News Archives

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.

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 Social Work Club to distribute free prom dresses to area high school students this Friday and Saturday

BROWNWOOD – April 1, 2019 – Howard Payne University’s Social Work Club will host its annual Project Cinderella this Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6. Young women from area high schools are invited to stop by HPU’s Girling Center for Social Justice (1308 Austin Avenue) between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. and noon on Saturday to choose from among the free, like-new prom dresses.

The Social Work Club aims to make this a fun experience for young women and their families by creating a boutique-like setting with music, fitting rooms and a large selection of stylish dresses.

“We’re excited to welcome high school students on HPU’s campus and help make prom a memorable experience for them,” said Toni Damron, assistant professor of social work.

For more information, contact Damron at


Cutline: Diana Torres (left), sophomore social work major from Houston, and Destiny Bible, junior social work major from Brownwood and member of the Social Work Club, display two of the dresses that will be available at HPU’s Project Cinderella event this weekend.

Details announced for HPU’s 2019 Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon

BROWNWOOD – March 28, 2019 – The Howard Payne University Woman’s Club will host its annual Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon on Thursday, April 11, with area businesses and individuals serving as sponsors for the popular event. The ticketed luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Bullion Suites of HPU’s Mabee University Center.

The event is sponsored by Diamond Sponsor Sharon Guthrie; Gold Sponsors Big Country Ford and Sally Porter; and Blue Sponsors Bangs Flower and Gift Shop, Brownwood Regional Medical Center, Citizens National Bank, HPU’s Office of Alumni Relations, HPU’s Office of University Services, Willie’s T’s, Laura Benoit, Deborah Cartwright, Mary Johnson, Ann Jones, Sarah Stephens McAlpine, Jane Rodgers, Shannon Sims and Leslie Yeakley.

The guest speaker for this year’s luncheon is Pam Erickson, HPU alumna and author of “You First, Me Second … Getting to the Heart of Social Responsibility.” Erickson oversees Operation Blessing’s procurement and corporate relations staff in the daily acquisition of food, medical and relief supplies for both domestic and international programs. She has been a guest on “The 700 Club,” a chapel speaker for the Christian Broadcasting Network, a devotion leader for Regent University and a speaker for multiple women’s ministry events. She is on the cutting edge of creating ways to help companies meet their corporate social responsibility goals through community investment opportunities. Erickson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from HPU and a Master of Education degree from Regent University.

During the luncheon, the Woman’s Club will announce the recipient of the Yellow Rose Scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year as well as honor one of the guests with the prestigious 2019 Yellow Rose Award.

Luncheon tickets are $25 and a limited number are available through April 4 or until sold out. For ticket information, call Nikki Donathan at 325-649-8013 or Sareta Delgado at 325-649-8048. Tickets are available at HPU’s Office of Alumni Relations at 703 Center Avenue as well as HPU’s Business Office at 1017 Fisk Street.


Cutline: Pam Erickson will be the guest speaker at the annual Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon, held by the HPU Woman’s Club on Thursday, April 11.

HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics hosts students from Goldthwaite’s Gifted and Talented STEM program

BROWNWOOD – March 21, 2019 – Students from Goldthwaite ISD’s Gifted and Talented (GT) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program visited Howard Payne University’s Winebrenner Hall on in February. The students, ranging from first through eighth grade, had the opportunity to visit with HPU faculty members and students about the fields of chemistry, technology and engineering.

Dr. Hendra Tarigan, assistant professor of engineering science, and two engineering students met with the students about engineering.

“My two students asked the young students some questions,” he said. “One of them was ‘How many transistors are used in the latest version of a processor in a laptop?’ The young students knew the answer – billions. We were so happy to interact with the 20 young students. They have curious minds especially when it comes to STEM.”

Dr. Tarigan also mentioned another activity that was of particular interest.

“The two HPU engineering science students showed the GT students how a strain gauge can be utilized to determine the strain in a bending aluminum bar,” he said. “This, in turn, can determine the modulus of elasticity and Poisson’s ratio of such a metal.”

The students were also able to watch physical science demonstrations conducted by current and former students of Dr. Derek Smith, associate professor of chemistry.

“The GT students saw student-led demonstrations of extraction and analysis of flavor compounds from culantro, flame detection of metals and blood spatter analysis,” said Dr. Smith. “All the demonstrations were led by current students in chemistry or forensics classes at HPU.”

While on campus, the students also visited with Dr. Lester Towell, professor of computer information systems, about 3D printing.

“We talked about the future of technology and the need to incorporate new ideas and concepts into our daily lives,” he said. “The students were inquisitive and fearless, which are two of the primary requirements to excel in STEM.”


Cutline: Students from Goldthwaite ISD’s GT STEM program talked with Dr. Lester Towell about 3D printing technology.

HPU’s grounds crew assists City of Brownwood with garden bed project

BROWNWOOD – March 20, 2019 – Howard Payne University’s grounds crew recently helped the City of Brownwood and Keep Brownwood Beautiful with local efforts to clear garden beds at the traffic T near Highway 84 and Highway 377.

The project, which was overseen by Jon Ochoa, Brownwood’s city supervisor, involved removing some of the aging planting materials from the garden area.

“With the older plants gone, the city and Keep Brownwood Beautiful can go back in with new plants,” said Terry Pritchett, HPU’s assistant vice president for facilities and planning. “Our portion was to help them remove much of the old plants – grasses and roses mainly.”

Workers from the City of Brownwood were present for the project and HPU’s grounds crew worked to support their efforts.

“It is always a pleasure helping our City of Brownwood friends as they continuously improve their bedding areas,” said Pritchett. “We have developed a great relationship together and look forward to future collaborations.”


Cutline: HPU’s grounds crew works alongside City of Brownwood employees to clear garden beds at the traffic T near Highway 84 and Highway 377.

HPU’s Walker Memorial Library to host annual book sale

BROWNWOOD – March 19, 2019 – Howard Payne University’s Walker Memorial Library will host its annual book sale Friday, March 22, through Saturday, March 23. The sale will be open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and will be hosted by the Friends of the Library group.

A large selection of books, including duplicate titles and books the library does not traditionally carry in the academic collection, will be available for purchase. The sale will also include a large selection of children’s books. Both paperbacks and hardcover books will be on sale for $1.00 with special items varying in price. All proceeds from the sale will help fund library improvements.

“This year we will have a wide variety of fiction, nonfiction and children’s materials,” said Deborah Dill, director of libraries and assistant professor of library science. “We received a few substantial book donations, so there will be lots of new items. We will also have copies of HPU annuals from years past.”

With proceeds from last year’s book sale, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, HPU was able to purchase two big glass marker boards for use in the library’s multipurpose room as well as a number of lamps with power outlets and USB charging ports for the multipurpose room and the reference room.

“The Friends of Walker Memorial Library is an inclusive group,” said Dill. “Students who spend time at the library working on assignments, faculty and staff who stop by to chat and check out books, alumni who make financial contributions to the library, Brownwood community members who bring in a box of books to donate and stay to view our displays – all of these are Friends to us and we are blessed to have so many.”

The Walker Memorial Library is located on Fisk Street on the HPU campus. For more information, call 325-649-8602 or send an e-mail to


Cutline: HPU’s Walker Memorial Library will host its annual book sale 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 22, and 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 23.

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


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).

HPU provost Dr. W. Mark Tew departs for president role at Judson College

BROWNWOOD – March 8, 2019 – Dr. W. Mark Tew, Howard Payne University’s provost and chief academic officer, has been named the 23rd president of Judson College in Marion, Alabama. He will assume the post on March 25.

Dr. Tew, who joined HPU’s administration as vice president for academic affairs in September 2007, is a native of Alabama and previously served at Judson College in a variety of administrative and academic capacities including senior vice president, vice president for institutional advancement, chief financial officer and professor of religious studies.

During his years at HPU, Dr. Tew has provided key leadership in a variety of initiatives, such as the creation and development of a range of degree programs and the university’s Strategic Plan.

“I consider it a great honor to have served Howard Payne University during these years,” said Dr. Tew. “My pride in what we as an academic community have accomplished is matched only by my confidence of the great things yet to come.”

A graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with Doctor of Theology and Master of Divinity degrees, he also holds the Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science degrees from Samford University.

“Dr. Tew is a distinguished academic administrator who has served Howard Payne University with professionalism and grace,” said Dr. Paul W. Armes, interim president. “His unwavering commitment to HPU’s mission as a distinctively Christ-centered academic community has been a blessing to our institution.”

Dr. Celeste Church, assistant vice president for retention, research and accreditation, will serve as interim provost effective March 18. Dr. Church joined HPU’s music faculty in 2004 and progressed through the ranks from instructor to full professor. She has also served as chair of the Faculty Assembly, co-chair of the General Education Review Committee and dean of institutional research and effectiveness.


Photo cutline: HPU’s Dr. W. Mark Tew has been named president of Judson College.

HPU to close for Spring Break

BROWNWOOD – March 7, 2019 – Howard Payne University will be closed for Spring Break next week, March 11-15. No classes will be held and administrative offices will be closed.

The university will reopen and classes will resume at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 18.