Troy chancellor speaks to Hoover Chamber

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, September 27, 2018

HOOVER – Jack Hawkins Jr., chancellor of Troy University, spoke to the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Sept. 20, about changing economic times.

Hawkins became chancellor in 1989 and is the second-longest serving educator in such a position in the country.

At the beginning of his address to at the Hoover Area Chamber luncheon at the Hoover Country Club, Hawkins noted that the Chamber recently awarded a scholarship to a Troy student, Julia Sasser, a graduate of Spain Park High School.

“Please send us more like that,” Hawkins said and added that more than 100 products of the Hoover City Schools system attend Troy.

It is important for the Chamber to realize that it provides leadership in a changing economy, Hawkins said.

“We are no longer in a domestic economy; we’re in a global economy,” he said.

Part of the change is universal access to information and a horizontal approach to communication.

“Technology is changing the world around us,” Hawkins said.

The chancellor recalled coming across a brochure from 1937 that labeled the South as the nation’s “economic problem.”

Communities like Hoover have led the transition to the South as an economic engine, and education is a significant part of that process, Hawkins said.

“Hoover is one of the best educated communities in the state,” he said. “As education goes, so goes a community.”

Hawkins said one of his primary efforts as chancellor has been the internationalization of the university.

There were 40 international students when Hawkins started in 1989, he said, and now 77 countries are represented in Troy’s enrollment, he said.

“We’ve brought these kids from all the world, they spend time with each other and then they begin to appreciate each other,” Hawkins said.

For Hoover to continue to prosper, leaders must maintain a positive attitude and develop a vision.

“I’m convinced that if you can see it, you can make it happen,” Hawkins said. “At the heart of Hoover you find good people, and that’s why you continue to be great.”