News Archives: Advancement

HPU announces holiday closure

BROWNWOOD – December 17, 2019 – Howard Payne University will be closed from Monday, Dec. 23, through Friday, Jan. 3, in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. Offices will reopen on Monday, Jan. 6.

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 Monday, Dec. 30, and Tuesday, Dec. 31, to process end-of-the-year gifts. On Tuesday, Dec. 31, the public is invited to visit the Harrison House during open hours to enjoy hot chocolate and cookies with staff. Gifts can also be arranged to be made in person or by contacting Dr. Dale Meinecke, vice president for development, by phone at 325-649-8804 or e-mail at anytime throughout the Christmas break.

HPU’s spring 2020 semester begins on Monday, Jan. 13.

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


Howard Payne University thanks donors for overwhelming response on GivingTuesday

BROWNWOOD – December 5, 2019 – Howard Payne University expresses gratitude to its supporters for surpassing the institution’s goals for GivingTuesday, the global day of giving held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. With a total of $68,303 received on December 3, HPU raised more than triple its goal of $20,000 and received gifts from 177 donors, 77 more than the university’s goal.

“HPU was blessed by a strong showing of support from alumni and friends,” said Dr. Dale Meinecke, vice president for development. “There’s an excitement for the university’s new direction and a heightened sense that HPU’s best days are ahead. The response by both regular givers and many new donors shows that people want to be involved in something bigger than themselves.”

Dr. Meinecke noted that, on social media, numerous alumni shared heartfelt reflections on HPU’s positive impact on their lives academically, professionally and spiritually.

“They encouraged fellow alumni and university friends to give in order to secure these same life-changing experiences for the next generation of Christ-centered servant leaders,” he said.

Donors had the opportunity to give to HPU’s Annual Fund, student scholarships, campus improvements and the renovation of the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom building, which houses the university’s prestigious Guy D. Newman Honors Academy.

“There’s a clear vision right now as directed by our new president, Dr. Cory Hines, and our Board of Trustees that makes it easy for donors to connect one of their passions with God’s purposes for HPU,” Dr. Meinecke said. “There was also motivation for supporters to give because of a $10,000 matching gift and then an additional $5,000 matching gift. With the matching gifts, every dollar given was doubled up to $30,000.”

HPU’s communication to prospective donors in advance of GivingTuesday emphasized how all gifts, regardless of size, would benefit students.

“The gifts from our donors will go to secure HPU as an outstanding academic community where students can retreat to the heart of Texas and receive a genuinely Christ-centered, quality higher education,” said Dr. Hines. “With these funds, we will be able to offer more scholarships to students and improve learning and living spaces that will enhance the student experience. We are also grateful for those who gave toward renovating the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom building, home of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, which equips and trains many of HPU’s best and brightest students. We are truly grateful to every donor who partnered with us to make this day a huge win for our students.”

GivingTuesday began in 2012 as a response to Black Friday and highlights the importance of giving to non-profit organizations that serve their communities.

Prospective donors who were not able to give on GivingTuesday can still donate and support HPU’s students by visiting


Cutline: Howard Payne University expresses thankfulness for the support shown on GivingTuesday.

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.

Improvements made at HPU’s Mamie D. McCullough Athletic Center

BROWNWOOD – November 26, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Mamie D. McCullough Athletic Center underwent improvements to its facilities during the summer. The developments were made possible due to donations from Bruner Toyota, through the Toyota Dealer Match Program, and HPU alumnus Jarod Root ’03.

In addition to their financial support of HPU, Root serves on the HPU Alumni Association Board of Directors, while Greg Bruner, of Bruner Toyota, is a member of the HPU Board of Trustees.

Improvements to the building included the installation of new flooring, the painting of hallways and office doors and the placement of new signage for offices. The McCullough Athletic Center houses offices for the HPU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and athletics training facilities.

“Projects such as this really help bring a spark of new excitement to our university, our athletic department and, most importantly, our students,” said Hunter Sims, HPU athletic director. “We are extremely thankful for people like Jarod Root and organizations like Bruner Toyota who believe in the mission of HPU.”

For more information about HPU, visit


Cutline: HPU’s Mamie D. McCullough Athletic Center underwent renovations supported by donors Jared Root and the Bruner Auto Family.

HPU upgrades lecture hall with help from Midland charitable foundation

Students in updated Winebrenner classroomBROWNWOOD – October 4, 2018 – Students in Howard Payne University’s School of Science and Mathematics began the fall semester in a newly updated classroom thanks to the generosity of the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation of Midland.

Last semester, HPU received a grant of $207,000 from the foundation. The funds, designated for HPU’s Biomedical Science Program, included $150,000 to be used for an endowed scholarship in Mr. Davidson’s name and $57,000 to be used for new furnishings and fixtures in Lecture Hall 123 of HPU’s Winebrenner Memorial Hall of Science. One of the largest classrooms in Winebrenner, Lecture Hall 123 is used by the Biomedical Science Program and other academic programs.

The room’s stadium-style seating was replaced with large tabletop work spaces which allow for greater levels of collaboration. Additionally, the HPU facilities department replaced the existing tile flooring with carpet to reduce noise and create a warmer classroom setting. A new mobile podium/desk was added which provides faculty members and presenters with more flexibility and complements the updated furnishings.

“The updated lecture hall is beautiful,” said Dr. Kristen Hutchins, associate professor of biology and director of the Biomedical Science Program. “I was excited for my students to come back from summer break and see the upgrades. They were excited as well. We’re very grateful to the James A. ‘Buddy’ Davidson Charitable Foundation.”

The university has received significant support from the foundation in the past including funds for the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Chair of Christian Studies and for computers, furnishings and lab supplies for the university’s School of Nursing.

HPU is now enrolling for the spring 2019 semester. 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: Students in HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics began the semester in a newly updated classroom thanks to the generosity of the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation of Midland. Pictured here is Dr. Kristen Hutchins’ Health Professions Seminar course.

HPU New Braunfels Center to host 5K race

HPU NB 5K 2018 logo finalBROWNWOOD – April 2, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels Center will host its third-annual HPU 5000, a 5K race, Saturday, April 7. The run/walk will begin at 8 a.m. at Pavilion 5 of New Braunfels’ Landa Park. Proceeds from the event will be used to establish scholarships for HPU New Braunfels Center students in need.

Interested participants may register for the race by visiting Entry fees are $25 for early registration and $30 on the day of the event. A free t-shirt and gift bag are included with registration.

Based in Brownwood for more than 125 years, HPU has maintained a presence in New Braunfels since March 2012 when the HPU Board of Trustees approved extending education to the community. Since that time, the HPU New Braunfels Center has served more than 130 students in its graduate and undergraduate programs. In fall 2016, the center opened a new facility at 4102 Loop 337, Suite 100, in New Braunfels, and is planning to build a permanent residential campus in conjunction with the Veramendi development project.

“We continue to receive a lot of support for this annual event,” said Ginger Taylor, development and event coordinator. “We are thankful to the community and the generous sponsors who make the HPU 5000 possible.”

Sponsors include:

Title Sponsors – Supplize and Veramendi

Gold Sponsor – McKenna Foundation

Silver Sponsors – HMT Engineering & Surveying; Pape-Dawson Engineers, Inc.; Raba Kistner Consultants; and Seidel Construction

Bronze Sponsors – Deviney CPA, PC; Mark Hampton/Keller Williams Realty Heritage; and Randy & Christy Davis

In-Kind Sponsors – Camp Gladiator; H-E-B Plus; and Orangetheory New Braunfels

For more information about the HPU 5000 or HPU’s academic offerings in New Braunfels, visit or contact the HPU New Braunfels Center at 830-629-2366 or via e-mail at


Attached: Logo for the HPU 5000 featuring HPU’s Yellow Jacket mascot, Buzzsaw

HPU receives $5,000 from United Supermarkets for scholarship funds

United check presentation Feb 2018.1BROWNWOOD – March 2, 2018 – United Supermarkets recently presented $5,000 to Howard Payne University to be used as scholarship funds that will be awarded to local and area HPU juniors and seniors who also receive the university’s Heart of Texas Scholarship. The grocery store chain plans to make this a yearly scholarship donation to HPU.

The purpose of the United Supermarkets Scholarship Fund is to help deserving students attend HPU. The donation will specifically benefit HPU students who meet the criteria mentioned above and who are majoring in business management or marketing. Another benefit of the scholarship is that its recipients will be considered for internships with United Supermarkets or for part-time jobs while attending HPU.

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, expressed his appreciation to United Supermarkets.

“HPU is blessed to have United Supermarkets and our other community partners who recognize the great value of higher education to our community and state,” he said. “United’s financial support of HPU through this scholarship demonstrates this corporation’s commitment to our area students.”

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2018 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 the Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: United Supermarkets recently presented $5,000 to HPU to be used as scholarship funds for local and area students. Pictured from left are Brandon Price, assistant store director; Lynn Day, store director; Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president; and Randy Yeakley, vice president for development at HPU.

HPU receives $25,000 from TexasBank through Doss Foundation

Ellis and DoddsTexasBank recently presented $25,000 to Howard Payne University through the James and Dorothy Doss Foundation. The donation was part of $88,000 in scholarship funds that will be given to local and area high schools and colleges in 2017.

Within the past eight years, the Doss Foundation has given more than $700,000 to area educational institutions.

Greg Dodds, president and CEO of TexasBank, said the bank is proud to be affiliated with the James and Dorothy Doss Foundation, whose gift will give back to local students through HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship Fund. This year, the TexasBank donation will specifically benefit HPU students who are receiving the Heart of Texas Scholarship and majoring in business.

“We believe that the Heart of Texas Scholarship has provided an opportunity for a quality university degree for an ever-increasing number of local students,” he said. “This year, we are excited that the scholarship will go to students in HPU’s School of Business and that we can cultivate a relationship with them while they attend Howard Payne. The Board and Ownership of TexasBank value our relationship with Howard Payne University, and we are honored to support this institution and its students.”

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, expressed his appreciation to TexasBank and the James and Dorothy Doss Foundation.

“HPU is blessed to have community partners who recognize the value of higher education,” he said. “Their continued financial support of HPU demonstrates their commitment to area students.”

HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship awards $60,000 to eligible students from Brown County and surrounding counties. The scholarship, paid over four years, is automatically awarded to students who are graduates of high schools in the Heart of Texas area, meet unconditional admission requirements and enroll full-time in the fall and spring semesters. Qualifying students will have graduated from high schools or homeschools in Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, McCulloch, Mills and San Saba counties.

For more information, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or via e-mail at


Cutline: Dr. Bill Ellis (left), HPU president, accepts a check from Greg Dodds, president and CEO of TexasBank.

HPU alumna “pays it forward” with scholarship benefiting female ministerial students

jespersen-familyBROWNWOOD – January 6, 2017 – Joanna (Cornelius) Jespersen, a 1998 Howard Payne University graduate, recently established the Jespersen Direct Scholarship with the university to benefit females studying in HPU’s School of Christian Studies at the Brownwood campus or the New Braunfels extension center. The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded each fall and spring semester ($500 each semester).

The spring 2017 recipient is Elizabeth Allen, a senior from Kempner double-majoring in cross-cultural studies and English at the Brownwood campus.

After graduating from HPU with a Bachelor of Science degree in counseling and psychology, Jespersen served as a journeyman with the International Mission Board in Brazil. She returned to the United States and, in 2006, graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Today she serves as minister to children and families at Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church in Dallas.

Jespersen is married to Dr. Ryan Jespersen, director of urban missions through the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and they have two daughters, Rachel Beth, 6, and Mary Kate, 4.

“I am excited about giving back to HPU through this scholarship that Ryan and I have set up for female ministerial students,” she said. “I am forever indebted to HPU for all that I received during my time there including scholarships, forever friendships, the deepening of my own faith and practice, and the Godly instruction and guidance by my wonderful Christian professors and the helpful staff there.”

Jespersen said she knew, even as a student, that she wanted to give back to the university when she was in a position to do so.

“I feel compelled and responsible to ‘pay it forward’ in this way since so many blessed me on my own journey at Howard Payne,” she said. “My hope and prayer for Howard Payne is that she continues to be a school focused on educating and training up future Christian leaders who will make an eternal impact on our country and world. I am so happy that I am a part of that legacy and I pray that Howard Payne continues to shine for the Lord in these years ahead.”

If you would like to establish a scholarship at HPU, please contact Stephen Sullivan, director of development and alumni relations, at or 325-649-8069.


Cutline: Joanna Jespersen, 1998 HPU alumna, recently established a scholarship with the university. She is pictured with her husband, Dr. Ryan Jespersen, and daughters Rachel Beth and Mary Kate.

HPU to participate in #GivingTuesday online giving event

givingtuesday-logoBROWNWOOD – November 22, 2016 – Next Tuesday, November 29, Howard Payne University will take part in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and celebrate generosity worldwide. The event is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The purpose of #GivingTuesday is to kick off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

HPU’s goal for the 24-hour giving period is to receive financial donations from 127 individuals.

“We chose 127 because HPU has provided a Christ-centered higher education to students for 127 years since its establishment in 1889,” said Stephen Sullivan, director of development and alumni relations. “We hope you will be willing to participate and help us reach and exceed our goal of 127 gifts.”

Those interested in supporting HPU’s ongoing endeavor of delivering Christ-centered higher education may give online at

For more information, contact HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at (325) 649-8006.

About #GivingTuesday
92Y − a cultural center in New York City that, since 1874, has been bringing people together around its core values of community service and giving back − conceptualized #GivingTuesday as a new way of linking individuals and causes to strengthen communities and encourage giving. In 2015, the fourth year of the movement, #GivingTuesday brought together more than 45,000 partners in 71 countries and helped raise nearly $117 million online in the US alone.

“We have been incredibly inspired by the generosity in time, efforts and ideas that have brought our concept for a worldwide movement into reality,” said Henry Timms, founder of #GivingTuesday and executive director of 92Y. “As we embark on our fifth year of #GivingTuesday, we are encouraged by the early response from partners eager to continue making an impact in this global conversation.”

For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website (, Facebook page ( or follow @GivingTues and the #GivingTuesday hashtag on
social media.


Cutline: HPU will participate in #GivingTuesday, a 24-hour online giving event, next Tuesday, November 29.