Troy University First Lady Janice Hawkins believes in the importance of good manners.
For years, she has conducted etiquette classes for leadership students and Chancellor’s Fellows, and Monday saw a new group learn from her example.
The three-hour class doubled as a luncheon, in which students learned rules of etiquette related to dining and socializing, including how to hold silverware and when to begin eating.
“I think it helps the students see themselves as examples and set themselves apart, and to be more aware that what they’re doing is obvious to other people,” Hawkins said. “They’re being watched because they are leaders. They’re special. This helps them know how to conduct themselves.”
Most of the 45 students in attendance Monday came from the Leadership 4400 class, led by Dr. John Kline.
Matt Hartigan, a junior, said he learned valuable lessons during the class.
“When you meet future employers or you’re at a banquet, or even on a dinner date, it’s always good to know how you’re supposed to eat,” he said. “You don’t want to make a fool of yourself by eating with the wrong fork or using your napkin wrong.”
Brookleyn Smith, a senior, said the class helps students better prepare for the future.
“It was very nice to have a formal etiquette class, because I’ve never been to one like that,” she said. “Moving forward, I’ll be more professional for interviews and business matters.”
Hawkins walked away impressed by the students.
“These young people are so accomplished,” she said. “Every one, without exception, has been a leader in their respective groups. They’re involved in lots of groups here at the University and are getting the most out of their college experience. They are truly amazing.”
Hartigan urged other TROY students to take the etiquette class before they graduate.
“Take this class, because you have an opportunity to learn from great people like Mrs. Hawkins,” he said. “You’ll learn better ways to eat, act and just be yourself.”