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 (www.facebook.com/hputx) and the university’s website (www.hputx.edu/inauguration).

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.

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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.