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HPU receives $600,000 challenge grant from Mabee Foundation for Academy renovation

BROWNWOOD – January 21, 2021 – Howard Payne University was recently awarded a $600,000 challenge grant from the J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation to benefit the renovation of HPU’s historic Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom facility.

The Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom houses the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, the university’s multidisciplinary honors program. The Academy building is an important landmark in Brown County, incorporating the original building of Daniel Baker College, dating back to 1890, and housing a collection of General MacArthur’s artifacts and other historical displays. The $2 million renovation project will focus on the building’s main hall and wings, dating back to the 1960s, which will bring the facility up to date and provide new life for its use by students, visitors and university personnel.

According to the Mabee Foundation’s website, the organization supports “brick and mortar” projects in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas. The foundation is based in Midland and has awarded more than $1.2 billion in grants since its founding in 1948.

“On behalf of the entire Howard Payne University family, I express my deepest gratitude for the Mabee Foundation’s generosity,” said Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president. “This challenge grant will have a lasting impact not only on the Academy facility but on our university as a whole.”

As stipulated by the challenge grant, HPU now has one year to raise the nearly $600,000 remaining to complete fundraising for the project.

“The confidence shown by the Mabee Foundation in our Academy project is a strong endorsement of the importance of this facility and adds great momentum to our fundraising efforts,” said Dr. Dale Meinecke, vice president for development at HPU. “This challenge grant brings the Academy facility’s grand reopening a great deal closer.”

Fundraising for the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom renovation project is ongoing. To make a gift, please visit or contact HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at 325-649-8009 or


Cutline for photo: The renovation of HPU’s historic Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom will benefit from a $600,000 challenge grant from the J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation.