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HPU to improve campus experience with two major facility projects

BROWNWOOD – January 30, 2020 – Howard Payne University has announced the construction of an expansive new welcome center and renovations to the historic Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom building. Both projects will provide modernized facilities to benefit the university’s students, visitors and other constituencies.

The Newbury Family Welcome Center, named for the family of Dr. Don Newbury, 1961 graduate, president from 1985 to 1997 and current chancellor, will serve as an inviting entry point to campus and will be the first new construction project at HPU since 2001. The Academy renovation project revives an important landmark that has had limited use in recent years due to the need for extensive upgrades.

“Each of these important projects will help us in our vital mission to provide Christ-centered education,” said Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president. “Both represent a commitment by HPU to invest in the life of our campus community as well as the Heart of Texas area as we look to the future. These needed improvements are made possible by the continuing support of our alumni and friends.”

A groundbreaking ceremony for the welcome center will be held on March 31, with the building’s completion scheduled for August 2021. The building will be situated near the intersection of Austin Avenue and Center Avenue on HPU’s Old Main Park, where the university’s cherished original building once stood. Housed in the welcome center will be the Office of Admission, the Office of Alumni Relations, meeting spaces and more. A circle drive in front will provide easy access to visitors.

“The Newbury Family Welcome Center will provide a more spacious, inviting environment for us to host prospective students and other guests,” said Dr. Hines. “This new facility will help form a first impression equal to the high quality of our university. It also affords us the opportunity to honor the lives and legacy of Dr. and Mrs. Newbury and their family.”

The Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom building is the home of HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy. The Academy of Freedom is a major historical and cultural landmark for Brown County, consisting of the former main building of Daniel Baker College, dating back to 1890, while also housing a collection of General MacArthur’s personal artifacts and other historical exhibits. The renovation project will focus on the building’s main hall and wings, built in the 1960s, which will revitalize the facility for students, faculty and staff. The current renovations to the Academy of Freedom began in fall 2019.

“The Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom building is one of HPU’s most prominent academic facilities and has been a notable attraction for decades,” said Dr. Hines. “The building’s renovation renews its vitality for generations to come.”

More details about the projects will be made available as progress continues. Fundraising for both projects is ongoing. While the construction of the welcome center is nearly fully funded through the generosity of alumni and friends, opportunities to support the project in honor of the Newbury family are still available. To make a gift to either project, please visit or contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 325-649-8009 or


Cutline #1: HPU’s Newbury Family Welcome Center will be located on Old Main Park, prominently situated next to Mims Auditorium and near the intersection of Austin Avenue and Center Avenue.

Cutline #2: HPU’s historic Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom building is the focus of an extensive renovation project.