PHENIX CITY—Friends, family and colleagues gathered at Troy University’s Phenix City Campus today to honor the legacy of the campus’s founding administrator with the dedication of H. Curtis Pitts Hall.
Dr. Curtis Pitts led the Phenix City Campus from its founding in 1975 until his retirement earlier this year. He died on March 31 while recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident.
During a ceremony today renaming the campus’s education building in his honor, Dr. Pitts was remembered as a visionary leader and a patriot.
TROY Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. recalled Dr. Pitts’ tireless work recruiting students to the fledgling Phenix City Campus during its early days.
“Curtis would operate literally out of the trunk of his car, disseminating brochures,” Dr. Hawkins said. “If you didn’t have an education, you were a real candidate for education when you ran into Curtis Pitts. His recruitment of students was legendary.”
Dr. Hawkins described Dr. Pitts as a leader with a passion for meeting the needs of students in the Chattahoochee Valley.
“He led from the front, he led by example … and he never, ever took the credit,” Dr. Hawkins said. “It was a great loss to this University when we lost Curtis Pitts. Very few people I have known in my lifetime made a greater impact than Curtis Pitts did in this community and in this University.”
Friend and colleague Lt. Col. James Bloom recounted Dr. Pitts’ service as a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot during Vietnam, which garnered numerous citations including the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Barry Goldwater Top Gun Award.
“You can see from these accomplishments that Curtis was a dedicated pilot and throughout his time in the military and overseas he showed himself as a patriot of the United States,” Bloom said.
Charles Pitts, Dr. Pitt’s brother, expressed appreciation on behalf of the family.
“I think you all can understand why I’m extremely proud to have had Curt as a brother; it was a bit like having John Wayne in the family,” Pitts said. “If Curt were here today he’d be extremely proud to see his name on this fine building and it is extremely gratifying to know he will now be a permanent part of this campus.”
Built in 2001, H. Curtis Pitts Hall houses the education department and is the newest addition to the Phenix City Campus. The Board of Trustees voted earlier this summer to rename the building in honor of Dr. Pitts.