Published on March 8, 2010  

Dr. Freida Hill, the new Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System, is a Samford English major. Just after starting her work at ACCS on December 1, 2009, Dr. Hill spoke to Samford's December graduates in commencement ceremonies.

Dr. Hill, the Georgia educator unanimously chosen by the nine-member State Board of Education to lead the Alabama Community College System, made history as the first woman to serve as a permanent chancellor of the system when she took the helm on December 1, 2009.

Previously, Dr. Hill served as the deputy commissioner for the Technical College System of Georgia. She has spent most of her career in community and technical colleges, including five years as a president and six years as a vice president of economic development. A native of Tennessee, where she taught one year of high school English, Hill has called Georgia home for most of her career. She holds an associate degree from Hiwassee Junior College in Tennessee, as well as a bachelor of arts in English from Samford, and a master of science in Marketing Education and a doctorate in Adult Education from the University of Georgia.

During her tenure with the Technical College System of Georgia, Dr. Hill represented the system in the American Diploma Project (ADP), an initiative designed to place more relevance on the high school diploma, align high school graduation requirements with college entrance requirements, and ensure that high school graduates were both college and work ready.

Dr. Hill is passionate about student success, especially for at-risk students, believing that getting an education is the most important thing people can do to improve their lives and those of their families. "Their success is essential for the vitality of the state," she says.

A self-described Southern girl, Hill says this job is the pinnacle of her career.

"It is exciting to think about working for a system that is student-focused and committed to access in order to facilitate learning and student development," says Hill.

(Parts of this story were taken from the ACCS website)

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.