A campus of changes: Hawkins oversees 31 years of improvement

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Oluwaseun Omotayo

Staff Writer

There have been many positive changes under the tenure of Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. as chancellor of Troy University – the most recent being the decision to rename Bibb Graves Hall to John Robert Lewis Hall after the Civil Rights activist. 

Hawkins has transformed Troy in three major categories. The first is academic growth; he ensured the construction of new academic buildings on four of Troy’s campuses in Alabama. 

Also, new degree programs were introduced, thereby offering more options for students. 

Another category that has flourished during Hawkins’ more than 30 years at Troy is intercollegiate athletics, which has joined NCAA competitions at the highest level. 

Troy University can also boast of a rich international program where there are almost 80 countries represented on campus. 

Hawkins’ efforts have led to establishing the 1+2+1 Sino-American Dual Degree program and expansion of Troy’s study abroad program. 

“Dr. Hawkins is a leader on many fronts,” said Dr. Jiling Zhong, chair of the Computer Science Department. “His efforts have helped our Computer Science program flourish in various countries such as Vietnam, China, and India due to his guidance. 

“We have been able to send students and professors abroad and hosted multiple visiting scholars.”

Under Hawkins’ leadership, Troy has been recognized as Alabama’s International University. Students can become globally aware and competitive due to this cultural exposure available on campus. Furthermore, his actions have not gone unnoticed as Global Ties Alabama has awarded him for his dedication to ensuring internationalization and diversity.  

“When Dr. Hawkins talks about a global vision, he wants our university culture steeped in that idea and has been a leader of action,” said Dr. Robbyn Taylor, lecturer in Troy’s Hall School of Journalism and Communication. 

“From sending teachers abroad to reach students at our partner universities, to making study abroad scholarships available for our students to experience the world, and even welcoming students from so many countries to our campus here, Troy has become so much more than a physical campus in Alabama.

That will always be a large part of Dr. Hawkins’ Troy legacy.” 

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