Our Alums

Notable Graduates

  • William C. Harris, BA, Class of 1954 & PhD, Class of 1965. Professor of history emeritus at North Carolina State University. Author of at least five books, including Lincoln and the Border States: Preserving the Union (2012), which won both the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize (for Civil War scholarship) and the Abraham Lincoln Institute Book Award.
  • Richard Shelby, BA, Class of 1957. U.S. Senator from Alabama (1987-2023).
  • F. David Matthews, BA & MA, Class of 1961. Eleventh U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (1975-77); President of The University of Alabama (1969-75 and -1977-1980); President of the Kettering Foundation (1981-2021); Professor of History at The University of Alabama (1965-80).
  • Donald W. Stewart, BA, Class of 1962. U.S. Senator from Alabama (1978-81); Attorney noted for role in lawsuit against the Monsanto Corporation for PCB contamination in Anniston, Alabama.
  • Arthur P. Bagby, III, BA, Class of 1963. President of Bagby Elevator Company.
  • Harvey H. Jackson, III, MA, Class of 1966. Professor of History at Jacksonville State University.
  • Tennant S. McWilliams, MA, Class of 1967. Professor of History and Dean Emeritus, The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
  • Charles “Chuck” Gordon, BA, Class of 1968. Film and television producer. Credits include such films as Die Hard (1988), Die Hard II (1990), Field of Dreams (1989), Waterworld (1995), and October Sky (1999).
  • Sylvester Croom, Jr., BA, Class of 1975. Member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Head football coach at Mississippi State University (2004-08), becoming the first African-American head football coach at an SEC university; NFL assistant coach for teams such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Saint Louis Rams, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, and the San Diego Chargers (1987-2004; 2009-16).
  • Peter N. Derzis, BA, Class of 1977. ESPN Senior Vice President of College Sports Programming and ESPN Events (1990-2001).
  • Stephen R. Avera, BA, Class of 1978. Senior Vice-President, Secretary and General Counsel at Flowers Foods, Inc. (1986-2019).
  • Sue Bell Cobb, BA, Class of 1978. Thirtieth Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court (2007-11). First female chief justice in Alabama.
  • Stewart D. McLaurin, BA, Class of 1981. President, The White House Historical Association (2014-present).
  • John E. Fleming, BA, Class of 1984. Editor at Large, Anniston Star (1998-2011); Executive Editor, Center for Sustainable Journalism: JJIE/Youth Today (2011-20).
  • Joe Scarborough, BA, Class of 1985. U.S. House of Representatives, 1st Florida Congressional District (1995-2001); Host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe (2007-present).
  • Cynthia L. Almond, BA, Class of 1987. Alabama House of Representatives, 63rd District (2021-present). First woman to represent Tuscaloosa County in the Alabama State Legislature.
  • John H. Merrill, BA, Class of 1987. Alabama House of Representatives, 62nd District (2010-2014); 53rd Secretary of State of Alabama (2015-2022).
  • Thomas B. Albritton, BA, Class of 1989. Director, Alabama Ethics Commission.
  • Liles C. Burke, BA, Class of 1991. United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama (2017-present).
  • Reverend Wilson Fallin, Jr., PhD, Class of 1995. Professor emeritus of History in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Montevallo; president of Birmingham-Easonian Baptist Bible College (1972-82; 1988-present); president of Selma University (1983-8); visiting professor at Beeson Divinity School at Samford University; Pastor, New Zion Baptist Church in Bessemer (1968-83), Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Bessemer (1988-present); Birmingham-area Civil Rights activist and leader, confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fallin is the first African-American to earn a PhD in history from The University of Alabama.
  • R. Reid McKee, BA, Class of 1997. Assistant Chief Counsel, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (2010-16); Immigration Judge U.S. Department of Justice (2016-present).
  • Stephen McNair, BA, Class of 2004. President of McNair Historic Preservation, a national historic preservation consulting firm headquartered in Mobile, AL.
  • Todd Schwarzschild, BA, Class of 2004. CNN Producer (2005-13); Documentary Producer (2009-21); Vice President of Programming and Production Back9 Network (2013-14); General Manager & Channel Leader Rated Red Media (2016-21); Vice President of Content goHUNT (2021-present).
  • Olivia Arnold, BA, Class of 2008. Director of the Paul W. Bryant Museum (2021-present).

PhD Graduates