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San Antonio’s Patty Villarreal receives HPU’s Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award

Patty Villarreal of San Antonio has been named the 2019 recipient of Howard Payne University’s Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award. She is among nine who will be honored during this year’s Homecoming festivities, to be held November 1-2. Additional honorees are listed at and are being highlighted individually.

Villarreal and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet at 5:45 p.m. on Friday, November 1, in the Mabee University Center’s Beadel Dining Hall. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, November 2, beginning at 10 a.m. Ticket information for the banquet and a full schedule of the weekend’s events are available online at

Villarreal graduated from HPU in 1976 with a degree in sociology and a minor in psychology. During her time at HPU she was involved in La Hora Bautista, for which she was a representative to Student Council her sophomore year. She was on the student-led revival team. She participated in intramural sports from 1972-1976. Villarreal was recognized as the top female athlete in intramurals in 1975.

After her time at HPU, Villarreal went on to get her master’s degree from the Carver School of Social Work at Campbellsville University. She has also been recognized by Baylor University’s School of Social Work as an honorary graduate alumna.

Villarreal has been a social worker for 42 years. At the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Villarreal was hired to be a community ministry consultant, where she was the first Latina to be hired as a full-time consultant and social worker. She is the co-founder of the Christian Latina Leadership Institute, a leadership training and network service in Texas, North Carolina and Mexico.

At her church, Woodland Baptist Church, she serves as a deacon, is in the sanctuary choir and is the Outreach Committee Chairwoman.

She is a board member of the Texas Christian Community Development Network and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Texas Council. She is also a trustee with the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio and a leadership development team member for the Hispanic Convention of Texas. Additionally, she is the president of the Texas Hispanic Senior Adult Camp.

She is a former member of the HPU Board of Trustees and the Alumni Association Board of Directors. She also served as president of the alumni board.

“HPU created lifelong friends that opened many doors in denominational life,” she said. “There is an instant connection everywhere I go with HPU students of all graduate years.”

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2020 semester at Howard Payne University ( For more information about HPU, including the wide range of available financial aid options, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: Patty Villarreal of San Antonio has been named the 2019 recipient of HPU’s Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award.

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