TSU’s Jack Hawkins Jr. wins
Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 10, 1999
Golden Eagle Educator Award
By JAINE TREADWELL
Published Oct. 10, 1999
Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., was recently named the recipient of the prestigious 1999 Golden Eagle Educator Award by the Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. The award was presented to Hawkins at the annual Hall of Fame Awards program at the Civic Center in Montgomery Sept. 26.
Hawkins was among a group of nine special awards recipients from across the state who were honored for their contributions to Alabama senior citizens.
The chancellor of the Troy State University System said he was humbled in the presence of so many who have made such outstanding commitments of service to seniors.
Hawkins said he compared his measure of service by that of the other recipients and was reminded of what it takes to put eggs and bacon on the breakfast table.
"The chicken makes a contribution to the meal but the pig makes a real commitment, Hawkins said with a smile. "I felt like a chicken when compared to the other recipients of the awards. Anything I have done is only a small contribution. They have made real commitments."
"I was both flattered and humbled by the nomination – humbled because there were those who thought enough of me to recognize me and humbled because I was simply doing my job."
However, Hawkins has done much more to assist and support senior citizens than "simply" his job.
During the last two years, the City of Troy has worked toward the creation of an innovative project, the Senior Complex for Adult Life Enrichment (SCALE).
"Through Dr. Hawkins’ assistance, this project is now a reality," said Carol Reddoch, secretary of the Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.
The city sought to purchase a building that could serve as a focal point for all services and activities for seniors. Hawkins assisted the Troy Seniors Foundation with the promotion and fundraising activities leading to the purchase of the facility which is named the J. O. Colley Senior Complex, Reddoch said.
"Dr. Hawkins personally addressed various groups in show of support and encouragement for existing, as well as future, programs to benefit older citizens," she said. "He also made significant monetary contributions that aided in showing that the dream project for seniors could become a reality."
Hawkins also supports and encourages intergenerational activities between the seniors and the children at the Little Trojan Learning Center, the sororities and fraternities at TSU and all the students.
"Dr. Hawkins offers the services of the university to teach seniors computer skills, to provide health screening and exercise services and to share fellowship from generation to generation," Reddoch said. "His assistance and support have helped to improve the quality of life for countless seniors and will for many years to come."
Hawkins said the Troy State University System is committed to the senior citizens in all areas that it serves.
"We, at Troy State, realize what an important role senior citizens play in today’s society," he said. "Here, in Troy and in Pike County and all across the country and around the world, our senior citizens are making invaluable contributions through volunteer service."
Troy State University is unique in providing services to a more senior population.
Hawkins said while two-thirds of the students on traditional college campuses are between the ages of 18 and 25, the Troy State University System is unique in that two-thirds of its 18,000 student population is over age 25.
"Education doesn’t end when one gets a undergraduate or even a post-graduate degree," he said. "Education is a lifetime endeavor and the university has a shared vision with the City of Troy in the opportunities ahead for our seniors and for the recruitment and enticement of retirees to our city."
Hawkins said there is no downside to recruiting retirees to a community.
"Everything is positive," he said, "and we are blessed to be a university town," he said. "The university offers cultural and athletic events as well as education opportunities and outstanding facilities to retirees. We know what wonderful asset our seniors citizens are and we are dedicated to serving them. And, I was greatly honored to have been recognized for my small contribution to the senior citizen community."