Hawkins’ book signing at Johnson Center Thursday

Published 4:27 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Johnson Center for the Arts will host a book signing for Dr. Doug Hawkins, author of “Turning Points: History of Troy University” from 4 until 6 p.m. Thursday.

Morgan Drinkard, Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center executive director, said the book signing will be an opportunity for the public to purchase copies of Hawkins’ book of historical significance and to talk with him about the book and the process.

“Those who have already purchased ‘Turning Points’ at locations around town are invited to bring their books to be signed,” Drinkard said. “‘Turning Points’ is not just a book project. It is a history of the City of Troy as well as Troy University. ‘Turning Points’ tells the history of downtown Troy in print and in photographs.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Drinkard said the historical chapters are “rather complex.”

“Not being from Troy, these chapters helped me to know and understand more about the community, she said. “I learned about the role the railroad played in the development and growth of Troy. The photographs helped me to visualize a train pulling up and unloading at Henderson Black Grocery. It helped me to understand the rich history behind the town and the deep wealth that existed in this area.”

Hawkins’ history of Troy University includes photographs of “old” Troy and images of the growth of Troy University.

“Many people think that the university built the town but, the town grew around the railroad, which made Troy an ideal place to have a state teachers’ college,” Drinkard said. “In later years, the university was a factor, and continues to be, in the growth of Troy.”

Drinkard said that “Turning Points” includes background stories on Troy University’s athletic programs and personal information about the presidents who have brought Troy University into national prominence.

“‘Turning Points’ is fascinating reading and the photographs tell the story of the growth of a town and a university in a graphic way,” she said.

Hawkins said that telling the story of a how a small town in Southeast Alabama was chosen as home to one of four training schools for teachers was extremely important to him.

“It was just as important for me to tell the story of how State Normal School has become one of the best universities in the Southeast,” he said.

Those who attend the Hawkins’ book signing at the Johnson Center Thursday will be invited to view the “Celebrating Contemporary Arts in Alabama: The Biennial 2013” exhibition.

“The artwork of 40 Alabama State Council on the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship Award winners is on display in this exhibit,” Drinkard said. “This is a very unique exhibit in that so many Alabama artists are featured in one show. We encourage everyone to attend the book signing and then take time to visit our galleries on both levels. ‘The Biennial’ is a very impressive show.”