News Archives

Sixth annual HPU Wellness Fair held on campus

Howard Payne University recently held its sixth annual Wellness Fair, which included health screenings, demonstrations, exhibits and games for HPU students, faculty and staff.

Featured at the Wellness Fair were large inflatable replicas of the human heart and lungs. A tug-of-war contest was also held between teams made up of HPU faculty, staff and students. HPU personnel ran booths focusing on seven dimensions of wellness – emotional, intellectual, spiritual, environmental, occupational, social and physical. Additionally, HPU dining services provider Sodexo hosted a booth offering healthy wraps and fruit skewers.

Teresa Cavitt, instructor in kinesiology and faculty/staff wellness program leader, organized the event.

“Our goals are to promote all the dimensions of wellness on campus,” she said. “An active and aware campus community is a healthy campus community. This event is one of the highlights for the kinesiology department during the spring semester.”

In addition to HPU personnel and students in attendance, 35 HOSA-Future Health Professionals from Brownwood High School also participated in

the event. Other organizations represented at the event were Keep Brownwood Beautiful; Brownwood Women, Infant and Children program; Brownwood Health Department – Public Health Preparedness; Texas A&M Agri-Life; Pregnancy Care Center; AccelHealth; and Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages of Abilene.

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2019 semester at Howard Payne University ( HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Photo Cutline #1: Pictured (from left to right) are Scott Owen, assistant professor of kinesiology, director of Wellness Center, clinical education coordinator; Rick Beelby, associate professor of kinesiology; Graham Hatcher, professor of kinesiology; Teresa Cavitt, instructor of kinesiology; Mike Terrill, chair, Department of Kinesiology, director of athletic training education program and assistant professor of athletic training; and Jill Heupel, assistant professor of kinesiology.

Photo Cutline #2: A team of HPU students takes part in the tug-of-war competition.

Photo Cutline #3: Displayed at the event is an inflatable model of the heart.

HPU presents Spring Student Art Exhibit April 26-28

Howard Payne University’s Department of Art invites the public to enjoy a wide range of student artwork on display as part of the Spring Student Art Exhibit. The work will be available for viewing Friday through Sunday, April 26-28, at the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery in HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center. The exhibit will open with a reception on Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The gallery will be also open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The art show features work from a variety of media and methods: photography, printmaking, weaving, handmade books, painting, drawing and more. Julie Mize, adjunct instructor of art at HPU, curated the exhibit.

“I’m very proud of these students and the spectrum of artwork on display,” Mize said. “This exhibit is a wonderful showcase for the students’ creativity and I encourage the public to come see the work.”

The exhibit includes artwork by:
Allison Auvenshine, a sophomore from Comanche majoring in youth ministry;
Keith Baker, a junior from Houston majoring in studio art;
Samantha Barnard, a junior from Everman majoring in athletic training;
Abi Brown, a junior from May majoring in art education;
Haleigh Clevenger, a freshman from Brownwood majoring in English and studio art;
Brianne Davis, a sophomore from Comanche majoring in art education;
Kaeli Goodgion, a senior from Comanche majoring in studio art;
Cindy Gutierrez, a junior from Dallas majoring in marketing;
Ally Henry, a junior from New Braunfels majoring in studio art;
Victoria Johnson, a freshman from Maple Grove, Minnesota, majoring in studio art;
Alfredo Lozano, a junior from Arlington majoring in marketing;
Andie McCoy, a senior from Whitehouse majoring in the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and social science with global studies emphasis;
Nathalia Sorto, a freshman from Dallas majoring in family psychology;
Stephanie Tarigan, a senior from Brownwood majoring in mathematics; and
Hope Veroneau, a sophomore from Lampasas majoring in art education.

HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center is located at 1308 Center Avenue in Brownwood. Admission to the exhibit is free of charge. For more information, please contact Julie Mize at

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2019 semester at Howard Payne University ( HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: Adjunct faculty member Julie Mize reviews artwork with HPU students in anticipation of the exhibit to be held April 26-28 at HPU. Pictured from left are Ally Henry, Brianne Davis, Julie Mize, Keith Baker, Abi Brown, Allison Auvenshine, Stephanie Tarigan, Samantha Barnard and Hope Veroneau.

Memorial service for Sara Baker scheduled for April 27 at HPU

Howard Payne University invites the public to a memorial service for Sara Baker, retired faculty member in HPU’s Department of Music, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. The service will be held at Grace Chapel, located at the Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center on the HPU campus.

Baker passed away on January 29, 2019, in Granbury. She was 89. She and her husband, the late Dr. George Baker, had long, distinguished careers as members of HPU’s music faculty.


Cutline: The public is invited to a memorial service for Sara Baker, who passed away in January.

HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau earns two places at nationals

BROWNWOOD – April 17, 2019 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed at the National Christian College Forensics Association national tournament, with two of the members earning awards. The competition took place at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas.

Freshman Alek Mendoza, theatre and communication major from Bangs, won fifth place in novice dramatic interpretation, and sophomore Lucy Manning, Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, communication and social science jurisprudence major from Fort Worth, won sixth place in open persuasive speaking.

More than 220 students from 21 universities from across the nation participated in the 2019 championship. All institutions represented are members of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.

“I’m very proud of Alek placing in dramatic interpretation as a freshman,” said Dr. Julie Welker, speech and debate team coach and chair and professor of communication. “He has worked hard this year on his interpretive pieces and the hard work has paid off. Alek is a very talented performer, and I’m thankful the judges recognized that.”

Dr. Welker also praised Manning’s work at the tournament.

“In just her second year of competition, and moving into the open division, Lucy’s sixth place was hard earned,” said Dr. Welker. “Lucy has been a strong competitor this year, winning both speaker awards and placing at every tournament we’ve attended.”
Manning also competed in parliamentary debate.

Other students competing in the tournament were junior Madison Neal, communication major from Chandler; senior Tyler Olin, social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Howe; and sophomore Esmeralda Maldonado, communication major from Whitney. Richelle Hair, instructor of communication, also traveled and assisted in coaching the team.

The team is spending the rest of semester adjudicating district and regional UIL speech and debate meets, and will begin preparing for next year’s competitive season.


Cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed at the National Christian College Forensics Association national tournament. Pictured from left are Tyler Olin, Alek Mendoza, Madison Neal, Lucy Manning and Esmeralda Maldonado.

HPU to close Friday for Easter holiday

BROWNWOOD – April 17, 2019 – Howard Payne University will be closed for the Easter holiday on Friday, April 19.

University offices will reopen and classes will resume on Monday, April 22.

HPU to celebrate Easter with annual Resurrection Week services

BROWNWOOD – April 11, 2019 – Howard Payne University will host Resurrection Week, a spring revival event, April 15-17. Held annually during the week preceding Easter, the services are intended to be a time of spiritual renewal and are open to the community as well as HPU students, faculty and staff.

Mike Satterfield, this year’s speaker, is the teaching pastor of Fielder Church in Arlington. The Nick Gainey Band will lead worship at each service. The band serves as the worship team at Crosspoint Community Church in Rockwall.

“Mike Satterfield and the Nick Gainey Band are great friends of HPU,” said Keith Platte, HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry director and Chapel coordinator. “We’re eager to welcome them back to our campus for Resurrection Week to celebrate our risen Savior with us.”

Resurrection Week services will be held in HPU’s Mims Auditorium on Monday and Tuesday, April 15-16, at 10:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., and at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17.
For more information, contact Platte at 325-649-8319 or


Student committee plans 2019 Christian Association of Student Leaders conference hosted by HPU

BROWNWOOD – April 10, 2019 – Howard Payne University welcomed more than 200 student representatives to campus in January for the 2019 Christian Association of Student Leaders (CASL) conference. CASL was formed in 1998 by the Texas Baptist universities and is hosted each year by one of those institutions. CASL is designed to develop and strengthen college students in their campus leadership roles and relationships with Christ. This year’s event was coordinated by a student committee organized and assisted by Dr. Magen Bunyard, vice president for student life and dean of students.
“Our HPU students did a wonderful job of prayerfully and thoughtfully selecting all the elements of the conference including speakers, roundtable discussion and workshop topics, meals, activities and the schedule,” she said. “I am very thankful for their hard work and commitment to making decisions that honored God and helped equip their peers for excellence in service. They fulfilled their roles with exceptional enthusiasm and dedication and we had a lot of fun in the process.”

Members of the CASL committee were Keith Baker of Houston; Caleb Kostreva of Clifton, Colorado; Spencer Wolverton of DeSoto; Foga’a Solomona-Afoa of Pearl City, Hawaii; Sawyer Fisher of Bertram, who served as the conference coordinator; and Emma Reed of Arlington, who served as president of the association.

“CASL is awesome because it brings people together who do similar things on different campuses and helps them see areas that are the same,” said Emma Reed, senior family studies and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major. “They can be encouraged by similar struggles and successes.”

The CASL conference exists to encourage student leaders to collaborate with one another for the betterment of their campuses. Accomplishing this is no small task – for over a year, the members of the CASL committee participated in a planning process that required both detailed decision making and big-picture perspective.
“It entailed a lot,” said Caleb Kostreva, senior social sciences and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major. “We planned everything from the snack bags, to how the main sessions were going to look, to the schedule of the conference as a whole.”

Each member of the committee attended a CASL conference at another institution at least once prior to or during the course of the committee’s planning. Some of the committee members were able to develop friendships with student from other schools through their CASL attendance. For Sawyer Fisher, senior business administration major, this has been an important part of his CASL experience and something he will miss after graduation.

“My favorite part about CASL is that you start building these friendships through the conference,” he said. “It’s cool to see what gifts God has given them to use for the kingdom. It’s also beneficial just to see that every campus struggles in some aspect. The whole point of CASL is just getting together and sharing ideas with others. I’m going to miss CASL – I miss it already.”

Foga’a Solomona-Afoa, junior athletic training major, said attendance at previous CASL conferences also gave insight to the committee’s decision-making process.

“I have been able to attend CASL every year since I was a freshman and every year was a learning opportunity,” she said. “It was our past experiences that helped us plan out the conference to the smallest details.”

One of the major decisions the committee had to make was what the theme for CASL 2019 would be. They chose “Empower,” highlighting the importance of discipleship among students.

“We emphasized discipleship, because we knew a lot of schools have great student leaders, but after they graduate there’s nobody else to step up,” said Spencer Wolverton, senior communication major. “That was our goal – to help teach students about intentional conversation, creating relationships and passing down information to enable others.”

Throughout the conference, students were able to engage in roundtable discussions. This consisted of two individuals from each institution representing specific areas on campus.

“Different schools are able to come together and discuss different experiences,” said Keith Baker, junior studio art major. “We can say, ‘Hey, that’s a good idea’ or ‘we struggle with that too.’ Finding a solution together gives a sense of community, even though we’re from different schools.”

Conference attendees went to breakout sessions where they listened to members of HPU staff speak on topics such as social media usage, self-care and perseverance. Students also heard from guest speaker Keith Weiser, pastor of Resonate Church in Washington and Church Planting Catalyst for the Northwest Baptist Convention, who used the theme verse of Philippians 2:3-4 as a foundation for Christ-like leadership, which empowers others to serve well.

“The main sessions and conversations in the roundtable discussions provide awesome opportunities for people to have these eye-opening experiences, and then bring what they’ve learned back to their campuses,” said Caleb Kostreva.

The committee members also planned a unique and new experience on Friday night that provided an opportunity for the student leaders to participate in service together. In partnership with Good Samaritan Ministries, the students painted bowls for the Empty Bowls Project, an annual event that raises funds to fight hunger and food insecurity both locally and globally.

“Dr. Bunyard said they’ve been talking about doing a service project since CASL was created, but they couldn’t figure out a way to do one with 250 people,” said Emma Reed. “This is the first time anything like that has been implemented. People liked that we made it really personal.”

The CASL committee members expressed pride in their hard work and were grateful for a successful conference.

“It was cool to be able to watch other people get to enjoy the CASL experience and to see all the work and the time that we put into it come to fruition,” said Reed. “I’m proud of the experience that we were able to give people. We just showed them the family atmosphere that we have at Howard Payne by the way that we took them all in and loved them.”


Cutline: Senior Emma Reed introduces members of the CASL committee at the 2019 CASL conference hosted by HPU.

Bruner Auto Group donates truck to HPU Office of Admission

BROWNWOOD – April 9, 2019 – The Bruner Auto Group of Brownwood recently donated a 2018 Chevy Silverado to Howard Payne University’s Office of Admission for use in student recruitment. A decorative vehicle wrap was printed and installed by Willie’s T’s, local business and operator of HPU’s Stinger Store.

The truck serves as part of HPU’s Mobile Go Center, a 42-foot mobile classroom and computer portable application center that is equipped with computers and other resources for students to use as they learn that higher education is attainable.

“The Bruner Auto Group has always shown itself to be a wonderful supporter of HPU and our mission in Christian higher education,” said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management at HPU. “We’re so thankful for that and this is just one of the many ways they’ve demonstrated it – seeing the need for us to have that vehicle to help us promote, recruit and introduce HPU to students and families all over the state.”

The Bruner Auto Group recently celebrated 90 years as a family dealership. The company, which began in east Texas, has served the Brownwood, Early and Stephenville areas for generations and maintains a strong relationship with HPU. Greg Bruner, president of the auto group and member of the HPU Board of Trustees, said that the organization’s relationship with the Brownwood-located university has been mutually beneficial.

“It is important to our family to support a local university, in particular HPU,” said Bruner. “College students bring energy to the community and it is exciting to be a part of that process. We enjoy supporting HPU though scholarship opportunities, athletic programs and other opportunities.”

David Williams, transfer admission counselor and Mobile Go Center coordinator, said the truck, donated in the fall of 2018, has already been beneficial to the Office of Admission.

“The Mobile Go truck has been a great resource for HPU,” said Williams. “We’re very grateful that the Bruner Auto Group provided this to us. Willie’s T’s did a great job producing the wrap. The truck speaks ‘Sting ’em’ spirit no matter where you go.”

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2019 semester at Howard Payne University ( HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: Brownwood area business the Bruner Auto Group recently donated a 2018 Chevy Silverado to the HPU Office of Admission. Pictured, from left to right, are Mike Rodgers, HPU’s chief financial officer and vice president for finance and administration; Rick Newton, Bruner Auto Group’s sales manager; Greg Bruner, president of Bruner Auto Group; and Bill Fishback, HPU’s associate vice president for business and human resources.

HPU student organizations to host charity drive for Children’s Advocacy Center

BROWNWOOD – April 8, 2019 – Howard Payne University’s Criminal Justice Club and Amigos Unidos Club will host an event this Saturday, April 13, to collect new and gently used items for the Heart of Texas Children’s Advocacy Center in Early. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Abundant Life Church on West Commerce in Brownwood.

The organizations are requesting donations of blankets, backpacks, stuffed animals and hygiene products. Dr. Danny Brunette-López, associate professor of Spanish and chair of HPU’s Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies, serves as adviser of the Amigos Unidos Club.

“The students of both clubs would like to give back to the community and show the true giving spirit of Howard Payne, especially to the children in our area who have suffered greatly,” he said.

For more information, contact Dr. Brunette-López via e-mail at


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.”


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.