Texas College President Inaugurated - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/20/02 - Tyler

Texas College President Inaugurated

   Dr. Billy Hawkins stepped on the Texas College campus in December of 2000 a first time college president.

   "I feel like I'm in the greatest profession," says Hawkins.

   Then, unaware how big of a challenge was in his hands. "Once you got a chance to look at the financial situation and the big issue with the accrediting body that the institution was not financially sound," says Hawkins.

   Dr. Hawkins says he relied on the tough battles he fought in his life to get him through Texas College's battle for accreditation.

   "I would say it all started in Kent, Ohio." You see, when Dr. Hawkins was younger, he wasn't even in regular classes. "I had a negative special education label placed on me and my high school principal sort of rescued me and got me on track."

   Ever since, Hawkins has been inspired to rescue other students.

   "He's shown me to fight the good fight and for what other people would call lost causes," says Jennifer Hallman, a student.

   At Texas College, that meant convincing doubters it was a viable educational institution.

  "We had to raise significant dollars," says Hawkins. "And we had a goal to raise 1 million dollars by the March 11th of 2001 was the goal and in about 60 days we were there." But Hawkins says Texas College success didn't soley rest on the re-accreditation.

   "When you look at what's gone on with the enrollment, ya know within 10 months of my presidency we went from 281 students to 511, an 82 percent increase."

   This year 617 students walk the Texas College campus. Already Hawkins, a change agent as he calls himself, has new projects on the horizon.

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