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Olivet mourns loss of alumnus and benefactor Kenneth Hawkins

Posted: Jul 02, 2014


"As God blessed Ken Hawkins, he never hesitated to bless others." — Dr. John C. Bowling

You need not look far to see the impact Kenneth E. Hawkins has had on God’s kingdom and this world.

Kenneth E. “Ken” Hawkins passed away on June 25, 2014, as a man who truly embodied the qualities of an Olivetian.

As enthusiastic supporters of Olivet’s mission, Ken, and his wife Betty, have invested in the lives of countless students over the years. Out of their generous hearts, Olivet was able to construct the Centennial Chapel in 2010. Their lead gift provided students, faculty and staff a place to worship together, as well as Olivet’s world-class Ruffatti organ, and two Steinway pianos used for worship, concerts and teaching.

In addition to leading the way on the Centennial Chapel, Ken provided financial assistance for the renovation of the Harlow Hopkins Alumni Center in 1995, and for the addition of the Larsen Fine Arts Center in 1981.

“Ken Hawkins was one of the most generous men I’ve ever known,” says Dr. John C. Bowling, University president. “As God blessed him, he never hesitated to bless others. His commitment to serving the Lord was evident in his life, work and family. Serving alongside him in the mission of Olivet has always been a privilege and a pleasure.”

Ken’s personal investment in God’s kingdom was equally matched by his distinguished career. He was the founder of Hawkins & Associates in Clearwater, Florida, and later became the chairman and CEO of Jones & Hawkins Insurance. For more than 25 years of his 40-year career, he rendered valuable professional service to his alma mater by directing and advising Olivet’s insurance program. His counsel helped ensure adequate coverage while saving several million dollars for the University.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Ken was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, served on the board of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents, and was a past commodore of the Treasure Island Yacht Club.

He is survived by his wife, Betty; daughter, Cheryl, and her husband, Mike McClain; son, Terry, and his wife, Jamie; stepdaughter, Gina Johnson; brother, Wilford; four granddaughters; and five great-grandchildren.

Ken’s funeral service was held on July 1 with Dr. Bowling and Colonel Jeffrey Hawkins, U.S. Army chaplain, officiating. Ken will be remembered as a tireless advocate for Olivet Nazarene University and a model for all alumni, both personally and professionally.


The School that would later be known as "Olivet Nazarene University" was founded with 36 students in a one-room schoolhouse near Georgetown, Ill.