This edition of the Troy University Magazine examines the familiar subject of intercollegiate athletics from a slightly different perspective. The role of athletics on the campus has been a favorite topic of discussion and debate almost since the first games were played in the 19th century.
At TROY, athletics plays a significant part in the life of the University. Our cover story takes a look at Trojan athletics since 1993, when we made the move to the highest level of NCAA competition. Rather than recap the history of our Division I move to date, we chose instead to look at the impact this move has had on our University 15 years later. It has always been my contention that this move was made to advance the University as a whole, not just our intercollegiate athletics programs. I believe we are achieving our objective, based on the visibility generated by our sports teams.
There’s more sports news of note in addition to our cover story. The recent induction ceremony of the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame had a distinct TROY feel to it, as Coaches Larry Blakeney and Don Maestri led a lineup of current Trojan coaches and alumni inducted in this year’s class. And, Sim Byrd, who quarterbacked our University to the NAIA national title in 1968, is a recent inductee in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
But there’s more in this edition than sports. There’s a story that reminds us that while our students are earning degrees, they are also preparing themselves for leadership roles in their communities. When an earthquake hit China in May, the members of our Chinese Students Association sprang into action, raising money for earthquake relief. At this writing, I am confident they will reach their fund-raising goal. No matter how much they raise, I was proud of our students, from the USA and abroad, who did their part to help a devastated nation.
We also catch up with a couple of our fine arts graduates who are taking their bite out of the Big Apple. Allison Leger, class of 2006, is making a name for herself in New York City photography circles with her shots of Broadway shows. Her photos have appeared in such notable publications as the New York Times and The Boston Globe, and now, of course, the Troy University Magazine. David Stephens, a member of the class of 1999 and an accomplished puppeteer, has landed a job on one of the most popular children’s shows in TV history — “Sesame Street.”
I also call your attention to our coverage of the TROY Shield Society, our planned giving organization that recognizes donors who have remembered the University in their estates.
We are still in the process of accepting founding members. The deadline to become a founding member is December 31, 2008. Please take this opportuity to have a lasting impact on your alma mater.
In closing, this edition also contains information about our annual homecoming weekend celebration. Make plans now to return to Troy on the weekend of Nov. 8 as we celebrate with the theme “Then, Now, Forever...TROJANS.” I look forward to seeing you then.
Jack Hawkins, Jr., Ph.D.