News Archives: Alumni Relations

Lynn and Dan Humeniuk named HPU’s Homecoming 2019 Grand Marshals

Lynn and Dan Humeniuk have been named Howard Payne University’s Homecoming 2019 Grand Marshals. They are 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 are being highlighted individually.

The Humeniuks 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.

Lynn Humeniuk graduated from Southwest Texas State University in 1975 with a degree in criminal justice. She then went on to receive a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in criminal justice, sociology and psychology from Corpus Christi State University in 1982.

She is celebrating being a part of the HPU family for 25 years, having arrived at the university in 1994 as an adjunct faculty member. She has taught criminal justice at HPU since 2001. She had been the director of criminal justice since 2003 until her retirement in 2019. She received Outstanding Faculty Member recognition for the 2003-2004 academic year and received the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011-2012 and again in 2015-2016. She is associate professor emeritus of criminal justice and sociology.

Dan Humeniuk graduated from Baylor University in 1977 with a degree in social work and a minor in sociology. He then went on to receive a Master of Science degree in social work from The University of Texas.

He worked at the Texas Youth Commission for 28 years. For nine years following, he served as the superintendent of the Ron Jackson Juvenile Correctional Facilities in Brownwood. He started teaching social work at HPU in 2006. He was appointed chairman of the department of social work/sociology and program director of social work in 2008. He was awarded HPU’s Excellence in Teaching Award for the 2013-2014 and 2017-2018 academic years. He is assistant professor emeritus of social work.

The Humeniuks have three children and three grandchildren.

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: Lynn and Dan Humeniuk have been named HPU’s Homecoming 2019 Grand Marshals.

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.

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.

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.

Dr. Dale Meinecke ’98 returns to HPU to lead advancement efforts

Howard Payne University recently named Dr. Dale Meinecke to the position of vice president for development. The 1998 HPU graduate oversees the university’s efforts in fundraising, alumni relations and other operations in the Office of Institutional Advancement. He began his new role on July 1.

Dr. Meinecke has a wide range of experience in higher education. Through various roles, he has worked to build relationships, grow programs and enhance student success. He returns to HPU from Dallas Baptist University, where he served as professor of leadership and director of the Master of Arts in Leadership program. He previously served at HPU as assistant vice president for external affairs from 2012 to 2017, strengthening the university’s presence in New Braunfels and El Paso. Earlier service at HPU also includes experience on the football coaching staff and as chapel coordinator. Through his work at HPU’s extension centers and in DBU’s leadership program, he developed fundraising skills that will serve him well in his new role.

His wife, Christy (Crawford) Meinecke, also a 1998 HPU graduate, is a native of Brownwood. They have been married for 20 years and have two daughters, Katie and Claire.

“Dr. Meinecke has great character, expansive knowledge and a deep commitment to Howard Payne University,” said Dr. Cory Hines, HPU’s president. “I am very pleased to welcome the Meineckes back home to HPU and look forward to the great things God will accomplish through Dr. Meinecke’s leadership of our advancement office.”

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2019 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: Dr. Dale Meinecke, a 1998 graduate of Howard Payne University, has returned to his alma mater as vice president for development.

HPU congratulates alumnus Dr. Ronnie Floyd on SBC CEO post

With reporting by Baptist Press

BROWNWOOD – April 4, 2019 – Dr. Ronnie Floyd, 1978 Howard Payne University graduate, was recently named president and CEO of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in Arkansas, served as SBC president from 2014 to 2016.

According to a news release distributed by Baptist Press, the official news service of the SBC, Dr. Floyd has 43 years of pastoral experience dating back to First Baptist Church in Cherokee, Texas, in 1976 and subsequently including congregations in Milford, Palacios and Nederland, Texas. He began leading Cross Church in 1986, a post from which he will resign on April 7 to assume leadership of the Executive Committee.

Dr. Floyd is the author of more than 20 books and host and lead speaker of The Summit businesspersons’ luncheon of northwest Arkansas, equipping more than 400 business leaders each week.

“It is wonderful to see one of our graduates called to such a great Kingdom opportunity,” said Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president. “On behalf of the university, I congratulate Dr. Floyd on his appointment and wish him all the best in this new role.”

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Cutline: Dr. Ronnie Floyd, 1978 HPU graduate, was recently named president and CEO of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. Photo courtesy of Cross Church, posted on Baptist Press. Used by permission.

Dr. Cory Hines named Howard Payne University’s 20th president

BROWNWOOD – March 18, 2019 – Howard Payne University has named Dr. Cory Hines as the institution’s next president, the 20th in HPU’s 130-year history. The announcement was made following a special called meeting of HPU’s Board of Trustees on Monday, at which the board voted unanimously in favor of Dr. Hines’ appointment. He will begin work at HPU on April 1.

A 1997 graduate of HPU, Dr. Hines has a broad range of experience in higher education administration. Before moving to his current post as vice president of enrollment at Dallas Baptist University, he served that institution in other capacities as vice president in the areas of advancement, graduate affairs, external affairs, and alumni and community relations. He has taught at DBU and provided leadership in the creation of several graduate programs there. Active in Baptist life, he also has experience in the ministry, having served as executive pastor and student pastor at Ferris Avenue Baptist Church (now The Avenue Church) in Waxahachie.

He earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in religious education from HPU, followed by the Master of Arts degree in Christian education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2000 and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in leadership studies – higher education from Dallas Baptist University in 2012.

“Dr. Hines’ combination of education and experience makes him a perfect fit for Howard Payne University,” said Pastor Ray Still, chair of HPU’s Board of Trustees. “As our institution continues to seek to glorify God and prepare our students to fulfill His calling on their lives, Dr. Hines will provide the kind of leadership needed for the next stage in HPU’s long, distinguished history.”

Dr. Hines and his wife, Melinda, have two children, Mackenzie and Caleb. The family currently resides in Waxahachie and will relocate to Brownwood. Dr. Hines expressed his eagerness to renew his relationship with HPU and the Brownwood area.

“Howard Payne University had a life-changing impact on me as a student, and I’m honored to have been chosen to lead my alma mater as president,” he said. “My family and I are eager to come back home to Brownwood and plant our lives here.”

Monday’s announcement is the culmination of a process that began in the summer of 2018, following the retirement of Dr. Bill Ellis as president and his transition to the role of chancellor. To assist HPU’s search committee, the university enlisted the executive search firm of CarterBaldwin of Atlanta.

“The search process yielded a wide range of applicants from across the U.S.,” said Dr. David Lowrie, chair of the search committee, member of HPU’s Board of Trustees and senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Decatur. “We are grateful to our associates at CarterBaldwin for their help in securing such an impressive pool of candidates, and we are thankful to God for His leadership through this entire journey. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

In addition to Dr. Lowrie, committee members from the Board of Trustees were Ronnie D. Andrews, HPU alumnus and business executive from Houston; Marc Dingler, HPU alumnus and attorney from Midland; Carter M. Sharpe, insurance executive from Brownwood; Jonathan “Jonny” Snow, HPU alumnus and executive recruiter from Waxahachie; and Lesley Collier Wyse, HPU alumna and retired educator from Boerne. Representing HPU employees on the committee were Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, dean of the School of Education and professor of education; Lynn Humeniuk, director of the criminal justice program and associate professor of criminal justice and sociology; and Hunter Sims, athletic director.

“The members of the search committee devoted many hours and countless prayers to this process,” said Pastor Still. “Their diligence is a testament to their commitment to our university and the monumental importance of their task.”

Dr. Paul W. Armes, longtime educator, administrator and minister, has served as HPU’s interim president since June 1. His service to HPU will end on March 31.

“Howard Payne University has great days ahead,” Dr. Armes said. “Dr. Cory Hines is already part of the university family and brings a proven track record of excellence and effectiveness in the field of faith-based higher education. We are at a very exciting moment of HPU’s history. Surely God’s hand of blessing is on this university.”

Pastor Still expressed his thanks to Dr. Armes for his service to HPU.

“On behalf of the entire HPU family, I offer my gratitude to Dr. Armes for his willingness to step into this role and serve our university with characteristic warmth, wisdom and grace,” Pastor Still said. “As he returns to retirement, he takes with him our best wishes and lasting appreciation.”

More information about Dr. Hines will follow in the weeks ahead. For more details about HPU, please visit www.hputx.edu.

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Photo #1 cutline: Dr. Cory Hines speaks to an assembly of HPU students, faculty and staff shortly after his appointment as the university’s 20th president.

Photo #2 cutline: Dr. Cory Hines is pictured with his wife, Melinda, and children, Mackenzie (far left) and Caleb (far right).