By Masidon Giles – After more than 30 years of teaching, the beloved Dr. Jean Hawkins is retiring. Through her years of teaching she has touched many lives including current and former students as well as her colleagues. Dr. Hawkins, a humble professor, who does not talk openly about her achievements, loves teaching because of her students. Senior Will Gross, describes Dr. Hawkins as a “passionate, caring and loving individual who truly cares about her students.” This message of a kind heart and compassionate professor is seen through all interactions Dr. Hawkins has with her students. Many former students have attributed their success to Dr. Hawkins.
Chris Glenski, an Associate Professor of Accounting at Benedictine College reminisces on the importance that Dr. Hawkins had on her career. “As I sat down and thought about Jean retiring, I was struck by the impact she had on my life. When I was at Jewell, Jean was an important part of my college career. I decided to follow in her footsteps and went into public accounting. As I looked for the next step in life, I again followed in her footsteps and got a Master’s degree so I could teach at the collegiate level. As I made that transition, I called Jean who reminded me that, in college, she had told me that I would be a good professor. Over the years, Jean has always been so happy to hear from me and to help me when I needed it. I have been very lucky to have had her as a professor, mentor, and friend.”
Dr. Hawkins was and will always be a professor who expects a lot out of her students and challenges them to be the best student they could possibly be. Evan Tripp remembers a time in class when he realized missing Dr. Hawkins class was not a good idea. “I remember one particular day Jean asked the class a question. No one volunteered an answer. Well I had missed class the day before and I had not completed all of the assigned reading; but I thought I knew the answer. So I gave Jean my version of the answer. Jean looked at me and said, ‘Evan, if you had been in class yesterday you would know that is not the right answer.’ Thankfully, I did get an excellent education at WJC and Jean Hawkins was a very important part of that. I work every day as a CPA and I absolutely love what I do. Thank you Jean Hawkins, I hope you enjoy your well earned retirement.”
William Jewell College will greatly miss Dr. Hawkins. She is a talented professor who was always able to explain complex accounting theories to her students. “Dr. Hawkins was a very important part of my Jewell education. I remember her fondly for her ability to explain complex accounting theories and practices while throwing in a good dose of humor. She was diligent in her lecture, quick with an answer, and purposeful in her counsel. What a blessing it was to have her as a professor” stated Leslie Dodson Payne.
In addition to her skills and devotion as a teacher, Dr. Hawkins has been a highly-respected and valued colleague and friend of her fellow professors in the Department of Business and Leadership and across the College. Her constant enthusiasm, optimism, faith and encouragement have lifted up all of us who have had the privilege of working with her.
Thank you Dr. Hawkins for all of the years you gave to your students and the Jewell community and for bringing Delta Mu Delta to William Jewell College.