Winter ’24 Tower Medallion honorees: Tech’s dynamic duo — Jeanette and Justin Hinckley

Feb 27, 2024 | Alumni, General News

Justin and Jeanette Hinckley

Justin and Jeanette Hinckley

If generosity had faces you could see on the Louisiana Tech campus, if it had feet and hands and hearts in action you could witness, if generosity were a couple, it would look a lot like Jeanette and Justin Hinckley.

Since the pair graduated from Tech in 1978, the Hinckleys have been lavish in their gifts to the University, both small and large (and much, much larger). This does not count the painting of handrails, the trees trimmed, the weeds pulled, the games and events attended, or the encouragement, practically each day, to staff and students.

“The Hinckleys are arguably the most engaged and vital agents of our University and city,” Dean of Tech’s College of Liberal Arts Karl Puljak said. “What I admire most about Jeannette and Justin is that their care and support impact so many at Louisiana Tech and Ruston.”

The Forever Loyal couple, longtime supporters of everything Louisiana Tech, will become the University’s newest Tower Medallion recipients and be inducted by the Louisiana Tech Alumni Association into Tech’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni during Winter 2024 Commencement Saturday, March 2 at 10 a.m. in the Thomas Assembly Center on the Tech campus.

Their friend Dr. Les Guice, recently retired 14th president of the University, will serve as commencement speaker.

“Jeanette and Justin have remained strongly connected to and supportive of Louisiana Tech for decades,” Guice said. “They have given so much of themselves to Tech. I have seen firsthand the impacts they have had on every corner of our campus.”

The Tower Medallion Award signifies membership in the Hall and is awarded to Tech alumni who have distinguished themselves by exceptional achievement, community service, and humanitarian activities.

The Hinckleys qualify many times over. Justin, a graduate in Computer Science, was named Tech’s Alumnus of the Year in 2010. Wife Jeanette Jarrell Hinckley, and English education graduate, was the University’s Distinguished Alumna for the College of Education in 2016.

Justin worked at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, Cities Services Co., United Technologies Research Center, and Mobil Oil in capacities ranging from programmer/analyst to systems manager. He started work at Cleco, an energy services company based in central Louisiana in 1988 as a staff programmer and moved up to analyst, manager of business services, and in 2000 was promoted to general manager of technology services, a position he served until his retirement in 2008.

During her career, Jeanette served as librarian and branch manager for libraries in Palm Beach Gardens and Tequesta, Florida as well as Calcasieu Parish. She also served as records manager for Mobil Oil in Lafayette and New Orleans, and later owned and managed Books, Etc. in Pineville. She is past president and secretary of the Pineville Rotary Club, a Lagniappe Ladies charter member and, along with her husband, is involved in many community activities and professional groups.

“Justin and Jeannette are the best kind of alumni,” Dean of Tech’s College of Business Dr. Chris Martin said. “They are generous with their time and resources, and are passionate about making Louisiana Tech the best it can be for generations of students to come. We’re grateful for their ongoing support of the College of Business through their Just Business Giving Society membership, attendance at so many of our events and lectures, and for Justin’s involvement on our Computer Information Systems Advisory Board.”

Their time and gifts stretch across campus and across disciplines, from business to endowed scholarships to flower beds to office renovations to the Justin and Jeanette Hinckley Virtual Anatomy Lab in Carson-Taylor Hall.

“Justin and Jeanette Hinckley are loyalty, commitment, and service personified,” Dr. Dean Schillinger of Tech’s College of Education and Human Services said. “The needs of others drive them, whether it is providing a much-needed donation for scholarships, planting shrubbery to enhance an entranceway, or sponsoring charity-related events. Justin and Jeanette are always eager, able, and enthusiastic to help — always without any personal recognition. I am indebted to them and filled with gratitude for their blessing and encouragement to me personally.”

There are few if any areas of campus that haven’t been graced by a sacrifice from the Hinckleys, all in the name of helping Tech produce society’s problem-solvers and caregivers and leaders.

“Given that the Tower Medallion Award recognizes Tech alumni who have distinguished themselves through exceptional achievement and community service, no one is more deserving of this award than Justin and Jeanette Hinckley,” Dean of Tech’s College of Applied and Natural Sciences (ANS) Dr. Gary Kennedy said.

“In our College specifically, Justin and Jeanette have supported our efforts to raise funds for students in the School of Agricultural Sciences and Forestry through our annual Poinsettia Scholarship Auction, year after year. They provide students in Nursing with uniforms that are required for the clinical portion of the program. They served as the lead donor for the Virtual Anatomy Lab in Carson Taylor Hall; without them, the addition of that wonderful technology would not have been possible. This is just a fraction of their efforts to support the students, faculty, staff, and all of us, not only in Applied and Natural Sciences, but throughout all the University. Justin and Jeanette have made significant contributions that have had a direct and dramatic impact, both in the classroom and beyond.”

Dr. Jamie Newman, ANS associate professor, associate dean for research and graduate studies, and director of the Newman Lab, met Justin at a Ruston coffee shop before she even began working for the University.

“He and Jeanette have been amazing friends ever since,” she said. “Personally, they helped us to build the VISTA Center by purchasing our first class set of digital drawing tablets back when the Center was just an idea. Since then, they’ve been critical to the growth of that Center. They are some of the most special people I have had the opportunity to meet. I know I would not be able to do what I do without their support and friendship.”

“Justin and Jeanette Hinckley have a tremendous heart for their alma mater,” ANS Director of Development Penny Humphries said. “Clearly, their passion, belief, and confidence in what it means to be a member of the ‘Tech Family’ is demonstrated daily. Their selfless generosity and desire to create positive change continues to make indelible marks on Louisiana Tech University. I am humbled by their generosity and loyalty to Tech.”