Although it is a private institution, TC does receive state funding annually and has, as with other institutions, been largely affected by proration in recent years.
Legislature Day proved itself to be a time for TC officials to emphasize the need for the state to invest in the college and learn about its rich history.
Invitations were sent out to officials all over the state inviting them to the college for a short tour and slideshow presentation on the college’s rich history and future ambitions.
TC’s administration as well as several student leaders, including Mr. and Miss Talladega College, met with state officials in Swayne Hall for a continental breakfast around 10 a.m.
The group later made their way to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum at the Talladega Superspeedway for lunch.
After breakfast, the group processed to the DeForest Chapel where state Sen. Jerry Fielding addressed the group.
“I think we need to start the process to let them know how valuable Talladega College is to our state,” Fielding said.
“And that’s why we’re here today.”
Aside from Fielding, several other state officials were present including state Rep. Barbara Boyd, state Sen. Rodger Smitherman from District 18 in Jefferson County, and state Sen. Ron Johnson from District 33 who is the longest serving house member in the state.
Community leaders including Mack Ferguson from the Greater Talladega/Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce were also in attendance.
After introducing several of the student leaders and administrative staff, TC President Billy C. Hawkins led a slideshow presentation highlighting the ups and downs he and his administration have faced since he came to the college in 2004.
“Some say Talladega College is the best kept secret in this country,” Hawkins said.
The slideshow highlighted everything from the college’s rich history, to it’s financial woes, restoration projects, and new propositions.
Hawkins revealed plans for a new student activities center as well as plans to one day change the institution’s name from Talladega College to Talladega University.
Hawkins also shared plans for a new museum that would house the Amistad murals that are currently being restored at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, after playing a video detailing the first phase of the restoration process.
“You are doing a good job here,” Smitherman said at the conclusion of the presentation. “You should be proud. I know you already are, but you really should be proud.”
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