Global Ties Alabama recognized Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. on Tuesday for his continued commitment to internationalization.
Dr. Hawkins was one of two recipients of the organization’s Global Leadership Award, sharing the spotlight with his longtime friend Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange. Jacquelyn Shipe, Global Ties Alabama’s chief executive officer, and Dr. Drew Reynolds, chair of the group’s Board of Directors, presented the award during the organization’s annual meeting and diplomacy luncheon at the Capital City Club in Montgomery.
“We are so thankful Dr. Hawkins is the Chancellor of Troy University,” Shipe said. “He has been a catalyst for the evolution of TROY as an international institution. When you think of TROY, you think of the diversity and large number of students they have from so many different nations, and that is admirable.”
Dr. Hawkins said the award was further recognition of the work Troy University is doing as Alabama’s International University.
“The world is growing smaller. I think that dictates that we understand people unlike ourselves — their cultures, their languages, their beliefs and their desires — because therein will determine and help influence the future,” Dr. Hawkins said. “The award presented today is not an award for Jack Hawkins; it is an award for Troy University and what we have become as Alabama’s International University. It is another endorsement that people are recognizing that TROY is an international institution and we are growing in our role in the global village. There are a lot of organizations that have mission statements like that of Global Ties and they are all important. We are learning now to be a part of that major and important network of people and organizations with common interests.”
When Dr. Hawkins arrived as TROY’s chancellor in 1989, the University enrolled only 40 international students at the Troy Campus. Today, more than 1,000 international students, from 76 nations, attend TROY, including more than 400 from China.
Under his leadership, the 1+2+1 Sino-American Dual Degree program was born at TROY in 2001. The program allows students at select Chinese universities to complete their first year of study in China, two years of study at TROY, and then to complete their final year back in China. Graduates then receive degrees from both institutions. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities adopted the program as a prototype and invited other American universities to take part. The program, which is a partnership between AASCU and the China Center for International Educational Exchange, has grown to include 127 Chinese universities, 39 U.S. universities and more than 3,000 Chinese students have participated.
Providing TROY students with the opportunity to study abroad has also played an important role in the University’s internationalization efforts. Dr. Hawkins’ emphasis on study abroad programs led to the establishment of the Chancellor’s Award for Global Competitiveness, a $1,000 scholarship available to qualifying students participating in university-approved study abroad programs. The scholarships are made possible through proceeds derived from the Troy University Foundation’s TROY Car Tag program and other international travel funding.
Global Ties Alabama has been in existence in Huntsville since 1965 as the International Services Council of Alabama and was designed to help international military trainees at Redstone Arsenal feel at home. Over the past four decades, Global Ties Alabama has sought to promote international relationships through citizen diplomacy and enrich Alabama’s education, commerce and global awareness. As a nonprofit partner of the U.S. Department of State, the organization sustains a network that coordinates international exchange programs and brings current and future leaders from around the world to communities throughout the state.