Taking a Stance for Students // The Hawse Family Scholarship
As John put it simply, “I could afford to do something, and I just did it.”
Dr. John Hawse, or “John” as he preferred to be called, was always a strong believer in education and in students. “I worked with students to draw out of them the best they can give.” As a former teacher and administrator, John was an advocate for students, and he mentored his staff to have the same teaching philosophy.
John served in the United States Air Force during World War II. He then became a journeyman patternmaker for ten years. His career took a different focus as John became a high school teacher. John continued in the educational field as a high school principal and counselor. He then served as president of Western Nebraska Community College for two years. John served as president of Hawkeye Institute of Technology from 1976-1992.
John strongly believed that people need to be given opportunities to learn. He proudly told the story of when his wife wanted to become a home economics teacher after they had three daughters. He bought her a car, and she enrolled in college. She drove 70 miles round trip and was the only married student in the class. John was a guest speaker in his wife’s class and shared how he supported her while she was in school. Education played such a strong role in the Hawse family that two of his daughters followed in their parents’ footsteps and also became teachers.
John created a scholarship with the Hawkeye Foundation because he wanted to provide an opportunity for students to learn. As John put it simply, “I could afford to do something, and I just did it.” John set up a scholarship to honor his late wife Lillian. His daughters requested the scholarship be used to help women. The Hawse Family Scholarship provides financial assistance for two female students each year.
Patrons of the college are able to listen to noted speakers in the Hawse Auditorium located in Tama Hall. It seems fitting as it is a great venue for students and community members to come together and learn. As John reflected on his career, he is most proud that he stood up for students and gave them a variety of opportunities at Hawkeye. Visitors to the Hawse home sense John’s strong belief in the value of an education as a picture of Hawkeye Community College’s campus greets those who enter.
John passed away on April 17, 2010.