecoming events included various class gatherings, the Golden Graduate Luncheon for the class of 1971, the Alumni Banquet, Cobbler on the Campus and a performance of the Homecoming musical “Cinderella.” On Saturday, numerous reunions, a concert featuring Austin Upchurch ’16 and a performance of “Cinderella” were held, in addition to the football game and men’s and women’s soccer games.
The 2021 Homecoming Court was announced during the football game. Kate Van Wyk, a senior from Fort Worth majoring in biology, was named Homecoming Queen, and James Jakubowski, a senior from Tatum majoring in biology, was named Homecoming King. Linsey Piper, a junior from Early majoring in psychology, was named Homecoming Princess, and Chadwick Foster, a junior from Liberty City majoring in biology, was named Homecoming Prince. Additional queen nominees were Haleigh Clevenger, a senior from Brownwood majoring in English and studio art; and Parker Hughes, a senior from Waxahachie majoring in elementary education. Also nominated for princess were Monica Garza, a junior from Lampasas majoring in elementary education; and Cynthia Montalvo, a junior from Bossier City, Louisiana, majoring in biology and the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy. Additional king nominees were Alek Mendoza, a senior from Bangs majoring in theatre arts; and Dylan Zeno, a senior majoring in business administration from Little Elm. Other prince nominees were Padiwanashe “Padi” Mangwiro, a junior from Forney majoring in marketing; and Zeph Christian, a junior from Comanche majoring in political science.
Also honored at halftime were HPU’s 2021 alumni honorees: Tim Viertel ’80, Distinguished Alumnus; Cindy (Hughes) Liebrum ’72, Coming Home Queen; Bridget (Wells) Jones ’08, Outstanding Young Graduate; Terry ’91 and Robin (Quinn) Chumbley ’91, Grand Marshals; Dr. Bill Taylor ’64, Medal of Service; Rev. Ben Delgado ’68, Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award.
HPU thanks the following organizations for their support of the Stinger Spectacular: Brownwood Chamber of Commerce; Bruner Auto Group; Citizens National Bank; the City of Brownwood; Double H Mercantile; Dr Pepper; Early Texas Visitors and Events Center; HPU Alumni Association; MCBank; Painter and Johnson Financial; Robnett Integra Insurance Services; Smith and Sharpe Agencies; TexasBank; Underwood’s Bar-B-Q; United Supermarkets; Wendlee Broadcasting and Promotional Products; and Willie’s T’s.
Dr. Kalie Lowrie ’06, assistant vice president for alumni relations, said that the weekend was one to be remembered.
“Stinger Spectacular was a wonderful weekend filled with laughter, reunions and great connections made between hundreds of alumni, students, friends and families,” said Dr. Lowrie. “There was a wonderful energy and enthusiasm at all of the events on campus and seeing the stands full of cheering fans on Saturday afternoon topped off an excellent weekend. We are so thankful for all those who were able to come to campus and be part of such a memorable time in the life of our university!”
Visiting students in attendance at Yellow Jacket Preview were invited to numerous campus events, including the HPU Family BBQ and sports events. Dr. Ben Martin ’04, associate vice president for enrollment management, said the weekend served as a great introduction to HPU for prospective students.
“Yellow Jacket Preview during Stinger Spectacular weekend was a great success,” he said. “This event was very well attended based on the average of students we normally have at these events. Students were provided the opportunity to hear from current students and faculty. They were also able to hear the vision of Dr. Cory Hines ’97, HPU president, as well as tour our campus. We received encouraging feedback from the participants and their family members. The Office of Admissions is very encouraged by the success of Stinger Spectacular.”
Family Weekend allowed parents and family of current HPU students to experience a weekend at HPU. Visitors were invited to the HPU Student and Family dinner and Cobbler on the Campus on Friday. The following day, all were invited to enjoy the HPU Family BBQ and the afternoon’s sports events.
“The energy around Stinger Spectacular was phenomenal,” said Dr. Nathan Penland, vice president for student experience. “We had a number of families attend events on Friday and Saturday. It was great to see students, alumni and families celebrating at Howard Payne.”
HPU will host the Stinger Spectacular again on Oct. 14-15, 2022. Alumni and friends are also invited to be part of the Spring Family Reunion at HPU on Saturday, March 26, 2022. More details about both events are to come.
Cutline #1: Pictured serving cobbler from Underwood’s Bar-B-Q during HPU’s Cobbler on the Campus event are Emily Jaynes, administrative assistant for the School of Science and Mathematics; Courtney Schisler, member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors; Madison McGarrh, senior from McKinney; and Otis Fields, member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Cutline #2: Homecoming King James Jakubowski, a senior from Tatum majoring in biology, and Homecoming Queen Kate Van Wyk, a senior from Fort Worth majoring in biology, are pictured at the Homecoming football game.
Cutline #3: Homecoming Prince Chadwick Foster, a junior from Liberty City majoring in biology, and Homecoming Princess Linsey Piper, a junior from Early majoring in psychology, are pictured at the Homecoming football game.
Cutline #4: Titus Brown, admission counselor, celebrates at the Homecoming football game.
Cutline #5: Aleah Curtis, a junior from Bangs majoring in theatre, as Cinderella, and Emily Brown, a junior from Brownwood majoring in theatre, as the Fairy Godmother, perform during rehearsals for the Homecoming musical “Cinderella.”