December 10, 2015

University of Montevallo Fall Commencement Speaker Announcement

Montevallo, Ala. – Christopher Nanni, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham will provide the University of Montevallo’s keynote address on Friday, Dec. 11.


Around 200 students will participate in the 2015 Fall Commencement Exercises beginning at 5 p.m. in McChesney Student Activity Center. The University of Montevallo National Alumni Association will host a reception in honor of the graduates and families at 3 p.m. in the main entrance of the SAC.


Nanni joined the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham in February 2014. With assets of more than $250 million, the Community Foundation is the largest foundation in the state of Alabama whose mission is to connect philanthropists, nonprofits and engaged leaders to build a stronger more vibrant future for the five-county Greater Birmingham area.


“The Community Foundation is one of the few entities in the region that has the gravitas and scope to convene resources aimed at addressing significant and systemic community needs beyond the scope of individual nonprofit organizations,” said Dr. Stephen Craft, Dean of the Michael E. Stephens College of Business.


The Foundation’s work has specifically been instrumental on the University of Montevallo campus, through the gift of a $100,000 grant to develop an eco-park at the University Lake. The development, complete with a walking trail, a 10-station fitness course and picnic pavilion, has seen an 800% increase in park usage since the renovations were completed.


“The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham is making a lasting impact for the Birmingham area, as well as the University of Montevallo and surrounding community,” said Dr. John Stewart, President of the University of Montevallo. “Mr. Nanni’s passion for philanthropic work and serving others provides a great example for our students and we are looking forward to having Mr. Nanni speak to our graduates, their families, and our faculty and staff.”


While the University honors the 90th Anniversary of the innovative Social Work program that began at Alabama College in 1925, it recently created a new undergraduate Nonprofit Studies minor that introduces students to the nonprofit sector and further prepares students to design, grow and lead mission-driven enterprises.


“Our new undergraduate minor in Nonprofit Studies offered through the Stephens College of Business prepares students of any major to work or volunteer in nonprofit organizations.  Mr. Nanni has already assumed a significant leadership role in the region’s nonprofit sector and having him speak on campus is a great opportunity for our students,” added Dr. Craft.


Nanni has a Master’s in social-service administration from the University of Chicago and a Master’s in cross-cultural theology from the Catholic Theological Union. He earned his bachelor’s degree in theology and computer applications from the University of Notre Dame where he was a walk-on for the men’s basketball team.

He is a member of Leadership Birmingham Class of 2014, serves on the Eye Sight Foundation Board of Directors and the Women’s Breast Health Fund Advisory Committee. Chris is married to Allison and they have three school-aged children.




About The University of Montevallo


The University of Montevallo seeks to be unique in higher education in Alabama, by providing students from throughout the state an affordable, geographically accessible, “small college” public higher educational experience of high quality. Settled within an atmosphere of national historic beauty and offering a tradition of innovative cultural expression, we seek to provide professional programs supported by a broad base of arts and sciences that are designed for intellectual and personal growth in the pursuit of meaningful employment and responsible, informed citizenship.