The following is a statement from the Texas Tech University System:
Lt. Gen. (retired) Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., an Angelo State alumnus, three-star Air Force general, lifelong scholar, and internationally respected leader, returns to lead his alma mater after a distinguished military career.
The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents today (July 24) announced the selection of Lieutenant General Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., U.S. Air Force, retired, as the sole finalist for the presidency of Angelo State University (ASU).
The decision was unanimously approved at the conclusion of a special-called board meeting. State law requires 21 days must pass before final action can be taken on employment once a sole finalist has been named. Hawkins’ start date as president is expected to be Aug. 14.
“I’m honored and humbled to serve as the next president of Angelo State University,” Hawkins said. “Decades ago, I was a student here and those years formed the foundation of my professional career and my life. Although not born here, I spent my formative years in this community. Maria and I have a deep and abiding commitment to Angelo State and San Angelo.
“I look forward to working with the Board of Regents, Chancellor Tedd Mitchell, our esteemed faculty and staff, university administration, alumni, donors, and our community to guiding this university to greater heights and to providing Angelo State students with a world-class education and unmatched professional development opportunities.”
Hawkins will become the 11th president in the 92-year history of the institution and the first Black president of ASU.
“I’d like to congratulate Ronnie on being selected as the sole finalist to become our next president at Angelo State University,” said Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. “Ronnie is a leader of the highest integrity and character who has a proven record of success, visionary leadership and collaboration. I am excited to welcome him and his wife Maria back to their alma mater, and I look forward to great things for ASU in the years ahead.”
More than 100 applications were considered for this role in a nationwide search launched in May. The search committee reviewed nominations and applications and interviewed candidates before presenting top semi-finalists for consideration to the chancellor and board. The Board of Regents voted to select Hawkins as the sole finalist after a recommendation was made from Chancellor Mitchell.
“We received overwhelming interest for the opportunity to guide Angelo State University forward into its next chapter,” said TTU System Regent and ASU Presidential Search Committee Chairman Mickey L. Long. “I would like to thank our search committee for the time, effort, and extensive and thorough process that was implemented to find our next leader.
“Ronnie and his family are respected members of the San Angelo community, and it is my privilege to welcome him back to Angelo State University in this important leadership role. He is committed to Angelo State’s mission, values and traditions to prepare and graduate students to be responsible citizens and to have productive careers. As an alumnus, this is truly a homecoming that will make the Ram Family proud.”
A graduate of San Angelo Central High School, Hawkins attended ASU on a track and field scholarship earning a Bachelor of Business Administration with a degree in computer science in 1977. A distinguished graduate, Hawkins received the Distinguished ROTC Alumnus honor in 2001-02, and is the highest-ranking graduate of the ASU ROTC program.
Over his career, Hawkins has earned three master’s degrees, including a Master of Science in human resources management and services from Abilene Christian University, a Master of Science in military national resource strategy and policy from National Defense University and a Master of Divinity in Christian studies from Liberty University. He also completed a program for senior managers in government at Harvard University.
Hawkins’ 37-year tenure in the U.S. Air Force culminated in his appointment as the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland, where he led a $10.2 billion global organization of 14,000 military and civilian personnel who provided direct support to the U.S. President, Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, combatant commanders, Department of Defense components and other mission partners.
He has been honored with numerous professional and military awards, including three times recognized as a distinguished graduate, the Secretary of the Air Force Leadership Award, “The Federal 100” by Federal Computer Weekly, “The North American Technology Leadership Award” by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Rocky Mountain Chapter, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.
Following his military career, Hawkins joined the ASU faculty in 2016-17 as a visiting adjunct instructor where he developed course curriculum and taught a leadership development course during a pair of spring semesters. He anticipates making a return to the classroom once his presidential tenure is underway.
In addition, Hawkins served as president and CEO of the Hawkins Group, a digital, information technology and cybersecurity services firm based in San Angelo. Hawkins and his wife, San Angelo native Maria Hawkins—also attended ASU and Ronnie’s high school sweetheart—were named co-Citizens of the Year by the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce in 2019. The couple has been married for 46 years. Ronnie and Maria have two sons, Col. Ronnie Hawkins III, Lt. Col. Joshua Hawkins, and a daughter, Christine Honesty.
(Press release from the Texas Tech University System)