Trojan Heart Challenge rewards acts of service, kindness

Service learning students help create an outdoor learning area at Troy Elementary School. (TROY photo/Clif Lusk)

Service learning students help create an outdoor learning area at Troy Elementary School. (TROY photo/Clif Lusk)

Compassion and service have always been a part of Troy University’s mission. It’s right there in the University’s founding motto: “Educate the mind to think, the heart to feel and the body to act.”

Now, a new initiative aims to recognize the true “heart” of Troy University. The “Trojan Heart Challenge” is a joint effort of the John W. Schmidt Center for Student Success, Student Involvement, Student Government Association, Tropolitan, Service Learning and Civic Engagement, and TROY First Lady Janice Hawkins. Its goal is to recognize Troy University students, faculty and staff who have displayed the “Trojan Heart” through acts of service or good deeds.

“A culture of caring, compassion and service has separated Troy University as a unique institution of higher learning,” Hawkins said. “At Troy University, we believe, as individuals and as a whole, that we have been granted the rich and rare opportunity of servant leadership to those around us. We believe that we are blessed so that those blessings can be shared with others.”

For the “Trojan Heart Challenge” individuals are asked to nominate people who have done notable acts of service or good deeds. From the nominations, a committee comprised of students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni will select a winner who can pick a non-profit charity of their choice to receive a $1,000 donation provided by the Hawkins family.

Hawkins said it is important for the University to recognize and encourage acts of service that embody the Trojan spirit.

“It is our belief that we have the great power, greater privilege and greatest responsibility to encourage those around us and to make our world a richer, safer, better place for all people,” Hawkins said.

Nominations will be collected through April 25, and forms can be found online at or at the Office of Civic Engagement at 122 Eldridge Hall. Each submission should name a person who has made a difference by providing an act of service or kindness for someone else or the community, and briefly state why this act deserves recognition.

For more information on how to submit a nomination, please contact Dr. Avery Livingston at