WELCOME BACK: Troy students return to campus for first day of classes

Published 6:00 am Thursday, August 16, 2018

Troy students returned for a new year of classes at the university Wednesday.

“It’s always good to start a new school year,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., chancellor. “Every student has all ‘A’s, our football team is undefeated, everybody has a new opportunity.”

University officials are still waiting to see how many students end up being enrolled on campus, but Hawkins said it will be a “healthy number.”

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The students might notice some new features on the campus, Hawkins said.

“We’ll open our new north end zone shortly and that adds a whole new dimension to our football program,” Hawkins said. “A lot of other construction is underway, I think people are becoming familiar now with some of those really important nuggets in Troy: the International Arts Center and the park that has the terra cotta warriors, and incidentally we too see dozens of these scooters and bikes now available for short-term rental on campus.”

Students will also see the beginning of the new recreation center that is under construction at the corner of George Wallace Drive and University Avenue.

Hawkins said the diversity of people on campus is a major strength at the university.

“We were reminded today of how important this global village is,” Hawkins said. “What we’ve been able to achieve here is a source of great pride for all of us, and that is to overcome a lot of ignorance. We do that through understanding each other and once you understand, you appreciate and you build those lasting relationships. What we found the secret to at Troy is being able to live and work and to have fun together realizing differences are meant to be feared they’re meant to be understood, and once they’re understood they can become strengths. It’s much like a beautiful fabric with wonderful thread comes together individually not strong but when they come together, not only are they beautiful, but they can be strong.”

Hawkins said the start of a new year is a particularly special time for the new members of the Trojan family.

“It’s surely a great time, especially for our new students to begin an exciting journey,” Hawkins said. “This is supposed to be the best time of their lives and I think at Troy it typically is.”

Hundreds of incoming freshmen spent the weekend unloading boxes from their vehicles and moving in, excited about starting a new chapter in their lives.

“It’s just more family-oriented,” said Latonya Walton, whose son, Cameron, is an incoming freshman. “It was closer to us, and I felt like the campus would be safe. We were very pleased with everything from admissions to housing. Nobody needed to recruit us. We were already sold on everything here.”

Cameron, who attended Selma High School, was particularly impressed Saturday by the campus’ appearance.

“I think the campus is beautiful, comfortable and seems safe,” said Cameron, who plans to major in graphic design and minor in music. “I think the campus is beautiful. It’s really nice, very comfortable, and it seems safe.”

Jonah Hughes’ family has ties to Troy, but the Abbeville Christian Academy graduate fell in love with the idea of building a new family at the University.

“My family’s been here for the longest time, but the more I started coming here, the more I really liked it,” he said. “It’s smaller and more intimate, and that creates a more tight-knit group. That’s what I really liked about it.”

Hughes is looking forward to forging new bonds, especially since he’ll be around far more fellow students than he’s experienced before.

“My graduating class in Abbeville was 25 people,” he said. “I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of new people and making a lot of new connections and friends.”

Hawkins urged the students to get involved and get to know their teachers.

“The faculty want to know them and they need to know them,” Hawkins said. “I encourage the students from the very outset to go in and introduce themselves to the teachers. Become really comfortable; don’t sit at the back of the class, go to the front of the class.”