Howard Payne University recently announced that the largest number of incoming freshmen in more than three decades enrolled at the university for the fall 2013 semester. HPU welcomed 340 first-year students and 50 transfer students to the university. Total enrollment for the semester is 1,170 which includes undergraduate and graduate students from HPU's Brownwood, El Paso and New Braunfels campuses.Area students joining HPU's freshman class include:• Morgan Ashmore of Weatherford• Kaylee Blevins of Weatherford• Elizabeth Rainey of Springtown"We've anxiously awaited the totals so that we could officially share the good news," said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management. "This is the largest number of incoming freshmen the university has seen since the 1970s, and they are joining a great group of returning students."Kirk compared seeing the new students on campus to the excitement a child feels on Christmas morning."The HPU faculty and staff all worked so hard to bring in this incredible class of great students and we are so thankful that God chose to bless those many efforts," he said.HPU president Dr. Bill Ellis said the enrollment figures are encouraging but that he sees value beyond the numbers."There is so much potential in each and every one of these students," he said. "We are extremely blessed to welcome so many into the HPU family and I pray that the university, in turn, is a blessing to them."