New College of Education dedicated

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, January 27, 2009


World’s greatest chancellor, the best thing that happened to the university, a dedicated servant to the state of Alabama, one of tireless dedication.

Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. was described as these things by some of the university and state’s highest-ranking officials at the dedication of the newest building on the Troy University campus.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

For the first time in four decades a new school of education was built at an institution whose very foundation was etched in education, and the board of trustees saw it fitting to name the building in honor Hawkins.

During the dedication ceremony, members of the executive staff, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and State Superintendent Joe Morton were among those to express why they felt Hawkins was well deserving of the honor.

“There are few men I have met in my life that I have the amount of respect for as (Hawkins),” Riley said in his dedicatory address.

Riley said that if you put things into retrospect and look at the changes Troy University has experienced it is a testament to Hawkins’ leadership.

“(I know) no man that deserves his name on this building more than Jack Hawkins,” Riley said.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford called Hawkins “the best thing that has happened to the university.”

He explained that the university is vital to the city of Troy.

“We are where we are in Troy because of no small part by Hawkins,” Lunsford said.

Douglas Patterson, former Troy University provost and longtime friend of Hawkins described him as a dedicated servant of the state of Alabama.

“I’ve known him through the greatest of time and the most trying times,” Patterson said.

Patterson recalled he and Hawkins were freshman at the University of Montevallo, what was then Alabama College.

He remembered Hawkins as an industrious, dedicated college student and fraternity brother.

The two joined the Marine Reserve Officer’s Training Corp, and both spent 13 month in Vietnam.

According to Patterson, throughout Hawkins’ nearly 20 years as chancellor of Troy University, they have spent nearly $200 million in new construction and added numerous new academic programs including graphic design, geomatics, environmental science and music industry. That doesn’t include the school’s first ever doctoral program, which will begin in fall 2009.

Patterson said the chancellor’s work has created a sense of institution pride for alumni, students and faculty.

Senior Vice Chancellor John Schmidt described Hawkins as a decorated military hero.

He highlighted some of Hawkins military career accomplishments, including two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.

Schmidt described Hawkins as a man of accountability, honesty and integrity.

Hawkins was presented a special edition of a book that has 20 years of speeches he has given.

Board of Trustees President Pro-tem Douglas Hawkins said it took many years for the building to get here, but he is thankful for the 1887 foundation of the university through education.

He also thanked Janice Hawkins for her service in helping beautify the campus.

Douglas Hawkins highlighted the nearly 20 years Jack Hawkins has been chancellor.

According to Douglas Hawkins, when Jack Hawkins became chancellor in 1989 the worldwide enrollment was about 14,000.

Today it has grown to about 30,000, and the budget has grown from $44,500,00 to $221,000,000.

He too highlighted some of the new academic programs that came to Troy including the new interpretation major, sports and fitness management and economic development.

Internationalization has been a key component of the Jack Hawkins administration.

According to Douglas Hawkins, when Jack Hawkins first came to Troy there were about 28 international students, while today there are more than 700.

He also praised Troy University’s Confucius Institute, which offers Mandarin Chinese.

Douglas Hawkins declared the day “OGD” – one great day.

State Superintendent Joe Morton recalled that not long after he became superintendent Hawkins made an appointment with him to talk.

“(Hawkins) said he wanted to make the Troy University College of Education the best in the nation,” Morton said.

Chancellor Hawkins was quick to offer his compliments to those who expressed the reasons they felt he was deserving of a building in his honor.

“The future of Alabama will ultimately be shaped by this building,” Hawkins said.