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Three HPU El Paso students awarded Nassar scholarship

Dr. Nassar and scholarship recipientsBROWNWOOD – November 29, 2017 – Three students from Howard Payne University’s El Paso Center were recently awarded the Dr. Richard W. Nassar Annual Scholarship. Dr. Nassar, who holds an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from HPU, is a faithful supporter of the university and its students.

Three deserving students are chosen to receive the scholarship each year. This year’s recipients are Roberto Elizalde, senior Christian studies major, Bernadette Rowlison, senior Christian studies major, and Brandon Rutkowski, freshman Christian studies major. Each student received a $500 scholarship.

Dr. Nassar, a published author and poet, was born in Lebanon and immigrated to the United States in 1975. He is an active member and ordained deacon of El Paso’s First Baptist Church. Dr. Nassar has focused his ministry on establishing a dialogue between Christians, Muslims and Jews.

The scholarship recipients recently had the opportunity to meet Dr. Nassar.

“It was an honor to greet and listen to Dr. Nassar,” said Rowlison. “He is very inspirational. His Christian faith is solid and gracious, especially considering the horrific trials his family went through in the Middle East. He is filled with grace rather than hate. He is one of those people you meet and realize that you are in the presence of greatness.”

Rutkowski expressed his appreciation for the scholarship.

“Through the events surrounding Dr. Nassar’s scholarship and meeting with him, God proved His providence and blessings,” he said. “None of this would have been possible without God’s guiding hand and Dr. Nassar’s compassion.”

To learn more about scholarship opportunities at HPU’s El Paso Center, call 915-533-8500 or email


Cutline: Three students from HPU’s El Paso Center were recently awarded the Dr. Richard W. Nassar Annual Scholarship. Standing, left to right: Roberto Elizalde, Dr. Richard Nassar and Brandon Rutkowski. Seated: Bernadette Rowlison.