Harvard President Charles W. Eliot wrote the following in his annual report in 1870: “The college grounds ought to be kept in such condition that they shall be an ornament to the city and a source of pleasure to all its citizens, as well as to the students who most frequent them.”
We have adhered to President Eliot’s philosophy at Troy University. It’s not enough to offer top-quality academic programs featuring excellent teaching. Nor is it enough to have faculty engaged in beneficial research and service. A great university also must “look the part” in order to demonstrate tangibly the culture of caring that we seek to provide each student who enrolls with us.
But there is another aspect of campus architecture that often goes unnoticed, namely the power of the university to be the “ornament to the city” cited by President Eliot. This issue of the Troy University Magazine takes a look at several of our newer capital projects—including the new arena and new dining facility under construction on the Troy Campus—but we also expand our coverage to examine how past capital projects have enhanced our surroundings and benefited the communities we serve.
Our campuses in Montgomery and Dothan are exhibits A and B in any testimony to the transformational power of campus architecture. Our Montgomery Campus has used existing historical structures, such as the old Whitley Hotel and the Davis Theatre, to create a beautiful urban campus where squalor once stood. In Dothan, we took a different approach by moving our operations from the old Houston Hotel downtown to a new, modern campus on Highway 231 in what has become a high-growth area in southeast Alabama’s largest city.
Of course, our work on the Troy Campus has led to the creation of the most attractive traditional campus in Alabama, which will only be enhanced by the new projects that are in various stages of completion, including fraternity village, our new arena and our new dining facility.
This edition also includes coverage of two Trojans who have reached the pinnacle of Alabama K-12 education: Phil Rodney Wilson, class of 2001, who was chosen Alabama Teacher of the Year and Cathy Coleman Bennett, classes of 1981, 1995, who was chosen Alternate Teacher of the Year. It’s rare for one university to produce the top teacher and the alternate in the same year, which speaks volumes about the level of quality our College of Education has sustained over the years. Congratulations to Mr. Wilson and Ms. Bennett—they are true Trojans!
We also feature Trojan alumni who are excelling in all walks of life, including a hall-of-fame football coach, the new publisher of the popular Sunday newspaper supplement Parade and an area dentist and his staff who are lending their talents to those in need.
This edition provides advance information on this year’s homecoming celebration, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 12-14. Make plans to join Trojans from around the world for the celebration.
Jack Hawkins, Jr., Ph.D.