Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr.

Photo courtesy of the Texas Tech System. 

The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents announced retired U.S Air Force Lieutenant General Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr. as the sole finalist for the presidency of Angelo State University on July 24. His presidency is expected to begin on Aug. 14.

“I’m honored and humbled to serve as the next president of Angelo State University,” Hawkins said, according to the Tech System website. “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.

When the search began in May, over 100 applications for this role were submitted, according to the website. The Board of Regents voted and selected Hawkins as the sole finalist per recommendation from Tech Chancellor Tedd Mitchell.

Hawkins will be the eleventh president and the first Black president of ASU, according to the website.

“I’d like to congratulate Ronnie on being selected as the sole finalist to become our next president at Angelo State University,” Mitchell said, according to the website. “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.”

Hawkins earned a degree in computer science from ASU in 1977 and received the Distinguished ROTC Alumnus honor in 2001-02, according to the website. He is the highest-ranking graduate from the ROTC program at ASU. He also has earned 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 and has completed a program for senior managers in government at Harvard University.

Hawkins served in the U.S. Air Force for 37 years, serving at one point as the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland, according to the website. There, he led a $10.2 billion, 14,000 personnel global organization that provided immediate support to the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, combatant commanders, components of the Department of Defense and other partners of the mission.

He has multiple professional and military awards under his belt, including being recognized as a distinguished graduate three times, the Secretary of the Air Force Leadership Award, being named to the “The Federal 100” by Federal Computer Weekly, receiving “The North American Technology Leadership Award” from 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, according to the website. 

Hawkins became an ASU faculty member in 2016-17 as a visiting adjunct instructor following his military career, and plans to return to the classroom once his tenure as president begins, according to the website. He also served as CEO and president of the Hawkins Group, a San Angelo-based digital information technology and cybersecurity service firm.

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