Posted by Philip Poole on 2010-11-30

J. Theodore Jackson Jr. of Montgomery and William J. Stevens of Birmingham have been elected to four-year terms on the Samford University board of trustees, effective immediately.

Jackson has been an attorney with the Rushton, Stakely, Johnston and Garrett firm since 1970. He is a 1966 Samford graduate and earned his law degree at the University of Virginia. A member of the First Baptist Church of Montgomery, Jackson lectures regularly at the University of Alabama Law School, Jones School of Law and for the Alabama State Bar’s continuing legal education programs. His late father served as a Samford trustee from 1942 until his death in the mid-1980s.

Stevens previously served as a trustee from 1997 to 2009 and was chairman for four years. He is president and CEO of Motion Industries, Inc., and an active member of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church in the Birmingham suburb of Homewood. Stevens graduated from Samford in 1970 and recently was honored as one of the university’s 2010 Alumni of the Year. He is active on the boards of the Salvation Army, Children’s Harbor and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.

Re-elected to additional four-year terms ending in 2014 were David Belcher, president, Royal Automotive, Inc., Birmingham; former Alabama Gov. Albert P. Brewer of Mountain Brook; Michael P. Dunn, managing director, Merchant Capital LLC, Montgomery; Joseph C. Godfrey, executive director, Alabama Citizens Action Program, Birmingham; Charles W. Lancaster, president, Lancaster Management, Inc., Gadsden; pharmacist James R. Jackson of Sterrett; and community volunteer and former teacher Beth Thorne Stukes of Jasper.

The new and returning trustees were elected recently by Samford’s board and affirmed at the 2010 annual meeting of the Alabama Baptist State Convention through a covenant agreement between the university and the state convention.


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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 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 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.