News Archives

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 www.hputx.edu/homecoming 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 www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

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 (www.hputx.edu/apply). 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 enroll@hputx.edu.

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

HPU announces tuition freeze for 2020-21 academic year

Howard Payne University has announced a freeze of tuition rates from the 2019-20 academic year extending to the 2020-21 academic year.

The freeze represents HPU’s continuing commitment to provide affordable and Christ-centered higher education of the foremost quality to its students and their families.

“Our administration understands the significant financial commitment that attending college represents for students and their families,” said Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president. “We hope this tuition freeze will financially assist our students and provide stability for them going into the new academic year.”

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2020 and fall 2020 semesters at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). 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 enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: Howard Payne University has announced a tuition freeze for the 2020-21 year.

C. Elia Salazar Trujillo named HPU’s Homecoming 2019 Coming Home Queen

C. Elia Salazar Trujillo of Gilbert, Ariz., has been named Howard Payne University’s Homecoming 2019 Coming Home Queen. She is among nine who will be honored during this year’s festivities, to be held November 1-2. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming and will be highlighted in the week to come.

Trujillo 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 www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Trujillo graduated from HPU in 1965 with a degree in secondary education with an emphasis in Spanish. While at HPU, she was a member of many student organizations such as La Hora Bautista, Mission Band, El Circulo de la Amistad and Texas Student Educators Association.

Trujillo is very involved in her community serving as a Sunday school teacher, youth leader, Vacation Bible School director, Women on a Mission leader, prayer ministry leader, backyard Bible club teacher and worker with Inner City Ministry.

She and her husband, Tom Trujillo ’65, have a daughter, L. Michelle Trujillo ’89, and a granddaughter, Mariah Christopher.

“My years at Howard Payne were life-changing,” she said. “Through my education at Howard Payne I learned skills that have helped with the many opportunities I’ve had to teach and lead in various areas of church work.”

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2020 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). 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 enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline:C. Elia Salazar Trujillo of Gilbert, Ariz., has been named HPU’s Homecoming 2019 Coming Home Queen.

Austin’s Gladys Murray named HPU’s Homecoming 2019 Medal of Service recipient

Gladys Murray of Austin will be the recipient of Howard Payne University’s Homecoming 2019 Medal of Service. She is among nine who will be honored during this year’s festivities, to be held November 1-2. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming and will be highlighted in the weeks to come.

Murray 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 www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Murray graduated from HPU in 1980 with a degree in business with a secondary teacher’s certification. Murray was a member of Zeta Alpha Phi and was a nominee for Homecoming Freshman Lasso Beauty. She was also a member of Christian Brothers of Unity and played intramural sports. While she was a student, she participated in the community choir at Mt. Zion Baptist Church and made this her church home and served in the ministries of the church.

Murray completed 31 years of state service with the Texas Youth Commission and retired in 2010. She still works at her church as an administrative assistant, event coordinator and financial officer, in addition to helping with other ministries.

Murray is the secretary for the HPU African-American Alumni Association Chapter, is involved with the Black History Month Chapel Service each year and helps coordinate other events for the chapter.

She and her husband, Glynn Murray, have six children and seven grandchildren.

“Howard Payne prepared me by continuing to instill the Word of God in me and giving me the opportunity to participate in mission work and service projects to be a leader and an example who is pleasing in the sight of God,” said Murray.

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2020 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). 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 enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: Gladys Murray of Austin has been named HPU’s Homecoming 2019 Medal of Service recipient

Flower Mound’s Jarod Root named HPU’s Homecoming 2019 Outstanding Young Graduate

Jarod Root of Flower Mound has been named Howard Payne University’s Homecoming 2019 Outstanding Young Graduate. He is among nine who will be honored during this year’s festivities, to be held November 1-2. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming and will be highlighted in the weeks to come.

Root 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 www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Root graduated from HPU in 2003, having earned a degree in exercise and sport science with a specialization in athletic training. He was the student body vice president and was a student athletic trainer. He was also a member of Zeta Chi.

Root is actively involved in the HPU Alumni Association Board of Directors, currently serving as vice president. He is very supportive of many campus initiatives.

In 2014, Root graduated from The University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in nursing. He is currently enrolled at Texas Woman’s University where he is working on his master’s degree in nursing practice.

Root owns and operates Whitecoat Enterprises, through which he assists in the perioperative care of patients and performs duties as assigned from the primary operating surgeon.

He and his wife, Kara, have two sons, Jack and Tucker. Root also raises and sells grass-fed beef and local honey.

“HPU gave me the base knowledge and skills to go out and be successful in the world,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the relationships that I made at HPU, along with the values I was taught growing up in Lindsay, Texas, I feel that I would have struggled to get where I am today. Professors like Scott Owen, Dr. Ed Roth and Curly Cox challenged me academically and always to ‘keep it professional.’”

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2020 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). 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 enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: Jarod Root of Flower Mound has been named HPU’s Homecoming 2019 Outstanding Young Graduate.

William Celis named HPU’s Homecoming 2019 Distinguished Alumnus

William Celis of Inglewood, Calif., has been named Howard Payne University’s Homecoming 2019 Distinguished Alumnus. He is among nine who will be honored during this year’s festivities, to be held November 1-2. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming and will be highlighted in the weeks to come.

Celis and 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 www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

He graduated from HPU in 1978 with a degree in journalism and a minor in English. While at the university, Celis participated in The Yellow Jacket student newspaper, serving as editor of the publication for three years. He also served as a student senator and a freshman class officer. He was also a member of Alpha Phi Omega. He went on to study at the Columbia Journalism School, where he received his master’s degree in 1982.

Celis reporting career began at the Brownwood Bulletin, which led to The Wall Street Journal, where he was a domestic correspondent and columnist. Later, he served as a national correspondent for The New York Times.

In 2000, Celis became an associate professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He has served as an associate director and associate dean at the university.

Celis led a school initiative on diversity and inclusion that won the USC Annenberg School National Award, the 2012 Equity and Diversity Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has received multiple teaching awards, including the 2018 Bingham Fellowship from the American Society of News Editors.

His writing as a journalism professor has appeared in NewsweekThe Boston GlobeThe Washington Post and academic journals at Brown University and Columbia University. He is the author of Battle Rock: The Struggle Over a One-Room School in America’s Vanishing West and is currently finishing his second book, Denetrio’s War: The Enduring Campaign for Equality in American Schools.

“Over the years, especially as I’ve grown older, I have come to appreciate even more the extraordinary education and foundation for life I received at Howard Payne,” he said. “My professors and classmates, and the support I received from both, gave me assurance to go out into the world to do what I have done.”

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2020 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). 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 enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: William Celis of Inglewood, Calif., has been named HPU’s Homecoming 2019 Distinguished Alumnus.

HPU’s Homecoming 2019 scheduled November 1-2

Howard Payne University looks forward to hosting a large group of alumni, community members and friends in just under a month for Homecoming 2019: Yesterday, Today and Forever. The event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, November 1-2 with many activities open to the general public.

Alumni and visitors may register for Homecoming events online. Some require purchased tickets while many are free of charge. For complete details and the latest schedule information, visit www.hputx.edu/homecoming or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 325-649-8007 or via e-mail at alumni@hputx.edu.

This year’s activities will feature a number of reunions, a 5K run and the Homecoming football game.

The Golden Graduates Luncheon honoring the class of 1969, sponsored by Wendlee Broadcasting, will be held Friday from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of the university’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center. The Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet will be held Friday from 5:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. in the Mabee University Center’s Beadel Dining Hall. During the banquet, Homecoming 2019 honorees will be recognized. Tickets to the banquet are $25 per person.

First-day Homecoming activities will conclude with Cobbler on the Campus sponsored by Underwood’s BBQ on Friday beginning at 7 p.m. at HPU’s Muse Plaza and Mall, featuring music from Jaime Dodson ’19 and Hunter Carrier, as well as a special performance from Ray Hildebrand ’62 of the musical duo Paul and Paula. Friday’s activities will close with the Homecoming Pep Rally at Muse Plaza and Mall at 7:45 p.m. and a performance of the musical “Little Women” at 8:30 p.m. in Mims Auditorium (see below for more information).

The Alumni Association will host a 5K race Saturday afternoon beginning at 1:30 p.m. Most of the 3.1-mile course runs along Brownwood’s Camp Bowie Walking Trail and begins at Festival Park, located at 3206 Milam Drive. Participants are invited to walk or run during the event.

The HPU Yellow Jacket football team will play Sul Ross State University at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Gordon Wood Stadium. A Homecoming tailgate will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Additional Homecoming events are highlighted below.

Upon arriving on campus, alumni and visitors will have an opportunity to immediately reconnect with HPU friends at the Mabee Center during Registration. Attendees may check in at the registration tents to pick up nametags and other materials. Those who pre-registered by October 4 will be able to pick up their t-shirts, sponsored by Willie’s T’s, at the registration tents.

Performances of the Homecoming musical “Little Women” will be held at the university’s Mims Auditorium on Thursday, October 31, at 8 p.m.; Friday at 8:30 p.m.; and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and children 13 and younger. Tickets may be purchased through the Homecoming website or at the door on the evenings of the performances. Those who purchase tickets online for Thursday’s performance should make arrangements to pick up their tickets by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations prior to the event at 325-649-8044. Tickets for performances on Friday and Saturday will be held at the Mabee Center’s Homecoming registration area.

HPU’s Walker Memorial Library will open its Archival Display to the public Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Alumni are invited to participate in the HPU Oral Histories Project in Walker Memorial Library’s Treasure Room on Friday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Homecoming Court will be presented during Homecoming Convocation at 2 p.m. on Friday in Mims Auditorium.

Saturday morning will begin with a variety of reunion breakfasts. The Alumni Breakfast begins at 8 a.m., with alumni reuniting with friends in the Mabee Center’s Beadel Dining Hall. Also at 8 a.m. on Saturday will be the Jacket Century Letterman’s Breakfast in Bullion Suite C of the Mabee Center. The Sigma Alpha Sigma Breakfast will be at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday in the Mabee Center Balcony.

The Alumni Association Remembrance and Reflection, a time designated to gather in memory of alumni who have passed away, will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday at HPU’s Grace Chapel.

The Homecoming Parade, sponsored by Bruner Auto Group, begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The parade will begin at the Brownwood Coliseum, travel down Center Avenue and end near the university’s Doakie Day Art Center. The parade is best viewed from downtown Brownwood and on campus along Center Avenue.

The Little Jackets’ Nest, sponsored by Visit Early Texas, will be held from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Muse Plaza and Mall. This features games and other fun activities for children.

HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts will present a Choir Concert at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

The Jacket Century Family BBQ Volleyball Fundraiser: Meet the President, with Dr. Cory Hines ’97, will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Muse Plaza and Mall.

A variety of reunions and other events will be held throughout the weekend. A comprehensive schedule of events is available online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

In addition to the sponsors mentioned above, HPU thanks the following businesses for their support: Alumni Association; Adidas; the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce; Dr Pepper; TexasBank; United Supermarkets; Marsh & McLennan Companies; Citizens National Bank; Painter and Johnson Financial; Porter Insurance Agency; Double H Mercantile; and Smith & Sharpe Agencies.

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Cutline:A full slate of activities is planned for HPU’s Homecoming 2019, November 1-2.

Presidential inauguration and other festivities mark beginning of new chapter at HPU

Howard Payne University recently concluded a week of celebrations held in conjunction with the presidential inauguration of Cory Hines, Ph.D. Various events took place September 17-21 and included HPU’s students, trustees, personnel and alumni as well as a wide range of guests, many of whom were visitors to HPU and Brownwood for the first time.

Related events included various receptions, a prayer breakfast, a cookout with students hosted by HPU’s first family, a chapel service and the special ceremony officially inaugurating Dr. Hines as the institution’s 20th president. The week’s festivities culminated with an HPU preview event for prospective students and a tailgate lunch at Gordon Wood Stadium for the extended HPU family.

“I wanted the week to not just be about me but to celebrate HPU and God’s faithfulness throughout our institution’s 130-year history,” said Dr. Hines. “I am so grateful for the participation of all who took part and look forward to continuing to grow these relationships as together we move forward into the bright future God has for us.”

For those who were unable to attend the Inauguration Ceremony, HPU’s livestreamed video of the event is available on the official HPU Facebook page (www.facebook.com/hputx) and the university’s website (www.hputx.edu/inauguration).

Dr. Hines, a native of Gainesville, Texas, earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in religious education from HPU in 1997. He pursued graduate work at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned the Master of Arts degree in Christian education in 2000, and Dallas Baptist University, where he earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree in leadership studies – higher education in 2012.

Prior to his return to HPU, Dr. Hines served as an administrator at Dallas Baptist University. During his years at DBU, he held various leadership roles as vice president in the areas of enrollment, advancement, graduate affairs, external affairs, and alumni and community relations. He also taught at DBU and provided leadership in the creation of several graduate programs there. His professional experience also includes full-time ministry, having served as executive pastor and student pastor at Ferris Avenue Baptist Church (now The Avenue Church) in Waxahachie. Dr. Hines and his wife, Melinda, have two children, Mackenzie and Caleb.

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Photo #1 cutline: Rev. Ray Still (left), chairman of HPU’s Board of Trustees, and Deborah Cartwright, first vice chairperson of the Board of Trustees, present Dr. Cory Hines with the Presidential Medallion and Chain of Office during the Inauguration Ceremony, held on September 18.

Photo #2 cutline: Dr. Cory Hines delivers his address during the Inauguration Ceremony.

Photo #3 cutline: Hunter Sims (left), HPU’s athletic director, and Braxton Harris (right), head football coach, present a commemorative football to Dr. Cory Hines at the game on September 21. The football features the official seal of the university and text recognizing Dr. Hines as HPU’s 20th president. Sims and Harris display the “Sting ’em” hand sign representing HPU’s mascot, the yellow jacket.

HPU to host first Community Leadership Lunch and Learn event on campus

Howard Payne University invites the public to the first installment of the Community Leadership Lunch and Learn series, which will feature a meal catered by Sodexo and an informative presentation by HPU personnel. The event will be held on Friday, October 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Bullion Suites of HPU’s Mabee University Center.

The October presentation, titled “The Business Potential of Blockchain,” will be led by HPU’s Dr. Lester Towell, chair of the Department of Computer Information Systems (CIS) and professor of CIS, and Dr. Jodi Goode, assistant vice president for information technology services and chief information officer.

“In Information Systems, we are constantly evaluating new innovations,” said Dr. Towell. “Disruptive innovations of the past like mobile computing, the internet and 3D printing reinforce the importance of recognizing innovations early for businesses to thrive.”

Dr. Goode added that blockchain technology could have benefits to business operations.

“Blockchain technology has evolved since its original inception as a public transaction ledger for Bitcoin, becoming useful well beyond cryptocurrency exchanges,” she said. “Businesses are realizing the competitive advantage that blockchain technology could provide. New technologies have the potential to increase security and transparency of business functions, including payment and money transfers, cloud storage, business contracts and supply chain management.”

Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president, expressed his enthusiasm for the event and looks forward to the ongoing series, which will feature a Community Leadership Lunch and Learn event each fall and spring.

“HPU is blessed to be located in the Brownwood and Early area,” said Dr. Hines. “I am eager for more opportunities for our community and our university to connect in meaningful ways. At these Lunch and Learn events, attendees will have an enjoyable meal, gain useful knowledge and be able to become better acquainted with each other and with HPU.”

A fee of $15, payable at registration, is required to attend. Event proceeds will support student scholarships at HPU. Interested parties are encouraged to register soon, as venue capacity is limited.

The title sponsor for the event is Ann Jones Real Estate. Table sponsorships are also available. Table sponsors to date include the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce; Brownwood Regional Medical Center; Kohler Co.; Painter & Johnson Financial; Porter Insurance Agency; Robnett Integra Insurance Services; Smith & Sharpe Insurance; Texas Goldstar Real Estate; TexasBank; and Wendlee Broadcasting.

For more information and to register for HPU’s Community Leadership Lunch and Learn, visit www.hputx.edu/lunchandlearn or contact Sareta Delgado, executive assistant to the vice president for development, at sdelgado@hputx.edu or 325-649-8048.

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Cutline: HPU invites the public to the first Community Leadership Lunch and Learn on Oct. 11 in the Bullion Suites of HPU’s Mabee University Center.

Five selected as HPU Sumners Scholars

Five Howard Payne University students enrolled in the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy program have been selected as Sumners Scholars. Acceptance into the Sumners Scholar Program, created by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation, is based on an assessment of academic excellence, a sense of civic responsibility and leadership potential.

This year’s selected scholars are Conner Faught, junior from Brownfield; Lexie Hobby, junior from Burleson; Lucy Manning, junior from Fort Worth; Sierra Ross, junior from Galveston; and Lauren Piper, sophomore from Early.

Students are selected for the competitive four-semester program, after an in-depth application and interview by the trustees of the Sumners Foundation. The foundation provides a $7,500-per-semester stipend for its participating students to be used for tuition, fees, books or room and board.

Sumners Scholars are also provided with opportunities to attend annual leadership and policy analysis conferences to supplement their learning and expand their growth potential. While receiving the scholarship, students are required to maintain a 3.25 GPA and be in good standing with the university.

“We’re continually blessed by our relationship with the Sumners Foundation, which has generously supported the Sumners Scholar program here for more than four decades,” said Dr. Matthew McNiece, chair and professor of history and government and director of the Honors Academy. “The financial and experiential support the foundation offers is immense – it’s often a truly life-changing opportunity for each Sumners Scholar. We’re tremendously proud of these students, their achievement with this honor and the potential they hold for strong, Christian leadership in each of their worlds.”

For more information about the Sumners Scholars Program at HPU, visit www.hputx.edu/sumners.

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Cutline: Five Guy D. Newman Honors Academy students have been named Sumners Scholars. Pictured from left to right are Conner Faught, Lauren Piper, Lexie Hobby, Sierra Ross and Lucy Manning.