Gov. Bob Riley officially dedicated the newest Troy University academic building in honor of Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr., in a ceremony Jan. 27 on the Troy Campus. Some 350 people packed Jack Hawkins, Jr., Hall to witness the event.
Gov. Riley praised Dr. Hawkins for his “vision, original thought, tenacity and courage.”
“What you have done is to set a new pattern, but that would not have been possible without your leadership,” Gov. Riley said. “Today is not about past achievements, but rather we are honoring a person who took original thought and made a new university, a national university.”
Jack Hawkins, Jr., Hall, a 90,800 square-foot building, consolidates all College of Education faculty, staff and classes on the Troy Campus into one facility. It is the first building dedicated to teacher preparation constructed on a public university campus in Alabama since 1969.
Hawkins, appointed Chancellor of the Troy State University System in 1989, steered the consolidation of campuses in Montgomery, Troy, Dothan and Phenix City into a singly accredited institution, pioneered the University’s internationalization and led the institution to both the doctorate degree level and to Division I athletics.
Dr. Hawkins called the naming of the building “one of the great honors of my lifetime.” Quoting Proverbs, Hawkins thanked the University’s Board of Trustees.
“Without vision, the people perish. I want to thank our Board of Trustees because they have consistently challenged to us to think globally, act locally and always maintain focus on the student and serving that student. That is our mission,” he said. “We believe this beautiful building will help us achieve that mission and we are committed to that mission.”
“I am extraordinarily proud that this is the first new building dedicated to a college of education in the State of Alabama in more than four decades. I think this sets the standard for the rest of this state,” he said. “Isn’t it exciting to believe the lives shaped within these walls will ultimately shape the future of Alabama and the future of Alabama’s children?”
The Troy University Board of Trustees voted in July 2007 to name the building in his honor, making it the third such building in Alabama to share his name. The Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind named the “Jack and Janice Hawkins Chapel” in their honor, and the “Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall of Honor” shares his name with former Chancellor Ralph Wyatt Adams and former Dean and past Director of Bands Dr. John M. Long.
In addition to Governor Riley’s dedicatory address, Dr. Joe Morton, state superintendent of education, provided remarks. Other speakers included: Dr. Hawkins; Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford; Dr. R. Douglas Hawkins, President Pro-Tem, Board of Trustees; Mr. Lamar P. Higgins, Board of Trustees; Dr. Ed Roach, executive vice chancellor and provost; Dr. John Schmidt, senior vice chancellor; Dr. Doug Patterson, senior vice chancellor (retired); Dr. Lance Tatum, dean, College of Education; and Mr. Bob Howell, master of ceremonies.
The building includes 12 classrooms, two technology teaching laboratories, three counseling laboratories, three conference rooms and a faculty work room. Two of the 12 classrooms are interactive video conference classrooms. The building’s atrium houses the Alabama Educational Leadership Hall of Fame.
“We planned very carefully to try to provide what is currently being used at universities and K-through-12 settings so that our students – both those that will be teaching and those that will be working in support areas – will have access to the material while they’re in school,” said Dr. Lance Tatum, dean of the College of Education.
Tatum added that this building, which cost $14.1 million to construct, has a planned lifespan of 75-100 years.
“We expect this building to be standing long after we are all gone and to still be providing Troy University education students a productive environment for learning,” Tatum said.