Yearly News Archives: 2013

HPU to exhibit works of Brownwood artists

BROWNWOOD – October 22, 2013 – Beginning next week, the Howard Payne University art department will present a group exhibition of works by local artists who are members of the Brownwood Art Association (BAA). The exhibition, titled “Self-Curated,” will be housed in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery inside the university’s Doakie Day Art Center from October 28 through December 6.

“The works have been self-curated by the artists, thus the name of the exhibition,” said David Harmon, chair of HPU’s art department and professor of art. “The artists have chosen only their very best pieces for this show.”

Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or by appointment. For more information about the show, contact Professor Harmon at (325) 649-8088. The Doakie Day Art Center is located on the HPU campus, on Center Avenue, near Lipscomb Street in Brownwood.

HPU students and faculty member recognized for life-saving actions

hpu canoe class for webBROWNWOOD – October 16, 2013 – Nine Howard Payne University students and a faculty member are being hailed as heroes after their quick actions prevented a potential tragedy. Dr. Rick Beelby, associate professor of exercise and sport science, and members of his basic canoeing class were recognized last week by the Board of Directors of the Brown County Water Improvement District for rescuing a would-be drowning victim at Lake Brownwood.

After several weeks of classroom instruction, Dr. Beelby and his students arrived at the lake on the evening of September 17 for the first time as a group. Thunderstorms earlier in the day, however, had threatened to disrupt plans to hold class on the water.

“The lake is one of the last places you want to be in the event of lightning, of course,” Dr. Beelby said. “But conditions improved and I made the decision late in the day to go ahead with the class.”

The class met near the shore as the clouds continued to dissipate. Instructing them to be on the lookout for lightning, Dr. Beelby moved his students into a remote area with deeper water. The group was working on capsize drills when several students noticed a young woman in the distance.

“She was about 60 meters away from us in deep water, screaming and flailing her arms,” Dr. Beelby said. “We rushed over to help.”

One student gave the teenage girl his personal flotation device, and Dr. Beelby kept her secured to the canoe as other students paddled them safely to shore. As Dr. Beelby tended to the girl, several students paddled to the other shore to retrieve their cell phones and call 911. The group then provided emotional support to the girl while waiting for the police to arrive.

Lt. Scotty Burke of the Lake Patrol was one of the first to arrive on the scene. Weeks later, he stood in the meeting room of the Brown County Water Improvement District Board of Directors, recognizing the members of the HPU group for their “selfless actions.”

Students honored for preventing this tragedy included Courtney Beene, a senior from Oak Leaf; Ethan Ferrel, a junior from Childress; Dacia Griffin, a junior from Early; Mallory Orms, a senior from Springtown; Colin Pritchard, a sophomore from Crawford; Jacob Sadler, a sophomore from Liberty Hill; Courtney Seybert, a sophomore from Bangs; Kristian Simpson, a sophomore from Burnet; and Sarah Wright, a freshman from Beaumont.

Dr. Beelby attributes the young woman’s rescue to promptings from the Holy Spirit.

“The weather was poor and everything that could go wrong that day had gone wrong,” he said. “Any other time, I would have cancelled class. But the Holy Spirit directed our paths. The Lord must have some wonderful plan for this young girl.”


Photo cutline: Nine HPU students and a faculty member were recognized by Lt. Scotty Burke of the Lake Patrol for their actions in preventing a tragedy. From left: Lt. Burke, Courtney Seybert, Dacia Griffin, Sarah Wright, Courtney Beene, Ethan Ferrel, Kristian Simpson, Jacob Sadler and Dr. Rick Beelby. Not pictured are Mallory Orms and Colin Pritchard.

HPU presenter discusses careers in advertising

Emily Ellison for webBROWNWOOD – October 16, 2013 – Emily E. Ellison, account executive for the Dallas-based Moroch Agency, recently spoke with Howard Payne University faculty, staff and students about her career in advertising.

Ellison’s presentation was geared toward students interested in pursuing careers in the field, and she gave advice on the importance of internships and networking. Ellison also showed creative material produced by the agency for one of her biggest clients, McDonald’s.

Moroch, which specializes in retail and branding services, has offices in most of the top 50 markets in the United States. In addition to McDonald’s, clients include Coca-Cola, Midas, Western Union and many more.

Ellison is the daughter of Drs. Bill and Diana Ellis, HPU’s president and first lady.


Photo cutline: Emily E. Ellison addresses HPU students, faculty and staff on careers in advertising.

HPU’s criminal justice program celebrates 10-year anniversary

steve tidwell for webBROWNWOOD – October 16, 2013 – Howard Payne University celebrated a decade of preparing students for careers in the criminal justice field this year, and faculty, staff, students and alumni of the program commemorated the occasion with a picnic held during HPU’s Homecoming Weekend earlier this month. Steve Tidwell, a 1974 HPU graduate and retired FBI agent, spoke during the event.

In 2003, Lynn Humeniuk, director of HPU’s criminal justice program, wrote the criminal justice curriculum for the university. The program started with only 10 students, but quickly grew to become one of the university’s most popular academic offerings. Humeniuk now oversees a program with 80 students.

Several of those students were in attendance as Tidwell, now a managing director for global risk management firm Freeh Group International Solutions, spoke at the picnic. Tidwell received a degree in Christian education at HPU, planning to pursue a ministry-related career.

“However,” Tidwell said, “If God can call you to a career, he can call you away from it.”

He went on to spend 34 years in law enforcement, including eight years as a police officer with the Richardson Police Department and 26 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also served as a leadership consultant and executive director of the FBI National Academy Associates, Inc.

Tidwell entered the FBI in 1983 and served in a variety of capacities including investigative agent, SWAT team member, protection detail for the FBI director and Attorney General, supervisory special agent and Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Salt Lake City Division.

In 2002, Tidwell was appointed Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville Field Office. During the high-profile sniper investigation in the Washington, D.C. area that year, he was detailed to serve as an on-scene commander and supervised the crime scene at the arrest site.

Tidwell continued to serve the FBI in several more positions. He was the FBI’s first National Asset Commander for major tactical and crisis incidents and was responsible for the FBI’s overall national response to Hurricane Katrina. At the time of his retirement from the bureau in 2009, he was responsible for more than 14,000 of the FBI’s personnel and the programs they supported.

“We were very blessed to have an HPU alumnus of Mr. Tidwell’s caliber return to address our current students who are planning to go in to similar career fields,” Humeniuk said. “We look forward to having these same students return to HPU in several years to discuss their own successes.”


Photo cutline: Steve Tidwell, 1974 HPU graduate and former FBI agent, spoke at an event marking the 10-year anniversary of the university’s criminal justice program.

Rev. Elso Garcia ’62 of Houston honored during HPU Homecoming 2013

garcia in parade for webBROWNWOOD – October 10, 2013 – Reverend Elso Garcia of Houston, a 1962 Howard Payne University graduate, received the Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award during the university’s 2013 Homecoming Weekend. Rev. Garcia was honored during the Hispanic Alumni Breakfast, as well as during the Homecoming Parade.

Rev. Garcia was born in 1931 in the mountains of Cuba. In 1954, he came to the U.S. and was ordained to the ministry.

“During the summer of 1958, I met José Rivas at Alto Frio Baptist Encampment,” Rev. Garcia remembered. “At his insistence, I went to study at Howard Payne University while serving as pastor of the Misión Bautista in Ballinger. In 1961, José Rivas performed my wedding with Rachel Grijalva of San Antonio. During our time in Ballinger, with Rachel as teacher, we developed a very successful kindergarten for Hispanic children who could not speak English. The school opened the door for us to most Hispanic homes in the community.”

Upon graduation from the university in 1962, he enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. For the following two years, Rev. Garcia and Dr. Rivas were roommates at a duplex in Fort Worth while Dr. Rivas was working on his master’s degree and later on his doctoral degree. In December of 1964, the Garcias’ second son died and Rev. Garcia left the seminary.

“In the midst of my sadness, I discovered that Dr. Nat Tracy, professor in the religion department at HPU, and Dr. Rivas were starting a group called the Conference On Spiritual Renewal and I became part of that group,” Rev. Garcia said. “This experience changed the course of my life, the lives of my family and the lives of many other people with whom I have become involved through the years.”

Camacho and Garcia for webRev. Garcia went on to pastor churches in Austin and Houston, as well as serve in a variety of other ministry efforts. He and his wife have been married for 52 years. They have two children, Gershom and Sylvia, and four grandchildren.


Photo cutlines: Rev. Elso Garcia received the Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award during the university’s 2013 Homecoming Weekend. He is pictured riding in the Homecoming Parade.

Rev. Elso Garcia (right) receives the Dr. José Rivas Distinguished Service Award from Dr. Rudy Camacho, chairman emeritus of the HPU Hispanic Alumni Fellowship Association, during the Hispanic Alumni Breakfast at HPU Homecoming 2013.

Advertising professional to address HPU students and community tomorrow

BROWNWOOD – October 10, 2013 – The community is invited to a special presentation by Emily E. Ellison, an account executive for the Dallas-based Moroch Agency, as she addresses students interested in careers in marketing and advertising. The event is Friday, October 11, at 10 a.m. in room 104 of HPU’s Newman Hall.

Moroch, which specializes in retail and branding services, has offices in most of the top 50 markets in the United States. Clients include McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Midas, Western Union and many more.

“Just four years out of college, Mrs. Ellison already has primary responsibilities for advertising and promotion in our region for McDonald’s and other firms,” said Dr. Les Plagens, dean of HPU’s School of Business. “I hope students and members of the community who are interested in advertising and marketing will take this opportunity to learn from her successes.”

Ellison will also discuss internship opportunities available through the agency. She is the daughter of Drs. Bill and Diana Ellis, HPU’s president and first lady.

For more information, contact Mary Hill, administrative assistant for the School of Business, at (325) 649-8704 or via e-mail at

Scofield and Bonner crowned HPU Homecoming Queen and Princess

bonner and scofield for webBROWNWOOD – October 4, 2013 – Robin Scofield of Naples, Fla., and Katie Rose Bonner of Lytle were crowned Howard Payne University’s Homecoming Queen and Princess during a ceremony held on campus today.

Robin, the daughter of Michael and Lynna Scofield, is a member of the Student Government Association, the Archery Club, Gamma Beta Phi and Sigma Theta Phi. Her career goal is to work in public relations for a corporation or government official.

Katie, the daughter of James and Rosemary Bonner, is a member of Gamma Beta Phi and Moot Court. She plans to one day work as an attorney practicing international law or as a foreign-service officer for the Department of State.

The pair will be featured in Saturday’s Homecoming Parade at 11 a.m. and during the halftime show of the HPU football game at 2 p.m.


Photo cutline: Katie Rose Bonner (left) and Robin Scofield were named Howard Payne University’s Homecoming Princess and Queen, respectively.

HPU to honor six outstanding alumni during Homecoming 2013

BROWNWOOD – October 2, 2013 – Howard Payne University will recognize six outstanding alumni during the Homecoming 2013 celebrations, October 4-6.

The honorees include Dr. William H. Bates’66, Distinguished Alumnus; Robert N. Green II ’04, Outstanding Young Graduate; Dr. S.L. Harris ’48, Grand Marshal; Rev. Walter B. Haynie’52, Distinguished Alumnus; Clifford McGuire ’06, Outstanding Young Graduate; and Leona Williams ’45, Coming Home Queen.

The individuals will be recognized during the Alumni Awards Banquet, sponsored by the HPU Alumni Association, on Friday, October 4. The banquet begins at 6 p.m. For ticket information, visit or call 1-800-950-8465 or 325-649-8069.

BatesDr. William H. Bates ’66 – Distinguished Alumnus

Dr. William “Bill” Bates was born in Brownwood and graduated from HPU in 1966 with two music degrees. As a young man and throughout college, Dr. Bates served as organist for Brownwood’s First Baptist Church. He earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in organ from Indiana University and went on to have a 46-year career performing recitals and workshops around the world and teaching at institutions including Indiana University, University of West Florida and University of South Carolina. Dr. Bates currently serves as professor of music emeritus (organ and music history) at University of South Carolina, at which he is a retired faculty member and dean. In 2012, he received the Oswald Gleason Ragatz Distinguished Organist Alumni Award from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

According to a letter nominating Dr. Bates for the Distinguished Alumnus award, he continues to impact his local community by serving in his church, tutoring under-privileged children and volunteering at a hospital two days each week. Dr. Bates’ wife, Carol Henry Bates, passed away in 2010. The couple has one son and one grandson.

GreenRobert N. Green II ’04 – Outstanding Young Graduate

Robert N. Green II of Zephyr graduated from HPU’s Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom multidisciplinary honors program (now the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy) in 2004 with a degree in political science and a minor in mathematics. Since graduation, Green has taught high school math in three settings – at a public school, at Paradigm Accelerated Charter School and at Ron Jackson State School in Brownwood, where he currently serves. While at Paradigm, he started and ran a successful martial arts program that helped many troubled youth find proper ways to deal with life’s stress.

Green holds a second-degree black belt in Kaju Bujutsu Kwai and teaches the system as head instructor of K.B.K. Martial Arts in Early. He is skilled in more than 13 different forms of weapons and was inducted into the Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame as the 2012 Distinguished Instructor.

Green is married to Marie Stephanie S. Green, a published writer/journalist, and they live on their family farm in Zephyr.

HarrisDr. S.L. Harris ’48 – Grand Marshal

Dr. Sidney Lewis “S.L.” Harris was born in Miles and graduated from HPU (then Howard Payne College) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948. He went on to earn Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Divinity degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a Master of Arts degree from Sam Houston State Teachers College and a Doctor of Arts degree from Western Colorado University. Dr. Harris served as pastor at Decker Branch Baptist Church and Woodlawn Baptist Church of Austin as well as First Baptist Church of Joshua. He also served as interim pastor of a number of other churches.

Dr. Harris came back to HPU in 1979, serving as vice president for student affairs and professor of sociology. By 1980, he was dean of the School of Social Sciences, director of the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom and chair of the sociology department. He served as associate pastor and director of the counseling ministry at First Baptist Church of Brownwood from 1984 to 1992, and rejoined the HPU faculty in 1985 and from 1991-1992 as part-time instructor of sociology.

In addition to teaching appointments at other universities, Dr. Harris has published several books and articles. Dr. Harris has three daughters with his wife, Fleta Lindley Harris, who passed away in May. He currently lives in San Angelo.

HaynieRev. Walter B. Haynie ’52 – Distinguished Alumnus

Rev. Walter B. Haynie was 11 years old when he left school to help support his family. He joined the Navy as a young adult and served in the Pacific Theater in World War II. After the war, Rev. Haynie met and married Marian Jo Dolby, started a family and began working for the railroad. During this period of his life, he surrendered to the ministry. His pastor recommended that Rev. Haynie attend Howard Payne College. With a sixth-grade education, he came to Brownwood, took the VA entrance exam and made a 98, earning his GED. He was accepted into the university in 1949 and graduated with honors in 1952 with degrees in Bible and sociology and minors in English and Greek.

Rev. Haynie went on to pastor several churches in Texas and one in Oklahoma. After the death of his wife, he later married Clara Shults and together they helped start the Montague County Cowboy Church in Bowie. He retired from the church in April 2010 at the age of 84. Rev. Haynie and his wife have completed mission trips to Afghanistan and Honduras and are currently working to create a jail and after-jail ministry in their area to help people get back on their feet and learn about Jesus. The couple has seven children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

McGuire for webClifford McGuire ’06 – Outstanding Young Graduate

Clifford McGuire of Haskell graduated from HPU in 2006 with a degree in exercise and sport science. McGuire went on to coach and teach in several Texas school districts. While serving as varsity assistant basketball coach in Olney, the boys’ teams made three playoff appearances and McGuire was named the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches 2009 Assistant Coach of the Year. McGuire became the head boys’ basketball coach at Winters in 2009. His team made the playoffs in 2011, Winters’ first playoff appearance since 1992. He served as head boys’ basketball coach in Merkel from 2011 to 2013, where he was in charge of the entire boys’ basketball program, including the junior high teams.

McGuire and his wife, Erica, live in Wichita Falls where he coaches the boys’ basketball teams and teaches world geography at Rider High School.

Williams for web

Leona Williams ’45 – Coming Home Queen

Leona (Sansom) Williams of Burnet graduated from Howard Payne College in 1945. Williams had a family legacy at the university. Her father, Leslie Sansom, served as the captain of the HPC football team in 1912 and her mother also attended HPC. Williams graduated from HPC at the same time as her sister, Emagene. While attending Howard Payne, Williams worked in the registrar’s office.

Williams is a retired school teacher who influenced countless lives. She continues to assist others by teaching Sunday School at First Baptist Church of Burnet. She works part time at a local funeral home, leads worship at the nursing home once a month and often visits those in need. Her husband, C.W. Williams, is deceased.


HPU Homecoming art show to feature work of Susan Harmon

Susan Harmon artworkBROWNWOOD – October 2, 2013 – The artwork of Susan Harmon will be on display during the 2013 Homecoming Weekend, October 4-6, at Howard Payne University. Harmon’s Sight/Insight Collection is housed in Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery inside of HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center.

Susan is the wife of David E. Harmon, chair and professor of art at HPU. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Georgia Southern University and is currently working on her Ph.D. from Monash University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research is titled “Inside Madness: Painted Stories of People who Suffer from Mental Illness.” The Sight/Insight Collection, which features 15 mixed-media pieces, follows this theme.

The gallery will be open Saturday and Sunday, October 5 and 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or by appointment. For more information, contact David Harmon at (325) 649-8088 or via e-mail at

A complete list of Homecoming 2013 activities is available online at


Photo cutline: The artwork of Susan Harmon will be on display during HPU’s Homecoming 2013.

HPU to present Homecoming musical “Into the Woods”

BROWNWOOD – October 2, 2013 – Howard Payne University’s Department of Music will present Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Into the Woods” this week as part of the Homecoming 2013 festivities. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at the university’s Mims Auditorium.

The show is a new spin on classic fairytales including Cinderella, Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood.

“The show will be great fun for the entire family, particularly the first act which depicts several fairytales that audiences will remember from childhood,” said Dr. Celeste Church, associate professor of music and director of the musical. “We have a strong cast and beautiful music from the stage, supported by a student orchestra.”

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students/children and may be purchased at the door or in advance by calling (325) 649-8500.

Homecoming Musical


Photo cutline: HPU will present “Into the Woods” this week as part of Homecoming 2013. Photo by Rachel Ellington, HPU sophomore.