December 7, 2007
"... Brock announced his personal commitment to help the Brock School of Business build an endowment that will reach at least $100 million..."
Samford University’s school of business is being named for longtime Samford trustee and Alabama banking legend Harry B. Brock Jr. The Brock School of Business name is effective immediately.
The announcement was made Dec. 4 by the university’s board of trustees. Board chair William J. Stevens of Birmingham said the trustees voted to honor Brock’s more than 45 years of trustee service to Samford, his longtime generosity to Samford and the community, and his professional achievements.
From the moment he entered Jane Hollock Brock Recital Hall to a standing ovation from the overflow crowd, Harry Brock’s emotion with the announcement was evident.
“I’ve received many awards and accolades through the years, but nothing is as moving as what y’all have done today,” Brock said. “This is a wonderful, wonderful institution.”
Samford President Andrew Westmoreland noted his first encounter with Brock was when Westmoreland was meeting with Samford’s presidential search committee in November 2005.
“The zingers that were pitched at me were by a fellow sitting at about three o’clock in my vision, a man named Harry Brock,” Westmoreland said. “Since then, I’ve realized that in his questions he was attempting to safeguard an institution that he dearly loves.”
Brock announced his personal commitment to help the Brock School of Business build an endowment that will reach at least $100 million. Included will be an initiative to establish a world-class program in entrepreneurship. The endowment also will provide for expanded research and scholarship opportunities for business school faculty and students and greatly enhance the school’s service to the community through opportunities such as partnerships and internships, Westmoreland said.
Westmoreland also noted the importance of having the Brock name associated with Samford’s business school. “Now, for eternity, the Brock name is fixed in the legacy that is and will be Samford University.”
Business School Dean Beck Taylor affirmed Brock’s legacy. “As Harry Brock and I sat in my conference room late one afternoon last summer, I asked Harry why he wanted to do this.”
Taylor said Brock described the sense of satisfaction he has knowing that, in large part, because of his efforts and through an innovative stock sales plan, many of the current and former employees of Central and Compass Banks -- hundreds of rank-and-file workers, from tellers and bookkeepers to bank executives -- not only earned a good living, but many of them became personally wealthy in the process that he had enabled.
“Maybe that’s what all of this is about,” Brock told Taylor. “Imagine if Samford’s School of Business turned out graduates who could do the same thing in their organizations. Imagine the impact on the world that would make.”