Posted by Bill Nunnelley on 2008-03-28

Samford University's Cumberland School of Law will dedicate the Martha F. and Albert P. Brewer Plaza during ceremonies Friday, April 4, at 10 a.m.

The newly-designed plaza in front of Memory Leake Robinson Hall, the law school building, will honor the former Alabama governor and his late wife "for their achievements and contributions to the lives of countless Alabamians."

Alabama Lieutenant Governor James E. Folsom, Jr., will speak during the dedication program. Also participating will be former Lieutenant Governor Jere L. Beasley, former law student Candace Peeples, and Professor Brad Bishop and Dean John Carroll of Cumberland.

Brewer was governor from 1968 until 1971, and is recognized for achieving much-needed reforms and new programs for Alabama. Historians have called him Alabama's first New South governor.

Brewer's administration produced the largest appropriations increase for public schools in state history. He created the Alabama Development Office and introduced measures to economize the operation of state government.

Under Brewer, the Court of Appeals was divided into the Court of Civil Appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals, the state Supreme Court was expanded by two judges and the first Ethics Commission was created.

Brewer served on the executive committee of the National Governors' Conference and was chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission, vice chairman of the Southern Governors' Conference and chair of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

Brewer joined Samford in 1987 as Distinguished Professor of Law and Government. He also helped Samford establish the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that studies issues of public interest affecting state and local government in Alabama. He served as its first executive director, and continues to serve as chairman of its board.

Brewer taught in the Samford law school for two decades before retiring last year, earning numerous teaching accolades. He and his wife established a scholarship fund in the law school to provide need-based aid to deserving students.

Brewer is a member of the Samford board of trustees and served on its presidential search committee in 2006.

The Brewers are parents of two daughters and have three grandchildren.

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.