Skip to Content Disable Custom Form Styling to Improve Accessibility
Header Image

Board of Trustees

The University of Montevallo Board of Trustees is the governing body of the institution. As provided by the Code of Alabama, the UM Board of Trustees is comprised of the following members:

  • The governor of Alabama, who is president ex officio of the Board
  • The state superintendent of education, ex officio
  • Eleven other trustees (one from each congressional district and others from the state at large). Trustees are appointed by the governor and approved by the Alabama Senate. They serve staggered terms of 12 years, with the Board divided into three classes, as nearly equal as possible, in order that one third may be appointed quadrennially.
  • A student trustee, ex officio, recommended by the UM Student Government Association.

Duties of the UM Board of Trustees include selection of a president, approval of the budget, the securing of adequate financial resources, the establishment of broad institutional policy, and support of the administrative and educational functions of the institution and those officers and employees responsible for them.

Members of the University of Montevallo Board of Trustees meet once per quarter in the Merrill Room on the first floor of Reynolds Hall. Meetings usually begin at 1:45 p.m. Special or called meetings may be scheduled as necessary.

The six trustees’ committees meet at least annually at various locations on campus.

Board meetings and committee meetings are posted on the Secretary of State’s website in accordance with the Alabama Open Meetings Act.

Visit the Site  Redirect

All meetings are open to the public.

Meet the Board of Trustees

  • Image of Matt Arnold

    Matt Arnold

    Board Member

    Matt Arnold is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He began working at Marshall County Economic Development Council in 2000 and was promoted to President/CEO in August 2001.  Prior to Marshall County, he served as Economic Development Coordinator for Bibb County, Alabama.  He is a graduate of the University of Montevallo and holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
    He is currently the Alabama state director of the Southern Economic Development Council and a past board member of the Economic Development Association of Alabama and the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama. His community involvement includes past-president and Paul Harris Fellow of the Guntersville Rotary Club, United Way, the Boy Scouts of America and the First United Methodist Church of Guntersville. He is a 2002 graduate of the Marshall County Leadership Challenge and a member of Leadership Alabama (Class XVII). He is a past member of the University of Montevallo National Alumni Association board of directors and in 2017 was appointed by Governor Robert Bentley to serve on the University of Montevallo Board of Trustees.   He is the 2013 Recipient of the President’s Award from the North Alabama Industrial Development Association.
    Matt resides in Guntersville he has two daughters, Madeline and Chloe and a son, Miller.

  • Image of Beth Chapman

    Beth Chapman

    Member of the Board

    Beth Chapman was elected Alabama’s 51st Secretary of State in 2006 after having first been elected and serving four years as State Auditor and running a successful public relations and political consulting firm in Birmingham. Prior to politics, she spent 10 years as Director of Special Events, then State Executive Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

    At the time of her election as Secretary of State, she received more votes than any Constitutional Officer in state history.

    Chapman received her B.S. Degree from the University of Montevallo in Communications and her Master’s Degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

    She completed the Executives in State Government Management Institute at Princeton University and completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

    Chapman was the first woman in Alabama to serve as a Cabinet Member in the capacity of Appointments Secretary for a Governor and later as Press Secretary for a Lieutenant Governor.

    Upon being elected State Auditor in 2002, Chapman was responsible for $1.6 billion in property assets. Under her leadership, the State Auditor’s office produced a record-breaking 96 percent perfect audit rate among state agencies, holding them to the highest level of accountability.

    As Secretary of State, Chapman streamlined the Business Services Division of her office bringing it into the 21st Century with electronic online business filings. Chapman created the Secretary of State’s first Voter Fraud Task Force. She championed the fight against voter fraud and was highlighted on Fox News. She is known as a national leader in the valiant effort to develop legislation for electronic military voting to better serve members of our military who serve abroad.

    Chapman was elected by her peers across the nation to serve as President of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) in 2012. She also served on The Pew Charitable Trust’s Alliance for Military and Overseas Voting Rights. Secretary Chapman travelled twice to Taiwan as a NASS Delegate and to Munich, Germany as a special guest of the Overseas Vote Foundation’s International Summit. She also represented Alabama in Israel. She has been called as an expert witness to testify before Congress regarding the need and potential solutions to the voting problems faced by our military members serving overseas.

    Chapman has received numerous military commendations for her advancement of the patriotic spirit in America: The Seven Seals Award by the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserves (ESGR) and two appointments by Alabama’s Governor and Adjutant General to participate with Alabama Senators and House Members in the Partnership for Peace Program where she represented Alabama in Romania, Belgium and Germany. Secretary Chapman was honored by the United States Selective Service Board, received an award of support from the Alabama National Guard and was chosen to represent Alabama at the National Security Forum at the renowned Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base.

    Secretary Chapman has been appointed by four different Governors to serve on state boards and commissions. She served as a member of the Governor’s Committee on Accountability and was elected unanimously as a member of Alabama’s Electoral College in 2004. She has received numerous personal and professional honors and awards including two congressional appointments to the Women’s Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Montevallo and was chosen as an Internationally Distinguished Citizen by Alpha Gamma Delta Fraternity. She was also selected to the nationally prestigious Toll Fellows program and is a member of ODK Leadership Fraternity. She has been honored by the Southern Women in Leadership Program sponsored by the Stennis Center for Public Service.

    Chapman presently serves as a board member for the following:

    The University of Montevallo Board of Trustees, the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, Engage Cuba State Council and as Chairman of the St. Vincent’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. She also served as State Chairman for former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s “iCivics” national student education program.

    She has worked with the Developing Alabama Youth Program, Family Connections, Shelby County Child Advocacy Center, Support our Soldiers organization and has served on the boards of the Shelby County Family Resource Center, Shelby County Arts Council, Project American Life, the Children’s Policy Council, the Crisis Center, Community Grief Support Services, the Court Appointed Special Advocates, Lifeline Adoption Ministries, Summerspell Homeowners Association and Turning Point Foundation. She has been named a Champion for Youth by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. In 2011, she was named Citizen of the Year by the Shelby County Reporter where she was also a featured columnist for more than as decade.

    Chapman has written 5 books, one received the George Washington Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge and another was an Amazon Best Seller.

    In 2011, Chapman’s husband, James, passed away at the age of 50. Two years later she retired (in 2013) after 11 years from elective office to expand Beth Chapman & Associates, LLC, a political and public relations consulting firm which she started with her husband in 1996.

    Chapman’s company now represents various corporations and organizations.

    Chapman is widowed, has two adult sons and one grandson. She resides in Hoover and maintains a home in Montgomery.

    [+] Expand

  • Image of Leroy Nix

    Leroy Nix

    Representative of the state at large

    Leroy Nix is the manager of Corporate and Constituent Affairs at Alabama Power’s corporate headquarters in Birmingham where he promotes the company’s legislative and regulatory agenda in Alabama and Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he works closely with elected officials, community leaders and stakeholder groups at both the state and national levels on issues related to energy and environmental policy. Nix also serves as the liaison between Alabama Power and its wholesale customers, which represent five percent of the company’s revenue.

    Nix is a 2003 graduate of the University of Montevallo where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science. From 2003 to 2006, Nix served as legislative aide to U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions in Washington, D.C., and served in various roles for both the Presidential and U.S. Senate campaigns during the 2004 election cycle.

    Before joining Alabama Power in 2009, Nix earned his Juris Doctor from The University of Alabama School of Law, and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar. While at UA, he was a member of the Blackburn Leadership Institute, Bench and Bar Legal Honor Society, Student Bar Association and also served as president of the Black Law Students Association. Currently, Nix is an active member of several community boards, including the Renasant Bank Community Board, The Jones Valley Teaching Farm and the Alabama Classic Foundation.

    [+] Expand

  • Image of Brian Hamilton

    Brian Hamilton

    Member of the Board of Trustees

    Brian Hamilton of Birmingham, president and CEO of Saber Engineering, was appointed by Gov. Bob Riley to serve as a Montevallo Trustee from the Seventh District. He was initially appointed to this position to complete the term of another board member and has since been appointed to a 12-year term that will expire in 2023.

    Hamilton has been appointed as a member of the Trustees’ Audit and Finance Committee and the Personnel Committee.

    He is a business leader whose background includes 10 years of progressive experience (with a Birmingham-based “Engineering News Record top 100” firm) as a civil engineer, project controls engineer, estimator and project executive on significant projects across the Southeast. He founded Saber Engineering in 2006 and, under his leadership, the company quickly established a reputation as a provider of top-notch engineering, construction management and related services to a diverse client base in both public and private sectors.

    As Saber’s president/CEO, Hamilton is responsible for planning and strategic development in accordance with the firm’s business plan. In addition to his executive responsibilities, he also oversees client services and sales/marketing for the firm; directs all personnel and office administrative functions; and serves as a technical resource on selected projects.

    In January 2010, Hamilton was named managing director of the historic A.G. Gaston Construction Co. As managing director, Hamilton is responsible for the day-to-day activities of that organization.

    A native and resident of Birmingham, Hamilton is chairman of the board of directors for the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority (Alabama’s largest public transportation agency), a member of the Metropolitan Planning Organization and a director of the Birmingham Children’s Theater.

    A 2009 graduate of Leadership Birmingham, he was named to the Birmingham Business Journal’s Top-40-Under-40 class of 2008, received the Journal’s “Rising Star” award for business in 2009 and was recognized by Morehouse College’s Entrepreneurship Center as the Entrepreneur of the Year for 2008.

    He is married to the former Leslie Evans, a UM alumna, and they are the parents of two children. Brian is a product of the Birmingham public school system. He received his juris doctor from the Birmingham School of Law, bachelor of science in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a bachelor of science in general science from Morehouse College.

    [+] Expand

  • Image of Elizabeth Ann “Libby” Queen

    Elizabeth Ann “Libby” Queen

    Representative of the Third Congressional District

    Elizabeth Ann “Libby” Queen of Alexander City, a 1959 Montevallo graduate, represents District Three on the UM Board of Trustees. She was appointed by Gov. Bob Riley in early 2010 to complete another member’s term, and has since been appointed to a 12-year term that will expire in 2023.

    Queen has served the University in many capacities over the years. She was president of the UM National Alumni Association from 2002–2004. She was chair of the annual-fund campaign in 1996–1997 and vice chair of the annual-fund campaign in 1995–1996. She received the Alumna Loyalty Award in 1995 and was involved with Homecoming fundraisers to benefit the College of Arts and Sciences in 1995 and 1997.

    After 27 years of service to the Alexander City Board of Education, Queen retired in 1993. Prior to her retirement, she was the coordinator of programs for exceptional students in Alexander City schools. Upon retiring, she spent much of her free time volunteering in the UM Alumni Office.

    She earned a bachelor of science degree in speech pathology from Montevallo and a master of arts degree in speech pathology from the University of Alabama with advanced certification in special education administration and learning disabilities.

    Queen is a former president of the Alpha Pi chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society and a former member of the Quota Club International, the American Association of University Women and the Business and Professional Women’s organization. She has served as a volunteer for Hospice, the Russell Hospital Auxiliary and the American Red Cross.

    [+] Expand

  • Image of Wynelle S. Sewell

    Wynelle S. Sewell

    Representative of the Fifth Congressional District

    Wynelle Sanders Sewell of Huntsville was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Gov. Bob Riley in 2008 for a term ending in 2020. She is a member of both the Executive Committee and  the Trustee Committee.  She also serves as chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee and vice chair of the Public Relations and Development Committee. She represents the Fifth Congressional

    A Montevallo alumna, Sewell recently completed 30 years in public education with the Huntsville City Schools.  She served most recently at Mountain Gap Middle School as a school counselor.

    While working in middle school, Sewell sponsored the Student Government, was cheerleader coach, coordinated the spelling bee, co-chaired the SACS reviews, developed workshops for teachers and students on numerous topics and was very involved in educational and counseling organizations.

    In 1982, she became a member of the Beta Iota Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary organization for women educators. She has held various chapter offices and served as president of the Huntsville President’s Council.

    In 1989, the State of Alabama recognized her as the Middle School Counselor of the Year. During the 1990s, she represented the state as president of the Alabama School Counselor Association.

    For several years, Sewell served as the liaison between the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the school system. For two years she served as the secretary on the local chapter’s board of directors.

    As a student at Montevallo, she was in the first pledge class of the Kappa Chi Chapter of Phi Mu Fraternity. She participated on the Gold Side during College Night and was a Little Sister to Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

    Sewell is married to William “Bill” Sewell, a 1973 Montevallo graduate. Both are active in the Tennessee Valley Area Alumni Club. She has served in several positions and leadership roles, including those involving fundraising and scholarship initiatives.

    She enjoys returning to campus to take part in class reunions and reconnecting with her sisters in Phi Mu Fraternity.

    [+] Expand

  • Image of Todd R. Strange

    Todd R. Strange

    Representative of the Second Congressional District

    Todd Strange became the 56th mayor of the city of Montgomery on March 10, 2009, and was sworn in on March 23, 2009.

    Strange graduated from Murphy High School in Mobile, Alabama and received a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Montevallo.

    Prior to becoming mayor, Strange served as chairman of the Montgomery (Alabama) County Commission for nearly five years. He also served as former president, CEO and co-owner of Blount Strange Automotive Group where he managed hundreds of employees.

    As former director of the Alabama Development of Commerce (formerly known as the Alabama Development Office), Strange collaborated many efforts that brought major industries to Alabama, including the Hyundai Manufacturing Facility in Montgomery. He also served as former senior vice president of Administration, Blount International, Ltds., former president and CEO, Blount Development Corporation and several leadership roles with South Central Bell Company (now AT&T).

    Strange’s extensive involvement in the community includes chairman of the Capital City Club, member of the Board of Directors and former vice-chairman of the Montgomery Business Committee for the Arts, and member of the Board of Trustees at University of Montevallo. He was also former chairman of the University of Montevallo National Alumni Association, former president and campaign chairman for Montgomery Area United Way, former chairman of the Board of Directors for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, former president of the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind Foundation, former board chairman of the Montgomery’s Riverfront Development Committee, and former Chairman of the Montgomery Riverfront Alliance.

    Strange has received numerous awards and honors for his visionary and progressive leadership. His awards include Business and Professional Women Boss of the Year, March of Dimes’ River Region Citizen of the Year, AUM Outstanding Community Leader Award, and Time Magazine’s Quality Dealer Award for Alabama, 2015 Air Education & Training Command Altus Trophy, Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services 2016 Public Service Award, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Beloved Community Award.

    He is married to the former Linda Davis. They have two daughters, Jennifer Strange Crumpton and Elizabeth Strange Whitehead.

    The Mayor serves as head of the administrative branch of City government and holds the following responsibilities:

    • Enforcing all laws and ordinances;
    • Appointing and removing all officers and employees of the City;
    • Exercising administrative supervision and control over all departments;
    • Keeping the Council fully advised of the financial conditions and needs of the City;
    • Preparing and submitting annual budgets to the Council;
    • Recommending actions to the council;
    • Setting salaries and/or compensations of appointed officers and employees of the City.

    [+] Expand

  • Image of Gary Ellis

    Gary Ellis

    Representative of the First Congressional District

    Montevallo alumnus, Gary Ellis is a resident of Gulf Shores and the president and CEO of Compass Media. Prior to assuming his role on the Board of Trustees, Ellis served as a member of the UM Foundation Board and the Stephens College of Business Advisory Board. Ellis serves on the PR and Development Committee, as well as the Audit and Finance Committee.

    Ellis graduated from the University of Montevallo in 1973 with a degree in business administration services.

  • Image of Rodger Smitherman

    Rodger Smitherman

    representative of the state at large

    Senator Smitherman, born in Montgomery, Alabama on March 2, 1953, is serving his fifth term in the Senate. He graduated from the University of Montevallo with a B.B.A. degree and with honors from Miles Law School with a Juris Doctorate Degree.

    Senator Smitherman and his wife, the former Carole Catlin of Birmingham, are the parents of four children: Rodger, II, Tonya Renee, Mary Elaine, and Crystal Nicole. He is a practicing attorney, a Democrat, an Elder at More Than Conquerors Faith Church, and a tireless advocate for education, youth programs and senior citizens.

    Senator Smitherman was elected President Pro Tempore of the Alabama Senate on Thursday, February 5, 2009, and served until November 2, 2010.

  • Image of David W. Wheeler

    David W. Wheeler

    Member of the Board of Trustees

    David W. Wheeler of Vestavia was appointed to the Montevallo Board of Trustees by Gov. Bob Riley in 2008 for a term ending in 2020. He serves as Chair of the Personnel Committee and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee.

    He began his career with Alabama Power in 1972, the year he graduated from Montevallo with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He continued his education at Samford University, earning a master’s degree in business administration there in 1976 and becoming a certified management accountant. When he retired from Alabama Power in 2001, Wheeler was director of accounting, finance and regulatory services, serving as the primary liaison with the Alabama Public Service Commission.

    From 1972–1988, he held various management and staff positions in the Accounting, Finance, Planning and Budgeting Departments of Alabama Power. Then from 1988–1993 he was based in Washington, D.C., as manager of federal affairs for Alabama Power.

    Most recently, he served for three years as president of Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc.

    A leader in the Republican Party, Wheeler is Treasurer of the Alabama Republican Party and past chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party.  He is also a member of the Jefferson County Republican Executive Committee and the Alabama Republican Steering Committee and Executive Committee. He is past treasurer of the Mid-Alabama Republican Club.

    He is a member of the Hoover Country Club and All Saints Episcopal Church in Homewood.  Wheeler is married to the former Diane Reeves, a native of Troy.

    [+] Expand

  • Image of Tim Lupinacci

    Tim Lupinacci

    Member of the Board of Trustees

    Tim Lupinacci of Vestavia, was appointed by Gov. Bob Riley to serve as a Montevallo Trustee from the sixth Congressional District.

    Lupinacci, shareholder in the Baker Donelson’s Birmingham office, is chair of the firm’s financial services department. He concentrates his practice in the areas of bankruptcy and restructuring, financial services and transactions, and health law. He has extensive experience with workouts and bankruptcies involving defaulted commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) loans.

    Lupinacci is a 1988 graduate of the University of Montevallo where he received his bachelor’s degree in mass communication. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1991.

    Lupinacci is Baker Donelson’s representative in the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council. He is also the co-founder of Baker Donelson’s CMBS Special Servicer blog. He was honored as Fellow of The American College of Bankruptcy in 2015.

    He has received numerous professional honors including being named the Best Lawyers’ 2015 Birmingham Bankruptcy Litigation Lawyer of the Year. Alabama Super Lawyers listed Lupinacci as one of the top 50 attorneys in Alabama in 2012 and 2013. The Best Lawyers in America® has listed him in the areas of bankruptcy and creditor, debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law and bankruptcy litigation since 2005. He has also been listed since 2009 in the bankruptcy/restructuring category of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers.

    Lupinacci and his wife, Ellen McElwee Lupinacci, are active alumni of the University of Montevallo. They have donated both their time and financial resources toward student scholarships. The Lupinaccis have also served as class representatives for the UM National Alumni Association. He is currently serving as co-chair of the UM comprehensive campaign.

    [+] Expand