Since briefly losing their accreditation, Texas College has seen their enrollment rise so quickly, some students have to use hotels as dorms. Now, Texas College will be building dorms, and adding a football program next fall.
Texas College President Billy C. Hawkins explains, "We're building a new gym, student union, student center complex, and housing to accommodate the growth. And with adding football, we think that's going to probably bring another 200 students by next fall."
Texas College Graduate Therelee Washington says, "I think the announcement that Dr. Hawkins made was timely and very necessary. These are some of the things that Texas College needs to move forward into the twenty-first century."
Enrollment has more than doubled in two years, with more than 600 students. At one point, Texas College drew students from all over the United States, but few from East Texas. Under Hawkins, the number of locals has grown, and he hopes that will continue.
"Now I think we've finally hit the 50 mark, but that's still not enough," he says. "I mean, you've got this school sitting right here, so our concentration is within a fifty mile radius. We feel we have something to offer."
Hawkins has secured 15 million dollars for improvements. He feels that the rejuvenation of Texas College will mean big things all of East Texas. "I hope that the community recognizes the economic impact that this institution will make on this community and the contributions that this college makes to this community."