News & Events

John Hawkins (MBA’92) Honored as 2020-21 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

On Thursday, October 21, 2021, Dean M. Eric Johnson and Matt Peterson, Owen Alumni Board Chair, presented the 2020-2021 Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management Distinguished Alumni Award to John Hawkins, MBA ’92, Partner, The Sterling Group. This award recognizes an Owen graduate who has exhibited outstanding leadership and service in both the professional and philanthropic realms.  

As Owen’s 24th honoree, John joins a prestigious group whose achievements and dedication represent the highest ideals for an Owen education. John joined The Sterling Group in 1992 after graduating with his MBA from Owen. He has been involved in every aspect of Sterling’s private equity business over his 29 years with the firm including recruiting much of the current team, overseeing the firm’s transition from a fundless sponsor, and driving the firm to excellence in all areas of core competencies. Prior to business school, John was on the professional staff of Arthur Andersen & Co. He received a B.S.B.A. in accounting from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. 

John’s extraordinary personal involvement and philanthropic support have had a direct impact on Owen’s faculty, students, and alumni community. John and his wife, Renee, opened their home for the Houston 50th Anniversary Celebration—a highlight of that landmark year for Owen. The endowed Hawkins Scholarship they created will help Owen recruit the best MBA candidates in perpetuity. As the first donors to support the dedication of the fireplace in the renovated Walker Management Library to longtime Chief Admissions Office and beloved Owen community member Tami Fassinger, and the first Owen Century Partners to support the expansion and renovation of Management Hall, John and Renee initiated momentum for two of the most significant recent projects uniting Owen’s alumni community. John has served on the Owen Alumni Board, with Renee on the Vanderbilt Parents Leadership Committee, and was a featured speaker this past spring at the award-winning Owen Forward Fireside Speaker Series with a discussion on The Private Equity Ecosystem. 

Please join us in congratulating John on winning this prestigious award, and in thanking him for all he and Renee do for the Vanderbilt and Owen community, both on and off campus. We are proud to have John as a distinguished alumnus of our school. 

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