Troy University’s Board of Trustees has honored a pillar and dedicated advocate of the Wiregrass region, State Sen. Jimmy Holley, R-Elba,
Holley, who retires from the Alabama Senate in November with nearly a half-century of service in the Legislature, has represented Coffee, Dale, Pike and Covington counties in the Senate for six terms and served from 1974 – 1994 in the State House of Representatives.
“There are a lot of simple lessons that I have observed from Sen. Holley over the years and two of those are very clear. One of those is the power of servant leadership. That element of service and loyalty runs so deep in Sen. Holley and always has. He always gave at least what was expected of him, during his time at Troy and during his time as a public servant,” said TROY Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr.
“It is going to be hard for us as a body of people not to have Sen. Holley in an elected office. We really appreciate Sen. Holley. It has been a pleasure to be able to work with him and to know him,” he said.
In addition to his Legislative service, Holley served Troy University as an administrator from 1984 until 2007, retiring as Director of the Regional Inservice Center and as Assistant to the Vice Chancellor, as well as prior service as Director of the Center for Developmental Education.
Former State Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, a member and past president pro-tem of the Troy University Board of Trustees who began serving with Holley in 1974 in the House and who suitemates with him in the Senate, said that in the Legislature people listened to Holley.
“He has been a true legislator. In a caucus meeting, Jimmy Holley was like E.F. Hutton – when he spoke, everyone listened . . . thank you for all you do. You’re a great friend to me, a great friend to Troy University and a true leader in the state of Alabama,” he said.
Outside of his public service, Holley is a cattle farmer and small businessman. Known for his tireless advocacy of his district, among Holley’s accomplishments are securing infrastructure improvements in support of Fort Rucker, quality of life improvements for the communities he served and worked to expand both education funding and high-speed internet access. He was also deeply involved in the support of workforce development and is credited with helping to establish the Alabama Aviation College in Ozark.
“We honor a great civic leader in Jimmy Holly. There was an age in our political history that we had civil discourse. You got things done for your district, for the things you cared about. We were colleagues, allies, proponents and opponents,” said Cam Ward, a TROY Trustee who served in the Senate with Holley. “I wish you the best in your retirement and I thank you for all that you’ve done.”
During its meeting on Thursday, June 29, the Trustees approved a resolution honoring Holley and presented him a framed copy of it and a Troy University giclée print during a luncheon in his honor. Troy University First Lady Janice Hawkins presented Holley’s wife, Mary, a TROY afgan as a token of appreciation for her role in supporting the University.
“I’m so appreciative of the friends I’ve made over the years. Troy University has been a mainstay in southeast Alabama and what a footprint it has developed as an institution,” Holley said. “There are many things that have gone before me and come after me that have helped to make this such a beautiful university and a beautiful campus, and most of all Troy University has great people. I am very appreciative of the kind words that have been said about me today.”