News Archives

HPU thanks 2018 Homecoming attendees, volunteers and sponsors

HPU Homecoming 2018 ParadeBROWNWOOD – November 14, 2018 – Following a fun and active Homecoming weekend, Howard Payne University expressed its appreciation to the many individuals, groups and business who contributed to the weekend’s success. HPU Homecoming 2018: The Carnival of Blue and Gold was held November 2-3 with approximately 750 alumni and area guests in attendance.

“It was exciting to welcome a large group of HPU alumni and other guests from the community,” said Laura Benoit, director of alumni relations. “Our volunteers worked hard to make sure the event was fun for everyone and, of course, we couldn’t have a successful event without the many wonderful businesses who partnered with us to make Homecoming a special time for the HPU family.”

Gold-level sponsors included Brownwood-Area Chamber of Commerce, Bruner Auto Group, Underwood’s Cafeteria, Visit Early Texas, Wendlee Broadcasting and Willie’s T’s. Navy-level sponsors were Brookshire’s, Dr Pepper Bottling, Marsh & McLennan Companies – Brian Borovay and Daniel Prescott, Mills County State Bank, TexasBank and United Supermarkets. White-level sponsors included Adidas, Citizens National Bank, Double H Mercantile, PF&E Oil Company and Porter Insurance Agency. Partner sponsors were Painter & Johnson Financial and Smith & Sharpe Agencies.

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Cutline: HPU alumni and community members lined the streets for the Homecoming parade. Pictured here are Buzzsaw, HPU’s Yellow Jacket mascot, and the HPU cheerleaders.

HPU senior Caleb Kostreva reflects on summer internship with 21Wilberforce

Caleb KostrevaBROWNWOOD – November 14, 2018 – During the summer, Howard Payne University senior Caleb Kostreva had the opportunity to work with Christian human rights organization 21Wilberforce through a 10-week internship program.

Kostreva, a native of Clifton, Colorado, is a double major in social sciences with a global studies emphasis and the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy with an English minor. He is active in Student Government Association as the presiding senior senator. His other involvements include participation in Model U.N. and the Baptist Student Ministry. He also works as a residence hall assistant and with the HPU Office of Institutional Advancement.

According to the organization’s website, 21Wilberforce takes its name from 19th century British parliamentarian William Wilberforce, who led a successful abolitionist movement in England, using collaborative partnerships, grassroots empowerment and policy campaigns. By adopting these strategies, the organization is dedicated to defending people of faith internationally and the expanding religious freedom.

“The freedom of belief leads to a lot of other freedoms,” Kostreva said. “Countries that have more religious freedom have better economies, better gender equality and all these other positive things connected to religious freedom – not perfect, but better.”

Dr. Matthew McNiece, director of Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and associate professor of history and government, said Kostreva is an example of the ideals of the Honors Academy.

“Caleb’s desire to participate in an internship of this quality with an organization with this mission is a perfect demonstration of the alignment of the Academy’s motto: Facing the Future with Faith and Knowledge,” said Dr. McNiece. “We’re immensely proud of his work this summer, and eager to see where and how he applies this passion next.”

Kostreva, along with four other college students from institutions across the United States, worked with 21Wilberforce in the Washington, D.C. area meeting with legislators and planning events. Through the internship, he was able to experience firsthand some of the actions commonplace to the formation of United States policy on global issues such as human rights.

“It’s something that you won’t find interning for other organizations,” he said. “They see it as a professional-development internship, making it a really unique opportunity I really appreciated.”

A key contribution of Kostreva’s to 21Wilberforce’s work during the summer was a rally he planned highlighting the plight of prisoners of conscience, or political prisoners, in China.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) all spoke at the rally in support of such prisoners. The rally was held on the one-year anniversary of Nobel Peace Prize recipient and political prisoner Liu Xiaobo’s death. Xiaobo died in imprisonment following his 2008 arrest for helping to write and publish Charter 08, advocating for the shifting of China’s political system toward democracy.

“Religious freedom isn’t about advancing one specific faith, but it allows the common exchange of ideas,” Kostreva said. “In a society that allows people to have diverse beliefs, it means that people of all faiths have the ability to believe what they want, and it especially opens the door for Christians to spread the light.”

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2019 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: HPU senior Caleb Kostreva spent the summer working with human rights advocacy organization 21Wilberforce.

HPU invites community to Thanksgiving Day lunch

HPU banner on campus for webBROWNWOOD – November 13, 2018 – The 35th annual Community Thanksgiving Feast at Howard Payne University for area residents and visitors is scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at HPU’s Mabee University Center.

The traditional Thanksgiving meal will consist of turkey, dressing and all the trimmings.

Those interested in volunteering their time can assist with serving food and beverages, boxing meals to go, delivering meals to homes and cleaning. There are plenty of ways for everyone to serve the community at this event.

“Volunteers simply need to show up at the Mabee Center at 10:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and we will put them to work,” said Bill Fishback, associate vice president for business and human resources. “We look forward to seeing many of the same volunteers who have helped for years as well as having those who want to help for the first time. Serving others at this annual event has become a Thanksgiving tradition for many people and we certainly appreciate their help.”

The Mabee University Center is located at 1219 Fisk Street, on the HPU campus. Anyone unable to join friends and neighbors at the Mabee Center can have meals delivered to his or her home in Brownwood or Early by calling the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce at 325-646-9535 by noon on Monday, November 19.

“We expect to serve approximately 2,000 meals this year, so we need to raise about $5,700 to cover the food costs,” said Fishback.

To help support the Thanksgiving meal, please make checks payable to the “Community Thanksgiving Feast,” and send them to Bill Fishback at Howard Payne University, 1000 Fisk Street, Suite 210, Brownwood, Texas 76801.

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Cutline: HPU will host the 35th annual Community Thanksgiving Feast for area residents and visitors on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at HPU’s Mabee University Center.

HPU’s Cotter and Stephens to present senior recital

BROWNWOOD – November 9, 2018 – Howard Payne University seniors Camila Cotter, a music education major from Garden Ridge, and Natalie Stephens, a music major from Alvarado, will present a senior voice recital at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13, in HPU’s Grace Chapel. The recital is free of charge and the public is invited.

“Camila and Natalie are gifted musicians and the differences in their voices will make for a beautiful program,” said Dr. Celeste Church, professor of music, dean of institutional research and effectiveness and accreditation liaison. “Their recital will include music representative of baroque, classical, romantic and modern composers. I know the audience will appreciate the passion these young women bring to their music.”

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2019 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

HPU Department of Music to present concert benefiting Brown County’s Hope Home Ministry

Music Faculty F2018BROWNWOOD – November 9, 2018 – The faculty and students of Howard Payne University’s Department of Music will present, in honor of this season of Thanksgiving, a benefit showcase concert titled “We Give Thanks.” The concert, slated for Thursday, November 15, at 7:30 p.m. in HPU’s Mims Auditorium, is free and open to the public. However, donations will be accepted to benefit Brown County’s Hope Home Ministry.

“HPU’s music faculty and students are grateful for the gift of music and for our Brown county community,” said Dr. Richard Fiese, dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts. “Music is a profound gift from God to His children – a transcendent art that can reveal man’s loftiest aspirations yet can touch the heart of even a child in a language that is more profound than words. In celebration of the true spirit of Thanksgiving, the music department has prepared this musical offering of God-honoring praise for our community.”

The concert will feature several HPU musical groups including the Concert Choir, Symphonic Band, Winds of Triumph, Heritage Singers, Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Music Ensembles. Musical styles of a broad spectrum will be performed.

Hope Home Ministry is a Brown County faith-based transitional home for young women emerging from human trafficking situations, detention centers and foster care. Founded in 2008 by HPU alumna Chassidy Carroll, Hope Home Ministry is a 50l(c)(3) non-profit. It is run entirely on donations and relies heavily on volunteers from the community. Donations taken at the door on the evening of the concert will not be tax deductible. However, to make a donation that is tax deductible, visit www.hopehomeministry.org.

For more information about the “We Give Thanks” benefit showcase concert, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.

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Cutline: HPU’s Department of Music will present a benefit showcase concert titled “We Give Thanks.” Music faculty members include (front row, from left) Dr. Celeste Church, Frank Nelson, Stephen Goacher and Dr. Elizabeth Wallace and (back row, from left) Dr. Gregory Church, Dr. Christopher Rosborough and Joseph Dunlap.

HPU to adjust academic programs and related staffing based on budget outlook

HPU Old Main Tower PlazaBROWNWOOD – November 8, 2018 – Howard Payne University recently announced plans to reduce or otherwise modify selected academic programs to strengthen the institution’s footing in an increasingly challenging higher-education landscape. The moves were unanimously approved by HPU’s Board of Trustees at a meeting on November 2.

While the university’s long-term financial standing is stable due to a strong endowment and prudent resource management as demonstrated by the Board of Trustees, in recent years the annual operating budget has been strained due to a range of underpopulated courses and decreased external scholarship assistance for students.

The curriculum revisions were the result of a lengthy evaluation process prompted by decreased resources and other difficult trends in faith-based education.

“While there may be little comfort in this reality, our challenges are not unique,” said Dr. Paul W. Armes, HPU’s interim president. “There is simply no way for tuition-driven colleges to live beyond their means. That trajectory must change if these institutions are to move forward positively.”

HPU’s leadership has been facing these challenges for several years but sought other means to address them, due to the reality that personnel are connected to the programs that would be eliminated.

“This is a very painful process,” said Dr. Armes. “These changes are not a negative reflection on any individual employee or academic area but are simply realities we must face if we are to be responsible in our budgeting.”

After considering underperforming majors, the board acted to close 10 majors/minors and reconfigure seven others. All students with affected degree plans have been notified of these changes and the university will honor the curriculum that each student started. If a student wishes to change to another major at HPU or transfer to another institution, advisors and deans will give necessary assistance.

As a result of the program reorganization and realignment, the university closed one full-time administrative support position and 12 full-time faculty positions, including two faculty positions that were already planned to be vacancies in the next fiscal year.  All personnel who will be leaving the institution as a result of program closures will be provided with transition assistance.

The following majors/minors (listed by school) have been eliminated due to program realignment:

• Christian Studies – Biblical Languages (to be merged with the Bible major), Cross-Cultural Studies (to be merged with the Christian Education major)
• Humanities – Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Spanish (changing from major to minor)
• Music and Fine Arts – Art (changing from major to minor), Church Music and Worship (to be merged with the Bachelor of Arts – Music), Journalism, Music Performance (to be merged with the Bachelor of Arts – Music), Piano Pedagogy (to be merged with the Bachelor of Arts – Music)
• Science and Mathematics – Forensic Science

Not all of the above closures required personnel changes, and those individuals facing transition have already been notified.

Additionally, curricular realignments are being made in all academic areas to move toward greater efficiency and effectiveness. The following are specific areas (listed by school) with adjustments made at this time:

• Business – Master of Business Administration
• Education – Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership
• Music and Fine Arts – Theatre
• Science and Mathematics – Computer Information Systems, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering Science

“The board looked at several options,” said Dr. Armes. “In the end, the trustees approved the most compassionate and minimalist course they felt that they could. From my perspective, their action was careful, considered and generous.”

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HPU debater advances to semi-finals, others earn honors at Houston tournament

Bayou City for webBROWNWOOD – November 6, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed at the Bayou City Swing Speech and Debate Tournament, held at Lone Star College in Houston. Lucy Manning, sophomore communication, social sciences jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Fort Worth, advanced to semi-finals in international public debate.

Additionally, Manning earned the overall fourth-place top speaker position of the tournament, fifth-place international public debate speaker and fourth-place parliamentary debate speaker.

Freshman Ben Olin, social sciences jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Howe, was the top international public debate speaker at the tournament, third overall debate speaker and ninth-place parliamentary debate speaker.

Senior Tyler Olin, social sciences jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Howe, was fifth-place parliamentary debate speaker.

Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication, coaches the team.

“These students have been working very hard on debate structure, advocacy skills and argumentation skills,” she said. “We focus heavily on good presentational skills as well, and it shows by having three of the tournament’s top individual speakers.”

In both international public debate and parliamentary debate, students receive a topic and have a limited amount of preparation time before the debate round. Each round has a different topic. Topics at the tournament included the affordable housing crisis, changing the number of seats on the Supreme Court, Saudi Arabia/Turkey political relations, genetic testing regulations and rap music’s influence on politics, among others.

“Students who compete for HPU’s speech and debate team, Student Speaker Bureau, must be well-versed in all current events, both domestic and foreign,” said Dr. Welker. “Students must be quick thinkers and have excellent critical thinking skills.”

HPU competed against 16 colleges and universities from Texas, Illinois and Louisiana.

Other students who competed at the tournament were Madison Neal, junior communication major from Chandler, and Alek Mendoza, freshman theatre major from Bangs.

For more information about HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau, visit www.hputx.edu/ssb.

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2019 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed at the Bayou City Swing Speech and Debate Tournament at Lone Star College in Houston. Left to right are Lucy Manning, Ben Olin, Tyler Olin, Alek Mendoza, Madison Neal and Dr. Julie Welker.

Ramirez and Ramos crowned HPU Homecoming Queen and Princess

Ramos, Dodds and Ramirez for webBROWNWOOD – November 2, 2018 – Angelica Ramirez, senior from Austin, and Sarah Ramos, junior from Pflugerville, were crowned Howard Payne University’s Homecoming Queen and Princess during a ceremony held today on campus.

Ramirez, the daughter of Jesus L. Ramirez I and Kimberly Ramirez, is a biology major. She serves as chaplain for Delta Chi Rho and Tri Beta and is a Student Government Association senior senator, a resident assistant and a college outreach intern at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church.

Ramos, the daughter of Eric and Anna Ramos, is a business management major. Her campus involvement includes Delta Chi Rho, Jacket Ambassadors and Student Activities Council. Additionally, she serves as a Jacket Journey leader and as a student worker in HPU’s Office of Admission.

The Homecoming Court will be featured during the halftime show of the football game as HPU takes on Southwestern University on Saturday, November 3. The game begins at 4 p.m. at Gordon Wood Stadium.

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Cutline: Angelica Ramirez, left, and Sarah Ramos, right, were named HPU’s Homecoming Queen and Princess, respectively. They are pictured with Karen Coppock Dodds, HPU’s 2018 Coming Home Queen.

HPU’s Katelyn Zimmer to present Senior Recital

Katelyn Zimmer for webBROWNWOOD – November 2, 2018 – Howard Payne University senior Katelyn Zimmer, a music education major from Brownwood, will present her Senior Recital on the clarinet at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 8, in HPU’s Grace Chapel. The recital is free of charge and the public is invited.

“Katelyn Zimmer is an unusually accomplished music student,” said Stephen Goacher, professor of music and Zimmer’s clarinet instructor. “Katelyn is one of the very few HPU musicians to give a full elective Junior Recital in addition to the Senior Recital. Her dedication and discipline in her craft has enabled her to prepare an interesting program of clarinet masterworks and chamber music. I am sure her recital will bless all who attend.”

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2019 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: HPU senior Katelyn Zimmer will present her Senior Recital on Thursday, November 8.

HPU Concert Choir to present “Ketubah: Feast of the Bridegroom”

KetubahBROWNWOOD – November 2, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Concert Choir will present “Ketubah: Feast of the Bridegroom” next Tuesday, November 6, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in HPU’s Grace Chapel. A pre-concert lecture is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Both events are free of charge and open to the public.

The “Ketubah” is the marriage contract shared between the husband and wife in a Jewish wedding.

“This concert will exemplify the parallel of this Jewish tradition with our position as the Bride of Christ,” said Dr. Christopher Rosborough, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities.

The program will highlight several multicultural influences with songs in six languages, four style-periods and a variety of genres. Works to be performed include “Five Hebrew Love Songs” by Eric Whitacre; “Sweetheart of the Sun” by Eric William Barnum; “Locus Iste” by Anton Bruckner; “Chorale 1” from “Wachet Auf, BWV 140” by J.S. Bach; and a host of other pieces.

The Concert Choir will be accompanied on the piano by Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, chair of the Department of Music and tenured professor of music.

Dr. Rosborough’s pre-concert lecture will give the audience a greater understanding of the historical perspectives of the Ketubah, as it relates to the Hebraic roots of our Christian faith.

“Additionally, lecture attendees will have the opportunity to ‘unpack’ the musical-textual implications of the pieces to be performed thereafter,” he said.

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.