Posted by William Nunnelley on 2004-09-23

Dean John L. Carroll was invested as the first holder of the Ethel P. Malugen Chair of Law at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law Thursday, Sept. 23. The chair was made possible by a $1.5 million gift from Cumberland alumnus Joe Malugen, co-founder of Movie Gallery, Inc., and his wife, Dena Metcalf Malugen, of Dothan, both Cumberland alumni.

The chair honors Mr. Malugen’s 83-year old mother, who was present with her son and daughter-in-law for the investiture ceremony in the courtroom of Robinson Hall, the Samford law school building.

"The deep commitment of the Malugen Family to the law and to high standards in their favorite Law School is certainly evident in establishment of this endowed Chair," said Samford President Thomas E. Corts, who presided at the investiture.

"We are grateful to them and we are very proud of the Chair’s first designee. As an alumnus of Cumberland, a legal scholar who has worked in public service law, academia, and as a federal magistrate judge, Dean John Carroll has demonstrated his worthiness to be the first holder of the Ethel P. Malugen Chair of Law. This is a great day for the Cumberland School of law and for Samford University."

Carroll, a 1974 Cumberland graduate, became dean at the law school in June of 2001 after 14 years as U.S. Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama, in Montgomery. He served previously as legal director and attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery during 1975-84 and in private practice during 1984-85.

Carroll lectures in computer-based data discovery, complex litigation, civil procedure and federal courts. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and master of laws from Harvard Law School.

Malugen, a 1977 Cumberland graduate, was a practicing tax and corporate attorney in Alabama and Missouri from 1978 prior to co-founding Movie Gallery in 1985. He has been chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the company since then. The publicly-traded company operates 2,400 video stores in 50 states. Fortune magazine named Movie Gallery one of the top 200 small businesses in America in 2001 and 2002 and No. 45 on the list of Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S. for 2004.

Dena Malugen, a 1995 Cumberland graduate, has practiced law since the year of her graduation. She also heads her family’s real estate development and design projects in Rosemary Beach, Fla.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.