News Archives

HPU sophomore Haleigh Clevenger receives PACCAR Foundation scholarship

Howard Payne University sophomore Haleigh Clevenger, a sophomore from Brownwood majoring in English and studio art, has been selected to receive a scholarship from the PACCAR Foundation provided by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT) Foundation and its national partner, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).

Her parents are Patrick ’95, who graduated from HPU with a major in practical theology and Spanish, and Elizabeth, who worked at the university from 1993 to 1995 with the university’s English as a Second Language program. Clevenger attended Midland Classical Academy until her junior year of high school. After moving to Brownwood, she graduated from Brownwood High School in 2018.

“I am so very thankful for what the PACCAR Foundation has done for my family and me,” Clevenger said. “Their generosity in granting me this scholarship is greatly appreciated and will bless my time here at HPU immensely. This gift will allow me to continue growing academically, in an environment that will, likewise, be maturing me spiritually. The foundation’s support is such an encouragement to me and inspires me to keep learning, achieving and setting goals within this community that I love.”

The PACCAR Foundation is a philanthropic branch of the auto production and financial corporation PACCAR. The foundation was formed in 1951 and grants millions of dollars each year for education, social services and the arts.

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of more than 700 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization focused on providing services to leaders of independent colleges and universities as well as conferences, seminars and other programs that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance and institutional visibility. CIC conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers. CIC also provides support to state associations that organize programs and generate contributions for their member colleges and universities, including the ICUT Foundation. The council is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

Applications for admission are being accepted for the spring 2020 and fall 2020 semesters 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


Cutline: HPU sophomore Haleigh Clevenger, an English and studio art major from Brownwood, was recently named a recipient of a PACCAR Foundation scholarship.

HPU concludes Homecoming 2019 festivities

Howard Payne University welcomed more than 600 individuals to its campus during Homecoming 2019: Yesterday, Today and Forever festivities, held Friday, Nov. 1, and Saturday, Nov. 2. During the weekend, HPU alumni, students, personnel and friends of the university gathered together to enjoy a range of Homecoming activities and events.

In addition to numerous reunions and luncheons held throughout the weekend, featured events included the HPU Homecoming Parade, sponsored by Bruner Auto Group; Cobbler on the Campus, sponsored by Underwood’s Cafeteria; and the Homecoming Pep Rally, with music from Jaime Dodson ’19 and Hunter Carrier, and Ray Hildebrand ’62. Also featured were the Little Jackets’ Nest, sponsored by Visit Early Texas, and the Golden Graduates Luncheon honoring the class of 1969, sponsored by Wendlee Broadcasting.

Homecoming honorees were recognized at the HPU Alumni and Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday and during the halftime show of the Homecoming football game against Sul Ross State University.

Rounding out the weekend’s activities were the HPU Yellow Jackets football team’s 31-20 victory on Saturday afternoon and a final performance Saturday evening of the Homecoming musical “Little Women” by Allan Knee.

“This year’s Homecoming was a resounding success,” said Laura Benoit, director of alumni relations. “It is always fun to see alumni and other friends of the university reunite and meet current students during the weekend. These interactions and reunions would not be possible without the generous support of our Homecoming sponsors.”

HPU thanks the aforementioned and following community sponsors for their support of another successful Homecoming weekend. Additional sponsors include Homecoming t-shirt sponsor Willie’s T’s, the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce, Dr Pepper, TexasBank, United Supermarkets, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Adidas, Citizens National Bank, Painter & Johnson Financial, Porter Insurance Agency, Double H Mercantile, Smith & Sharpe Agencies and the HPU Alumni Association.

HPU’s Homecoming 2020 will be held Oct. 9-10.


Cutline #1: Pictured at Homecoming Convocation are HPU President Dr. Cory Hines, Homecoming King Kendall Moore, Homecoming Queen Melinda Mendoza and Coming Home Queen Elia Trujillo.

Cutline #2: Fans, students and alumni cheer at the HPU Yellow Jacket football team’s Homecoming game.

Cutline #3: Members of Delta Chi Rho wave to parade-goers during the Homecoming Parade.

HPU crowns 2019 Homecoming Court

Howard Payne University crowned the Homecoming Queen and Princess and, for the first time, Homecoming King and Prince during the university’s Homecoming 2019 Convocation ceremony on Friday, Nov. 1.

Melinda Mendoza, senior from Houston, and Kendall Moore, senior from Mesquite, were named Homecoming Queen and King, respectively. Jenna Stuard, junior from Kaufman, and Cecil Banks, junior from Bryan, were named Homecoming Princess and Prince, respectively.

Additional members of the Homecoming Court were Adrien Barrientos, junior from Little Elm; Caleb Callaway, junior from Early; Sawyer Fisher, senior from Bertram; Morgan Patterson, senior from Kerrville; Sarah Ramos, senior from Pflugerville; Harlei Struck, junior from Crandall; Kira Teel, junior from San Antonio; and Cade Varrichio, senior from Arlington.

Mendoza is the daughter of the late Shelley Martinez and Mauro Mendoza. She is the sister of Melanie Gomez and brother-in-law Jorge Gomez, who serve as her beloved guardians. A kinesiology major with an emphasis in education, she is a member of the HPU softball team, Chi Alpha Omega and Kappa Delta Pi. Additionally, she works as a staff member at the HPU Wellness Center.

Moore is the son of Cathy and Donald Moore. A kinesiology major, Moore’s campus involvement includes intramurals and the Student Activities Council. He serves as president of the Student Government Association and is a resident assistant for Newbury Place Apartments.

Stuard is the daughter of Cheryl and John Stuard. A psychology major, Stuard is a member of the HPU women’s soccer team, vice president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, chaplain of Chi Alpha Omega, a speaker and mentor for Ron Jackson Juvenile Correctional Facility, a Yellow Rose Scholarship recipient and a student assistant for the HPU football team. Additionally, she is involved with the Student Activities Council, Gamma Beta Phi, Pi Gamma Mu and Psi Chi.

Banks, the son of Tasha and Cecil Banks, II, is a kinesiology major. He is the president of the Black Student Association, a senator in Student Government Association, a member of the Student Activities Council and a leader of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Additionally, he is a student assistant coach for the HPU football team.

Barrientos, the son of Chandor Barrientos, is a nursing major. His campus involvement includes serving as vice president of HOSA and is a member of Tri Beta.

Callaway, the son of Mandy and Brian Callaway, is a strategic communication major. His campus involvement includes the Chapel Band and Delta Epsilon Omega. He is a youth volunteer at Heartland Church and a member of the Christian Association of Student Leaders. Additionally, he is a student worker in the HPU’s mail room.

Fisher, the son of DeAnne and Randal Fisher, is a business administration and strategic communication major. He is a charter member and current historian of Delta Epsilon Omega, a Free Lunch ministry leader with the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM), a member of the Student Planning Committee and a Jacket Ambassador. Additionally, he serves as historian for the 2019 BSM Leadership Team, a small group leader at First United Methodist Church in Brownwood and a 2019 Christian Association of Student Leaders conference coordinator. He is also involved with HPU intramurals.

Patterson, the daughter of Katherine and Jack Patterson, is a biomedical science and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major. She serves as the Chi Alpha Omega PRHR, HOSA historian, Tri Beta vice president, Fellowship of Christian Athletes secretary and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee vice president. She is also a member of Gamma Beta Phi and the HPU women’s soccer team.

Ramos, the daughter of Anna and Eric Ramos, is a business management major. Her campus involvement includes the Student Planning Committee, Student Activities Council and Jacket Ambassadors. She is also the treasurer of Delta Chi Rho, a senior senator in Student Government Association, a Jacket Journey leader and a student worker in HPU’s Office of Admission. Additionally, she is a program facilitator for Girl Scouts of Central Texas.

Struck, the daughter of Kaycee and Jeremie Struck, is a business management major. Her campus involvement includes the Women to Women club, “The Yellow Jacket” student newspaper and the Jacket Journey event staff. She is secretary of Student Government Association, a member of Delta Chi Rho, a member of the Student Activities Council and a student worker at the Wellness Center. Additionally, she is a student assistant for the HPU softball team.

Teel, the daughter of Kim and Chet Teel, is a nursing major. She is a member of HPU women’s soccer team, participates in Potential New Member Recruiting for Chi Alpha Omega, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Biological Honors Society and HPU intramurals. She also is the historian for Tri Beta and HOSA secretary.

Varrichio, the son of Marie and Anthony Varrichio, is a business marketing major. He is a member of the HPU baseball team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and honorary member of Chi Alpha Omega. Additionally, he serves as the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and an intramural referee.

The Homecoming Court was recognized during the halftime show of the HPU Yellow Jacket football team’s Homecoming game against Sul Ross State University on Saturday, November 2.


Cutline #1: Pictured are Tom Trujillo and Coming Home Queen Elia Trujillo; Homecoming King Kendall Moore; Homecoming Queen Melinda Mendoza; Cade Varrichio; Sarah Ramos; Sawyer Fisher; and Morgan Patterson.

Cutline #2: Pictured are Adrien Barrientos; Harlei Struck; Caleb Callaway; Kira Teel; Homecoming Prince Cecil Banks; and Homecoming Princess Jenna Stuard.

HPU School of Music and Fine Arts to host jazz clinics

Howard Payne University’s School of Music and Fine Arts invites area band directors and students to attend four instrument-specific jazz clinics on Thursday, Nov. 14, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in HPU’s Davidson Music Complex.

The evening of clinics will conclude with a free performance by widely acclaimed clinicians Norm Bergeron, Stephen Goacher, Dr. Tarik Hassan and Dr. Benjamin Irom at 7:30 p.m. in HPU’s L.J. Mims Auditorium.

Sessions will focus on drums, saxophone, bass and piano and be led by, respectively, Bergeron, director of percussion studies at Temple College; Goacher, professor of music at HPU; Dr. Hassan, an Austin-based bassist, composer, educator and double bass instructor at Temple College; and Dr. Irom, professor of music and director of jazz studies at Temple College.

All four clinics are free of charge. Registration will be open from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the date of the event in the Davidson Music Complex foyer.

Bergeron earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in jazz performance from the University of North Texas and his Master of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in ethnomusicology, anthropology and documentary film. He served as the instructor of the Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian, West African and Gamelan ensembles while at the University of North Texas. He performs as the drummer for Big Cat, a band fronted by Storyville vocalist Malford Milligan, and with the Austin Jazz Workshop at elementary schools in Austin-area school districts. He has performed in the studio and live with numerous artists including Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), Holland Greco, Tim Miller, Joe McBride, Jeffrey Osborne, Grover Washington, Jr., Al Jarreau, Wayne Bergeron, Ernie Watts, Joey McIntyre, Brave Combo, Mingo Fishtrap, Sara Hickman, Steve Reich, Angelo Bundini and on numerous jingle and singer/songwriter sessions. He endorses Vic Firth sticks and mallets, Aquarian Drumheads and Sabian cymbals.

Goacher has served as professor of music and director of jazz studies at Howard Payne University for the past 20 years. Goacher previously served as professor of music at Stephen F. Austin State University, Kansas State University and Northern Kentucky University where taught both woodwinds and jazz studies. Professionally, he has performed with the Henry Mancini Orchestra, Bob Hope, Tommy Dorsey, The Temptations, Lena Horne, Rosemary Clooney, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Steve Lawrence and Edy Gorme. Additionally, he has been a member of the Temple Jazz Orchestra since 2008 and performed at the Jazz a’ Vienne France Festival, the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, the Monteau Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Regen Jazz Club in Vienna, Austria.

Dr. Hassan earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in jazz studies from Florida State University; his Master of Music degree from the University of New Orleans; and his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in performance with an emphasis in jazz at The University of Texas at Austin. He spent nearly a decade as a professional musician in New Orleans where he developed his unique sound while studying the music of jazz masters past and present. He has performed with Jason Marsalis, Andre Hayward, Bruce Saunders, Irvin Mayfield, Ed Petersen, Steve Masalowski, Johnny Vidacovich, Marlon Jorday, Delfeayo Marsalis, Brian Seegar, and Troy Davis. He has performed at Snug Harbor, the House of Blues in New Orleans, The Orleans in Las Vegas, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and in France at Les Cultures du Monde.

In addition to serving on the faculty of Temple College, Dr. Irom is the director of the Temple Jazz Orchestra, a 20-piece big band comprised of some of the best jazz musicians in Central Texas. He has been a faculty member at Baylor University, Riverside Community College in Riverside, California and The University of Texas at Austin. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the University of California, Santa Cruz; his Master of Arts degree in music composition from the University of California, Los Angeles; and his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in composition with jazz emphasis at The University of Texas at Austin. He has performed alongside Paquito D’Rivera, Poncho Sanchez, Arturo Sandoval, Christian McBride, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Shew, Randy Brecker, Jim Pugh, Rufus Reid, James Moody, Roy Hargrove, Kenny Burrell, Eddie Daniels, John Fedchock, Marcus Printup, Ed Calle, Bill Watrous, Butch Miles and Bob Mintzer. His music is available for purchase through The University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press.


Cutline: Pictured are Dr. Benjamin Hassan, Stephen Goacher, Norm Bergeron and Dr. Tarik Hassan, instructors for HPU’s Nov. 14 jazz clinics.

HPU to host UIL workshop Nov. 15

Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team invites area high school UIL teams to participate in its annual speech, debate and journalism workshop. The event will be held at HPU’s Mabee University Center and the Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center on Wednesday, November 20, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The day will feature training in prose, poetry, informative, persuasive, LD debate and CX debate as well as editorial, news, feature and headline writing. HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau (SSB) speech and debate team will provide all speech and debate instruction. Members of HPU’s Yellow Jacket newspaper will provide journalism training.

“This workshop is a great resource for area high schools that want to give their UIL competitors a head start in preparing for district competitions,” said Dr. Julie Welker, chair of the Department of Communication, professor of communication and SSB coach. “Our goal is to help prepare both students and coaches in the speaking and journalism events, giving them the tools they need to competently compete and coach.”

The cost for the workshop is $25 per student. Although not included in the cost, lunch will be available on campus or at local restaurants. Those interested in attending can register online at 

“UIL coordinators and coaches should register their students soon,” said Dr. Welker. “We have a limited number of spots available and registration will close when we meet capacity.”

For further information on the workshop, contact Dr. Welker at or 325-649-8508.


HPU invites community to Thanksgiving Day lunch

Area residents and visitors are invited to the 36th annual Community Thanksgiving Feast at Howard Payne University, scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The event will be held at HPU’s Mabee University Center, located at 1219 Fisk Street.

For those unable to join friends and neighbors at HPU, volunteers will deliver meals in Brownwood and Early. Reservations for meals to be delivered can be made by calling the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce at 325-646-9535 by noon on Monday, November 25.

The traditional Thanksgiving meal will consist of turkey, dressing and all the trimmings.

“Last year, we ended Thanksgiving Day $35 short of what we owed for the food and I was grateful that we were that close,” said Bill Fishback, associate vice president for business and human resources at HPU. “God’s provision was revealed the following Monday, when we opened the mail and there was one more check for $50, so He met our need and we had $15 left over. We anticipate serving approximately 2,000 meals this year, so we are trusting God to help us raise $5,700 to cover the food costs again this year.”

Those interested in volunteering their time can assist with serving food and beverages, boxing meals to go, delivering meals to homes and cleaning. There are plenty of ways for everyone to serve the community at this event.

“Volunteers simply need to show up at the Mabee Center at 10:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and we will put them to work,” said Fishback. “We look forward to seeing many of the same volunteers who have helped for years as well as those who want to help for the first time. Joining us at Howard Payne to serve others has become a Thanksgiving tradition for many people and we certainly appreciate their help. If we have enough volunteers willing to deliver meals outside of Brownwood and Early, we are glad to take meals to those living within 10 miles of Howard Payne.”

To help support the Thanksgiving meal, please make checks payable to the “Community Thanksgiving Feast,” and send them to Bill Fishback, Howard Payne University, 1000 Fisk Street, Suite 210, Brownwood, Texas 76801, or bring donations to the Mabee Center on Thanksgiving Day.


Cutline: HPU will host the 36th annual Community Thanksgiving Feast for area residents and visitors on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at HPU’s Mabee University Center.

HPU Women’s Club to host come-and-go fall lunch Nov. 7

The Howard Payne University Women’s Club will host the Count Your Blessings Fall Lunch on November 7. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 701 Center Avenue in Brownwood.

The come-and-go lunch will be open to all HPU women, including current and former HPU personnel, spouses of current and former personnel, HPU alumni as well as friends of the university. Membership in the HPU Women’s Club is not required for the event, but attendees are encouraged to consider the opportunity.

Melinda Hines, president of the Women’s Club and HPU’s first lady, expressed her excitement for the event.

“The Howard Payne family has so much to be thankful for and I’m looking forward to hosting the Count Your Blessings Fall Lunch in our home,” she said. “We hope past members who haven’t already joined and even those who have never been a part will come to the fall lunch and see what God is doing through the HPU Women’s Club.”

Those who attend are encouraged to bring an item for HPU’s Food and Essentials Pantry in support of HPU students.

“It will be a wonderful time to gather together and to bless our students out of the overflow of our hearts,” said Hines.

Although not required, those in attendance will be able to pay the $25 annual fee required for membership in the HPU Women’s Club. These dues can also be paid online at


Cutline: The HPU Women’s Club is hosting a fall lunch on November 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

HPU to host first Ministry Monday event on campus

Howard Payne University invites high school juniors and seniors interested in ministry to visit its campus on Monday, Nov. 11, during the university’s first Ministry Monday event.

Visiting students will have the opportunity to meet with faculty, staff and students in the HPU School of Christian Studies, sit in on a class, tour the university’s campus and enjoy a free meal. Attendance is free, including any additional guests accompanying prospective students.

Attendees may register in advance online or the day of the event during check-in. Check-in will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in HPU’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center.

Dr. Gary Gramling, dean of the School of Christian Studies, director of Christian studies graduate programs and professor of Christian studies, noted the eagerness of the school’s faculty, staff and students to meet potential new students to introduce them to what HPU offers.

“We are excited to welcome prospective students who feel called to the ministry,” he said. “HPU is a wonderful place to prepare for ministry. Our ministry students develop lifelong friendships with fellow minsters, have opportunities to serve in ministry roles while in college and are challenged to grow both academically and spiritually. We are grateful to God for the amazing ministry students He has sent us through the years.”

For more information about Ministry Monday and to register online for the event, visit

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2020 and fall 2020 semesters 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


Cutline: HPU will host its first Ministry Monday visit day for prospective ministry students on Monday, Nov. 11.

HPU choir students and alumni to present Homecoming concert

Howard Payne University’s School of Music and Fine Arts will present a Homecoming choir concert at 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 2, in the university’s Mims Auditorium. The concert will include selections from the fall program titled “These Three Abide: Faith|Hope|Love.”

“These three virtues hold great depth and provide a foundation upon which we can find a deeper revelation of our Holy God,” said Dr. Christopher Rosborough ’08, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities. “Instead of faith, hope, love in Jesus, we are seeking to find the faith, hope, love of Jesus.”

To conclude the concert, the HPU Alumni Choir will join the students on stage to continue the tradition of singing “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name,” by Tom Fettke.

Joseph Dunlap, instructor of music, is the collaborative pianist for the choir and will be playing for the event.

For complete Homecoming details and the latest schedule information, visit or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 325-649-8007 or via e-mail at


HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau hosts debate competition

Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau (SSB) speech and debate team hosted the Heart of Texas Swing Tournament recently on campus. In addition to HPU, universities that competed were The University of Texas at Austin, Abilene Christian University, Texas Christian University, Texas State University, West Texas A&M University, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Kansas Wesleyan University and Wayland Baptist University.

“We were thrilled to be able to host an invitational tournament for our collegiate forensics community,” said Dr. Julie Welker, chair of HPU’s Department of Communication and professor of communication. “With some of the best universities in Texas competing, we had very strong competition.”

HPU SSB students competed well at their first tournament of the year and each student on the team earned an award.

Parker Brown, freshman Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and Jurisprudence major from Springfield, Virginia, received first place in impromptu speaking.

Haylee Maddox, senior strategic communication major from Bellville, was a quarterfinalist in IPDA debate. She and Alek Mendoza also received first place in dramatic duo interpretation.

Esmeralda Maldonado, junior strategic communication and jurisprudence major from Whitney, received sixth place in IPDA debate and a speaker award.

Alek Mendoza, sophomore theatre major from Bangs, received fourth place in dramatic interpretation. He and Haylee Maddox also received first place in dramatic duo interpretation.

Madi Neal, senior strategic communication major from Chandler, was a semifinalist in extemporaneous speaking.

Rishona Raub, freshman Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, social work and strategic communication major from Celina, was a semifinalist in extemporaneous speaking.

Devin Schurman, freshman Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, social work and strategic communication major from San Antonio, was a semifinalist in impromptu speaking and received sixth place in NPDA debate and a speaker award.

Dr. Welker expressed how impressed she was with everyone’s performance.

“I am so proud of the hard work and dedication this team is putting in this year,” she said. “I’m excited to see what the rest of the year holds for the team.”


Cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau members are pictured from left to right: Alek Mendoza, Devin Schurman, Parker Brown, Haylee Maddox, Madi Neal, Rishona Raub and Dr. Julie Welker. Not pictured is Esmerelda Maldonado.