Recently, a delegation of Troy University officials toured the campus of the American Village, a nonprofit educational institution located in Montevallo.
The visit impressed the TROY delegation, which included Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr.; Senior Vice Chancellor for Student Services and Administration Dr. John Schmidt; Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Lance Tatum; College of Arts and Sciences Dean Dr. Steven Taylor; and College of Education Dean Dr. Kerry Palmer.
Dr. Hawkins serves as Chairman and Dr. Schmidt serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at American Village, an institution whose mission is to strengthen and renew the foundations of American liberty and self-government by engaging and inspiring citizens and leaders with a special emphasis on programs for young people.
“It’s a beautiful place,” Schmidt said. “[American Village President and CEO] Tom Walker has done a wonderful job there creating that facility. Their goals are much like our goals: teaching our young people, our students, the vital lessons of liberty. The constitutional freedoms that we cherish and enjoy have to be taught and handed down.”
The American Village’s 188-acre campus hosts tours for school children and families, with actors recreating key events in the country’s formation, including interactive constitutional debates.
“The layout is much like it was in the early days of the founding of our country,” Schmidt said. “We debated breaking away from Great Britain, the pros and cons. We were the Virginia delegates. You can read a book and conjure something in your mind, but when you actually sit down and debate the pros and cons, it brings history to new life. It was a good experience for all of us to experience that firsthand.”
After the visit, TROY and American Village leaders are exploring a potential partnership aimed at fostering leadership and student development.
“Like Troy University, the American Village is dedicated to educating young minds and creating the leaders of tomorrow,” Hawkins said. “The shared values of liberty, freedom and citizenship form a bond between our institutions, and we feel there are some golden opportunities for TROY and the American Village to work together toward the goal of fostering quality leadership in our country and our world.”
While no formal agreement has been reached, Walker said the American Village is particularly interested in TROY’s leadership initiatives and the College of Education.
“We recognize that Troy University has an outstanding outreach program,” said Tom Walker, President and CEO of the American Village. “We fundamentally believe our society needs more leadership, and TROY has been a leader in cultivating leadership. All of us have a desire to see how we can increase the impact of encouraging young people to have a sense of leadership, and we’re very excited in continuing discussions of what that looks like.”
Schmidt said TROY is also considering ways to help spread awareness of the American Village to a broader audience.
The American Village has opened its doors to more than 500,000 students since opening its campus in 1999.