Alabama Academy of Honor


Jack Hawkins, Jr.

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2016.

Jack Hawkins, Jr. is a native of Mobile, Alabama. He was named Chancellor of Troy University on September 1, 1989. Hawkins earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Montevallo and a doctorate from the University of Alabama. His professional background includes service as an assistant dean at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (1971-1979) and as president of the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (1979-1989).


Upon completion of his bachelor’s degree in 1967, Hawkins was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and served as a platoon leader during the Vietnam War. For his combat duty, he was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and a citation from the Korean Marine Corps.


Hawkins has overseen an era of change and growth at Troy University. In 2005, he led the merger of the Troy State University System into Troy University. This unification enabled the institution to better reflect its worldwide mission. More than $300 million has been invested in capital improvements by the Hawkins administration, including new academic buildings on all four of the University’s Alabama campuses. Chancellor Hawkins’ efforts and initiatives have served as the catalyst for the University’s evolution into an international institution. Today, Troy University attracts record numbers of students from other nations and has established teaching sites around the world. During Hawkins’ tenure, academic standards for admission have increased, new degree programs have been established, and intercollegiate athletics have joined the highest level of NCAA competition.


In 1985, Hawkins was honored by the University of Montevallo as Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. In 2005, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Murphy High School in Mobile, Alabama. In 2007, he was recognized as the “Alabama Citizen of the Year” by the Alabama Broadcasters Association. In 2011, Hawkins was recognized with the Chief Executive Leadership Award presented by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and as the March of Dimes River Region Citizen of the Year. In 2012, he received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Secretary of the Air Force. And, in 2014, Hawkins was one of nine university presidents/chancellors worldwide, and the only one in North America, to receive the World Confucius Institute’s Individual Performance Excellence Award, presented by the Republic of China.


Three buildings are named in Hawkins’ honor: the Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall of Honor and Jack Hawkins, Jr. Hall at Troy University; and the Jack and Janice Hawkins Chapel at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind.
Hawkins serves on the board of directors of the Daniel Foundation of Alabama, Business Council of Alabama, the American Village, and Troy Bank and Trust Company, as well as the Board of Visitors of Marine Corps University. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), as Chairman of the Council of University Presidents in Alabama (1999-2001), and as Chairman of the Board of Visitors of Air University.
Hawkins and his wife, Janice, have two daughters. Katie is married to Lt. Col. Dan Beall of the U.S. Air Force and they have a son, Noah, and a daughter, Ellyotte. Kelly is married to Adam Godwin and they have a daughter,
Micha Mae.