I recently read a quotation that has stuck with me because it describes perfectly the situation confronting most U.S. public colleges and universities. It goes, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” In these times of diminishing state support, it is tempting to adopt a wait-and-see mentality, to put off capital projects that would enhance the potential for greatness at your institution until more state funds are available. But such an approach can put your institution at a competitive disadvantage.
We believe in prudence at Troy University, but we also know that the best time to move forward is when others are retreating. That is why we have several major projects in the works that will help in our continuous quest for greatness. This issue of the Troy University Magazine features coverage of several of these initiatives.
This summer, we began one of the more significant renovation projects in the history of the University, the transformation of our oldest building Bibb Graves Hall, which was completed in 1929. This project is the first major refurbishing of this historic jewel since 1979 and the results will be something every Trojan can view with pride. When completed, Bibb Graves will resume its service as home to the Sorrell College of Business. It will also include a new wing that will serve as the headquarters for the Center for International Business and Economic Development and our new Confucius Institute, the only one in Alabama.
We also report on the decision by the Board of Trustees to approve our recommendation to go forward with construction plans for a new multi-purpose arena and convocation center and a new dining facility on the Troy Campus, both sorely needed. A new arena will bring all our athletic facilities to the Division I level, but it will also give us a venue for major campus events, such as commencement. Our spring commencement ceremony was the largest in our history, with more than 600 students receiving diplomas. At the rate we’re growing enrollment, it is just a matter of time before we will outgrow Sartain Hall, which has served us well for almost 50 years.
But this issue is not just about bricks and mortar. We profile a variety of interesting and successful alumni, including an alumna who is devoting her career to improving life and literacy in Uganda, a professional country music singer whose career is on the rise and a winner of a popular TV reality show.
In this issue, we introduce you to our newest members of our Board of Trustees, Ms. Karen Carter, an insurance executive from Birmingham, and Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Ed Crowell of Montgomery, who works in the computer industry. Troy University will benefit from their leadership. They are valuable additions to an excellent Board of Trustees.
This issue also outlines plans for our annual homecoming celebration, scheduled for Oct. 24. Make plans early to join us that weekend. I hope to see you there. And, as always, we want to hear from you and publish your good news in this magazine for your classmates and friends to read. Send us your news to email@example.com or 253 Adams Administration Building, Troy Al 36082.
Jack Hawkins, Jr., Ph.D.