Letter to Parents

A Message From The Chancellor
Fall 2014

Chancellor Hawkins

Parents of incoming freshman often ask me what they can do to encourage their students to achieve success in college. While there is no “magic bullet” to ensure academic success, we have observed over the years that the students who can get involved in campus life usually perform better in the classroom.

Greek life—membership in a fraternity or sorority—is one avenue of involvement that often indicates classroom success. Contrary to the “Animal House” image that some may have of fraternity life, our reports show most Greeks at TROY actually outperform the majority of their peers. Last spring, five of our eight sororities and eight of our 12 fraternities had higher grade point averages than the general student population.

Moreover, there is some evidence that being part of the Greek system offers benefits that reach beyond your student’s college years. A Gallup Poll report issued last May indicated that the 16 percent of U.S. college graduates who joined the Greek System are more likely to report “being emotionally supported and having experiential and deep learning activities while in college, all of which likely have contributed to their higher work engagement and well-being.”

That Gallup report also confirmed that which we already knew, that college graduates who had inspiring mentors and professors, who took part in long-term academic projects and extracurricular activities and who had an internship where they could apply what they learned in the classroom are more likely to excel in their chosen fields. While going Greek may not be the right thing for your student, the overriding message is clear—involvement in some extra-curricular or co-curricular activity is an indicator of success, both during college and after graduation.

TROY enjoys many indicators of quality

Troy University has received several honors over the past few months, which serve as points of pride for alumni, students and faculty and staff. For example, in August we learned that TROY was named to Princeton Review’s “Best in the Southeast’ list for the 10th year in a row. We were also named to the top tier of regional universities in the Southeast by U.S. News and World Report, which is the most prestigious ranking for U.S. colleges and universities.

Our School of Nursing has long been an academic strong point at TROY, and last fall 100 percent of our baccalaureate degree recipients passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), which is a key indicator of the success of this program. However, other recent TROY alumni are finding success in the health professions as 90 percent of our students who applied to medical or dental school last year were accepted. These accomplishments speak volumes about the quality of our undergraduate instruction.

 At TROY, we place great value on the employability of our graduates. When my generation entered college it was assumed that a good job and a better way of life would follow graduation. If you have read the news for the past several years, you know that assumption can no longer be made. Last year, 300 major employers were surveyed by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and these employers said they want students who possess the ability to innovate, think critically, communicate well and solve problems—regarding of their academic major. We are focused on teaching these skills at Troy University not only to help our students obtain good jobs, we want them to have good lives and be good citizens. That is why our “Trojan Way” initiative teaches civility, proper speech, appropriate dress, courtesy for others and similar life skills. We want TROY graduates to be held to a higher standard.

New residence hall highlights campus construction

Excellent progress is being made on the new residence hall which will replace Alumni Hall, and we are planning to open it in time for fall semester 2015. The new residence hall will be equipped with the very latest in high-technology amenities that can be used for both academic study and recreation and 80 percent of the 430-bed facility will be single-occupancy units, which is being done in direct response to feedback from our students. The new residence hall will make an attractive complement to our beautiful Trojan Dining facility just across the street.

Plans are also in the works for an expansion of our Adams Administration Building, which will include greatly enhanced facilities for recruiting and admissions and other key administrative departments, all of which is designed with better service to students in mind.

Internationalization remains a priority at TROY

We take pride in our international dimension at TROY, in large part because it will serve our U.S. students well to become familiar with classmates from other nations and cultures. Your student will compete in a global marketplace unlike anything we could fathom a generation ago. Just look around Alabama, where Hyundai, Mercedes, Toyota, ThyssenKrupp, and now, Golden Dragon, a firm from China, are having a major economic impact.

I recently returned from Vietnam, where TROY enrolls almost 500 students at three locations. A degree from an American university is coveted in this country where we were at war just a few decades ago. Our students here are proud to be Trojans, but they are also excited about what a TROY degree can do to enhance their futures.

We want to give all TROY students the opportunity to study in another country. Over the years our students have benefitted from their experiences in such places as China, Cuba, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Israel, Sweden, Honduras, and many others. That’s why we initiated a new program last spring that will make available over 150 scholarships of $750 each academic year to help fund study-abroad experiences for our students.

The money to fund these scholarships comes from sales of TROY license plates to Alabama residents. The gift of $50 is tax-deductible, and $48 goes to scholarships. If you buy the tag for your student’s vehicle, we also waive the campus parking fee. If you are an Alabama resident, please join the over 7,000 other Trojans who support our University through the car tag program.

Trojans owe Coach Blakeney a huge debt

The fall athletics scene at Troy University has been dominated by the announcement by Coach Larry Blakeney that he will retire at the end of this season after 23 seasons as head of our football program. Coach Blakeney has led our program from the Division II level to the highest ranks of NCAA competition. He will retire as the third winningest coach in Alabama college football history. But those who had the opportunity to work alongside Coach Blakeney will remember him as a player’s coach who put the welfare of the student-athlete first. He is a Hall-of-Famer in every sense of the word and Troy University owes him a great debt.

There is good news to report in other fall sports, as our women’s soccer program finished its best season ever with a 14-5 record and a number-two seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament under first-year coach Jason Hamilton. Our golf programs have had stellar fall seasons with the women’s team winning the Bannister Classic in Glencoe, Alabama, to go along with a second and a fifth-place finish, while our men’s team has a second-place finish at the prestigious Intercollegiate Tournament, finishing behind national power Ohio State, as well as a third-place and two 4th-place finishes in other tournaments.

There are many reason for optimism at Troy University. Thanks to our decision to increase academic standards twice in six years we have the strongest students in our history! We have the most qualified faculty. We are strong academically. Our campuses have never been more beautiful. And we remain financially strong. Above all, we remain committed to providing the very best service to your student.


Jack Hawkins, Jr., Ph.D.

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