The University of Montevallo recently established the Dr. Jeanine Cannon Bozeman Chair of Social Work in memory of Mr. Henry Oliver Cannon, Mrs. Ruby Rowell Cannon, Dr. Thomas Welby Bozeman and Dr. Jeanine Cannon Bozeman. This is the University’s first social work chair.
Bozeman, born and raised in Dozier, Alabama, earned her bachelor’s degree in English from UM in 1951 and went on to get a Master of Religious Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Master of Social Work from Tulane University. As a social worker, she dedicated many years to working in family therapy, marriage counseling and family counseling both in public schools and private practice.
After earning her Ed. D. — later changed to a Ph.D. — at NOBTS, she joined the faculty in 1987. She served as a professor of social work and Christian education for 35 years, and her decades of teaching positively impacted the lives of countless students going into ministry. She was considered a “driving force” in the evolution of the Master of Social Work degree program at NOBTS.
Bozeman died at the age of 93 on Oct. 18, 2022. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Thomas Welby Bozeman, a pastor and professor of New Testament and religious education at Louisiana College (now Louisiana Christian University), and her parents, Henry Oliver Cannon and Ruby Rowell Cannon. The chair is named in their memory.
Dr. Jason Newell, professor of social work and director of UM’s Social Work Program, has been selected as the first chair. His term began on Oct. 1, 2023.
“I am both humbled and honored to be named as the inaugural social work chair,” Newell said. “I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Bozeman on several occasions and she was indeed a special person, admirable scholar and dedicated member of the Academy of Social Work Education. I am fully committed to honoring her requests that her gift be used to support teaching and research in the areas of mental health and wellness.”
The use of the funding is decided by the chair appointee, but one requirement is the establishment of an annual lecture series regarding death, dying and grief, where a guest lecturer will ideally present topics that will benefit faculty, students, staff, the community and counseling and/or social work practitioners.