With all the changes Troy has seen in recent years, one can only imagine how Troy will change in the future. While it is difficult to predict, physical changes and academic expansions are underway, according to Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr.
In the last 10 years, $171 million of campus facilities — such as the Trojan Dining Facility, Fraternity Village, the Trojan Arena and Rushing Hall — have been built, and a new student recreation center is set to open in October of this year.
SGA President Gus McKenzie said although the university does not want to invest in two projects at once, the administration is assessing the conditions of Gardner and Hamil halls, the oldest residence halls on campus.
According to Hawkins, plans are also underway to bring a 15,000-square-foot plastics research facility to the Troy campus.
“I am pleased to report Governor Ivey authorized $2.3 million under the 666 Program to be used to match funds requested from the federal government (approximately $5 million),” said Hawkins in an email after the initial interview. “These funds will allow us to construct and equip the proposed facility.”
The new research facility and a $3.2 million grant from the National Institute of Science and Technologies (NIST) will allow the university to offer research-based graduate degrees and emphasize Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs more in the future, Hawkins said.
“The increased capacity this will create in research can be transformative for Troy University,” he said. “It will allow us to serve local industry and to create research and employment opportunities for our students.
Although Troy has previously offered two doctoral programs, the current accreditation will allow Troy to offer three programs, said McKenzie.
However, its not just the graduate programs that are making progress.
Hawkins also emphasized the opportunities for international exposure for all students through the Chancellor’s Award, a $1,000 scholarship for students wishing to study abroad.
This is part of an international focus, he explained.
“We’ve gone from 40 international students on this campus in 1989 to (students from) 76 countries today,” Hawkins said. “I’d love to see 100 countries represented here.”
According to McKenzie, the uphill course Troy is on will do nothing but help the university grow in the future.