Dr. Alma S. Hires was born the fifth child to the late Rev. & Mrs. William M. Seniors. Having been born to AME parents, Dr. Hires grew up in the church, Allen Temple AME Church in particular. She and her siblings were reared in the AME tradition of attending Sunday School, Church and ACE League with regularity.
She attended and graduated from the public schools of Hillsborough County. Her mother’s emphasis on education led her to Tuskegee University, following in the footsteps of her mother, two sisters and a brother, where she received a Bachelor of Science. She furthered her education at Clark Atlanta University where she received a Master of Arts. Still with a thirst for more knowledge, she attended the University of South Florida receiving another Master of Arts. This only increased her appetite for additional study so she entered Michigan State University as a Mott Scholar where she received the Ph.D. in Higher Education and Administration. She did post graduate studies at Georgia State University and the University of South Florida.
Dr. Hires is a retiree from Hillsborough Community College where she served as District Dean of Continuing Education for 22 ½ years. Prior to HCC, she was an Assistant Professor of Education at Eckerd College for two years and spent 10 years as a classroom teacher for the Atlanta Public School System, during which time she served as a guest lecturer at Emory University in the Department of Black Studies. Her first job was as a Human Relations Intern for the National Student YM-YWCA.
Dr. Hires is very active in the community. She served on the Tampa Hillsborough Public Library Board, is a Past President of the Tau Pi Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority,
member of The Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Board, lifelong member of the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida where she is a Past President of the Board of Directors, past member of the City of Tampa Code Enforcement Board and the Noise Abatement Board, member of the Tampa-Tuskegee University Alumni Association and the Friends Book Club. She was a charter member of the Ybor City Kiwanis Club and the Central City YMCA Board. She also volunteers with the American Diabetes Association.
In the AME Church, she is very active on the local level. She serves as President of the Favors-Wright Lay Organization, member of the Class Leaders Council, 2nd Vice President of the Women’s Missionary Society and volunteer with Church Women United. On the District Level, she is Chair of the Hospita1ity/Benevolent Committee and Historiographer of the West Coast Conference Lay Organization. Dr. Hires is a lifelong AME and a member Mt. Olive African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.
For her civic and professional involvements, Dr. Hires has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Mayor’s Citation, Layman of the Year for the District AME Church, President’s Award for Outstanding Service from the National Council on Community Services and Continuing Education, Tampa Organization of Black Affairs Award, Silver Egret and past President’s Award from Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Award, Award for Service to Youth from the Metropolitan YMCA Board, Valiant Woman Award from Church Women United, Award for Outstanding Public Service from the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, Award for Outstanding Service as a member of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Human Relations Board and Board Member Award from the Tampa-Hillsborough Library. These are just a few of the recognitions Dr. Hires has received for her work in the Tampa community and nationwide.