The three-month search for Talladega College’s next president ended this week.
Billy Hawkins will take office Jan. 1 as the college’s 20th president in its 140-year history.
Hawkins replaces Oscar Prater, who announced he would retire in May.
Hawkins comes to Talladega from Tyler, Texas, where he has served as president of Texas College since 2000.
While there, the college earned its first accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, increased its fundraising by 90 percent and more than tripled its enrollment.
Jim Thornton, chairman of Talladega College’s Board of Trustees, said Hawkins’ work in Texas made him a natural fit for Talladega College, which came off SACS probation for financial instability last December.
“We thought it was important for the institution not in any way to have miscues as we go through this critical step,” Thornton said.
“He had those successes and it made him very attractive to us.”
Previously, Hawkins has worked at Mississippi Valley State University, Morrisville Technical College in New York, Ferris State University in Michigan and Saint Paul’s College in Virginia.
“Talladega College stands as a beacon for historically black higher education in this country,” Hawkins said in a prepared statement.
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