Howard Payne University theater students brought home several awards from the Christian University Theatre Festival at Wayland Baptist University. Students performed “Salted with Fire,” a play by Matthew Rutkowski, HPU alumnus and admissions counselor at the university’s El Paso center. Katie Cravey, a freshman from Huntsville, was named outstanding festival performer. Cravey and Isaac Howell, a senior from Georgetown, received awards for outstanding achievement in acting, and Hailey Green, a junior from Kennedale, was named outstanding technical crew member. HPU also won an award for outstanding achievement in costuming.
Three performances of the 78th annual Easter pageant at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor drew about 6,000 visitors to the university campus April 12. For the first time, the student-led pageant also was streamed live online, drawing 3,700 viewers from as far away as the Czech Republic. More than 300 students participated in the pageant’s planning and production. Each year, UMHB President Randy O’Rear selects a student to serve as the pageant’s director, overseeing the cast and production, as well as choosing students for the roles of Jesus and his mother, Mary, primarily on the basis of their strong Christian faith and character. Maddie Rarick of Sugar Land directed this year’s pageant. Sophie Rivera of Round Rock portrayed Mary, and Jacob Asmussen of Austin filled the role of Jesus.
Houston Baptist University will sponsor an author celebration 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 26, in the M.D. Anderson Student Center on the HBU campus. President Robert Sloan and faculty members including Lee Strobel, Mark Mittelberg and Garry Poole will autograph their recently published books, which will be available for purchase. The event is free and open to the public.
Howard Payne University’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy recently awarded the Douglas MacArthur Freedom Medal to John Nickols, assistant professor of history and political science and special assistant to the athletic director. Nickols, who has worked 22 years at HPU, will retire in May. In addition to teaching and coaching basketball at HPU, Nickols’ was an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, spent 25 years as a high school teacher and coach, and served on the board of the Brownwood Independent School District.