Posted by Mary L. Wimberley on 2006-05-01

Birmingham accountant James L. Hart has been named 2006 Alumnus of the Year by the Samford University School of Business.

A 1972 Samford business graduate, Hart is managing partner and CEO of Dent, Baker & Company, LLP. The firm's litigation services partner for more than 25 years, Hart leads its forensic accounting and litigation services division. He joined the firm in 1973, a year after earning his Samford degree.

A Certified Public Accountant and Certified Business Appraiser, Hart also holds the Accredited in Business Valuation designation.

Hart received the award from Samford business dean Dr. Beck A. Taylor during awards ceremonies for undergraduate business students on April 27.

The event included the presentation of a record $72,000 in scholarships to outstanding students. Two scholarships were awarded for the first time: the Brookwood Baptist Church/W.S. and Ruth Rivers Scholarship, and the John C. Pittman Endowment Fund Scholarship.

Three business faculty members also received awards: Larron Harper, excellence in teaching award; Chad Carson, outstanding scholarship award; and Dr. Jennings Marshall, distinguished service award.

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.