Monthly News Archives: December 2018

HPU announces holiday closures

BROWNWOOD – December 18, 2018 – Howard Payne University will be closed Wednesday, December 19, through Tuesday, January 1, in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. Offices will reopen on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement (The Harrison House), located at 803 Center Ave., will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, December 28, to process end-of-the-year gifts. Gifts can also be arranged to be made in person or over the phone by calling Randy Yeakley, vice president for development, at 325-649-8804 anytime throughout the Christmas break.

HPU’s spring 2019 semester (evening classes only) begins Monday, January 14. Daytime classes begin on January 15.


HPU music students qualify for international summer programs, accepting donations

BROWNWOOD – December 14, 2018 – Four Howard Payne University music students participated last month in the Summer Program Auditions sponsored by the Texoma Region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. The auditions are attended by casting representatives from young artist programs within the United States, as well as international programs. Each of the HPU students received multiple offers from artist programs in England and Italy.

Students attending the auditions were Leland Brown, sophomore vocal performance major from Euless; Sadie Perez, junior vocal performance major from Brownwood; Brendyn Porter, senior vocal studies major from Red Oak; and Andreahnna Rosenquist, sophomore vocal performance major from Brownwood. Perez and Rosenquist are students of Dr. Celeste Church, dean of institutional research and effectiveness and professor of voice. Brown and Porter are students of Dr. Gregory Church, professor of music.

“The fact that each of these students attended their first audition for young artist programs and received two or more offers speaks to the level of talent we have in the vocal program at Howard Payne,” said Dr. Celeste Church. “Our students are comparable with singers from the finest schools in our region.”

Students accepted into these programs may participate in a wealth of opportunities including two to six weeks on location, private coaching, language lessons, recital performances, opera scenes performances, and acting and movement instruction, all from professionally recognized instructors. It is a wonderful opportunity that can provide a foundation for graduate work and a career in performance.

“These programs are an important first step for young singers to begin establishing their careers as professionals,” said Dr. Gregory Church. “The money spent to participate in these programs is an investment in the students’ futures.”

Participation in summer artist programs is a privilege, but it is also costly. For the HPU students to take advantage of one of these opportunities, it will require a significant investment of time, energy and financial resources. There are limited scholarships offered for some of the programs, but it falls to these students to pay for their travel and program tuition.

Those interested in supporting one or more of these students in taking advantage of this opportunity, may contact Randy Yeakley, HPU’s vice president of development at 325-649-8804. You may contribute to the “HPU Fine Arts Enrichment Fund” by sending a check payable to Howard Payne University to P.O. Box 2369, Brownwood, Texas 76804.

For more information, please contact HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at 325-649-8006 or


Cutline: Four HPU music students recently participated in the Summer Program Auditions sponsored by the Texoma Region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, each receiving multiple offers from artist programs in England and Italy. Left to right: Leland Brown, Sadie Perez, Andreahnna Rosenquist and Brendyn Porter.

HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau competes in Oxford, England

BROWNWOOD – December 14, 2018 – Members of the Student Speaker Bureau, Howard Payne University’s competitive speech and debate team, recently traveled to Oxford, England, to compete in the Oxford Inter-Varsity Debating Tournament, one of the largest British Parliamentary debate tournaments in the world.

Lucy Manning, sophomore communication, social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Fort Worth, competed in the tournament with two separate debate partners, both from Oxford University. Freshman Alek Mendoza, communication and theatre major from Bangs, served as an adjudicator at the tournament. Also on the trip were Dr. Julie Welker, chair of HPU’s Department of Communication and Student Speaker Bureau coach, and Richelle Hair, instructor of communication.

The British parliamentary style of debate at the tournament consists of four teams of two. The teams are presented with a resolution and then given 15 minutes to prepare for the debate. Debaters may not consult the Internet or coaches but may have some printed material available. Contestants are expected to have a broad, working knowledge of world events and issues. Some of the topics debated at this tournament included research into the possible genetic origins of sex, race and sexuality; environmental advocacy and legislation; compulsory military service in Israel; South African township development; and U.S. political ties with Saudi Arabia.

“The best thing about going to an international debate tournament was viewing the different debate styles and learning more about other cultures,” said Mendoza. “I had the opportunity to use my Spanish to communicate with two competitors from Spain and discuss many things that differ in our cultures.”

The HPU team watched the grand final round, held in the famous Oxford Union Debating Chamber.

“Oxford was amazing,” said Manning. “We had the challenge of a new debate format and the chance to discuss important topics with people from all over the world. We debated in the chamber where brilliant discussions have occurred for generations. The history of the Oxford Union was fantastic.”

While in Oxford, the team toured the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and the University Church of St. Mary, the official church of University of Oxford. The HPU group also attended Evensong at Christ Church.

“Experiencing the culture of Oxford is such an important part of our trip,” said Dr. Welker. “Besides the debates, we spend time exploring University of Oxford and learning about the oldest university in Europe.”

After competing in Oxford, the group traveled to London for educational sightseeing. The team visited Parliament, attending debates at both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The group visited Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the British Library, the British Museum, the National Gallery and other various points of interest.

While in London, the group met with an International Mission Board (IMB) missionary, who is stationed just outside of London. The IMB missionary shared with the group about her work, mission and needs in the greater London area. The group was able to pray with her and share a small gift of financial support.

“I really wanted the team to connect with an American who was doing mission work in the greater London area,” said Dr. Welker. “This was a unique opportunity to combine our academic-based trip with understanding more about sharing the Gospel in European nations.”

The HPU debate team has been traveling to Oxford for the international competition since 2011 and plans to continue the tradition of international debate.

HPU library displays Nativity scenes donated by Lumans of Columbus

BROWNWOOD – December 13, 2018 – A collection of Nativity sets from around the world are on display at Howard Payne University’s Walker Memorial Library. The pieces were donated by Howard Payne University alumnus Merrill J. Luman and his wife of 68 years, Elaine. The couple resides in Columbus.

The collection includes approximately 75 Nativity sets from 30 different countries, including Brazil, China, former Czechoslovakia, Israel and South Africa. Each of the sets is unique in design, some having been made of gold or silver, while others were carved out of wood or molded from clay. Many of the Nativities were designed by well-known artists whose cultures can be seen reflected in their distinct depictions of the infant Jesus and His family.

“Every time we made a trip,” Mrs. Luman said, “we got at least one Nativity from every country. Every nation had its own take on the features of the Nativity.”

These diverse artistic interpretations of the story of Christ’s birth are a reflection of the broad nature of the good news of His coming. All the Nativities bear that in common. Each serves as a reminder of the miraculous birth of Christ and the eternal impact it has for all of humankind.

The Lumans’ love for Nativities originated from Mrs. Luman’s appreciation for the season of Christmas. They received their first Nativity in 1968 as a gift celebrating the birth of their youngest son. Their appreciation for Nativities paired well with their love of travel and a remarkable collection was born.

Mr. and Mrs. Luman expressed their desire to leave behind a lasting legacy through their collection.

“We wanted to make sure that, when we are gone, they are in a place where people can enjoy them as much as we have enjoyed them,” said Mr. Luman.

After approximately 50 years of collecting these Nativities, the Lumans admitted letting them go was bittersweet and some tears were shed.

“Merrill and I just love them because they hold so many memories for us,” Mrs. Luman said.

Even so, the Lumans are glad to know their treasured pieces will be seen by many at HPU.

“It’s the birth of our savior,” Mr. Luman said. “If this helps more people to know about the birth of Jesus, or just to think about the birth of our savior, that makes it very important to us.”

Pieces of the collection are already on display in cases located in HPU’s Walker Memorial Library. The Nativities can be viewed by the public from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The library will be closed for the Christmas holidays from December 19 until January 1. The library plans to display more of the Nativities on a year-round basis. The Lumans have expressed their desire to ultimately give their entire Nativity collection to HPU.


Cutline: A porcelain Nativity scene from China, based on the Japanese art of origami, is on display at the HPU library. The set is part of a collection donated by Merrill J. Luman ’50 and his wife, Elaine.

HPU Model United Nations brings home three awards from Seattle conference

BROWNWOOD – December 13, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Model United Nations team recently competed at the Northwest Model United Nations Conference in Seattle. The team of seven HPU students brought home three awards and was named one of the top four teams among the more than 45 universities and 681 students from around the world represented at the conference.

Model United Nations takes current world issues and asks students, who represent various countries as delegates, to try to solve them through diplomatic means. Students learn the art of diplomacy through caucusing, writing position papers and presenting in formal settings, all while following the model of the United Nations.

“Awards went to approximately 5 percent of the teams at the conference, yet our team of seven out of the 681 at the conference brought home three,” said Dr. David Claborn, professor of government and Model UN adviser. “An average team of 20 may nab one award, generally. Yet our team came home with three times the metal.”

Lainee Hasty, senior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and psychology and ministry major from Runaway Bay, won a Distinguished Delegate award. Caleb Kostreva, senior Honors Academy and social science/global studies major from Clifton, Colorado, won a Position Paper award. Two more HPU students were considered in the top 10 percent of their committees by the committee chairs, which landed HPU one of the four Distinguished Delegation awards.

“The students found the value in the collaboration, in the collective and creative working toward solutions to the international problems presented,” said Dr. Claborn. “To almost all of them, it was less about competing and winning and more about the work of resolving real issues in real ways with others.”

Emma Reed, senior Honors Academy and family studies major from Kennedale, served as head delegate. Competing for HPU in addition to Hasty and Kostreva were Madeline DuPre, sophomore Honors Academy, psychology and social science/jurisprudence major from Leander; Charles Lewis, junior Honors Academy and marketing major from Boerne; Andie McCoy, senior Honors Academy, social science/global studies and history major from Whitehouse; Penny Stehlik, junior Honors Academy and social science/global studies major from Round Rock; and Brad Ward, sophomore and social studies composite major from Live Oak.


Cutline: HPU’s Model United Nations team recently brought home three awards from a Seattle conference. Left to right: Brad Ward, Caleb Kostreva, Charles Lewis, Emma Reed, Lainee Hasty, Penny Stehlik, Andie McCoy and Madeline DuPre.

HPU Sumners Scholars attend Texas Tribune Festival

BROWNWOOD – December 10, 2018 – Eight Howard Payne University students in the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy recently attended the 2018 Texas Tribune Festival, held Sept. 27-29, as part of their membership in the Hatton W. Sumners Scholar Program.

The festival, of which the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation is a sponsor, is an event hosted by the Texas Tribune intended to allow attendees to learn about various areas of politics and policy, as well as issues affecting Texas and the United States.

Among the more than 300 speakers at the conference were former Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Representatives Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Christine Todd Whitman. During the three-day conference, sessions on domestic and international issues were held featuring speakers of divergent experiences.

“Events like the Texas Tribune Festival put our Sumners Scholars in front of leading politicians and policymakers on different sides of lots of different issues. They enjoy this unique access alongside equally civic-minded students from other institutions,” said Dr. Matthew McNiece, director of Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and associate professor of history and government. “This helps our Sumners Scholars more deeply engage in the world around them, which in turn helps better prepare them for a life of Christ-like service and good citizenship.”

The group of students who attended the conference included Jessica Catlett, a senior social work and Honors Academy major from Alleyton; Madelyn Deviney, a ¬¬senior accounting and Honors Academy major from Bulverde; Sidney Ganus, a sophomore English and Honors Academy major from Weatherford; Jordan Hahn, a junior social science: global studies, English and Honors Academy major from Burnet; Augusta Johnson, a senior social science: global studies, history and Honors Academy major from Gatesville; Tyler Olin, a senior social science: jurisprudence, psychology and Honors Academy major from Howe; Emma Reed, a senior family studies and Honors Academy major from Arlington; and Penny Stehlik, a junior social science: global studies and Honors Academy major from Round Rock.

“The Tribune Fest is great because you can choose what sessions to attend and really tailor the event to your interests, so that you can learn as much as possible,” Reed said. “You also often have the opportunity to meet accomplished individuals in their respective fields. For example, Jessica Catlett and I were able to meet a former ¬¬¬¬department head in the Department of Health and Human Services.”

The Hatton W. Sumners Foundation is a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase public understanding of the benefits of individual freedom and of civic and personal responsibility.

As members of the Sumners organization, HPU students also attend leadership seminars at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas and lectures hosted in conjunction with the Institute for Policy Innovation. Through the Academy’s partnership with the Sumners Foundation, student members are provided with a stipend issued during four semesters of their undergraduate studies.

“The Academy’s partnership with the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation provides access to a wide range of experiences and opportunities that our students wouldn’t otherwise have,” said Dr. McNiece.

Junior-level students in HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy are eligible for application for the Sumners program. For more information about the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation, the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and the other academic opportunities HPU offers, please visit

Applications are being accepted for the fall 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: Eight HPU students attended the 2018 Texas Tribune Fest as part of the Sumners Scholar Program. Pictured from left to right are Madelyn Deviney, Jordan Hahn, Jessica Catlett, Tyler Olin, Augusta Johnson (back row); Emma Reed, Sidney Ganus and Penny Stehlik (front row).

HPU pre-college music students receive NSF Arts awards

BROWNWOOD – December 5, 2018 – Five students in Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program were honored at the 20th Annual Music Scholarship Awards presentation in Eastland. The awards were presented by the Nancy Seaberry Frost Arts Endowment (NSF Arts) during the community’s Rip Fest.

The HPU pre-college award recipients included Angie Calfa, 17-year-old voice and piano student; Christopher Ivy, 8-year-old piano student; Kyle Ivy, 14-year-old piano student; Austin Luker, 9-year-old piano student; and Sarah Reeves, 15-year-old voice student.

NSF Arts has sponsored hundreds of music scholarships and concerts across Texas since 1999.

“We are so honored that our young students received this recognition and thankful for the opportunity of study that the scholarship provides,” said Diane Owens, director of the pre-college program.

According to the website for the endowment, Nancy Seaberry Frost left her musical mark on Texas communities with a Sebastian Klotz violin. While enjoying a career in music ensembles, she provided West Texas and beyond with more than 50 years of beautiful stringed music. With her passing, the rare violin continued to be more than an instrument; it became a treasure which introduced her love of music to children and fostered a legacy with the establishment of The Nancy Seaberry Frost Arts Endowment. In 1999, the Frost Estate shared the proceeds of the sale of the Klotz violin to create the endowment. The NSF Arts Music Scholarship Program and the Community Performances Program add to this rich legacy by creating and sharing music with future generations.


Cutline: Four HPU pre-college music students were honored at the 20th Annual Music Scholarship Awards presentation in Eastland. Left to right: Sarah Reeves, Austin Luker, Angie Calfa, Kyle Ivy and Christopher Ivy.

HPU celebrates Texas Arbor Day with activities for local schoolchildren

BROWNWOOD – December 4, 2018 – Howard Payne University celebrated Texas Arbor Day recently with several activities on campus for 96 fifth-grade students from Coggin Intermediate School in Brownwood. HPU hosted the event as part of the university’s Tree Campus USA activities.

Tree Campus USA, a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors colleges and universities for their commitment to campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. HPU has received the Tree Campus USA designation since 2016.

The students, from the classrooms of Wendy Cardenas, Stephanie Maxfield, Debra Walker and Candice Williams, participated in a series of environmental awareness hands-on activities. These activities were designed and facilitated by HPU’s School of Education elementary science methods students under the guidance of Dr. Jane Metty-Samons, associate professor of education. The activities emphasized predator/prey relationships, food chains and food webs. In addition, students explored the role of decomposers in the environment by investigating earthworms. While students enjoyed a snack of “mud” pudding complete with gummy worms, Maci Dorsey, HPU junior from Mount Pleasant, read the Dr. Seuss book “The Lorax.”

Renee Burks of the Texas A&M Forest Service discussed the role of trees and the importance of maintaining trees in a healthy ecosystem. The event culminated in the students’ participation in a tree-mulching ceremony. To commemorate the events, the students were given seeds to plant and a t-shirt as a parting gift from the university.

HPU groups assisting with the event included the School of Education, School of Science and Mathematics, Department of Facilities and Maintenance, Office of University Events, Office of University Marketing and Communications, Beta Beta Beta, Delta Epsilon Omega, Delta Chi Rho, Pi Theta Chi and the Student Government Association.

Terry Pritchett, assistant vice president for facilities and planning, serves as chair of the university’s Campus Tree Advisory Committee.

“In addition to the many campus groups who helped organize and facilitate this event, we’d like to recognize Brownwood ISD, the Texas A&M Forest Service, TXU Energy and Keep Brownwood Beautiful,” he said.


Cutline: HPU student Camille Webb, junior from Cisco, was among the readers in a group presentation of Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax.”

Renee Burks of the Texas A&M Forest Service leads the BISD students in spreading mulch around a newly-planted tree on the HPU campus.

HPU’s Madelyn Deviney receives fellowship award from national business honor society

BROWNWOOD – December 4, 2018 – Madelyn Deviney, Howard Payne University senior from Bulverde, has received the Dr. Clifford L. Eubanks Fellowship Award from the Sigma Beta Delta national business honor society. Nominees for the fellowship award must display outstanding student and personal achievement, be enrolled in a business degree program at an accredited university and use the awarded funds in senior- or master-level study.

Deviney is the daughter of Daniel and Audra Deviney, both 1992 HPU graduates. She is a double major in accounting and HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, and minors in English and music.

Dr. Debra Powell, associate professor of business, serves as president of HPU’s chapter of Sigma Beta Delta.

“Madelyn is a great representative both of Howard Payne University and HPU’s School of Business,” she said. “We were proud to nominate her for this award.”

Sigma Beta Delta was founded to recognize outstanding student achievement in the fields of business, management and administration and to promote honorable service to mankind. Recipients of the Sigma Beta Delta fellowship award are chosen based on their achievement in these fields. Past HPU recipients include Jill McLaughlin (2006), Emily (Tittle) Attaway (2008), Cody Hambrick (2010), Zachary Varner (2011), Lacy Culpepper (2014) and James Crow (2017).


Cutline: HPU’s Madelyn Deviney (right) has received the Dr. Clifford L. Eubanks Fellowship Award from the Sigma Beta Delta national business honor society. She is pictured with Dr. Debra Powell, associate professor of business and president of HPU’s chapter of Sigma Beta Delta.

HPU junior Sarah Abigail Brown named recipient of the first Jack White Character Scholarship

BROWNWOOD – December 3, 2018 – Howard Payne University junior Sarah Abigail “Abi” Brown was recently named the first recipient of the Jack White Character Scholarship.

Brown, an art education major from May, Texas, is active in the HPU Baptist Student Ministry, serving on the BSM leadership team and as a leader of the Pray and Do ministry. She also serves at May First Baptist Church as a youth leader, is a member of honors organization Gamma Beta Phi and is a student worker at the Walker Memorial Library.

“I feel very honored to be the first recipient of the Jack White scholarship,” said Brown. “It’s for being of good, moral character in and out of class, so that makes the scholarship a great honor.”

The scholarship was started in 2018 in memory of Jack White by his wife, Mikki Senkarik, and former Baylor University football head coach Grant Teaff. Funding for the scholarship was aided through the sale of a painting honoring White by Senkarik and a donation from Teaff and his wife, Donell. Teaff and White had a lasting friendship that began shortly after Teaff was hired at Baylor and requested that White create new artwork for the team.

Senkarik, along with Coach Teaff, had the opportunity to meet Brown when the scholarship was presented to her.

“Abi is just precious. Her artwork impressed me very much,” said Senkarik. “She’s a wonderful person with a generous spirit and her faith makes me proud. I know Jack would have loved to have met her and would be proud of her too.”

Jack White graduated from HPU in 1955 and went on to become a Master Oil Painter. Through the course of his career, he painted portraits of President Lyndon B. Johnson, NBA player Julius Erving, McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc and Dallas Cowboys’ head coach Tom Landry. He was named a State Artist of Texas in 1975.

To learn more about donation options to this scholarship fund and others HPU offers to its students, please visit

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 junior Sarah Abigail Brown was awarded the first Jack White Character Scholarship in recognition of her character and academic success.