Page 12-13 - Spring 2013

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TROY Magazine
TROY Magazine
The organization, which would
become known as 101 Elite Men, had the
full support of TROY Chancellor Dr.
Jack Hawkins, Jr., who had himself been
tremendously inspired during a speaking
engagement for a similar group in Mobile.
In 2010, the University implemented
the “Trojan Way” initiative, which
is designed to equip students with
the courage to do what is right, the
commitment to excellence, competency in
the classroom and a dedication to caring
for self and others. The initiative focused
on five tenants expected of all Trojans:
Be respectful; Speak appropriately; Dress
properly for the occasion; Behave as a
responsible, kind person; and, Adhere to
applicable laws and policies.
Adopting the tenants of the Trojan
Way, the 101 Elite Men began a life-skills
program, bringing in monthly speakers
to address such topics as making good
first impressions, dressing for success,
interviewing skills, career development
and etiquette.
Community service also became a key
component of the organization. The first
such project was a campus-wide clean up.
Members also began to hold fundraisers with
money benefitting such causes as the Boys
and Girls Clubs of Pike County, Relay for
Life and the Wounded Warrior program.
Members of the organization’s
leadership began meeting regularly with
Dr. Hawkins to discuss life on campus
and challenges facing college students,
particularly young men.
The Elite 101 continued to grow in
membership and developed a mentorship
program, which identifies incoming
freshmen males, provides them with
information about the organization and
pairs them with mentors made up of
upperclassmen within the group.
“By working with our Admissions
Office, we are able to identify all male
students who are conditionally accepted
to the attend TROY,” said Derrick
Brewster, an advisor to the group. “Our
goal is to match these students up with
older students to provide a support system
as they enter and adjust to college life.”
The mentoring program does make
a difference for incoming freshmen, as
well as their mentors. It also benefits the
University’s student retention rates.
“The mentoring program is having a
positive impact on retention rates,” said
Sadaris Williams, a staff member who
also serves as
an advisor for the organization. “I believe
that your actions are impacted by those
with whom you associate. This is a good
group of young men who are working
together and relying on one another for
support to become better role models on
campus and better men. Watching them
grow is very rewarding.”
The mentoring program does
help ease the transition to college life,
according to Elite member Nick Todd, a
freshman marketing major from Clanton.
“College is kind of scary, and it is a
unique thing to have someone you can
always call on for support, guidance and
encouragement,” Todd said. “It also helps
to learn early on what is expected of you
and have some standards you can adhere
to. I keep the Trojan Way card in my
wallet. It is a way of life and this is what
our organization aspires to live up to.”
This past spring, the organization held
its first jacket presentation ceremony
to cap off its first mentoring class. The
blazer is emblazoned with a patch that
reads: “101 ELITE, Troy University, Men
of TROY.” While members see receiving
the blazer as an honor, they also know it
brings with it responsibility.
“By wearing this blazer, you are not
only representing yourself and 101 Elite,
but you are representing Troy University,”
said Vincent Randall, a senior biology
major from Montgomery. “That is
something we take very seriously.”
While 101 Elite Men seeks to prepare
young men, a similar organization has
taken on the task of preparing young
women to be leaders both on campus, in
the community and beyond. The M.I.S.S.
Elite Society was chartered as an official
student organization in 2012 as a female
counterpart to the men’s organization
and shares many of the same goals.
M.I.S.S. Elite, which stands for
Motivating and Instilling Sophisticated
Students into an Elite Society, seeks
to help students realize their full
potential through building self-
confidence, molding leadership skills
and emphasizing good character
Alumnus grateful for
impact of organization
and Chancellor Hawkins
Ronald Howell traveled a difficult
road to a college degree, but in 2012, he
became the first member of his family
to graduate from college, earning his
degree in finance. Today, he works for the
State of Alabama and know first-hand
the impact the Elite 101 organization is
having and how that impact can continue
to grow.
“I was a middle school dropout,”
Howell said. “I was able to earn my
G.E.D. at age 20, and I came to TROY.
It was a struggle for me at first because
I didn’t put away my old ways and really
focus on what I was doing. I am a single
father and in trying to raise my son, I
knew that I had to do something better
not only for myself, but mostly for him.”
Howell credits the organization and
the support, encouragement and guidance
shown to him by Chancellor Jack
Hawkins, Jr., with having a tremendous
impact on his life.
“I know 101 Elite Men brought about
one of the biggest changes in my life,” said
Howell, who now works for the State of
Alabama’s Banking Department. “We were
able to speak weekly with Dr. Hawkins and
open a line of communication between the
administration and students. Dr. Hawkins
has had a tremendous impact on my life and
I still talk to him once or twice a week.”
and proper personal appearance through
a variety of seminars, discussions and
campus and community involvement. The
organization is advised by Dr. Lakerri Mack,
associate professor of political science.
When Tierra Belser, a senior human
services major from Vernon, Fla., learned
about the new organization, she knew she
wanted to be involved. Belser now serves
as president and says M.I.S.S. Elite has
helped her develop leadership skills.
“I knew I wanted to be involved with
M.I.S.S. Elite because I saw what the
organization stood for and I saw those who
had already become involved,” Belser said.
“It has helped me develop my leadership
and communication skills, and also has
shown me the importance of serving others
and providing a good example.”
Though M.I.S.S. Elite is the younger
of the two organizations, its impact is
already being seen on campus. On May
1, with the mentorship of Mrs. Janice
Hawkins, wife of Chancellor Dr. Jack
Hawkins, Jr., the organization held
an event featuring Congresswoman
Martha Roby titled “Equipping Today’s
Women for Life’s Journey.” More than
250 students attended to hear the
Representative speak from her personal
experiences about the challenges
associated with balancing career and
family, as well as attributes that have
proven helpful to her as she has navigated
her life’s journey.
The group plans to hold such an event
annually and continues to seek other ways
to strengthen and motivate women on
campus and in the community.
Dr. Hawkins said the two
organizations fit the University’s mission
to prepare students to make a difference.
“Troy University is passionate not only
about creating an environment where
our students excel in the classroom but
also about developing leaders who are
committed to helping others and making
a difference,” Dr. Hawkins said. “The
mission of our Elite organizations is at the
very heart of who we are as a University.”
Ellis is director of university relations and editor of the
Troy University magazine.
Members of TROY’s M.I.S.S. Elite Society
held a special meet-and-greet reception for
Congresswoman Martha Roby prior to the
“Equipping Today’s Women for Life’s Journey”
event on May 1 on the Troy Campus.
Congresswoman Martha Roby was named an honorary member of Troy
University’s M.I.S.S. Elite Society and presented with a t-shirt from organization
officers following her presentation “Equipping Today’s Women for Life’s Journey”
on the Troy Campus. From left to right are: M.I.S.S. Elite President Tierra Belser,
Rep. Roby, Troy University First Lady Mrs. Janice Hawkins, and M.I.S.S. Elite Vice
President Tiffany Slater.
“The mission of our
Elite organizations
is at the very heart
of who we are as a
-Dr. Jack Hawkins
Ronald Howell (12)