Henderson State University will honor two outstanding Henderson graduates as Distinguished Alumni at a dinner and ceremony Feb. 3. Paul Hankins and Bruce Stacy will join an esteemed group of outstanding men and women whose accomplishments have earned them this special recognition.
The event will begin at 5 p.m. with a reception in the Garrison Center foyer area near the Grand Ballroom entrance. Doors to the Grand Ballroom will open at 5:30 p.m. Dinner and the program will start at 6 p.m.
Tickets to the dinner are $50 per person and can be purchased at hsu.edu/rsvp.
First awarded in 1972 to honor outstanding graduates, the Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor Henderson bestows on its graduates. Honorees have made outstanding achievements and contributions in their career, community, education, politics, social services and humanities.
Affectionately known as “Mr. Reddie,” Paul E. Hankins was born in a home that would now sit on Henderson’s main campus. After serving in Vietnam, he returned to Henderson and earned a bachelor of science in education degree in 1972 as well as a master’s degree in social agency counseling in 1974. Upon graduation, the university hired Hankins to serve on the faculty as a counselor instructor.
In 1978, he began his role as associate dean of students, a position which allowed him to serve directly with campus student organizations. This included SGA, the Greek system, Red and Gray Line, Heart & Key, Miss HSU, and cheerleading. He would go on to serve as dean of students and vice president of student services.
Hankins retired from Henderson in 2005 as vice-president for student services but returned in 2013 to serve in the Office of Development and Alumni. He returned to HSU during a time of administrative transition to help insure that alumni had a familiar face on campus.
Calling it a “labor of love,” Hankins planned and coordinated many successful events for Henderson alumni during his tenure as alumni coordinator. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of the university’s alumni to reconnect and reengage the Reddie faithful.
Because of his long tenure at Henderson, Hankins knows many Reddies who attended the university from 1974-2005. As a testament to his impact, a scholarship was established in his honor. More than 110 people collectively gave more than $25,000 to the Paul E. Hankins Leadership Scholarship Endowment which will insure his legacy will endure on Henderson’s campus.
Hankins was inducted into the Reddie Hall of Honor in 2017 receiving the Distinguished Service Award for his dedication to Henderson. He also received the Kathy Muse Award for volunteer service to the Henderson athletic department in 2017.
Aubrey Bruce Stacy was born and raised in Malvern. He is a 1966 graduate of Henderson with bachelor of arts degree in sociology and history. He earned an M.B.A. at Georgia State University and a M.M.A.S. in strategy at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He is also an Army master parachutist with 78 jumps.
Stacy served more than 20 years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. His assignments include two combat infantry tours in Vietnam, two mechanized infantry tours at Fort Hood, Texas, and two tours as a paratroop officer and jumpmaster at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He commanded two rifle companies and was operations officer for three battalions and two brigades.
After two years as executive officer of the largest NATO combat brigade in Germany, his final assignment was as chairman and professor of military science at Texas Christian University.
Stacy then began a career in financial services where he was director for UBS PaineWebber and senior vice president for Morgan Stanley. While still on leave from the military, Stacy established himself as a financial consultant with Merrill Lynch in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. Recruited into the Prudential Securities Branch Manager Leadership Program, his initial branch assignment was Knoxville, Tennessee. He was again recruited to UBS PaineWebber as a complex manager for Roanoke-Lynchburg, Virginia, with follow-up assignments to manage Austin-Lubbock, Texas, and Lafayette-Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Stacy was recognized by “On Wall Street” magazine as the financial services industry Branch Manager of the Year for 2008 and 2009. His final branch manager position was with Morgan Stanley in their Fort Worth-Southlake, Texas, operation.
Stacy retired in 2014 after 25 years in financial services to spend more time with his wife Carolyn, travel, hunt, and mentor his six grandchildren, all living in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.