Dr. James Kimbrough, the retired Dean of the College of Education, was honored on Tuesday, Feb. 26, with the dedication of a statue at the Troy Campus.
“A Parent’s Love,” the statue by artist Huo Bhao Zhu, greets visitors to Hawkins Hall, home of the College of Education. It depicts a father holding his child aloft in play, and Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., said it reflects the “heart” in Troy University’s founding motto: “Educate the mind to think, the heart to feel and the body to act.”
It also reflects the heart Dr. Kimbrough displayed in his leadership of the College of Education, Dr. Hawkins said.
“Leadership without the heart is leadership without moral authority, and Dr. Kimbrough always as the dean of this college demonstrated that he had the moral authority necessary to serve in that important role,” Dr. Hawkins said. “Not only would he think with his very intelligent mind, but he would think with that big heart.”
Dr. Kimbrough retired in 2002 after a 30-year career at Troy University. A Fairfax, Ala. native, he served as Dean of the College of Education from 1981 until 1997, when he assumed the directorship of the Statewide Articulation Reporting System (STARS) – a post he held until his retirement.
During his tenure at TROY, Dr. Kimbrough served as president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) 2000-2001. His work with the Southern Association spanned more than four decades during which time he served in capacities ranging from the state level to various national committees, including three terms on the SACS Board of Trustees. He also chaired the State Department of Education Review Teams for seven institutions, was a member of the Department’s Task Force on Evaluation of Professional Personnel in Alabama Public Schools, and the SDE Teacher of the Year Selection Committee.
Dr. Kimbrough called the statue dedication a humbling experience.
“Troy University has influenced my life greatly since June 1972 when I came here as an assistant professor in the School of Education, now the College of Education,” Dr. Kimbrough said. “I enjoyed teaching many outstanding students and working with wonderful faculty, administrators and other staff members throughout this campus.”
In the years since he retired, Dr. Kimbrough said he has enjoyed watching Troy University continue to grow.
“The progress that has been made on this campus since I retired in 2002 is absolutely amazing,” Dr. Kimbrough said. “I’ve enjoyed bringing family and friends to the campus. It’s thrilling. Every time I come I look for something new. The academic programs here have been strengthened and extended, the faculty has been increased in order to meet the need of a growing student population and the athletic programs have risen to a higher, more competitive level.
Even though he has retired, Dr. Kimbrough remains a dedicated supporter of TROY. He recently agreed to serve as the vice president for the university’s newly formed retiree organization.
The ceremony also included remarks from Gerald Dial, President Pro-Tem of the Board of Trustees; Provost Dr. Lance Tatum, a former Dean of the College of Education; and retired education faculty member Dr. Judy Dye.