Harry B. Brock. Jr. Legacy
“My desire and vision for the School of Business is to be a little
different and to find a niche that will help these young people fulfill
their dreams.” — Harry Brock, Jr.
The School of Business at Samford University was named for the legendary banking pioneer, Harry B. Brock, Jr., in December of 2007, and thus branding the school, the Brock School of Business. As part of the naming of the school, Harry made a personal commitment to help the Brock School of Business build an endowment to help the school reach its goal of $100 million.
The Brock Legacy:
On March 2, 1964, when Harry Brock, Jr. and a group of his
friends opened the first new bank in Birmingham in 18 years, no one could have
predicted that this small beginning would change the structure of banking in
Alabama and lay the foundation for Birmingham to become a major regional
banking center. Spearheading the multi-bank holding company concept in
Alabama, in 1971, Mr. Brock brought Central Bank and State National Bank of
Alabama together to form a registered bank holding company, Central and State
National Corporation of Alabama.
As more banks joined the Central family, the name changed to Central
Bancshares of the South, Inc. Brock was instrumental in the passage of the Statewide Bank
Merger bill of 1980, allowing bank branching across county lines. This made it
possible for Brock to merge his banks into one bank with branches throughout
In 1987, Central Bancshares purchased a bank in Texas, thus
becoming the first bank in Alabama to own a bank in another state and the first
out-of-state bank to own a bank in Texas.
He named the Texas operation Compass Bancshares of Texas and later
changed the name of the parent organization to Compass Bancshares. Brock served as Chairman and CEO of
Compass Bancshares and Compass Bank of the South until his retirement in March,
1991. Brock, an innovative leader in the banking industry, has
given unstintingly of his time, expertise and financial resources to help make
Birmingham, Jefferson County and the State of Alabama a better place in which
to live and work. He has been an
active board member of numerous charitable and civic organizations in Alabama. In 1962, Brock became a member of the Samford University
Board of Trustees, and was named a member of the Executive Committee in 1963.
He served as Chairman of the Board from 1986 until 1991. He received an honorary doctorate from
Samford University in 1994. Brock was inducted in the Alabama Academy of Honor in August,
1983 and the Alabama Business Hall of
Fame in October, 1993. What Harry Brock did to change the banking industry and through his commitment to the Brock School of Business, he is working to help the business school reach its goals.
History of the Brock School of Business:
renaming of the Samford School of Business to the Brock School of Business in
December 2007 is the latest in a long history of achievements for business
education at Samford, which has offered degrees in business and commerce since
1922. In 1965, the School of Business was established to offer both bachelor’s
and master’s degrees in business. Alabama’s first part-time master of business
administration degree program was established at Samford, and the first MBA
degrees were awarded in 1967. There
are more than 500 students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs and the
M.B.A. and master of accountancy graduate degrees.
The business school was fully accredited by
AACSB International in 1999 and reaccredited in 2010, a recognition earned by
less than five percent of business schools worldwide. The US Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship,
in 2010, named the Brock School of Business the best new entrepreneurship
program in the nation.
You can join Mr. Brock in building the Brock School of Business into one of the premier business schools in the country.