Following a nationwide search, the Union College board of trustees has named Marcia A. Hawkins, Ph.D., as the college's 19th president. Hawkins will be the first female to lead the institution.
Hawkins, who has built a solid reputation in fundraising, currently serves as associate director for advancement with the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education in Georgetown, Texas, where she has led a comprehensive effort to establish self-sustainability in response to tough economic times. "I am honored to accept the role of Union College president," Hawkins said. "I have found everyone involved with Union to be passionate about the institution and personally invested in its future. I look forward to working with the campus community to build on the successes of the past and to continue to provide a nurturing environment conducive to the transformative powers of a liberal arts education."
The official hiring announcement was made Saturday, April 14, in an email to the campus community on behalf of board Chairman Paul F. Isaacs. Hawkins is expected to begin presidential duties on July 1.
"When we began the process of looking for a president, we asked the entire college community and community leaders to identify the characteristics they would most like to see in the Union College president," said Isaacs. "Dr. Hawkins embodies those characteristics. The board of trustees is excited and looks forward to working with her to make a great college even greater."
Hawkins said she is eager to lead Union College, in part because of its commitment to serve first generation college students, a group with whom she identifies. The granddaughter of a West Virginia coal miner, Hawkins was the first in her family to earn a college degree. After receiving a bachelor's degree from University of Texas at Arlington, she earned a Master of Science in Education, Analytic Teaching from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. She later returned to University of Texas at Arlington, where she earned a doctorate in history.
She brings to Union a wide breadth of experience in higher education. As president of Texas Independent College Foundation, she developed and implemented various fundraising programs while promoting independent higher education. At Texas Wesleyan University, she filled various leadership roles, focusing strongly on budget management and fundraising.
In Texas, Hawkins has volunteered for such foundations as United Way, Boy Scouts, Junior Achievement, Red Cross and Susan G. Komen. She now looks forward to becoming an active member of the Barbourville community and beyond.
Founded in 1879, Union College is four-year liberal arts institution related to the United Methodist Church.