Published on September 11, 2018 by Bill Nunnelley  
Bragg Verne

Verne Bragg, regional managing partner and audit practice leader with the international accounting firm of Grant Thornton, has been elected to the Samford University Board of Trustees. Bragg, of Orlando, Florida, has more than 30 years of public accounting experience and currently leads the practice in the company’s Bangalore, India, office.

Bragg previously served as managing partner of the Orlando office of Grant Thornton for more than 15 years. He has worked with both publicly and privately held companies, and he has led engagement teams serving real estate, manufacturing and technology companies involved in public equity and debt offerings, private placement offerings, initial public offerings, and SEC compliance service.  Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Bragg worked with Big 4 accounting firms including a two-year rotation in a national office serving SEC reporting companies. He was also a member of the Florida Institute of CPAs Accounting Standards Committee.

Bragg has served previously as a member of the Samford Parent Leadership Council. He and his wife, Andrea, are parents of three children who have graduated from Samford. His family have been members of First Baptist Church of Orlando since 1994, where Bragg served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher and trustee.

Bragg said he was “humbled and honored” to be joining the Samford trustees “at this exciting time in the life of the university. I am looking forward to serving as Samford’s reputation expands nationally.”

Samford’s 43-member board of trustees serves as the governing body for the university. Trustees serve four-year terms.

Reelected Sept. 7 to additional four-year terms were Al Shumaker, attorney, Centre, Alabama; J. Theodore Jackson, attorney, Montgomery, Alabama; James R. Jackson, retired pharmacist, Sterrett, Alabama; Alan Register, executive vice president, Birmingham market executive and commercial district director for Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle, Regions Bank, Birmingham; William J. Stevens, retired president and CEO, Motion Industries, Inc., Birmingham; Beth Thorne Stukes, civic volunteer and former teacher, Jasper, Alabama; Ronald J. Watkins, president, Ronnie Watkins Ford, Gadsden, Alabama; and Jay L. Wolf, pastor, First Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama.

Reelected as officers of the board for 2019 were Tim Vines, president and CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Birmingham, chair; Beth Thorne Stukes, civic volunteer and former teacher, Jasper, Alabama, vice chair; Victor E. Nichol, Jr., retired president and EO, First National Banker’s Bank, Birmingham, secretary; and Sherri Foyt, former elementary school teacher and church and civic volunteer, Vestavia Hills, Alabama, assistant secretary.

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.