Beloved former trustee and executive vice president Samford University executive vice president Harry B. “Buck” Brock III passed away Friday, November 3, 2023, after a long illness. Just three days earlier, Brock’s work with the university had been celebrated with the renaming of an area of the Ralph W. Beeson University Center in his honor.
Brock joined the Samford administration as the executive vice president and vice president for business and financial services in 2007 and retired last year. In that role, he oversaw Accounting and Financial Services, Samford Dining, Decision Support and Financial Strategy, Human Resources, Samford One Stop, Samford University Post Office, Printing Services, Purchasing and Technology Services. Under his leadership, several milestone projects were accomplished, including the construction of Cooney Hall and the transformation of the former Southern Progress corporate headquarters into the College of Health Sciences. Brock also served on the Board of Trustees from 1998-2007.
“Buck Brock was a big man with an even bigger heart for Samford. From his days as a trustee to his years of service on the President’s Cabinet, Buck Brock’s singular focus was protecting and strengthening Samford’s Christ-centered educational mission,” said President Beck A. Taylor. “In Buck’s world, that was primarily centered on financial stewardship, campus operations, and public safety, all areas that bear the positive signs of Buck’s drive for excellence. I only wish he had more years to watch the university he loved so deeply continue to thrive and excel because of the strong foundation he helped to lay.”
On October 31, staff, faculty, students, family, and friends of Brock gathered to dedicate the Buck Brock University Commons. Brock addressed the crowd at the time, to remind them of the distinct purpose of Samford University – educating and empowering its students.
“This is about y’all,” shared Brock, during the ceremony. “Samford’s mission and vision is all because of you. Everyone in this room wouldn’t have a job if it wasn’t for you. You’re the reason we’re here.”
A Birmingham native, Brock was the son of Central Bank founder Harry Brock Jr. and would later become president of the financial institution which later became Compass Bank. Buck Brock would leave the banking industry in 1994 to become president of the Express Oil Development Company. He would stay there for more than 13 years until joining Samford.
Brock is survived by his wife Nancy and two children. He attended Mountain Brook Baptist Church, where funeral services will be held on Thursday, November 9. The family is asking for donations to the Buck and Nancy Brock Endowed Scholarship at Samford in lieu of flowers.For a link to Mr. Brock’s obituary, click here.