University, community mourn loss

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, August 27, 2009

Many people could say many good things about Dr. Don Hines. But, perhaps, Jim Davis said it best.

“Don Hines was an outstanding guy, and he was a cowboy,” Davis said. “He lived his life like a cowboy. You could tell by the way he carried himself. By the way he talked and dressed. He was a real cowboy.”

Hines was the dean of the Troy University Sorrell College of Business, and his death brought sadness to the Troy University family and to the community he called home.

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“Dr. Don Hines was an outstanding educator and administrator who made a tremendous impact on Alabama higher education,” said Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr.

“He was a Renaissance man who defied stereotypes. He was equally comfortable with captains of industry in the boardroom or rodeo cowboys in the arena. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Candace, and his family. His loss will be felt for many years to come.”

And so will the impact he had on the lives of others.

Davis was a member of the first rodeo team at Troy University and, even though he didn’t have Hines as a professor,

Hines was a great influence in his life.

“He was at all of the practices, and he was always helpful and had encouraging things to say,” Davis said.

“He had a dry sense of humor that could be kind of intimidating, but he was always funny and upbeat in his own kind of way.”

When Davis left the rodeo team, Hines supported him in his decision.

“That’s just the way he was,” Davis said. “If something was not for you, then he wanted you to try something else.”

For Troy University Rodeo Coach Josh Simmons, Hines was a “guiding light.”

“Don was a guiding light to all of us on the rodeo team,” said Simmons, who was also member of the university’s first rodeo team.

“He meant the world to me. He had a definite impact on my life. He trusted me and had confidence in me as a student.

His leadership and guidance showed me who I am.

“Along with the coaches, Don was the backbone of the rodeo program.

He was the strong arm of the rodeo team at the college. He was a mentor and a friend. He was our guiding light, and he will be missed.”

Dr. Ed Roach, Troy University executive vice chancellor and provost, was a long-time colleague of Hines’.

“Troy University has lost a great Trojan,” he said. “Dr. Hines will be missed.”

Hines, a native of Ripley, Miss., was appointed dean in 2007, a post he had vacated in 1994 to become president of the University of West Alabama.

He earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Mississippi State University and completed his doctorate in economics at Kansas State University.

He was a commissioner on the Alabama Water Resource Commission and was former chairman of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterways Development Council.

In 1998, he was awarded the State Distinguished Service Award by the Alabama Association of Conservation Districts.

From 2001-2006, Hines served as Troy University’s Intercollegiate Rodeo Team Adviser.

He was also a member of the Troy Exchange Club.