University formally dedicates building in honor of longtime Trustee

President Pro-tem Emeritus Gerald O. Dial, right, and his wife Faye unveil a plaque dedicating the Trojan Village 400 building as Gerald O. Dial Hall with Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. and the University Board of Trustees. (TROY photo/Joey Meredith)

Troy University has named a residence hall for President Pro-Tempore Emeritus Dr. Gerald O. Dial of Delta, AL, in recognition of the tremendous impact he has had during his many years of service to the University and the State of Alabama.

Trojan Village 400 Building will bear the name Gerald O. Dial Hall, in honor of his service to the University and the state of Alabama. The building, so named in December, was formally dedicated on Oct. 24.

Troy University Board of Trustees President Pro-tem Emeritus Gerald O. Dial.
Troy University Board of Trustees President Pro-tem Emeritus Gerald O. Dial.

“It’s an honor I had never dreamed might happen,” Dial said. “I have had a wonderful opportunity to serve on a board with great individuals and great leaders. Dr. Hawkins’ vision for TROY is one of truly putting students first in everything we have done, and each board member is totally committed dedicated to ‘Students First’.”

A longtime legislator, Dial has been a member of the University’s Board of Trustees since 1991, including two terms as President Pro Tempore, effectively steering the Board for eight years. The governor serves as President of the Board.

“He has led and served the Board with integrity and with his leadership the Board has been committed to serving the students who attend the University,” said Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. “Senator Dial is a shining example of how one person can make a dramatic impact on those around him.”

During Dial’s tenure as a trustee, the University moved first to Division 1AA sports and then to Division 1 athletics, improved Veteran’s Memorial Stadium and constructed Trojan Arena, as well as making more than $300 million in improvements on all four Alabama campuses. He played a significant role in achieving unification of the Troy State University System and unifying them as Troy University. His leadership on the Board of Trustees was instrumental in moving the University to a doctoral degree-granting institution.

His commitment to public service doesn’t stop with the University, however. He holds the distinction as one of the longest-serving members of the Alabama Legislature, serving in the House of Representatives from 1974 – 1982 and the Alabama Senate from 1983 – 2006 and again from 2010 until he left office in 2018. He served in the Alabama National Guard for 37 years, retiring at the rank of brigadier general.

In 2017, the Alabama Higher Education Partnership honored him with its Alumni Advocates Leadership Award.

Among those making remarks during the dedication service were President Pro-Tem Gibson Vance, State Sen. J.T. “Jabo” Waggoner, State Sen. Cam Ward, and Chancellor Hawkins.

“To be honored in this way by my fellow Board members is a highlight of my service in public life,” he said.