Published on January 21, 2015 by Philip Poole  

Samford University has announced two administrative appointments to support the university’s business, financial and legal needs.

Lisa Imbragulio has been promoted to associate vice president for business and financial affairs, effective immediately. She most recently has been assistant vice president for business and financial affairs and general counsel.

Imbragulio will continue as director of investments, overseeing the university’s endowment and pension plan. In her expanded administrative role, she will oversee the offices of human resources, investments, decision support and financial strategy, student financial services, risk management and insurance, and business services, which includes food service, purchasing, printing and postal services. She also will oversee the Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center and functions related to space and event management. 

Birmingham attorney W. Clark Watson has been named Samford’s general counsel, effective Feb. 1. Watson has been a partner with the Birmingham-based firm Balch & Bingham LLP since 2000.

As general counsel, Watson will advise Samford President Andrew Westmoreland, the board of trustees and university administrators. Westmoreland noted that Watson’s experience in Balch and Bingham’s business practice will serve him well as he transitions to his new role at Samford.

Both appointments support the university’s business and financial plans, especially as the university experiences significant growth with new academic programs and the expansion of the physical campus.

"As Lisa Imbragulio assumes these additional responsibilities in her new role, she does so with our deep appreciation for her effective work throughout her tenure at Samford.  In all she does, Lisa consistently reflects a commitment to high standards of service,” Westmoreland said.

 “As she relinquishes the majority of her day-to-day legal responsibilities, we are truly fortunate to welcome Clark Watson as our general counsel.  His breadth of experience, solidarity with our mission and informed wisdom will be of great value to all of us in the years ahead.  The appointments reflect my strong intent for a competent administration that is fully responsive to the needs of our students, faculty, staff and other constituents." 

Imbragulio came to Samford in 2002 as director of investments. Previously she practiced corporate, tax and securities law with firms in Dallas and Birmingham. A certified public accountant, Imbragulio earned a bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Oklahoma and her law degree from Southern Methodist University.

She and her husband, Van, have four children.

“Lisa has demonstrated strong organizational and administrative skills in making significant contributions to the university's financial well-being,” said Harry B. Brock III, Samford’s vice president for business and financial affairs. “I am pleased that she continues to expand her role and apply her talents in the business and financial affairs of the university." 

Watson has served on Samford’s board of trustees since 2003 and was chair from 2007-11. He earned his undergraduate degree in pharmacy from Auburn University and his law degree from Samford’s Cumberland School of Law in 1981. Previously he was a law clerk to James H. Hancock, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama, and worked for other firms in Birmingham.

He has been listed on Super Lawyers in America since 2008, Best Lawyers in America, and Chambers USA, a directory of America's leading lawyers for business.

Watson and his wife, Debbie, have two adult daughters, one of whom is a Samford graduate. The Watsons are members of The Church at Brook Hills in suburban Birmingham.



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.