Distinguished Alumni Award

Selected by President Janet F. Smith, Ph.D., Hinson was awarded the 2013 President’s Award of Honor for Distinguished Alumni for his outstanding service to Columbia State. A 1969 graduate of the college, he was awarded Alumnus of the Year in 1988, served on the foundation from 1988-2001, and was the chairman of the development committee from 1998-2000.

In more recent years, Hinson has devoted much of his time to his hobby of pottery making and has become well recognized, having pieces displayed in the Columbia State Pryor Gallery and throughout the region. Hinson has continued to support Columbia State by crafting a special commemorative plate glazed in green, which he donates each commencement as a token of his appreciation for the college. The plate is unique to Columbia State and can only be obtained by being selected as a commencement speaker. Each plate is engraved underneath with the speaker’s name and date of the ceremony.

“Pitts Hinson has not only demonstrated continued support and participation,” Smith said. “He has gone the extra mile and set the true example of a loyal alumnus. His vision and desire for the continued growth of his college started a wonderful tradition for the college and a special recognition for our commencement speakers.”

Hinson took a leadership role in the Enriching Lives and Securing Futures campaign and has given generously to Columbia State’s scholarships and building funds, as well as the foundation. He has volunteered his time to numerous groups and served in leadership roles on boards, including the Southern Society of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and First Farmers and Merchants Bank.

Earning his B.S. from the University of Tennessee at Martin and an M.S. and D.D.S. from the UT Center for Health Sciences, Hinson has written several articles published in Dental Association journals, and he has received honors and awards for his work as a pediatric dentist and surgeon, including “Fellow of the AAPD” and a fellowship award from the Tennessee Dental Association.

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