Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University, was inducted on Monday, Oct. 24, into the Alabama Academy of Honor during a ceremony at the State Capitol.
Established in 1965, the Academy bestows honor and recognition upon living Alabamians for their outstanding accomplishments and services to the state and the nation. Membership is limited to 100 distinguished Alabamians and all of the state’s living governors. In the course of the Academy’s history, more than 260 members have been elected, recognizing men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds and areas of achievement. Inducted along with Dr. Hawkins during today’s ceremony was Claude B. Nielsen, chief executive officer of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. UNITED, Inc.
“I am truly honored,” Dr. Hawkins said of the induction. “I tell often our faculty and staff at Troy University that the most important thing we do is serve students. We go to work every day trying to add value to their degrees. I’m hopeful that today, after 27 years at TROY that the degree is worth more than it was 27 years ago. Therein is the benefit – to change lives and to make a difference. I think that is what the Academy of Honor represents.”
Named Chancellor of TROY in 1989, Dr. Hawkins has overseen an era of change and growth at Troy University. In 2005, he led the merger of the Troy State University System into Troy University, a unification that enabled the institution to better reflect its global mission. More than $250 million has been invested in capital improvements by the Hawkins Administration, including new academic buildings on all four of TROY’s Alabama campuses. Chancellor Hawkins served as the catalyst for the University’s evolution to an international institution, as TROY has attracted record numbers of students from other nations and established teaching sites around the world. During his tenure, academic standards for admission have been increased, new degree programs were established in all academic colleges, and intercollegiate athletics joined the highest level of NCAA competition.
A native of Mobile, Dr. Hawkins earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Montevallo and his doctorate from the University of Alabama. Upon completion of his bachelor’s degree in 1967, Dr. Hawkins was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and served as a platoon leader during the Vietnam War. For his combat duty, he received the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and a citation from the Korean Marine Corps.
In 1985, he was honored by the University of Montevallo as Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, and was the recipient of the 2003 All-American Football Foundation’s “Top College President” Award. In 2005 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Murphy High School in Mobile, Alabama. In 2007 he was recognized as the “Alabama Citizen of the Year” by the Alabama Broadcasters Association. In 2011, Dr. Hawkins was recognized with the Chief Executive Leadership Award presented by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and as the March of Dimes River Region Citizen of the Year. In 2012 he received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Secretary of the Air Force for his service on the Air University Board of Visitors from 2004-2012. In 2014 he was one of nine university presidents/chancellors worldwide-and the only one in North America-to receive the World Confucius Institute’s Individual Performance Excellence Award.
Dr. Hawkins serves on the board of directors of the Daniel Foundation, Business Council of Alabama, Better Business Bureau of Central Alabama, and Troy Bank and Trust Company, as well as the Board of Visitors of Marine Corps University. He is chairman of the Governor’s Committee on Employment of the Disabled and past President of the Sun Belt Conference. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), as Chairman of the Council of University Presidents in Alabama (1999-2001), as President of the Southland Football League, and as chairman of the Air University Board of Visitors. He has also served as a trustee of Talladega College, the Helen Keller Eye Research Foundation, and the American Foundation for the Blind. He is a member of the Troy Rotary Club.
Dr. Hawkins’ family includes his wife, Janice, and daughters Katie and Kelly. Katie is married to Lt. Col. Dan Beall of the United States Air Force and the couple has a son, Noah and a daughter, Ellyotte. Kelly is an attorney and is married to Adam Godwin, a professional baseball coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization, and they have a daughter, Micha.