Spring 2001
Vol 18 No. 1

Making Samford a Better Place

An Exceptional Gift

Working for the Common Good

New Business Leadership

Opening the Free Market

Trucking with Computers

Other Stories
Bellas Created 'Climate of Achievement' in Samford School of Business

Community Banking Stresses New Technology, Personal Touch

Faculty Compendium

Early Greek Influence on Jordan Strikes Jan Term Class Members

A Cappella Choir Invited to Sing in Russia

Wind Ensemble Performs at MENC Conference

Samford Students Out-Perform Peers in 'Engagement' with Learning: NSSE

Student Accolades

Samford History Prof's Book on King Jail Letter Examines Complexities of '60s Racial Scene

Humphreys Writes on Baptists and Calvinism

Book Edited by George, Smith Examines Racial Reconciliation

George Authors Doctrine Study

Tillette's Team Makes It Interesting During Seventh Straight Winner

Pharmacies Could Hold a Key to Effective Disaster Response

Cochran and Moore Write the Samford Record Book

Baseball Alumni: Send Your Name

Kenny Morgan Scholarship Winners



Macon Award Salutes Governor Albert Brewer

Albert Brewer may be Samford's best known teacher off campus. After all, the former Alabama governor spent a good part of the last half century working to make his state a better place in which to live.

Brewer worked his way through the Alabama legislature to become lieutenant governor in 1966. When Governor Lurleen Wallace died in office in 1968, Brewer succeeded to the state's highest office.

The Cumberland School of Law professor was characterized recently as Alabama's first "New South governor." Brewer worked hard to bring progressive measures to the state during his three-year tenure, including a revitalized (though unsuccessful) effort to update Alabama's ancient constitution.

Brewer was named winner of Samford's 2001 George Macon Memorial Award for outstanding performance as a teacher in February. He was nominated for his "unwavering commitment to the highest ideals of the legal profession: justice, compassion and the importance of contributing to one's community."

Now several decades removed from his service in public office, Brewer continues his community contributions by teaching and working for constitutional reform. In addition, he labors to support the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama [PARCA], which he helped establish as the state's only independent research organization for public policy issues.

Brewer began pushing for constitutional revision when he entered the Alabama legislature in 1955. Like many, he felt the constitution-drafted in 1901-concentrated power in the state legislature and made progressive measures difficult to pass. As governor, Brewer initiated a revised constitution, portions of which were implemented in 1973. But "the best of the work is still on the shelf," Samford President Thomas E. Corts noted last year.

"Following Governor Brewer's heroic stand, it has generally been considered political hara-kiri to take a stand for constitutional renewal," Corts added.

But constitutional reform is back in the news again, thanks in part to Brewer and Corts. They are among the leaders of an effort to rework the document, which was drawn up by 19th-century politicians to keep power in the hands of wealthy industrialists and plantation owners while disfranchising blacks and poor whites. It still enables corporations and large landowners to wield an inordinate amount of influence in the legislature.

After leaving public office, Brewer practiced law in Montgomery and Decatur, his hometown. In 1987, he joined the Samford faculty as Distinguished Professor of Law and Government.

He teaches courses in professional responsibility and law office practice and management, drawing on his experience in the practice of law, in business and in all three branches of government. He also teaches Alabama constitutional law and has co-written a textbook on the subject with Cumberland professor Charles (Bo) Cole.

"Teaching has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my life," said Brewer. "The opportunity to interact with students is refreshing because our students are so very bright and enthusiastic about their schoolwork, about their careers and about our society."

It's easy to spend time addressing the concerns of students, he says, because "their energy and vitality will be such a positive influence on our society."

A year after coming to Samford, Brewer helped set up PARCA, which makes its independent research available to local and state government offices and the legislature. Brewer had seen the need for such an independent research body during his days as governor. He served as PARCA president until 1996, when he became chairman of the board.

PARCA has earned respect because of its mission to provide cold, hard facts on a variety of issues. Its research is quoted frequently by editorial writers and journalists around Alabama and beyond.