News Archives

Improvements made at HPU’s Mamie D. McCullough Athletic Center

BROWNWOOD – November 26, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Mamie D. McCullough Athletic Center underwent improvements to its facilities during the summer. The developments were made possible due to donations from Bruner Toyota, through the Toyota Dealer Match Program, and HPU alumnus Jarod Root ’03.

In addition to their financial support of HPU, Root serves on the HPU Alumni Association Board of Directors, while Greg Bruner, of Bruner Toyota, is a member of the HPU Board of Trustees.

Improvements to the building included the installation of new flooring, the painting of hallways and office doors and the placement of new signage for offices. The McCullough Athletic Center houses offices for the HPU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and athletics training facilities.

“Projects such as this really help bring a spark of new excitement to our university, our athletic department and, most importantly, our students,” said Hunter Sims, HPU athletic director. “We are extremely thankful for people like Jarod Root and organizations like Bruner Toyota who believe in the mission of HPU.”

For more information about HPU, visit


Cutline: HPU’s Mamie D. McCullough Athletic Center underwent renovations supported by donors Jared Root and the Bruner Auto Family.

HPU band and choirs to present Christmas concert

BROWNWOOD – November 26, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s band and choral programs will present a joint Christmas concert on Thursday, November 29, at 7:30 p.m. The event will take place in the university’s Mims Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

The band will open the evening with “The Star Spangled Banner” followed by two performances each by HPU’s Concert Choir and Heritage Singers. Leading more than 60 student performers for the evening are Frank Nelson, director of bands and assistant professor of music, and Dr. Christopher Rosborough, director of choral activities and assistant professor of music.

HPU’s Heritage Singers will perform “Of The Father’s Love Begotten” arranged by Paul Wohlgemuth and “Mary Had a Baby” arranged by William Dawson. The Concert Choir will perform “What Sweeter Music” by John Rutter and “A Musicological Journey Through the Twelve Days of Christmas” by Craig Courtney.

The band will perform “And the Mountains Echoed: Gloria!” by Robert Longfield. This musical work was inspired by the biblical narrative of the appearance of the angels to the shepherds telling them of the birth of Jesus. Additional Christmas pieces to be performed include “Greensleeves” arranged by Alfred Reed; “Mary’s Boy Child” arranged by Philip Sparke; “Sussex Mummers’ Christmas Carol” by Percy Grainger; “The Christmas Song” by Robert Wells and Mel Tormé; and “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson.

The band and choir will join forces in presenting several Christmas carols in a unique setting arranged by David Wilcox – “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “The First Nowell.”

“We invite all of Brown County to come and experience this celebration of Christmas music with us,” said Nelson. “It’s a great way to start off the Christmas season for you and your family. And the best part about it – the concert is absolutely free! It’s our gift to the community. We hope you’ll make plans to attend!”

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


HPU senior Justin Barrera awarded UPS Scholarship

BROWNWOOD – November 20, 2018 – Howard Payne University senior Justin Barrera, a kinesiology major and business minor from Round Rock, has been selected to receive a UPS Scholarship provided by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT) Foundation and its national partner, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).

Barrera is the son of Gina Barrera and a 2014 Cedar Ridge High School graduate. He will graduate from HPU on December 8, 2018.

“I am so thankful to be receiving this scholarship from UPS,” Barrera said. “This is helping more than they know.”

At the national level, CIC teams up with the UPS Foundation to distribute funding of the UPS Scholarship. Through this program this year, the ICUT Foundation awarded $120,000 in UPS Scholarships to 40 students at private institutions across Texas.

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of more than 700 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization focused on providing services to leaders of independent colleges and universities as well as conferences, seminars and other programs that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance and institutional visibility. CIC conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers. CIC also provides support to state associations that organize programs and generate contributions for their member colleges and universities, including the ICUT Foundation. The Council is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit


Cutline: HPU senior Justin Barrera is the recipient of this year’s UPS Scholarship.

HPU graduate Karli Conrad ’18 serving as campus missionary intern

BROWNWOOD – November 19, 2018 – Howard Payne University graduate Karli Conrad is serving with the HPU Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) as campus missionary intern for the 2018-2019 school year.

Conrad, a native of Katy, graduated from HPU in May 2018 with a degree in marketing. As a student, she was active in the BSM, serving as a leader and in the senior adult ministry. She also was a member of the Student Activities Council, the Student Planning Committee and business leadership organization Phi Beta Lambda.

She initially had other plans following graduation but felt led to change them as her final year at HPU drew to a close.

“I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do after college and was kind of on the fast track to an internship at a corporation in Houston,” said Conrad. “Then God called me to go into a ministry position to serve HPU. When Keith [Platte, director of HPU’s BSM] mentioned the position and asked if I would be interested, I said no initially, but then God changed my heart.”

Keith Platte noted that Conrad has been an immediate contributor to the functions of the BSM.

“She is a very welcoming, inviting person,” he said. “Students find it easy to open up and talk to Karli. She has a passion to see people grow in Christ, to become disciples and disciple-makers.”

The initial adjustment from student to worker was somewhat difficult for her. She had to adapt to her new role as a guide and mentor, rather than a peer, to students. However, she saw the importance of the position, and her recent status as a student made her more relatable to current students. She has enjoyed flipping sides in the student/staff equation.

“I like it because I’m very goal-driven,” she said, “and my goal for students is for them to know Christ and then go out to make Christ known,” she said. “If I can help in any way and plant seeds like the Lord wants me to, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

There are many ministry opportunities available to students through the BSM. Opportunities include mission fundraising events, free meals for all students, student-led worship nights, on-campus fellowship groups for students and various outreach opportunities in the local community.

“Being active with the BSM can help in your personal walk, growing with Christ,” said Conrad. “To get involved is to be in communion, to be together with your peers in a tight-knit ministry that is so rewarding.”

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


Cutline: HPU graduate Karli Conrad ’18 is working as the campus missionary intern for the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters.

HPU pre-college music students present Fall Saturday Performance Class

BROWNWOOD – November 15, 2018 – Music students from Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program recently presented their yearly Fall Saturday Performance Class in the choral hall of HPU’s Davidson Music Complex.

Twenty-two performers entertained a standing-room-only crowd with vocal and piano solos. At the conclusion of the performance, there was a time of fellowship and refreshments.

“This is always the first performance of the new academic year and the students did an amazing job,” said Diane Owens, director of the program. “It was an exciting and memorable day.”

The Pre-College Music and Art Program serves the Brownwood community by offering music and art lessons to children and adults. For more information, contact Owens at 325-649-8501 or or Jill Holamon at 325-649-8500 or


Cutline: Music students from HPU’s Pre-College Music and Art Program recently presented their yearly Fall Saturday Performance Class.

HPU’s Paige Bowers to present senior clarinet recital

Bowers for webBROWNWOOD – November 15, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Paige Maria Bowers, senior music education major from Corpus Christi, will present her Senior Recital on clarinet, Friday, November 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Grace Chapel on the HPU campus.

Bowers is the daughter of two HPU alumni, Commander Hollis Bowers of the Corpus Christi Police Department, and Jessica Villarreal Bowers. Paige’s grandmother, Linda Marie Bowers, was also an HPU alumna. Paige was an accomplished clarinetist prior to enrolling at HPU, performing in the Texas A&M University Corpus Christi and Del Mar College Honor Bands and winning Region Band honors all four years of high school. She also performed at the Texas UIL State Solo and Ensemble Contest.

Paige received a music department scholarship while attending HPU and has participated in the Symphonic Band, Winds of Triumph and the Jazz Ensemble. She is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi fraternity and Delta Chi Rho sorority. Paige will be accompanied on piano by Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music and chair of HPU’s Department of Music. Featured on Paige’s program will be the “Sonata for Clarinet and Piano” by Francis Poulenc and “Time Pieces” by Robert Muczynski.

Paige’s recital will also present chamber music featuring a flute and clarinet duo by Chelsea Komschlies. Accompanying Paige will be flutist Kathryn Grice, senior from Carlsbad. A woodwind quartet with Grice and Grant Saltar, senior from Plano, will round out the program.

“Paige has a special voice on the clarinet and an ease of expression which audiences easily discern and appreciate,” said Stephen Goacher, professor of music. “Her program presents variety and will make for an interesting evening’s music.”


Cutline: HPU’s Paige Maria Bowers, senior music education major from Corpus Christi, will present her Senior Recital on clarinet, Friday, November 16, at 7:30 p.m.

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.


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 ( 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


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.


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 ( 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