West Texas A&M University

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Dean Hawkins
Dr. Dean HawkinsDean Hawkins
Oct. 2, 1961 - Feb. 27 2018

The West Texas A&M University family is saddened by the death of Dr. Dean Hawkins, Dean of The Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, who passed away late Tuesday night. Dr. Hawkins was known for his distinguished career as a reproduction physiologist in the cow-calf industry and for his commitment and dedication to West Texas A&M University. During his tenure at WTAMU, Hawkins expanded academic offerings designed to support the Panhandle beef production industry and was instrumental in the naming of the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences. He also played a key role in the development and construction of the new Agricultural Sciences Complex. His death is a significant loss to the University, but his legacy will live on not only in the College he led but also in the lives of the many students he nurtured through his love of teaching. Please join the University community in supporting the Hawkins family through thoughts and prayers.


The Hawkins family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 2 at the First United Methodist Church in Canyon. Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 3 at the First United Methodist Church. Graveside services will be at 3 p.m. at Citizens Cemetery in Clarendon.
Gifts can be made to the Dr. Dean Hawkins Scholarship at the WTAMU Foundation:
WTAMU Foundation
WTAMU Box 60766
Canyon, Texas 79016-0001

Donate online at wtamu.edu/giving or by phone at (806) 651-2070.
Dean Hawkins was a force that is hard to explain with words. If you knew him or simply had the pleasure of meeting him, you felt it and know it. His impact will be lasting, and he will be someone the Department and the University will talk about for a 100 years.
—Dr. Tanner Robertson, Associate Faculty

"He saw something in an aging out ex-ag teacher and government employee that nobody else had and hired me for an academic job I wasn’t even sure I could do. He was a hardworking man, but also a family man -- for his faculty and students as well as for his wife and daughters. I have a tendency for being a workaholic, and he came by my office on some holiday, I think it was around Christmas, when I was trying to get caught up on things and made me leave to go home to my family. How many bosses will do that?"

"I think every day about what he said in the faculty meeting when he came back from M.D. Anderson the first time -- “Nothing is any different today than it was a year ago. I might live for years or I might die tomorrow. And it is the same for every one of you. And you need to remember that.” I am still working on it and slip often, but I’m a better man now than I was before I worked for him. Anybody who has had that kind of impact on as many lives as he has, has had a very successful life, even if his life wasn’t as long as it should have been. I hope he won’t be disappointed in me."
—Dr. Tim Steffens, Assistant Professor

Dean saw value and good in every person, and he believed in helping others find ways to contribute and to be successful. There was never a lot of subtlety with Dean… people pretty well knew where they stood with Dean Hawkins. Dean was a fearless advocate for the things he believed in, and he unapologetically believed in students, in good people, and in WTAMU Agriculture. Dean’s was a life well lived, a race well run. He has been an example to all that knew him.
—Dr. David Lust, Associate Professor

Dean Hawkins was a man of vision, a strategic planner and could make things happen. Dean has taken the Department of Agricultural Sciences to a level that very few thought imaginable or even possible in such a short time. I will be forever grateful for this leadership and friendship. I am a better person because of Dean Hawkins.
—Dr. Lance Kieth, Professor & Head, Ag

"Dean Hawkins was quietly confident. He deserved to be in the limelight but preferred that his associates, students and institution be illuminated instead. He consistently focused on the relationship between WTA&MU and the Gripp Memorial Youth Foundation and for that, we are extremely grateful. He will be missed."
—Mr. Dane Noyce, Member, Gripp Memorial Youth Foundation Executive Committee

“Dean….you were a gifted scientist but even more so a gifted leader and communicator with one-line statements always appropriate for the situation, invoking common sense and humor, whichever was needed most. We were truly inspired by your courage and are all better and wiser for having known you. Always the caring herdsman, God will be pleased with your assistance.”
Ross Wilson, Texas Cattle Feeders Association

"Dr. Hawkins always cared about us as individuals. I always knew that before I left his office he would ask me how I was doing personally, but more importantly, he would also ask about my wife and kids. He wasn’t just asking, he cared. He knew their names and he wanted to make sure that they were happy, healthy and doing well. That meant the world to me and my family."
—Dr. Brock C. Blaser, Associate Professor

“Dean Hawkins was one of the most widely known and respected individuals in the agricultural arena that I have been associated with.  Some achieve this status in the educational realm, and some in the private sector, but Dean was in the top tier of both.  He will be deeply missed, but his lasting impact will endure!”
—Stanley Schaeffer

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