Dr. Billy C. Hawkins
A native of Kent, Ohio, Billy C.Hawkins, Ph.D., has a bachelor of science degree in teacher education from Ferris State University, a master of arts degree in education administration from Central Michigan University, and a doctorate of philosophy from Michigan State University in education administration. He has completed post-doctoral studies at Harvard University.
Hawkins has been in education for 36 years. He began his successful career as a teacher in the Lansing Michigan Public Schools System. His passion for teaching led him to the field of higher education where he has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs/professor at Mississippi Valley State University; vice president for academic affairs/professor at Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, VA; acting dean, associate dean and assistant dean/professor in the College of Education at Ferris State University; and as director of the Educational Opportunity Program, State University of New York at Morrisville College.
Hawkins became the 20th president of Talladega College in 2008. He has transformed Talladega College and is moving it forward to its return of preeminence. Since his arrival, student enrollment has increased more than 70%, the entire physical plant has been upgraded, one classroom building has been renovated, restored and reopened; three dormitories were refurbished, a new police station was built, a $4.5 million rehabilitation/restoration of Foster Hall Dormitory began, finances have been restructured and stabilized, new academic programs have been added; he successfully guided the institution through a new 10-year SACS Accreditation, the college gained reinstatement to the NAIA National Athletic Association and won three national championships in men’s and women’s basketball.
Previously, he served as the 20th president of Texas College from 2000 to 2007. Under Hawkins’ leadership, Texas College underwent a complete transformation and revitalization. Tremendous growth was evident in literally every area of the institution including an 82% increase in student enrollment within the first 10 months of his tenure. To his credit, the institution stabilized its finances, regained accreditation in 2001, and regained membership in UNCF.
Hawkins implemented five new academic programs, constructed three new facilities, remodeled all academic and student service facilities, procured property assets, eliminated all long-term debt, and started seven new athletic programs, which won three championships. Adding to the schools successful turnaround, the college received a new 10-year accreditation in 2006.
An advocate for education, Hawkins was featured on the ABC Evening News with the late Peter Jennings and the U.S. News and World Report. He has been listed in Who’s Who among Executives and Professionals in 2005-2006. He is the author of two books, Educating All Students (A Pathway to Success) and Reaching for the Stars. Recognized for his expertise in the education of our nation’s young people, he has been the keynote speaker at regional and national conferences and has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress.
Hawkins currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of the Commission on Colleges, Board of Directors of the Ritz Theater in Talladega and has served on numerous other boards including being a member of the Southside Virginia Business and Education Commission appointed by former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore, III.
Additionally, he was appointed to serve on the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Capital Financing Advisory Board by former Secretary of Education Rod Page. Also, he serves as a member of the UNCF Board of Directors, and is a current member of the NAIA President’s Council. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. Most recently in 2011, he was a recipient of the Ultimate 50 Who’s Who of Birmingham Award; he received the Omega Century Award of Excellence in Education from the National Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He received the National Associate of Colored Women’s Clubs, Inc. Achievement Award, and the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators Leadership Award. Hawkins was inducted into the Kent City Schools Hall of Fame in 2004 and in 2007. He was also inducted into the Elementary Alumni Hall of Fame in Kent, OH.
Hawkins is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.