Hawkins Hall History

In 1981, Graduate House West was renamed George A. Hawkins Graduate House in honor of the former administrator. Dr. Hawkins was on the Purdue staff for 44 years where he served as an engineering teacher and researcher, vice president for academic affairs, and dean of the School of Engineering.

Upon receiving his BSME from Purdue in 1930, he immediately joined the Purdue staff as a graduate assistant while he worked toward his master's degree, which he received in 1932. In 1935, he earned his PhD - only the third doctorate in engineering ever awarded at Purdue. Later, Hawkins studied theoretical thermodynamics and heat transfer under Max Jakob, the famed German researcher, at Illinois Institute of Technology. This work led to a book by Jakob and Hawkins that in turn led to Hawkins' citation as one of the nation's outstanding young research scientists in heat transfer. He was promoted to professor of mechanical engineering and thermodynamics in 1943. A decade later, having also served as an assistant graduate dean, he was picked to succeed A. A. Potter as dean of the School of Engineering, Hawkins recognized changing times and called for a massive shift toward more scientific orientation of engineering curricula.