Success on Display
Ozarks Technical Community College chancellor Dr. Hal Higdon's office is filled with honors, awards and art from both his time in Springfield and years back home, combining his lifetime of leadership with a dash of Southern charm.
By Savannah Waszczuk | Photos by Brandon Alms
OTC Chancellor Dr. Hal Higdon brings his office to life with awards, art, photos and college memorabilia.
1. Higdon was born in Decatur, Alabama, and he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Alabama. While he and his wife, Nancy, still return home to visit family, they don’t make it to games too often anymore—but they always at least watch them on TV. Some fellow staffers at OTC gifted Higdon this football, autographed by Alabama football Coach Nick Saban, after Saban was in Springfield for the annual Steak & Steak dinner in 2013. Roll Tide!
2. Before accepting his position at Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC), Dr. Hal Higdon worked at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College for 13 years. Higdon joined the staff at Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1993 as the human resources director, and he eventually became the school’s vice president of administration. His next career move lead him to OTC.
3. Higdon was employed at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College when Hurricane Katrina hit the Southern coast. "President George W. Bush came and spoke at our graduation during that time,” Higdon says. A photo taken during the graduation ceremony is displayed in Higdon’s office. “That was right after I interviewed with OTC,” he says. “I actually just flew in from Springfield that morning.”
4. A picture of Higdon and his wife, Nancy, is displayed on his desk. “That’s one of my favorite pictures of us,” Higdon says. “It was us at my nephew’s wedding in 2013.” Higdon met Nancy in 1993 at Alabama’s Faulkner State Community College—the first school he took a job at after completing his doctorate in higher education at the University of Southern Mississippi.
5. A painting of boats at a dock hangs on the wall near Higdon’s desk. “The executive team at Gulf Coast gave me that,” Higdon says. The picture reminds Higdon of fishing trips he and the team used to take to Joe’s Landing—a fishing destination south of New Orleans.
6. A photo of Higdon with Larry Snyder and J. Howard Fisk, both board members on OTC’s Board of Trustees, is displayed in Higdon’s office. His involvement also stretches beyond OTC—he was selected to serve on the Presidential Advisory Board for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society in 2015, and he is in The Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast, involved with the Springfield Business Development Corporation and serves on the Board of Directors of CoxHealth Systems.
7. In 2009, Higdon was named one of 417 Magazine’s People of the Year, a group of southwest Missouri’s most successful, involved and generous individuals. A framed copy of the article is displayed near Higdon’s desk.
8. A painting of Judge Roy Bean—a former popular restaurant and bar on Alabama’s Eastern shore—hangs on the other side of Higdon’s desk. The business burned in 2005, and Nancy and daughter Alexandria got this painting for Higdon for Father’s Day in 2006. Nancy and Hal also have another daughter named Jamie.
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