Posted by Philip Poole on 2007-03-07

Harry B. "Buck" Brock III of Birmingham has been elected vice president for business affairs at Samford University, effective March 8.

Brock, 51, was elected by the university's trustee executive committee upon the recommendation of Samford President Andrew Westmoreland. He replaces Joseph W. Mathews Jr., who will retire June 1.

Brock had served as a Samford trustee since 1998 and most recently was chair of the trustees' investments committee.

"Buck Brock brings to this position the right mix of business knowledge and administrative skills," Westmoreland said. "And, his previous service as a trustee will enhance his ability to lead our administrative division.

"Under Buck's leadership, the investment committee has worked with the business affairs staff to enhance the performance of our investments." Samford's endowment was $278 million in the recently reported audit.

Brock most recently has been president of Express Oil Development Co. in Birmingham after a long career with Central Bancshares and Compass Bank. For several years he was president of Central Bank in Huntsville and later Birmingham. He began a 17-year career with Compass as an intern while a student at the University of Alabama, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in 1977.

He led both the Huntsville and Birmingham banks through significant operating improvements and financial growth before leaving in September 1994 to pursue personal entrepreneurial interests. He has received several banking and community honors in both Huntsville and Birmingham and remains an active community volunteer.

He and his wife, Nancy, are parents of two children, including a daughter, Jane, who is a Samford junior. The Brocks are members of Mountain Brook Baptist Church in suburban Birmingham.

Mathews will continue in an advisory capacity for legal issues beyond June 1, Westmoreland said. Mathews served as Samford's legal counsel for a number of years before joining the administration as vice president in 2000.

"I want to affirm what Bill Mathews has done for Samford through the years," Westmoreland said. "He has helped steer the university through some complex legal and business issues, and Samford is stronger because of his work."

Westmoreland lauded Mathews' commitment to the university beyond his role as vice president.

"Bill and Melinda Mathews support Samford at every level, whether at arts performances or athletics. Fortunately, we will continue to see and benefit from their involvement and commitment into the future," Westmoreland said.

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.