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 his friends opened the first new bank in Birmingham in 18 years, no one could have predicted that this small beginning would change the structure of banking in Alabama and lay the foundation for Birmingham to become a major regional banking center. Spearheading the multi-bank holding company concept in Alabama, in 1971, Mr. Brock brought Central Bank and State National Bank of Alabama together to form a registered bank holding company, Central and State National 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 Bank Merger bill of 1980, allowing bank branching across county lines. This made it possible for Brock to merge his banks into one bank with branches throughout the state.
In 1987, Central Bancshares purchased a bank in Texas, thus becoming the first bank in Alabama to own a bank in another state and the first out-of-state bank to own a bank in Texas. He named the Texas operation Compass Bancshares of Texas and later changed the name of the parent organization to Compass Bancshares. Brock served as Chairman and CEO of Compass Bancshares and Compass Bank of the South until his retirement in March,1991. Brock, an innovative leader in the banking industry, has given unstintingly of his time, expertise and financial resources to help make Birmingham, Jefferson County and the State of Alabama a better place in which to live and work. He has been an active board member of numerous charitable and civic organizations in Alabama. In 1962, Brock became a member of the Samford University Board 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 from Samford University in 1994. Brock was inducted in the Alabama Academy of Honor in August,1983 and the Alabama Business Hall of Fame 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
The renaming of the Samford School of Business to the Brock School of Business in December 2007 is the latest in a long history of achievements for business education at Samford, which has offered degrees in business and commerce since 1922. In 1965, the School of Business was established to offer both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business. Alabama’s first part-time master of business administration degree program was established at Samford, and the first MBA degrees were awarded in 1967. There are more than 500 students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs and the M.B.A. and master of accountancy graduate degrees.
The business school was fully accredited by AACSB International in 1999 and reaccredited in 2010, a recognition earned by less than five percent of business schools worldwide. In 2010, the US Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship named the Brock School of Business the best new entrepreneurship program in the nation.