The board of trustees of historically Black Talladega College in Alabama voted to name the newly constructed 47,000-square-foot student center/arena in honor of the college’s 20th and current president, Billy C. Hawkins.
A native of Kent, Ohio, Dr. Hawkins became president of Talladega College on January 1, 2008. From 2000 to 2007, he was president of Texas College in Tyler, Texas. In 2016, Dr. Hawkins became the first African American to chair the board of directors of the Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
During his tenure as president of Talladega College, Dr. Hawkins has quadrupled enrollments, restored the college’s intercollegiate athletics programs, and shored up the university’s finances. In addition to the new student and activity center, the college recently added a new residence hall and a museum that displays the college’s famed Amistad Murals. (See JBHE post.)
Dr. Hawkins is a graduate of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. He holds a master’s degree in education from Central Michigan University and a Ph.D. in educational administration from Michigan State University.