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October 23, 2017

Dr. Jim Day honored Hometown Hero

Jim Day

Dr. Jim Day’s book, “Diamonds in the Rough: A History of Alabama’s Cahaba Coal Field” explores the history of Birmingham as an Iron City

University of Montevallo Professor of History, Dr. Jim Day, of Helena, was honored as a Hometown Hero at the Montevallo Mayor’s Hometown Heroes Breakfast on Friday, Oct. 13. Day also served as keynote speaker of the event.  

Day, who was raised in Montevallo, graduated from Montevallo High School in 1975. He went on to earn a B.S. in engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an M.A. in history from the University of Georgia.  

After 16 years of active duty service in the United States Army, Day earned the title of executive officer, chief of staff and operations officer of a 682-man infantry battalion.

Day began teaching history at the University of Montevallo in 1997, and received his Ph.D. from Auburn University in 2002.  

During his tenure as a professor, he has served as chair of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee, the Library Committee, and currently serves as chairperson for the UM Representative to the Alabama Historical Commission and the UM Representative to the Alabama Historic Ironworks Commission.  

He has been involved in more than 25 professional organizations including the Alabama Association of Historians, the Alabama Higher Education Partnership and serves as the founding president of the Montevallo Historical Society. His book, “Diamonds in the Rough: A History of Alabama’s Cahaba Coal Field,” won the Alabama Historical Association’s Clinton Jackson Coley Award for best work on Alabama local history in 2014.  

In addition to being honored at the Hometown Heroes Breakfast, Day has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Quilt of Valor and Military Service Medal from the Alabama Society Sons of the American Revolution, the National Collegiate Education Award and the title of University Scholar from the University of Montevallo.  

During his acceptance speech at the breakfast, Day shared 12 paradoxes of everyday life that he experienced during his lifetime. His final point stated that, in order to plan as if we’ll live forever, we must act as if we’ll die tonight. “Relationships are key. Therefore, it’s imperative to make a positive impact everyday,” said Day in conclusion. 

Learn more about Jim Day.