Recognition

Recognition

RECOGNITION SOCIETIES

1887 Society

1887 Society logoThe 1887 Society of Troy University is an exclusive society that exists to recognize donors who have made annual gifts to the University for the last three or more consecutive years. As a member, donors are recognized with a welcome packet, a commemorative certificate, a custom logo lapel pin and invitations to seminars, athletic and special events on campus.Make a Gift Now

 

TROY Shield Society

TROY Shield Society logoThe Shield Society recognizes donors who have committed a Legacy Gift to Troy University. A legacy gift is a planned estate gift made through a will or living trust, beneficiary designation, IRA charitable rollover, certain real estate, a donor-advised fund, or charitable lead trust.

For more information about making a legacy gift, please email us at legacygiving@troy.edu or call (334) 670-3608. 

 

The Arts & Science Alliance

Arts & Science Alliance LogoThe Arts & Science Alliance is comprised of the most elite and faithful donors to the College of Arts & Sciences.  The Alliance welcomes donors who give $1,000 or more annually to any CAS fund, while those who have graduated in the last 15 years are eligible through a minimum contribution of $500. Contributions can made throughout the year to reach the Alliance level and can even be established by signing up for smaller monthly recurring gifts.

Make a Gift Now

 

 

White Coat Society

White Coat Society Nursing StudentsBy donating $100 or more, you can join the White Coat Society and make an immediate impact on the life of a nursing student. You will be able to hear from students and faculty and see how your generosity truly made a difference. This is an annual giving initiative that will assist undergraduate nursing students in purchasing necessary medical items such as scrubs, coats, shoes, stethoscopes, and even smaller items like badge holders, bandage scissors, and clipboards. 

Make a Gift Now

 

 

Troy Humanities Alliance/ THA

Troy Humanities Alliance LogoTHA is a body of friends, alumni, supporters, and patrons of Troy University's College of Communication and Fine Arts. THA promotes the well-being, advancement, and success of CCFA by assisting administrators, faculty and staff through enhancing and engaging its network of supports. Give annually to CCFA at a level that is meaningful to the member. Giving tiers include: Designer Circle - $2,500 per year; Performer Circle - $1,200 per year; Authors - $500 per year; Reporters - $300 per year; Ensemble Members - $100 per year.                                                                                                          Make a Gift Now

 

 

College of Education Dean's Leadership Circle

TROY Education TeachingThe Dean's Leadership Circle is an annual giving recognition society for donors who contribute $1,000 or more annually to any Troy University’s College of Education fund. Leadership giving within the College of Education plays a dynamic and vital role in proving annual support to the College. Gifts at the Dean's Leadership Circle level can be made in support of faculty and students through investments in scholarships, capital projects or for operational support of the College.                                                                                                                                                                         Make a Gift Now

 

 

FEATURED STORIES

 

Jane Vickers

STUDENT-INSPIRED PIKE COMMUNITY SCHOLARSHIP TO PROVIDE TUITION FOR FOUR YEARS

In honor of her time at Troy University, senior Jane Vickers and her family have started the Pike Community Scholarship that will provide tuition for four years to a student from Pike County.

A broadcast journalism major from Tallahassee, Fla., Vickers spent her time at TROY giving back as much as she could because at one point, she didn’t think she’d get to have a college experience. She was diagnosed with Graves’ disease in high school, an autoimmune disorder that can cause hyperthyroidism.

Due to side effects caused by her illness, she was forced to leave school and instead obtained her GED—despite being a good student before becoming sick, many colleges couldn’t see past the lack of a diploma.  

“I was always a good student, so that was really hard for me,” she said. “Then TROY opened up and said ‘No, college is still accessible to you.’ Chancellor Hawkins always talks about the glass ceiling, so it’s really special to me to be able to take away that glass ceiling for a student, and more students in the future.”

Vickers arrived at TROY for her freshman year in 2020 when COVID suspended extracurricular activities. Once restrictions were lifted, she dove head first into any and everything to make the most of her remaining years.

“Especially being sick, I’ve just had such a different mindset of, ‘Why not just do everything?’” she said. 

She’s served as Chi-Omega New Member Educator Assistant, Panhellenic President and Vice President of External Recruitment, Order of Omega President, Student Government Association Senator at Large, Vice President of Internal Affairs, Public Relations Chairwoman and Director of Elections, College Republicans Secretary and a Bright Futures Civic Scholar. She was also a Trojan Ambassador and a Conversation Partner and volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club, Miracle League, Make a Wish Alabama, Campus Kitchens, Common Ground Troy, Miss Walk Hard and American Red Cross. 

Jane Vickers Homecoming 2023

In October 2022, she founded Community Connections, a mentorship program with the Boys and Girls Club, and in 2023 she was crowned Homecoming Queen.

“I’ve really tried to get to know every single group on campus,” she said. “My family is really big into giving back to the community, and especially after getting Homecoming Queen, I really wanted to do something that would stay even after I graduated.

“I’ve loved getting involved with different volunteer groups in the community, but I’m leaving this spring. I wanted to do something that still connects me to TROY and still gives back because I’ve gotten so much from TROY.” 

It was through her volunteer work with the Boys and Girls Club that Vickers and her family had the idea for a full-tuition scholarship. To qualify for the scholarship, undergraduate students need to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and qualify for FAFSA. Preference will be given to incoming freshmen from Pike County.

“I’ve done a lot of mentorship with kids around the Troy area, and I realized there is so much poverty in our area and a lot of kids grow up and don’t think they are able to go to college. That’s not even a dream in their head because they don’t think it’s possible,” she said. “Our hope is this upcoming fall semester will be the first time it’s given, and we hope to just get one student and it will be given to them through their senior year. As long as they make the grades and stay at TROY.”

As she approaches graduation, Vickers already has plans to re-enroll as a graduate student in the TROY Online strategic communication master’s program while applying for jobs in Washington D.C. After earning her master’s, she has her sights set on law school with the goal of eventually working with elections.

The deadline to apply for the Pike Community Scholarship is May 1, and it will be awarded for the 2024-2025 academic year.

To view additional donor scholarships TROY offers, click here.

 

 

Douglas Dick

Sorrell young alumnus establishes endowed scholarship to ‘give back’ the chance he was given as an undergraduate

Sorrell College alumnus Douglas Dick was once on the receiving end of others’ generosity, and now he’s paying that forward with the establishment of a scholarship in risk management and insurance.

The Endless Opportunities RMI Scholarship will assist students on the Troy Campus  pursuing a degree in RMI and who are heavily engaged in RMI and campus activities. The scholarship will be awarded to a senior or junior who maintains a minimum 3.4 grade point average. In addition, the recipient must have completed the Principals in Risk Management and Insurance course. 

Douglas Dick and Rob Fleckenstein

Rob Fleckenstein, left, and TROY alumnus Douglas Dick represented Crawford GTS with a presentation at the company’s Global Technical Forum in London. (submitted)

The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded annually at the RMI Banquet.

“I very much believe in the importance of stewardship of our time, talent, and treasure, and this is just one small way in which I’m able to give back to our young insurance community,” Douglas said. “I feel great joy in being able to give back to help deserving students.”

A 2018 RMI graduate, he currently holds the position of AVP, Client Success/Technical lead for Crawford Global Technical Services (GTS) in Atlanta, GA. GTS is the large and complex loss adjusting unit of Crawford & Company, the largest publicly listed independent provider of claims management and loss adjusting solutions globally with 9,000 employees in more than 70 countries. He also serves as the firm’s Excess and Surplus Lines Practice Leader for the group of 300+ employees.

“The network of professionals and friends I’ve built from Troy University has significantly contributed to my early career success,” he said. “In Atlanta, many of my clients and business partners are also TROY alumni or work with TROY alumni, and that is both rewarding and fun.”

Inside the Sorrell classroom, Douglas can easily point to three teachers who helped mold him into the practitioner he is today. 

“My time spent with TROY faculty and staff was not just impactful but rewarding. Dr. (Ed) Duett constantly mentored me on how to ‘See the big picture,’ how to consider the importance of emotional intelligence, and how to really differentiate myself as a student and, now, professional. Not only that, but Dr. Duett kept our group constantly laughing. He taught me not to take myself too seriously,” he said.

Douglas Dick

RMI graduate Douglas Dick during college days. He served as an SGA Vice President. (TROY photo)

Douglas also recognizes that Sorrell faculty take a personal interest in seeing their students succeed.

“Tara Morelock is one of the most giving and dedicated mentors and friends I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing,” he said, crediting her with launching his early career through an internship with Chick-Fil-A, Inc.’s Atlanta-based Support Center. 

“The experience contributed greatly to my success,” he added.

He was a senior when Dr. Courtney Baggett, now the Department of Economics, Finance and Risk Management and Insurance Chair, joined the RMI faculty, and she quickly provided challenges that Douglas counts as a significant contribution to his professional development.

“She certainly raised the bar for my academic and technical skillset,” he said. “I very much appreciate Dr. Baggett for continuing to call our students into excellence.”

Douglas said his learning extended beyond the classroom as well – he was involved in many facets of campus life.

“My time at TROY — specifically serving in the Student Government Association as the Vice President for Campus Affairs — taught me the importance of servant leadership, as now I sit on our executive leadership team for the Crawford GTS division,” Douglas said. “This, paired with my time holding various leadership positions within Gamma Iota Sigma and Alpha Tau Omega, prepared me to lead effectively and through the lens of collaboration and service.“

Douglas Dick ATO

RMI alumnus Douglas Dick in his ATO days in 2017 at the completion of Walk Hard. (TROY photo)

 

 

Betty Floyd Vance Endowed Nursing Scholarship seeks to aid TROY nursing majors from Pike County

Betty Floyd Vance

A new endowed scholarship will provide opportunities for future Troy University students from Pike County who want to earn a nursing degree.

The Betty Floyd Vance Endowed Nursing Scholarship was established by Stewart and Piper Vance to honor the memory of Stewart’s mother, who passed away in October. 

After her husband’s death in 1974, Betty Vance, the mother of two sons, enrolled at then Troy State University, earned her nursing degree and launched a long and successful nursing career. It was that commitment to her family and her passion for and impact on the nursing profession that led Stewart and Piper to the decision that a scholarship would be an excellent way to continue her legacy.

“At my mom’s funeral, so many nurses that I didn’t even know came up to me and said that my mom was such a positive influence on their lives and careers,” Stewart said. “We found that nursing touched so many lives that maybe more people needed to have that opportunity. We decided we would set up this scholarship to help those who wanted to go to nursing school but may not have all the resources to do so.”

After graduation, Betty worked as a surgical and emergency room nurse for several years before being named the Director of Nursing for what was then Edge Regional Medical Center in Troy. She completed her nursing career as a school nurse in the Pike County School System. Her passion to the field was evident throughout her career, as she served as a member of Southeast Alabama Council of Nurses, the Pike County Nurses Association, the Alabama State Nurses Association, the Alabama Hospital Association’s Professional Standards and Quality Assurance Committee, and the Alabama Organization of Nurse Executives, among others. 

“She loved her degree and her profession,” Stewart said. “Looking back, it gave her the drive and confidence to do things in her life, in her community and in her church and to mentor people that she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to mentor had she not gone to nursing school, started a career and been successful in that career. That enabled her to touch so many lives, not only in Troy but everywhere she went. So many people don’t know what scholarships are available or if they qualify; I think this is just a meaningful opportunity to fill a void like that for someone that may have the drive but needs a little help. I think it would certainly make my mom happy.”

The Vances have four daughters, one of whom followed in her grandmother’s footsteps in earning a nursing degree and entering the profession as a nurse practitioner in Birmingham. And, for the Vance family, Troy is a special place, which made helping TROY students and those from Pike County an easy decision. 

“I grew up in Troy and my mom did as well,” Stewart said. “Troy is special to me and my family. My brother went to school here. My dad had been in education and taught at Pike County High School. We just have a strong lineage in Pike County and thought this scholarship was a great opportunity to remember my mom and help others from a place that has always been so special to my family.” 

Piper said the family first discussed the possibility of establishing the scholarship for those, who like Betty, were single mothers or mothers going back to school to further their education, but decided, in the end, to “not make the scholarship too overly restrictive” to ensure that it could have a greater impact for future students. 

As such, the scholarship will assist students majoring in nursing on the Troy Campus, and recipients must be a student from Pike County in need of financial assistance who will or are pursuing a nursing degree and have and maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.0. 

“It clearly can change somebody’s life,” Stewart said of the opportunity to attend nursing school. “Nursing is one of those professions that you know what you are going to do when you finish school. There are people waiting to hire you, and you will always be employable. You can do it anywhere. It is a great way to start out on life, a great door-opener for people who may not have had those opportunities in the past and can help them to create opportunities for themselves the rest of their lives.”

For more information on establishing a scholarship at Troy University, please contact the Office of Development at (334) 670-3297. 

Recipients will be selected by the Troy University Scholarship Committee and will be required to write a letter of appreciation to the donor and are encouraged to attend the Scholarship Donor and Recipient Reception. Scholarships will be awarded for one year only beginning in the Fall semester, but recipients may reapply the following year.

 

 

Cromeans family

Students enrolled in Troy University’s College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health and Human Services and College of Communication and Fine Arts have a new scholarship opportunity thanks to a partnership with the Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Charitable Foundation.

Established by Gray Cromeans, Foundation chairman and trustee, the Foundation supports the advancement of medical and performing arts students at universities across the state. 

Gray Cromeans

“Through my years I’ve realized the importance of a college education,” he said. “I wanted to provide an opportunity for students who worked hard, yet needed financial help to have one less worry when it came to paying tuition. We currently donate to 11 colleges in Alabama and we are honored to have added Troy University this year.”

To qualify for the scholarship, students must: be entering their junior or senior year; be seeking a degree in either biomedical sciences, exercise science or nursing or seeking a degree in the Department of Art and Design, the John M. Long School of Music or the Department of Theatre and Dance; must have a financial need; and must have and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.25.

“We hope this scholarship will open doors that may not be available without a college degree,” Cromeans said. “Sometimes, students need help with the high costs of college tuition. We hope by awarding these scholarships we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of others by helping students attain their dreams, graduate without debt and give back to their own communities one day.”

Six students from both fields of study will be selected annually and will receive $2,500. The 12 students selected will be known as the “Cromeans Scholars.”

The Cromeans Foundation was created in 2021 to honor the legacy of Cromeans’ parents, Joe and Mary Ann, and his late brother, Randall.

Dr. Joe Cromeans graduated from Columbia Military Academy as Valedictorian in 1946, obtained his B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1950, earned his M.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1953 and eventually received an honorable discharge as Captain. Mary Ann Parks, who held a deep love for playing the piano and horses, graduated from Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, where she and Joe met. They were married on Dec. 21, 1952.

In 1957, the couple moved to Scottsboro, Alabama, where Joe practiced medicine, delivered over 4,000 babies at Jackson County Hospital and performed general surgery. In 2003, the Medical Association of the State of Alabama recognized Joe for his 50th year of practicing medicine.

Mary Ann served as the President of the Scottsboro Music Study Club, which performed choral programs and gave scholarships to high school students, and Director of the Jackson County Historical Association and the Scottsboro-Jackson Heritage Center. 

The pair welcomed Cromeans in 1960 and his younger brother, Randall, in 1962. While Cromeans played the piano and tenor saxophone, Randall studied theatre and travelled to London. 

In addition to helping college students, the Foundation supports communities by giving charitable grants to various nonprofits in South Alabama.

Scholarships will be awarded for the first time in Fall 2024.

For more information on establishing a scholarship at Troy University, please contact the Office of Development at (334) 670-3297.

 

 

 

Nadyne Thompson Endowed Scholarship established for military dependents at TROY

 

nadyne-family-2023

In honor of his late wife, Air Force veteran and Troy University alumni Henry Thompson established the Nadyne Thompson Endowed Scholarship for Military Dependents at Troy University to continue their goal of helping students receive an education.

Thompson and Nadyne first met at church in 1956 while he was enrolled at the University of Oklahoma and she had recently been transferred with her father to Tinker Air Force Base. In November of that year, he left college to join the Air Force.

While on a two-week leave after graduating from basic training, he and Nadyne had their first date after being set up on a group outing to a park and a zoo with a young couple from their church.

“That was our first date, and I still have our pictures that we took out at the park on that day in 1956,” he said. “I had a week from that point until I was going to be leaving for Okinawa. Every evening during that week I was with Nadyne. I told her we're gonna have to get married and she says, ‘I can't, I'm just 16.’ I said I'd be back.”

Thompson left her his ring and shipped off to Okinawa for 18 months. After arriving back to town, he went to church that first Wednesday night and spoke with her mother. Nadyne was working and missed the night service.

“The story is that when she went home, her mother told her I was at church that night and she says, ‘Well, what's that to me?’ and her mother says, ‘Well, I think he was gonna come by and see you’ and she says, ‘Well, we'll see,’” he recalled. “And I did. By nine o'clock, I was at her house knocking on the door.”

The families mingled after the service like always, and the pair went for a drive at the end of the night. After that night, they set their wedding date.

After their wedding in 1959, the pair went back to Thompson’s duty station at England Air Force Base in Louisiana until 1960 when his four years with the Air Force was up. Civilian life didn’t agree with him, so he rejoined the Air Force in 1961 and the couple was stationed at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi until 1964.

During that time, Thompson’s job shifted from security to finance and accounting and he began taking correspondence courses at night offered through the base’s education office and the Mississippi State College for Women.

“It sounds a little unusual, but that's what the transcript says,” he laughed.

The next duty station was Chanute Aire Force Base in Illinois for a year before Thompson had to leave Nadyne behind for a year-long tour in Vietnam at Tuihoa Airbase. After returning, the couple transferred to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, where he began taking accounting classes at night through TROY.

Thompson had to take another break from classes when he was sent to Sondrestrom Airbase in Greenland for a year. He returned to Maxwell’s Gunter Annex in 1971 and graduated from TROY with honors in 1972.

He officially retired from the Air Force in 1978 and began a new career into the cost accounting field at a manufacturing facility in Montgomery. Seven years later, he joined the State of Alabama State Treasurer’s Office where he served for 10 years as the accountant for the Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program. He retired from the state office in 2000, and they moved onto their tree farm north of Prattville, Alabama in Autauga County. In 2017, they sold part of the 50-acre farm and relocated to Georgia.

While in Autauga County, Nadyne worked with the Autauga County Historic Society and was also a rural census taker in 1970. She volunteered in the community teaching about forestry and conservation efforts and serving as Den Mother for the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, was active in her churches singing in the choir and making Wednesday night suppers and loved gardening and cooking for her family: two sons, several grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Thompson and Nadyne had long been making monthly donations to TROY for Troops when she passed earlier this year. Sometime after her death, he received information about the perpetual scholarship program and decided this was the perfect way to honor his wife and their shared commitment to education.

“I thought, ‘Well, that's what we wanna do,’” he said. “This was her retirement fund. That was the reason that I went to TROY to begin with, you know, to get an education to have a career and be able to retire after the military.”

The scholarship is available to dependents of active duty servicemembers or military veterans.

“The goal is to assist ones that need some financial help. The ones that need it, that $1,000 can be a game changer,” he said. “Kids today are having to get into something that they probably never will be able to pay back. It's just something that we saw as our goal, to be able to provide (our kids) a college education because I know what it took for me to get a college education.

“I'd have never got there if it hadn't been for my wife.”

For more information on establishing a scholarship at Troy University, please contact the Office of Development at (334) 670-3297. 

Recipients will be selected by the Troy University Scholarship Committee and will be required to write a letter of appreciation to the donor and are encouraged to attend the Scholarship Donor and Recipient Reception. Scholarships will be awarded for one year only beginning in the Fall semester, but recipients may reapply the following year. 

 

 

“Sam” Boyd Endowed Scholarship for DKE established at TROY

sam-boyd

Samuel Boyd is remembered for his love of music, hosting cookouts and his fraternity—Delta Kappa Epsilon—and his desire to help others. In his memory, parents Morgan and Ginger Boyd have established the Samuel A. “Sam” Boyd Endowed Scholarship for Delta Kappa Epsilon at Troy University.

Sam graduated from Enterprise High School with honors in 2014 before making his way to TROY where he became an active member and Chapter Advisor of DKE Fraternity. He graduated from TROY in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation, and was then accepted to the prestigious Orientation and Mobility Master’s Program at Salus University in Pennsylvania.

Sam passed away in the spring of 2021 from complications with epilepsy. He loved his pets, a dog and two cats, his little sister, Anna, his fraternity brothers and sending his mom jokes and had dreams of helping blind and visually impaired children.

“His service was standing room only, so that really showed the impact he had on everyone he met,” Ginger, his mom, said. “They all said that he just accepted everybody, no matter who they were. He was very kind-hearted. He was very patient.”

The Boyds are a TROY family—Ginger has both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from TROY, and her husband, Morgan, has his bachelor’s and two masters’ degrees from the University. To Ginger and Morgan, TROY was the clear choice for Sam to make his home-away-from-home. But it took Sam a little while longer to warm up to the idea.

“Sometime during his freshman year he started telling me, ‘I know now why you wanted me to go to TROY.’ He realized this is where he could fit in with the people,” she said. “This is where he belonged and he just had to get here to see it and find his people. I think that's the purpose of joining in with a fraternity or sorority; you hear a lot of people say you're buying friends, but that's not what you're doing. You're meeting people that are like you.”

Sam found a home at DKE and developed strong bonds with his fraternity brothers, often playing and recording music together. After his passing, DKE made the Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama their yearly philanthropy project and named their chapter room after him. They also placed his portrait on the DKE letters along with facts about epilepsy.

One of Sam’s close friends and fraternity brother, Evan, even reached out to the Epilepsy Foundation for medical training and trained the other members of DKE.

“We felt like they really kept Sam's name out there,” Ginger said. “He loved TROY and he loved his fraternity and we don't want him to be forgotten. That's why it was meaningful for us to make sure that the scholarship went to a DKE member… because they have continued to honor our son’s memory and do it with such grace and dignity.”

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must be a member of DKE, be a junior or senior and have and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0. First preference will also be awarded to students who have shown academic improvement since their freshman year, like Sam.

boyd-family

“When he graduated high school, he was at a 4.0 and got to TROY, and, like everyone else, including me when I came here, had a good time,” his father Morgan said with a laugh. “After the first year he lost his scholarship, but then he got it back. They gave him that one chance to earn it again, and that's why we thought about the juniors and seniors. Hopefully the money can help them to go ahead and give them that nudge and graduate.”

For the first home game of the football season, Ginger and Morgan made the trip from Enterprise to Troy to see the game and the fraternity house their son called home. It was the beginning of philanthropy week, and DKE members who never met Sam, affectionately nicknamed “Bubbles,” were raising funds for epilepsy advocacy.

“At his service we had their motto, ‘The gentleman, the scholar, and the jolly good fellow’ on our son’s memorial cards because that was him to a T,” Ginger said. “After getting to know some of his frat brothers, I understand why that is their motto. It is definitely fitting.”

To apply for the Samuel A. “Sam” Boyd Endowed Scholarship for Delta Kappa Epsilon at Troy University, click here.

For more information on establishing a scholarship at Troy University, please contact the Office of Development at (334) 670-3297.

 

Two-time alumna Dr. Leslie Black says her time at Troy University helped to lay the foundation for her career success, and now, she wants to provide those same opportunities for future TROY students.

leslie-black-2023

Dr. Black has endowed the Dr. Leslie S. Black Endowed Scholarship, which will assist students from Cordova High School, her alma mater, pursuing a degree within TROY’s College of Health and Human Services or the Sorrell College of Business on the Troy Campus. Should no applicants meet this criterion, second preference will be given to African American applicants within the two colleges.

Dr. Black, who now serves as a Sales Effectiveness Manager for Pfizer Inc., came to TROY after receiving the George C. Wallace Leadership Scholarship and knows the impact scholarship funds can have for students who might not otherwise be able to attend college.

“Once I hit a stride in my career financially, I knew that I wanted to leave a legacy, a mark,” she said. “One of the ways I felt I could build that legacy was through an endowment and something that would live in perpetuity. I’ve always been an advocate for the athletic training scholarship at TROY and was a consistent donor to it. I always talked to my family about having a scholarship in my name or a building with my name on it at TROY. When the opportunity finally presented itself, I was very proud to be able to put my name on a scholarship at TROY.”

Specifying Cordova High School as a first qualifier for the scholarship was important to Dr. Black because of the lack of resources students in the area generally face.

“It is a very small town and was devastated by the tornadoes that came through the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa areas several years ago. Those smaller towns tend to get left out,” Dr. Black said. “Getting the George C. Wallace Scholarship was significant in me being able to go to college, so I wanted to be able to do the same. I think about how I was as a little girl and what would have helped me, so I wanted to do that same thing. That is why I put those layers into the scholarship.”

Dr. Black credits her late grandfather and her mother for always stressing the importance of receiving an education.

“My late grandfather, William Mitchell, instilled in me and my siblings that education was the way out of poverty, and I knew that was the way I was going to be successful in life,” she said. “My mother, Sheron Mitchell, being a single parent and raising four children by herself, one of the things she always impressed upon us was to get an education so that we could have a better life than she had. We were all able to do that. I must give my mother accolades and praise because what she was able to do as an administrative assistant to help to push all her children through college and to have successful careers was amazing and that was my foundation.”

As for her decision to attend TROY, it was the influence of family that made that decision easier as well.

“I have two older sisters and a younger brother that went to TROY. My oldest sister, Tia Green, went to TROY but finished up at Mississippi State. The rest of us graduated from TROY,” she said. “I have an older sister, Patricia Muhammad , who graduated with a degree in English and History and is a teacher in Montgomery. My brother, Aaron Mitchell, graduated with a degree in marine biology and is working at a Naval base in Japan. We have kept TROY in the family.”

Arriving at TROY, Dr. Black wanted to study physical therapy, but an influential faculty member helped to change the course of her education.

“Once I met Doc Anderson, I switched over to the athletic training program and never looked back. Doc was just an iconic figure at TROY and beyond,” she said. “The one thing I loved about TROY was that I felt like an individual. Classes were small. I wanted individualization, so that if there was a case that I wasn’t getting something, the professor would know who I was and I could reach out. If I had to do it over again, I would still go that route because it was a very familial atmosphere.”

During her time at TROY, Dr. Black formed many long-lasting relationships and became what she calls a “well-rounded student.”

“I joined a sorority, so I went through the Mu Alpha chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha while I was there. I was in the Gospel Choir. I was a student athletic trainer, so I went to practices, I traveled with teams,” she recalled. “I was the student athletic trainer for women’s basketball. I worked football part of my senior year as well. That kept me very busy. I was a very well-rounded student.”

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in athletic training in 1996, Dr. Black entered graduate school, serving as a graduate assistant in athletic training until the first opportunity of her professional career came knocking.

“I took a job as the head athletic trainer at Tuskegee University. Got my athletic training degree in 1996. Then I went to Tuskegee for two years and worked, and then I went to Albany, Ga. where I worked at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital where I was a staff athletic trainer,” she said.

At Phoebe , she provided services for the local junior college and taught a sports injury and prevention class, as well as working with the local high school and providing outpatient physical therapy for patients with orthopedic injuries and Marines at the Marine Corps Logistics Base.

It was during her time in Albany that the door opened to continue her graduate studies.

“That kept me very busy for five years, and while I was there, the hospital had a cohort program with TROY where they wanted their managers to get master’s degrees in management,” Dr. Black said. “They opened it up to any colleagues that worked at the hospital, and I was interested, so I jumped in the class. The professors came to us every other weekend for a year. We went to class after 5 on Friday until about 10 p.m., and then all day on Saturday and Sunday. I finished with my master’s in management with a health care concentration in 2002.”

From there, it was another TROY alumnus who recruited Dr. Black to come to work for Pfizer.

“A TROY graduate recruited me to Pfizer. Rickie Williams and his wife, Tina, both graduated from TROY, and it just so happened that I was his wife’s student athletic trainer when she ran track,” she said. “I ran into them at homecoming one year and found out they lived in Tallahassee, and we just kept in touch. He was up for a promotion, and he said, ‘Hey, I think this would be a good fit. You work with orthopedic surgeons and this product is an anti-inflammatory and we talk with orthopedic surgeons all day.’ I put my name in the hat, interviewed and the rest is history.”

In Tallahassee, Dr. Black served as a sales representative in internal medicine, promoting neuroscience, pain and pulmonary medications.

“I had several different roles while I was there. I was in the field there for almost 12 years, and then I put in for a promotion to move to Atlanta,” Dr. Black said. “Since 2014, I’ve been here in Atlanta in oncology, specifically hematology, calling on hematology oncologists for our leukemia products. Then I transitioned out of the field into training. I trained the U.S. field force for hematology for three years and then last year I transitioned into the current role, which is a sales effectiveness manager. I am on the Enablement Team so I’m on the leadership team for Hematology Oncology and I work closely with the national sales director. So, I’m kind of a jack of all trades. I do a little bit of everything, but I really love it.”

Dr. Black believes that the foundation she received at TROY has helped lead her to success within her career.

“Being in athletic training laid the foundation for any success that I’ve had,” she said. “I feel it instilled in me the ability to look at situations differently, to be calm under pressure and to have a methodical process to let all your training and education come into play when you must make decisions. I’m calm under pressure, and I feel like that has helped me in my career. Being a lover of sports and being athletic, I’m very competitive, so in a sales environment that connects to being very successful.”

In addition to her education, she believes the atmosphere and opportunities she had at TROY has played a key role in her life.

“My college experience at TROY was so well rounded that I feel like I had the best of both worlds. I had a social life, as well as having a great academic structure, and I feel like I could go toe-to-toe with students from any Ivy League school or anywhere,” she said. “I feel like TROY doesn’t always get the credit it deserves for the talent that comes out of the University. There are top-notch students that come out of TROY and hopefully I am representing them well.”

In addition to the endowed scholarship, Dr. Black is giving back to TROY in other ways as well. She was recently selected to serve on the Advisory Council for the College of Health and Human Services.

“I’m proud to be doing a lot for TROY because of all TROY did for me,” Black said. “It is my hope to be able to eventually fund this scholarship in the amount that one day it could be a full-tuition scholarship. That will take a significant amount of money, but I’m willing to do the work to get it there.”

 

Contact Info

Jessi Brooks
Donor Relations Specialist

(334) 670-3320
jdbrooks@troy.edu
304 Adams Administration
Troy, AL 36082

 

 

 

 

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