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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.

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All meetings are open to the public.

Meet the Board of Trustees

  • Image of Dr. Robert Bentley

    Dr. Robert Bentley

    President (ex officio)

    Dr. Robert Bentley serves as the president (ex officio) of the UM Board of Trustees. He is the 53rd governor of Alabama.

    Dr. Robert Bentley began serving as Alabama’s governor in January 2011. A native of Columbiana, Bentley is a founding partner of Alabama Dermatology Associates, one of the largest practices of its kind in the Southeast. He entered politics in 2002, when he was elected to the Alabama State House of Representatives from Tuscaloosa County.

    An alumnus of Shelby County High School, Bentley earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama, majoring in chemistry and biology and graduating in just three years. He continued his studies at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, graduating with the M.D. degree in 1968.

    In 1969, during the Vietnam conflict, Bentley joined the United States Air Force, where he was commissioned as a captain and served as a general medical officer. Following his military service, Bentley began his three-year residency in dermatology at the University of Alabama.

    Upon completing his residency, he and his wife, the former Martha Dianne Jones of Montgomery, whom he met and married while in medical school, decided to make Tuscaloosa home to begin their family together and for Robert to start his dermatology practice. Together they raised four sons.

    In 2002, Bentley was elected to the Alabama State House of Representatives from Tuscaloosa County. In the State House, he quickly established a record fighting for fiscal conservatism, strong traditional family values and limited government. In 2006, Bentley ran unopposed for re-election. During his time as a Representative in Montgomery, he served on the Education Appropriations Committee, the Boards and Commissions Committee, the Agriculture and Forestry Committee and as Vice-Chairman of the Internal Affairs Committee. He also helped establish the Alabama Medical Educational Consortium, which reserves a number of medical-school education spots for students committed to one of the primary care fields. In addition, he supported funding for the Rural Medical Scholars program, which trains doctors committed to serving the people of rural Alabama.

    In 2008, Bentley was elected as a Republican Presidential Delegate for Gov. Mike Huckabee. At the Republican National Convention he represented Alabama on the Republican Platform Committee.

    Bentley is the chief sponsor of the Alabama Reemployment Act of 2010, which is estimated to create at least 5,000 new jobs in Alabama without increasing taxes or government spending.

    Bentley is a member of First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa, where he has served as a deacon and a Sunday school teacher, and as a member of the Youth for Christ Advisory Board, as well as the Family Counseling Advisory Board. He is a life member of the Vietnam Veterans of America and is a member of the American Legion.

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  • Image of Caroline McDonald Aderholt

    Caroline McDonald Aderholt

    Secretary of the Board and representative of the Fourth Congressional District

    Caroline McDonald Aderholt of Haleyville is the board’s representative for the Fourth Congressional District. She was elected secretary of the Board and is also a member of the Executive Committee. She serves as chair of the Public Relations and Development Committee and is a member of the Personnel Committee. Her term expires in 2017.

    Aderholt graduated from Birmingham-Southern College with a double major in political science and business management in 1990. Immediately after graduation, she managed her father’s 1990 bid for U.S. Congress from the Fifth Congressional District of Alabama.

    In January 1991, Aderholt joined the Metropolitan Development Board in Birmingham. The Metropolitan Development Board is the economic development agency for the five-county area surrounding Birmingham. While at the MDB, she served as director of medical economic development. There she was responsible for marketing Birmingham’s growing medical and research assets to prospective companies.

    Politics became Aderholt’s prominent activity when her husband, Robert, ran for the U.S. Congress in 1996 for the Fourth Congressional District of Alabama. He was elected in November 1996 and began serving in January 1997.

    Caroline Aderholt now divides her time between Alabama’s Fourth Congressional District and Washington, D.C., where she is active in the Republican Spouses Club, The Congressional Club and the International Club.

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  • 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. She resigned from that position in July 2013 to accept a private-sector position with The Farmers Federation, for whom she began working August 1, 2013.

    Chapman received her B.S. degree from the University of Montevallo and her Master’s degree (magna cum laude) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also completed post-graduate work with a 4.0 grade-point average. She graduated from the Executives in State Government Management Institute at Princeton University.

    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. In addition, she and her family have owned a successful public-relations business for many years.

    Upon being elected as 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 that office and brought it into the 21st century with electronic online business filings. Chapman also created the Secretary of State’s first Voter Fraud Task Force to receive complaints from citizens about voting irregularities. She championed the fight against voter fraud, which was highlighted nationally on Fox News. She is also known as a national leader in the valiant effort to develop military internet voting to better serve members of our military who serve abroad.

    Under Chapman’s leadership as Secretary of State, the number of Alabama voters increased by approximately 200,000 in two years and she and the staff successfully conducted the largest presidential election in Alabama’s history. She also provided guidance to candidates and county elections officials regarding a gubernatorial recount and run off.

    Chapman was elected to serve on the Executive Board for the Standards Board of the United States Elections Assistance Commission. She is a member of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and served as its president in 2012. She has also served on The Pew Charitable Trust’s Alliance for Military and Overseas Voting Rights. Chapman has travelled to Taiwan as a NASS delegate and to Munich, Germany as a special guest of the Overseas Vote Foundation’s International Summit. 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 three appointments by Alabama’s Governor and Adjutant General to participate in the Partnership for Peace Program, where she represented Alabama in Romania, Belgium and Germany. 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 nationally renowned Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base. She has been invited to speak and represent Alabama at numerous military events throughout the United States.

    Chapman has 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 after being elected statewide as a delegate to the 2000 and 2004 National Republican Conventions. She has received numerous personal and professional honors and awards including two congressional appointments to the Women’s Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Montevallo and was chosen internationally as a 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 has worked with the Developing Alabama Youth Program, Family Connections, Shelby County Child Advocacy Center and has served on the boards of the Shelby County Family Resource Center, the Children’s Policy Council, the Crisis Center, the Court Appointed Special Advocates, Lifeline Ministries and Turning Point Foundation. She has been named a Champion for Youth by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and won the Walker County Community Service Award.

    Chapman is the author of six books. The Power of Patriotism received the distinguished George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. She has also written two patriotic speeches, which have been entered into the Congressional Record by Senator Jeff Sessions and Congressman Jo Bonner.

    In addition to her service on the University of Montevallo Board of Trustees, Chapman also serves as a board member for St. Vincent’s Hospital, Lyman Ward Military Academy, Community Grief Support Services and the Alabama’s Children’s Trust Fund.

    Chapman is a highly sought-after motivational speaker in the business, church and political arenas. She is widowed and has two sons and one grandson.


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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Image of William Cobb “Chip” Hazelrig

    William Cobb “Chip” Hazelrig

    Representative of the Sixth Congressional District

    The Alabama Senate confirmed William Cobb “Chip” Hazelrig to serve on the University of Montevallo board of trustees in spring 2012. Hazelrig represents the Sixth Congressional District.

    Hazelrig, a lifelong resident of Birmingham, graduated from the University of Montevallo in 1977 with a degree in business administration. He began his career in commercial real estate and formed The Hazelrig Companies, Inc., in 1983. He also formed W & H Investments that year, which was focused on oil and gas investments.

    In 1990, Hazelrig and his business partner, Fred Wedell, formed Altex Resources, Inc., an independent exploration and production company, primarily doing business in Texas and Oklahoma. The company was sold in 2006 to a Canadian Royalty Trust—Enterra Energy Trust—now known as Equal Energy. Hazelrig served on the board of directors.

    Hazelrig and his business partner formed Montclair Energy in 2011. Hazelrig was also a founding principal in Southline Steel, Inc.; M3 Resources, Inc. (a lead-smelting business with operations in Mexico) and Paragon Gaming, Inc. Hazelrig has also served on the president’s advisory council for both Birmingham-Southern College and The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

    Hazelrig is married to the former Lynn Snow, who attended Montevallo in 1978 and graduated from UAB in nursing. They have four children and four grandchildren.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 Audit and Finance Committee and the Academic and Student Affairs Committee, and serves as vice chair of the Pubic Relations and Development Committee. She represents the Fifth Congressional District.

    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 Madison County 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.

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  • Image of Todd R. Strange

    Todd R. Strange

    Representative of the Second Congressional District

    Todd R. Strange of Montgomery represents the Second Congressional District on the Board of Trustees. Chair of the Executive Committee, he also serves on the Trustees Committee. Reappointed to the board in 2008, his current term will run through 2020.

    The Mayor of Montgomery, Strange is the former chairman of the Montgomery County Commission and a Montevallo alumnus. He began his second 12-year term as a Montevallo trustee in 2008.

    He earned a bachelor of science degree from UM in 1966 in political science, is president and CEO of Blount Strange Holdings LLC. He is former president, CEO and co-owner of Blount Strange Automotive Group.

    Strange formerly served as director of the Alabama Development Office. His professional credentials also include previous service as senior vice president for administration of Blount International, as well as president and CEO of the Blount Development Corp. He also has held leadership roles with South Central Bell Co.

    Strange is chairman of the Capital City Club. He serves on the board of directors and is former vice chairman of the Montgomery Business Committee for the Arts.

    A former president of the UM National Alumni Association, Strange is former president and campaign chairman of the Montgomery area United Way and is former chairman of the board of directors for the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce.

    He also is a past president of the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind Foundation. Strange is a former board member of the Automobile Dealers Association of Alabama and National Dealers Association and is a former chairman of the YMCA Metro Board and of the Community Education Committee. He also served as chairman for Montgomery’s Riverfront Development Committee and Montgomery’s Riverfront Alliance.

    Strange was named Boss of the Year by the Business and Professional Women and the March Of Dimes’ River Region Citizen of the Year. He received Time magazine’s Quality Dealer Award for Alabama and, in 2000, the AUM Outstanding Community Leader Award.

    He is married to the former Linda Davis, a 1967 UM graduate. They have two daughters.

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  • 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.

    From 1981 to 1984, Thornton served as president of Schiller Industries, an ultra-precision machining, specialty cable and laser scanning company in the aerospace industry.

    Thornton was named Entrepreneur of the Year in the Technology, Communication and Entertainment category of Ernst & Young’s Southeastern area program in June 1999. He was one of 26 regional finalists honored for their leadership and entrepreneurial spirit. Under his leadership, Cybex grew to become a global company with $82.2 million in sales with offices worldwide.

    A former member of the Alabama State Port Authority’s board of directors, Thornton was honored with the establishment of the Stephen F. Thornton Engineering Scholarship at the University of Alabama in Huntvsille. The scholarship in his honor was established by Avocent.

    Thornton, who attended the University of Montevallo in 1962, will serve the unexpired vacancy for the first congressional district. His term expires in 2017.

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  • Image of Roger Smitherman

    Roger 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 on the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Personnel Committee and Vice Chair of the Trustees 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.

    His civic involvement extends deeply into the Birmingham community. He is a past president of the Birmingham Jaycees, the Birmingham Jaycee Foundation and the Alabama Jaycees Life Member Association. He is a former member of the board of directors of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Jefferson County Citizens Supervisory Committee.

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

    He is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants and the Leadership Development Association. Wheeler also has been a member of the Business Council of Alabama and has served as a member of BCA’s Progress PAC Regional Advisory Committee.

    He has been a member of national, state and county pest-control organizations and is a past member of the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders, Birmingham Area Realtors® and Associated Builders and Contractors.

    He is a member of the Altadena Valley Country Club and All Saints Episcopal Church in Homewood. He also is active in the Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity.

    Wheeler is married to the former Diane Reeves, a native of Troy.

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