BROWNWOOD—On the first day of a new job, many people prefer a relatively light schedule with plenty of time to get acclimated to new surroundings. Not Howard Payne University’s new president, Cory Hines.
When Hines looked at the blank schedule for what would be his first official eight hours, he promptly planned a day full of meetings.
“There will be time to finish unpacking later,” Hines said. “I couldn’t wait to begin getting connected to the life of our campus and community.”
Hines, a 1997 graduate of HPU, noted he wants to build relationships and promote his alma mater. Hines was so eager that he arrived on campus the weekend of March 23, ahead of taking office on April 1, 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 university personnel and representatives from Brownwood and Early. At noon, he enjoyed lunch with 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 some students invited him to join them in the midst of a game.
‘Build strong, vital relationships’
“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,” 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, Hines articulated his passion for HPU and the promise of what can be achieved through a vast but close-knit network of partnerships.
“This is very much a team effort that involves many, many people,” he said. “I’m eager for everyone to join us on this exciting journey. I look forward to all God has for us.”
With his first official day behind him, 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.”