News Archives: Alumni Relations

HPU theatre to present “Missing Link” during Homecoming 2018

Missing Link for webBROWNWOOD – October 30, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Department of Theatre will present “Missing Link” by Jack Sharkey in conjunction with HPU’s Homecoming 2018 festivities. Performances are this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. each evening at HPU’s Mims Auditorium.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children and students and are available for purchase at the door on the evenings of the performances.

“The story takes place in 1975 and revolves around Lindy Baxter who, 30 years earlier at the age of 16, pledged her eternal love to Lincoln Sinclair,” said Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, chair of HPU’s Department of Theatre and professor of theatre. “Link went off to World War II and has not returned so, for 30 years, Lindy has been ‘missing Link.’ After a trip down the stairs, Lindy meets orthopedist, Simon Fletcher, and they eventually decide to marry. Of course, the day before the wedding, guess who shows up! With a convoluted plot and lots of fun action, ‘Missing Link’ can be enjoyed by people of all ages.”

Cast members include Taylor Davis, junior from Alvin; David “Zeke” Frost, freshman from Bertram; Hailey Green, senior from Kennedale; Sara Heinrichs, sophomore from Hico; Michael Hord, sophomore from Montgomery; Bryce McWhirter, junior from Pflugerville; Alek Mendoza, freshman from Bangs; Deejay Moses, junior from May; Laurel Pinkney, sophomore from Carrollton; and Cassia Rose, senior from Winnsboro. Dr. Humfeld is directing the play and additional crew members include Dr. Nicholas Ewen, assistant professor of theatre; Jake Bowren, junior from San Antonio; and Shannon Sheehan, senior from Brownwood.

For more information about “Missing Link,” contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500. More than 30 other events are scheduled for HPU’s Homecoming. For complete details and the latest schedule information, visit www.hputx.edu/homecoming or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 325-649-8007 or via e-mail at alumni@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: HPU will present “Missing Link” by Jack Sharkey in conjunction with HPU’s Homecoming 2018 festivities. Left to right: Cassia Rose, Alek Mendoza, Michael Hord, Hailey Green, Sara Heinrichs and Deejay Moses. Photo by Katie Cravey, HPU junior.

Garland’s Marvin “Doc” Utecht named to HPU’s Sports Hall of Fame

Marvin Doc Utecht for webBROWNWOOD – October 29, 2018 – Marvin “Doc” Utecht of Garland has been named to Howard Payne University’s Sports Hall of Fame. He is among eight who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming 2018 festivities, November 2-3. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Utecht and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni & Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, November 2, beginning at 5:45 p.m. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, November 3, 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.

Utecht graduated from HPU in 1970 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He went on to complete a Master of Education degree from Stephen F. Austin University and received his Mid-Management Certification from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University – Commerce).

At HPU, he was a four-year basketball letterman (1965-1969), a track letterman for two years (1969-1970) and a letterman on the football team during the 1969 season. He played basketball for Coach Glen Whitis and was an integral player on some of the most recognized teams in HPU history. The 6’7” Utecht was a great shooter, known for his leaping ability.

During his basketball career, the Yellow Jackets won the Lone Star Conference championship and the teams on which he played were nationally ranked in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). After completing his eligibility in basketball, he joined the track team for the 1969 season participating in the javelin, hurdles and jumping events. He won numerous times and set the HPU record in the javelin. Utecht also set a record in the 440 intermediate hurdles with a time of 52.3.

He went on to compete at the national level at the 1970 NAIA National Championships in Billings, Montana, where he competed in the ten-event decathlon. Utecht earned the honor of being fourth in the nation just behind the eventual Olympic champion, Bruce Jenner. During that decathlon event, he broke a NAIA decathlon record in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.8.

Utecht also joined the football team during his fifth year at HPU, lettering as a wide receiver.

He has served as a teacher, administrator and as an assistant superintendent at various school districts in Texas and coached high school football, basketball, track and golf. In 2001, he retired from Garland ISD as the executive director of building and construction. He then went on to serve on the Dallas Appraisal District for Dallas County for 10 years.

“I came to HPU as a very shy young man with few experiences beyond the small town in which I lived all my life,” he said. “College opened up a whole new world of possibilities and, for the first time, I could see myself having an opportunity to be whatever I chose to be. My HPU coaches helped me to become the leader for students who I would teach and coach in the future years as I became an educator.”

He and his wife, Julie Utecht, attend First Baptist Church of Garland. They have two children and five grandchildren.

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Cutline: Marvin “Doc” Utecht of Garland has been named to HPU’s Sports Hall of Fame.

HPU choir students and alumni to present Homecoming concert

Alumni choir concert for webBROWNWOOD – October 26, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s School of Music and Fine Arts will present a Homecoming choir concert at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 3, in the university’s Mims Auditorium. All HPU alumni choristers are invited to participate in the program.

During the concert, the alumni choir will present Mack Wilberg’s arrangement of “Simple Gifts” and then join the HPU Concert Choir for “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name” by Tom Fettke. The HPU Concert Choir will also present selections from its upcoming fall program titled Ketubah: Feast of the Bridegroom. Rehearsal for alumni choir concert will take place Saturday, November 3, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in Mims Auditorium. Alumni who are interested in participating will be provided music and more information upon registration.

“HPU’s choral program has a rich heritage and the audience is in for a real treat,” said Dr. Christopher Rosborough ’08, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities. “We look forward to seeing different generations joining in song.”

If you are interested in taking part in this event, register at www.hputx.edu/homecoming and follow the prompts to sign up for the HPU alumni choir. Information about additional HPU Homecoming festivities is located at the same web address.

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Cutline: HPU’s Dr. Christopher Rosborough directs student and alumni choristers during the Homecoming 2017 choir concert.

Kerrville’s James Williamson named to HPU’s Sports Hall of Fame

James Williamson for webBROWNWOOD – October 26, 2018 – James Williamson of Kerrville has been named to Howard Payne University’s Sports Hall of Fame. He is among eight who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming 2018 festivities, November 2-3. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Williamson and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni & Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, November 2, beginning at 5:45 p.m. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, November 3, 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.

Williamson graduated from HPU in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He was a student in HPU’s Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom (now the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy) and was active in student government, serving terms as class president and class treasurer. He was also a Student Supreme Court member and a Democracy in Action committee member, and he represented HPU at the Dallas Council on World Affairs. Additionally, he was listed in the “Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities” publication and in the “Outstanding College Athletes of America” publication.

Williamson, a four-year football letterman, was a record-setting punter for the HPU Yellow Jackets. In an era before specialized kickers, Williamson went on to hold Lone Star Conference records in punting in 1966, 1967 and 1968. During his freshman year at HPU, he was named “Texas Punter of the Year” by the Dallas Morning News and in 1966-67 was named the “All-Texas Punter of the Year.” During his senior year in 1969, he had the longest punt in the history of HPU (79 yards). This record was not broken until 2012.

Williamson’s punting average was among the top in the nation every year. He holds HPU’s single-season punting average record of 45.5 yards per punt (58 attempts) set in 1967. He also holds the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national record for total number of punts (277) and total yardage (11,849).

He signed a free-agent contract with the New Orleans Saints in June 1970. He also played the 1972 season with the Omaha Mustangs, a semi-pro team, booting 13 punts 568 yards, setting a league record with an average of 43.5 yards.

Williamson is a past member of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy Board of Directors and served as president of HPU’s Alumni Association. He created the James L. Williamson Endowed Scholarship for students in HPU’s School of Business.

“HPU prepared me for future successes by instilling in me a respect for the Constitution, love of our country and honor for our military,” he said. “I learned right from wrong and was taught that work is good and giving is too.”

In addition to a stint as HPU’s vice president for development, Williamson has served many years in the insurance field. He and his wife, Jeanie Lambert Williamson, celebrated 50 years of marriage in May 2018. They have three children and six grandchildren.

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Cutline: James Williamson of Kerrville has been named to HPU’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Dr. Benjamin Abraham named HPU’s Homecoming 2018 Distinguished Alumnus

Dr. Benjamin Abraham for webBROWNWOOD – October 25, 2018 – Dr. Benjamin Abraham of Snellville, Georgia, has been named Howard Payne University’s Homecoming 2018 Distinguished Alumnus. He is among eight who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming 2018 festivities, November 2-3. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Dr. Abraham and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni & Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, November 2, beginning at 5:45 p.m. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, November 3, 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.

Originally from Indonesia, Dr. Abraham earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from HPU in 1974. He went on to study at The University of Texas at Arlington and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He earned the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

He is board-certified by the Osteopathic Board of Family Practice in Geriatrics, the American Medical Directors Association for Medical Directorship and the American Osteopathic Board of Family Practice. He is currently in private practice in Georgia.

Dr. Abraham serves on a number of committees and professional societies. He is the founder and president of 127 Legacy Foundation, which assists orphanages and children’s homes across Indonesia. He has also served as a short-term missionary in Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Russia, China, Senegal and Tanzania.

His recognitions include the Master Preceptor Award from American Osteopathic Family Physicians, Physician of the Year by the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce, Physician of the Year at Eastside Medical Center and The Humanitarian Award by the Hospital Corporation of America.

He has four children, five grandchildren and two foster grandchildren.

“HPU equipped me with basic knowledge to pursue my passion in medicine,” he said. “Coming from Indonesia, the English language was a challenge and HPU helped with that. The university challenged me to be the best through determination, perseverance, discipline, dedication and hard work. The rest was God’s doing.”

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Cutline: Dr. Benjamin Abraham of Snellville, Georgia, has been named HPU’s Homecoming 2018 Distinguished Alumnus.

HPU announces 2018 Homecoming Court

2018 Homecoming Court for webBROWNWOOD – October 25, 2018 – Howard Payne University has announced its 2018 Homecoming Court. The Homecoming queen and princess will be crowned next Friday, November 2, at 2 p.m. during Homecoming Convocation in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

Homecoming queen nominees are seniors Sabrina Martinez of San Antonio, Angelica Ramirez of Austin and Gabrielle Roque of Houston. Princess nominees are Amanda Collins of New Orleans, Jada Jones of Cibolo and Sarah Ramos of Pflugerville.

Sabrina Martinez is the daughter of retired Major Paul A. Martinez and Yvonne E. Martinez. An elementary education major, Martinez’ campus involvement includes the Delta Chi Rho sorority.

Angelica Ramirez, the daughter of Jesus L. Ramirez I and Kimberly Ramirez, is a biology major. She serves as chaplain for Delta Chi Rho and Tri Beta and is a Student Government Association senior senator, a resident assistant and a college outreach intern at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church.

Gabriella Roque, the daughter of Cris Roque and Ruby Robinson, is a biology major. She is vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a member of the HPU softball team. Additionally, she volunteers through the Special Olympics and at an animal hospital.

Amanda Collins is the daughter of Wayne Smith and the late Rhonda Collins. An elementary education major, Collins’ campus involvement includes Chi Alpha Omega and Jacket Journey.

Jada Jones is the daughter of Kenneth and Carla Matthews and Mr. and Mrs. Dwight Jones. A biology major, Jones is active with Chi Alpha Omega and the HPU women’s basketball team.

Sarah Ramos, the daughter of Eric and Anna Ramos, is a business management major. Her campus involvement includes Delta Chi Rho, Jacket Ambassadors and Student Activities Council. Additionally, she serves as a Jacket Journey leader and as a student worker in HPU’s Office of Admission.

The Homecoming Court will be featured during the halftime show of the football game as HPU takes on Southwestern University on Saturday, November 3. The game begins at 4 p.m. at Gordon Wood Stadium.

For a complete list of Homecoming 2018 activities, visit www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

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Cutline: Howard Payne University’s 2018 Homecoming Court includes (top row, left to right) Angelica Ramirez, Gabrielle Roque and Sabrina Martinez and (bottom row, left to right) Jada Jones, Amanda Collins and Sarah Ramos.

Sterling City’s Hope Hohertz Doremus named HPU’s Homecoming 2018 Outstanding Young Graduate

Hope Hohertz Doremus for webBROWNWOOD – October 25, 2018 – Hope Hohertz Doremus of Sterling City has been named Howard Payne University’s Homecoming 2018 Outstanding Young Graduate. She is among eight who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming 2018 festivities, November 2-3. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Doremus and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni & Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, November 2, beginning at 5:45 p.m. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, November 3, 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.

Doremus graduated from HPU in 2010 with a degree in criminal justice and psychology. While at the university, she was a four-year member of the women’s basketball team, playing on HPU’s 2007-2008 national championship team. She and her teammates were inducted into the HPU Sports Hall of Fame and the American Southwest Conference Hall of Honor. Additionally, she was involved with intramural sports and was an honorary member of the Iota Chi Alpha fraternity.

As a corporal within the Texas Department of Public Safety, Doremus was awarded the Texas DPS Medal of Valor for the courageous and exemplary manner in which she discharged her law enforcement duties during a violent and life-threatening confrontation. According to a later Brownwood Bulletin report, Doremus received the medal for her professional reaction and unselfish devotion to duty and to a wounded fellow officer, while she herself was at great risk, during an incident that occurred in 2016. Additionally, Doremus was a finalist for the IACP/Motorola Solutions Trooper of the Year Award.

“Howard Payne showed me how to build relationships and how to handle tough life decisions and adversity,” she said. “The success and hard work – from the basketball court to the classroom – has helped drive me to become the best I can be in my career.”

She and her husband, Brandon Doremus, have one son.

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Cutline: Hope Hohertz Doremus of Sterling City has been named HPU’s Homecoming 2018 Outstanding Young Graduate.

Henderson’s Milton McGee named HPU’s Homecoming 2018 Medal of Service recipient

Milton McGee for webBROWNWOOD – October 24, 2018 – Milton McGee of Henderson has been named Howard Payne University’s Homecoming 2018 Medal of Service recipient. He is among eight who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming 2018 festivities, November 2-3. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

McGee and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni & Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, November 2, beginning at 5:45 p.m. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, November 3, 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.

McGee is a former member of Howard Payne University’s Board of Trustees, through which he served as chairman of the Finance Committee. He was raised in Coushatta, Louisiana, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and a master’s degree from Northeast Louisiana University.

A Certified Public Accountant, McGee has served as president and chief executive officer of several Texas banks including RepublicBank of Brownwood (1983 to 1986) and, most recently, Texas Leadership Bank in Royse City.

In addition to HPU’s Board of Trustees, McGee has served on the boards of the Independent Bankers Bank, the Independent Bankers Association of Texas, the Texas Bankers Association and the Baptist Church Loan Corporation, among others. He is a former executive committee member of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. McGee is a member of First Baptist Church of Henderson where he serves on a variety of committees. He is active with the Henderson Optimist Club and his other civic service includes the Rusk County Chamber of Commerce, the Henderson Economic Development Corporation, the Henderson Industrial Trust and the Henderson Civic Center project. He received the John R. Alford Award for the Outstanding Young Man of the Year in 1983.

McGee and his wife, Sharla Freeman McGee, have two children and four grandchildren.

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Cutline: Milton McGee of Henderson has been named HPU’s Homecoming 2018 Medal of Service recipient.

Early’s Dwayne Grooms named HPU’s Homecoming 2018 Grand Marshal

Dwayne GroomsBROWNWOOD – October 24, 2018 – Dwayne Grooms of Early has been named Howard Payne University’s Homecoming 2018 Grand Marshal. He is among eight who will be honored during HPU’s Homecoming 2018 festivities, November 2-3. Additional honorees are listed at www.hputx.edu/homecoming.

Grooms and the other honorees will be recognized during the Alumni & Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, November 2, beginning at 5:45 p.m. The honorees will also be featured in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, November 3, 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.

Grooms graduated from HPU in 1965 with a degree in education. He also completed additional coursework at Texas A&M University. He has been a member of HPU’s Board of Trustees since 2011, currently serving on the Marketing and Communications Committee.

Grooms is a member of First Baptist Church of Brownwood where he has served as a deacon since the 1970s. He achieved prominence as a Brownwood businessman through his leadership of Grooms Seed. He also serves on the Brown County Farm Bureau Board and the Ag Committee for the Brown County Appraisal District.

Grooms is married to Barbara (Smith) Grooms, a 1959 HPU graduate. The couple has two children, LeAnna (deceased) and David, and two grandchildren. David’s wife, Wendy Grooms, is associate professor of mathematics at HPU.

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Cutline: Dwayne Grooms of Early has been named HPU’s Homecoming 2018 Grand Marshal.

HPU Homecoming 2018 festivities to include bonfire, fireworks and parade

Parade Route MapBROWNWOOD – October 24, 2018 – Howard Payne University will host The Carnival of Blue and Gold: Homecoming 2018 on Friday, November 2, and Saturday, November 3. Among the free events open to the public are a bonfire and fireworks and the annual Homecoming parade.

Bonfire on the Bayou and the fireworks display will take place at Riverside Park on Friday evening following an HPU pep rally. The pep rally begins at 8:45 p.m. with the bonfire slated to begin at 9 p.m. and the fireworks to begin at 9:30 p.m. Bonfire on the Bayou is sponsored by Visit Early Texas.

This year’s HPU Homecoming parade, beginning Saturday at 10 a.m., will follow the same route as previous years. Beginning at Brownwood Coliseum, the parade will travel north on Baker St., turn left onto Center Ave., move across Austin Ave. and enter the HPU campus. The procession will end in front of HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center on Center Ave. The best areas to view the parade are downtown and on campus along Center Ave.

The parade, sponsored by Bruner Auto Group, will feature student-designed floats and other attractions including the Homecoming Honorees, HPU Yellow Jacket Marching Band and the HPU mascot, Buzzsaw.

Community organizations interested in participating in the parade can register online at www.hputx.edu/homecoming. A complete schedule of Homecoming events is available at the same address.

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Cutline: Map showing the route for HPU’s 2018 Homecoming parade