Harry B. Brock. Jr. Legacy


“My desire and vision for the School of Business is to be a little different and to find a niche that will help these young people fulfill their dreams.” — Harry Brock, Jr.

The School of Business at Samford University was named for the legendary banking pioneer, Harry B. Brock, Jr., in December of 2007, and thus branding the school, the Brock School of Business.  As part of the naming of the school, Harry made a personal commitment to help the Brock School of Business build an endowment to help the school reach its goal of $100 million.  

The Brock Legacy:

On March 2, 1964, when Harry Brock, Jr. and a group of hisfriends opened the first new bank in Birmingham in 18 years, no one could havepredicted that this small beginning would change the structure of banking inAlabama and lay the foundation for Birmingham to become a major regionalbanking center. Spearheading the multi-bank holding company concept inAlabama, in 1971, Mr. Brock brought Central Bank and State National Bank ofAlabama together to form a registered bank holding company, Central and StateNational Corporation of Alabama. As more banks joined the Central family, the name changed to CentralBancshares of the South, Inc.  Brock was instrumental in the passage of the Statewide BankMerger bill of 1980, allowing bank branching across county lines. This made itpossible for Brock to merge his banks into one bank with branches throughoutthe state.

In 1987, Central Bancshares purchased a bank in Texas, thusbecoming the first bank in Alabama to own a bank in another state and the firstout-of-state bank to own a bank in Texas. He named the Texas operation Compass Bancshares of Texas and laterchanged the name of the parent organization to Compass Bancshares.  Brock served as Chairman and CEO ofCompass Bancshares and Compass Bank of the South until his retirement in March,1991.  Brock, an innovative leader in the banking industry, hasgiven unstintingly of his time, expertise and financial resources to help makeBirmingham, Jefferson County and the State of Alabama a better place in whichto live and work.  He has been anactive board member of numerous charitable and civic organizations in Alabama.   In 1962, Brock became a member of the Samford UniversityBoard of Trustees, and was named a member of the Executive Committee in 1963.He served as Chairman of the Board from 1986 until 1991.  He received an honorary doctorate fromSamford University in 1994.  Brock was inducted in the Alabama Academy of Honor in August,1983 and the Alabama Business Hall ofFame in October, 1993. What Harry Brock did to change the banking industry and through his commitment to the Brock School of Business, he is working to help the business school reach its goals.    

History of the Brock School of Business: 

Therenaming of the Samford School of Business to the Brock School of Business inDecember 2007 is the latest in a long history of achievements for businesseducation at Samford, which has offered degrees in business and commerce since1922. In 1965, the School of Business was established to offer both bachelor’sand master’s degrees in business. Alabama’s first part-time master of businessadministration degree program was established at Samford, and the first MBAdegrees were awarded in 1967. Thereare more than 500 students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs and theM.B.A. and master of accountancy graduate degrees. 

The business school was fully accredited byAACSB International in 1999 and reaccredited in 2010, a recognition earned byless than five percent of business schools worldwide.  The US Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship,in 2010, named the Brock School of Business the best new entrepreneurshipprogram in the nation.

You can join Mr. Brock in building the Brock School of Business into one of the premier business schools in the country.