Troy alumnus, mayor reminisces

Alyse Nelson
Features Editor

Mayor Jason Reeves of Troy may have settled close to home, but he has come a long way since his time at Troy University and as president of the Student Government Association.

Like students currently enrolled at Troy, Reeves spent his time living in the dorms, hanging out with his friends and getting involved in extracurricular activities.

Originally from Troy, Reeves began as a traditional student in 1990. Becoming a non-traditional student in 1995, Reeves ran for City Council a year later and served four terms.

He graduated from Troy in 2001 with a degree in criminal justice and took office as mayor of Troy in November 2012.

“At that time, I had planned to go to law school, and I thought that if I left town for school and then went to law school, I might never come back,” Reeves said, explaining his decision to remain in his hometown for his college degree.

As a student, Reeves made the most of the opportunities available to him.
“I was very involved on campus,” he said.

First serving as president of his fraternity, Reeves was then SGA senator and later SGA president for the 1994-1995 year. He also served on several committees.

“I guess I started to decide that if I was going to spend my time and energies on things, that I needed to be part of the decision-making process to do that,” Reeves said in regard to his involvement with school politics.

Reeves’ SGA presidential platform focused on similar goals to current SGA President Matt Thompson’s platform.

“We tried to make the SGA more responsive to the students,” he said.
Given time to reflect, Reeves had several observations from his time in college that could apply to students today.

“You don’t realize it at the time, but the opportunity to spend the majority of your time learning is something you’ll look back on and wish you had done more of,” he said.

He goes on to explain the important relationship between Troy University and the city of Troy, and the ways in which they support each other.

“The university has such a huge impact on the economy and the quality of life of the city,” he said. “I think that my interaction there and learning things from people and learning about the university has helped me a great deal in my public service career.”

“Get involved in organizations on campus, in the community,” Reeves continued. “It’s very important.

You may think that Troy is some place you are stopping off at in the journey, but Troy will be part of the rest of your life. A lot of people think, ‘I don’t really need to be involved,’ but if Troy does not grow as a community, what’s that going to do to your degree?

“Twenty years from now when you’re trying to get a job, your degree from Troy will not be what it was when you were there, but what Troy is 20 years from now.

So, if you can help improve the community, that will pay dividends for the rest of your life.”
Reeves also went into detail about forthcoming improvements for the city that might interest students.

Concerning the draft beer debate, Reeves said, “I think that is something that students have wanted for a long time.”

Developments are also in the works to improve the downtown squares of the city, making the area “a destination for entertainment and shopping for students.”

Reeves concluded with some final words of advice for students, saying: “Find ways to enjoy yourself. Learn. Learn how to learn. And work hard.

That’s so cliché but most people get opportunities because they work hard at it — that’s one thing that hasn’t changed.”

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