News Archives: President's Office

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


HPU and surrounding communities celebrate the Christmas season

BROWNWOOD – December 9, 2019 – Howard Payne University personnel and students joined with the university’s neighbors in Brownwood, Early and other area communities to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season during “An HPU Family Christmas.” Held at the university on the evening of Dec. 2, the event included a concert, carol singing, the lighting of Christmas decorations and a reading of the Christmas story.

“It was great to enjoy Christmas festivities with the HPU family – our students, personnel, alumni and the surrounding communities,” said Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president. “We were happy to welcome our neighbors to campus to celebrate the Christmas season together.”



The evening began with a Christmas concert at First Baptist Church of Brownwood presented by the combined HPU choirs and the HPU Festival Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Christopher Rosborough, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities. The concert also featured a special appearance by a children’s chorus comprised of students from East and Northwest Elementary schools, directed by Jennifer Gwathmey and Dean Kiesling.

Following the concert, festivities moved to HPU’s Old Main Park with the university’s traditional tree lighting, the singing of Christmas carols and a reading by Dr. Hines of the biblical account of Jesus’ birth from the book of Luke. The events on campus were accompanied by hot cocoa, snacks and an appearance by Santa Claus.


Cutline #1: The combined HPU choirs and the HPU Festival Orchestra perform at First Baptist Church of Brownwood.

Cutline #2: Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president, reads the Christmas story from the book of Luke.

Cutline #3:Christmas decorations on HPU’s Old Main Park were lit during “An HPU Family Christmas.”

Cutline #4 (for event logo): HPU welcomed the public to an evening of Christmas celebrations on Dec. 2.

HPU welcomes more than 120 to first Community Leadership Lunch and Learn event

Howard Payne University recently hosted more than 120 individuals for the first installment of the Community Leadership Lunch and Learn series. The event, held at HPU’s Mabee University Center, featured a meal catered by Sodexo and a presentation on blockchain technology by Dr. Lester Towell, chair of the Department of Computer Information Systems (CIS) and professor of CIS, and Dr. Jodi Goode, assistant vice president for information technology services and chief information officer.

The program also included a student testimonial by Lauren Piper, a junior from Early majoring in the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and jurisprudence, and special music by Suzanne Schad, a senior from Briggs studying music education.

Ann Jones Real Estate was the title sponsor for the event. Table sponsors were 3M Brownwood, Blevins Body Shop, Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce, Brownwood Regional Medical Center, Citizens National Bank, Kohler Co., Painter & Johnson Financial, Porter Insurance Agency, Robnett Integra Insurance Services, Smith & Sharpe Insurance Agency, TexasBank, Texas GoldStar Real Estate and Wendlee Broadcasting.

Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president, shared his appreciation for the sponsors of the event and all who attended.

“I couldn’t be happier with our first Lunch and Learn event and am thankful for all who supported it,” said Dr. Hines. “Sodexo served a great lunch, Dr. Towell and Dr. Goode gave an insightful presentation and the event was a wonderful opportunity for our community and HPU to connect. I look forward to the next installment of our series in the spring.”

Details about the next Community Leadership Lunch and Learn event will be announced in early 2020. To sponsor a future Lunch and Learn event, please contact Sareta Delgado, executive assistant to the vice president for development, at or 325-649-8048.


Cutline: Pictured at HPU’s first Community Leadership Lunch and Learn event are, from left, Dr. Cory Hines, HPU’s president; Ann Jones of Ann Jones Real Estate, title sponsor of the event; Dr. Jodi Goode, HPU’s assistant vice president for information technology services and chief information officer; and Dr. Lester Towell, chair of HPU’s Department of Computer Information Systems (CIS) and professor of CIS. Dr. Goode and Dr. Towell gave a presentation on blockchain technology.

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 ( and the university’s website (

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.


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.

HPU’s new president enjoys fast-paced first day

BROWNWOOD – April 2, 2019 – For the first day on a new job, most people might prefer a relatively light schedule with plenty of time to get acclimated to new surroundings. However, Dr. Cory Hines, Howard Payne University’s energetic new president, had looked at the blank schedule for what would be his first official eight hours and promptly planned a day full of meetings. April 1 was his first day in office, but he was actually in his office for just a little while.

“There will be time to finish unpacking later,” Dr. Hines said. “I couldn’t wait to begin getting connected to the life of our campus and community.”

Dr. Hines, a 1997 graduate of HPU, is eager to build relationships and promote his alma mater. He was so ready to get started that he came to campus the weekend of March 23, ahead of actually taking office, so he could participate in a preview event for prospective students and their families, attend a meeting of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and enjoy performances at Spring Sing, HPU’s annual event featuring musical productions by student organizations. Then, on his first official day, he spent several hours at HPU’s Mabee University Center with various groups of HPU personnel and representatives from Brownwood and Early. At noon, he had lunch with HPU students in the university’s dining hall. On his way back to his office toward the end of the day, he even tried his hand at Jacket Golf – a popular HPU Yellow Jackets pastime played with golf clubs and tennis balls – after being invited to join some students in the midst of a game.

“As I begin my duties as HPU’s president, the most important item on my agenda is to get to know the people around us so I can hear what’s on their hearts and visit about how we can build strong, vital relationships,” Dr. Hines said. “This first day was an important step. I look forward to getting to know more and more people as we move ahead at our main campus and extension centers.”

In his conversations with the people he meets, he enthusiastically shares what HPU has to offer.

“I want our alumni to know that this is still the same university they know and love, and they play an important role in its ongoing vitality,” he said. “I want parents to know HPU is a safe place and they can trust HPU with their kids. I want students to know that we’ll prepare them academically, vocationally and spiritually. I want HPU to be a good neighbor to our local and area communities. God has blessed HPU by placing our university in Brownwood and I look forward to fostering and deepening our connections here.”

At every stage throughout his first day in office, Dr. Hines articulated his passion for HPU and the promise of what can be achieved through this vast but close-knit network of partnerships.

“This is very much a team effort that involves many, many people,” he says. “I’m eager for everyone to join us on this exciting journey. I look forward to all God has for us.”

On March 18, the university’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously in favor of Dr. Hines’ appointment as the 20th president in HPU’s 130-year history. That day he began working to conclude his responsibilities as vice president of enrollment at Dallas Baptist University and make the transition to HPU and Brownwood, all while eagerly looking to April 1 on his calendar.

With his first official day now behind him, Dr. Hines took a moment to catch his breath and express appreciation for all who took time to visit and help put the groundwork into place for this new era at HPU.

“Today has been busy, but what a wonderful day it was,” he said. “I’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight and be ready for another great day tomorrow.”


Photo #1 cutline: Dr. Cory Hines, HPU’s new president, visits with members of the local community during his first day in office.

Photo #2 cutline: Dr. Cory Hines gets to know HPU students at lunch.

Photo #3 cutline: On his way back to his office after a day full of meetings, two students invite Dr. Cory Hines to try Jacket Golf, a popular HPU pastime.

HPU interim president Dr. Paul W. Armes discusses importance of faith-based education

Dr. ArmesBROWNWOOD – July 11, 2018 – With almost two months as Howard Payne University’s interim president under his belt, Dr. Paul W. Armes is rediscovering the joys of working in a faith-based educational institution. Dr. Armes, who served for 15 years as president of Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, began his role at HPU on June 1 following Dr. Bill Ellis’ retirement and transition to chancellor.

“I believe so deeply in the importance of faith-based education,” said Dr. Armes. “I’ve been retired for two years and, about a year into retirement, I began to think about the young people, the choices they’re making and what God is doing in their midst. I knew it would be nice to participate in that again.”

When he was approached by HPU’s Board of Trustees to serve as interim while a search began for the university’s 20th president, Dr. Armes accepted the opportunity to continue this important work for the Kingdom of God. He was already familiar with HPU as his father, Dr. Woodson Armes, served as a trustee in the 1980s.

Dr. Armes said he strongly believes that an education deeply rooted in faith – such as one receives from HPU – is more important in our world today than it has ever been before.

“It’s good to know that there are universities where you can still openly and honestly have conversations about Christ and His will for your life,” said Dr. Armes. “You can have conversations about what it is that He has called us to in this world. Those are really neat kinds of discussions to have because they’re about destiny as opposed to just being about vocation. There’s an added layer in that exchange that is really special.”

In addition to his presidency at Wayland Baptist University, Dr. Armes also served as president of San Marcos Baptist Academy, a private Christian school that, like HPU and Wayland, is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. He has pastored five Baptist churches in Texas and Missouri and held several interim pastorates. He continues an active pulpit supply ministry.

Dr. Armes earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Baylor University, followed by Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served on numerous committees and boards in denominational, professional and community life. He has also taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His honors include being named “Plainview Man of the Year” in 2013.

When he reenters the world of retirement, he will settle with his wife, Duanea, in Stephenville with children and grandchildren nearby. He enjoys woodworking and beekeeping, and the couple also has plans to buy an RV and travel to national parks to partake in another hobby, photography.

However, God’s work in the lives of college students will always be close at heart.

“The wonderful thing about Howard Payne is that this is the kind of place where you come face to face with the claims and the plans that God has for your life,” said Dr. Armes, mentioning that God works heavily in the lives of students and university personnel alike. “Watching folks blossom as they begin to understand where they fit into His plan – whether they’re adults or young people – is really what I think the ministry of Howard Payne is all about.”


Cutline: Dr. Paul W. Armes serves as interim president at Howard Payne University.

HPU announces search committee for next president

BROWNWOOD – May 18, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Board of Trustees has named a committee to conduct the search for the institution’s next president. The move follows the recent announcement of Dr. Bill Ellis’ upcoming retirement as president and transition to the role of chancellor.

The search committee is chaired by Dr. David Lowrie, senior pastor from Decatur and member of HPU’s Board of Trustees. Other committee members from the Board of Trustees are 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 professional clothier from Dallas; and Lesley Collier Wyse, HPU alumna and retired educator from Boerne. Representing HPU employees on the committee are 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 this search committee have a wide range of experiences and perspectives, but they all share a heartfelt commitment to Howard Payne University,” said Pastor Ray Still, chair of HPU’s Board of Trustees. “I am confident in their ability to locate the right candidate and I appreciate their leadership through this process.”

Dr. Paul W. Armes, longtime educator, administrator and minister, will take office as HPU’s interim president on June 1.

For more information about HPU, please visit


Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, named president of ASC Executive Committee

Dr-Bill-Ellis ASCBROWNWOOD – May 28, 2014 – Dr. Bill Ellis, Howard Payne University president, was recently named president of the American Southwest Conference (ASC) Executive Committee. He will begin his one-year term Tuesday, July 1.

The ASC, one of the largest intercollegiate athletic conferences in NCAA Division III, will begin its 19th year of league competition in 2014-15. Twelve colleges and universities located in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas hold membership in the athletic conference.

Dr. Ellis served as vice president for the Executive Committee during the 2013-2014 academic year.


Photo cutline: Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, was recently selected president of the American Southwest Conference Executive Committee.

HPU appoints assistant vice president for external programs and church relations

dale_meineckeBROWNWOOD – October 5, 2012 – Howard Payne University has expanded to three campuses across the state, and the university recently created a new administrative position to serve these extension centers. Dale Meinecke, a 1998 HPU graduate, was appointed assistant vice president for external programs and church relations.

In this capacity, Meinecke will oversee enrollment services and development of the university’s New Braunfels and El Paso campuses. He will also work to build relationships with area churches and associations to the mutual benefit of all institutions. His wife, Christy, also a 1998 graduate, was hired as an admission counselor, primarily for the New Braunfels campus.

“We are proud to welcome the Meineckes back to the HPU family,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “They are outstanding alumni and we are thrilled to have them return as ambassadors of the university.”

The Meineckes were highly engaged as students on campus and later returned to serve on staff. He was an HPU football coach and chapel coordinator from 2005 to 2006, and she served as an admission counselor from 1998 to 1999. The couple most recently worked at Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington – he as dean of students and she as a kindergarten teacher. He graduated with a master’s degree in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2005 and is working toward his doctorate in leadership studies at Dallas Baptist University.

“As I thought about the future, I was continually drawn to the Christian college and especially to our Baptist schools in Texas,” he said. “I believe a large part of that is due to the life-change I experienced while attending Howard Payne. My hope is for other students to be drawn into a passionate and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Christy and I feel very blessed to be a part of the Howard Payne family once again. We look forward to serving the students and campuses.”


Photo cutline: Dale Meinecke will serve HPU as assistant vice president for external programs and church relations.