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Rick Gregory named president of Howard Payne University

BROWNWOOD, Texas (BP)–Rick R. Gregory has been named president of Howard Payne University in Texas, effective June 1.
The selection of Gregory, vice president for executive and student affairs at Dallas Baptist University, was announced following a called board meeting May 13 by Russell Berry, chairman of the HPU board of trustees from Abilene.
Gregory, who has been associated with DBU since 1990, is the 17th president in the 108-year history of the Baptist-affiliated college in Brownwood, Texas. He will succeed Don Newbury, HPU president since December 1985, who was named chancellor in March and will be involved in student recruitment, development and public relations.
Gregory, 41, who received the B.S. degree in education at HPU in 1978, is married to the former Judy Barnes, who also attended HPU. They have three children — Josh, 17; Tiffany, 14, and Zach, 4, and are members of First Baptist Church of Arlington, Texas.
He earned the master of education degree from Sam Houston State University in 1981 and doctor of education in educational administration from the University of Houston in 1990. Additional graduate study has been at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.
Gregory was a teacher and coach at Nimitz High School, Irving, Texas, 1978-79; at Sam Houston State University, 1979-80; minister of education at First Baptist Church, Brownwood, 1980-84; minister of education and administration at Memorial Drive Baptist Church, Houston, 1984-86; and in the same position at Kingsland Baptist Church, Katy, Texas, 1987-90.
“I have always had a deep appreciation for the kind of education I received at Howard Payne University and believe its best years are yet ahead,” Gregory said. “I thank God for the privilege of serving and am counting on the support and cooperation of many people as we plan for the new century just ahead.”
“Our new president brings to Howard Payne University strong credentials as an outstanding educational administrator and many unique strengths which will serve HPU well,” Newbury said. “I very much look forward to working with him, and everyone else at HPU, to make this wonderful place an even better place in the tomorrows ahead.”
While a student at HPU, Gregory was cited as “student teacher of the year” in the college of education, named to “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities,” recognized on the dean’s list for three years and named to the Academic All-Lone Star Conference basketball team for two years.
While at DBU, Gregory has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in business and higher education and has been responsible for student services and campus life outside the classroom. Under his leadership, retention of traditional age-students has increased from 52 percent to 73 percent, and dormitory occupancy has increased by 64 percent since 1990.
He is credited with developing a DBU freshmen orientation week called “SWAT Week” (Student Welcome and Transition), initiating Total Quality Management for all student affairs staff and a servant-leadership model used for student leadership training and staff development; and a discipleship weekend for new students (Spiritual Rush Weekend) where students stay in the homes of faculty and staff and are discipled by the faculty/staff members.
“I know of no educator I admire more or believe is more capable than Dr. Gregory,” said DBU President Gary Cook. “He has served DBU with integrity and insight, and I believe he will be a wonderful president. I predict continuing distinction for him at HPU and know the opportunity for him to serve his alma mater means much to him. I wish for him, his family and HPU the very best and look forward to working with him as a presidential colleague.”