Dr. John W. Stewart III is the 15th president of the University of Montevallo. Since his arrival at UM in August 2010, the campus has been abuzz with activity.
Working toward the objectives outlined in the 2009–2014 strategic plan for the University, Dr. Stewart has endeavored to raise awareness of the school through a variety of speaking engagements and a new branding and marketing campaign.
Organizational restructuring led to the establishment of a division of enrollment management to oversee recruitment and retention efforts. Recruitment visits by admissions counselors have doubled, media outreach has increased significantly and, on Sept. 21, 2011, the University unveiled its new “falconM” logo.
On Founders’ Day in October 2011, the University celebrated the unveiling of the newly redesigned James R. Wilkinson Student Life Center. The renovation made for a greatly expanded space for students to socialize, play video games and dine.
Since Dr. Stewart’s arrival, freshmen enrollment increased by 17 percent and housing registration increased by 18 percent. Further, alumni giving rates increased from 9.84 percent to 13.72 percent in just one year with 909 new alumni donors. During this time, Dr. Stewart also worked to renegotiate contracts with vendors, resulting in a $3.3 million savings for the University.
In addition, an aggressive campus beautification plan and curb-appeal initiatives have been implemented as a way of mirroring the excellence of the school’s academic programs, which for fall 2011 added offerings including an interdisciplinary studies major, as well as public relations and game studies and design minors.
Prior to coming to the University of Montevallo, Dr. Stewart served as vice president for institutional advancement at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla.
Dr. Stewart has published scholarly articles and book reviews. Recipient of a number of awards and honors during his career, he was selected as the Mississippi Humanities Council/William Carey University Co-Professor of the Year. He has held leadership roles in a number of community and arts organizations, including the Small Business Development Committee, United Way, the Florida Ballet and the BankTrust Advisory Board.
Dr. Stewart earned the B.A. in history from Wake Forest University; the M.A. in English from Washington College in Chestertown, Md.; and the Ph.D. in English with a focus on African/Caribbean and Harlem Renaissance literature from the University of Southern Mississippi.