Born on January 16, 1935 in Northport, Sam P. Faucett III, the son of Sam Faucett Jr., graduated from Tuscaloosa County public schools, The University of Alabama, the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin, and the National School of Banking at the University of Oklahoma.
Faucett worked in the Adams Drug Store and the Faucett Brothers Store, of which his father was part owner, and went into banking at The Tuscaloosa Bank after graduate school. He left banking for a few years to work for Shell Oil Company in New Orleans and New York, and then returned to banking at Regions Financial Corporation (previously known as First Alabama Bank and prior to that as City National Bank). Faucett retired from Regions Bank in 2000 after having served in many capacities including Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Tuscaloosa Bank and president of the Western, Florida and Louisiana Regions.
For 12 years, Faucett served as mayor and city councilman for the city of Northport. For 25 years, his leadership as a trustee of the DCH Health System was instrumental in the development of world-class, regional health system, which included expanded services, an open heart surgery center, cancer treatment center, a neonatal intensive care unit and many other services. And the results of his service as a long time member of Tuscaloosa Parks and Recreation Authority's board is seen in expanded recreational resources for all citizens of every age.
He has served in leadership roles with the Chamber of for many years, serving both the Northport and Tuscaloosa chambers - and he then led the way for the merger of the two to form Alabama's first regional chamber, the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama in 1984. Faucett was chairman of the Chamber in 1988, where he was also director and treasurer and was voted the 2000 Entrepreneur of the Year. He was also voted Northport's Citizen of the Year in 2000.
Active in a variety of civic, service, and charitable leadership positions, Faucett has made an impact through the United Way, the President's Cabinet at the University of Alabama, Association of Retarded Citizens, the Tuscaloosa County Special Tax Board, Capstone Health Services Foundation, American Heart Association, and other leadership roles in banking and economic development.
In 1996, when the Tuscaloosa County school system was facing a major financial dilemma, Faucett stepped up to make today's Tuscaloosa County High School a reality. Through his personal model of generosity and commitment with one of the largest gifts ever by an individual to a secondary school in the United States, he then provided the personal leadership and catalyst for a highly successful private funding initiative to build Tuscaloosa County High School.
Faucett was honored by inclusion in the Alabama Business Hall of Fame in 2007. He was Tuscaloosa County Citizen of the Year in 2010.
A native of Moundville, Thomas P. "Tommy" Hester was born on April 12, 1933. He is a graduate of Hale County High School, The University of Alabama, and the Louisiana State University School of Banking. Upon enlisting in the United States Army, Hester, completed basic training in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, and enjoyed a distinguished military career as a Sergeant.
Hester was active in the banking field serving for five decades. He was the president of First State Bank, vice-president of First National Bank of Tuscaloosa, and the National Bank of Commerce.
Hester has contributed significantly through his leadership roles with the Easter Seals of West Alabama, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Focus, the Chamber of Commerce, Shelton State Foundation, DCH Foundation, Civitan Club, United Way, and a long, long list of other civic and charitable endeavors. And for over 44 years, he has been an active and contributing leader of Forest Lake Methodist Church, serving in every office available.
Over the years, his tireless efforts have been recognized with a host of honors; including Tuscaloosa Citizen of the Year in 1976, United Way Volunteer of the Year, the Alabama Association of Rehabilitation Facilities' Individual of the Year.
Robert Jemison, Jr. was a prominent, wealthy and powerful citizen in Tuscaloosa's early days of development. A lawyer, politician, industrialist, and civic leader, Jemison served served seven years in the Alabama House of Representatives, and served in the state Senate. Among his achievements as a legislator was putting the state's finances in order after the failure of the State Bank. While serving as a State Senator, Jemison led the way to the establishment of Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa.
Jemison owned multiple businesses. Among his ventures were a stagecoach line, toll roads, toll bridges, grist mills, sawmills, turnpikes, stables, a hotel, and plank roads. One of his businesses was the Tuscaloosa Bridge Company. The company built two of the first covered bridges across the Black Warrior River. Jemison hired Horace King, a skilled multiracial enslaved person from Russell County to build bridges in eastern Mississippi. King became one of the most respected bridge designers and builders in the Deep South. In 1846, Jemison, along with King's owner, obtained his freedom through an act of the Alabama Legislature. King built the last covered bridge at Tuscaloosa and Northport over the Black Warrior in 1872 just a few months after Jemison's death. Jemison made an arrangement with Tuscaloosa County for King to build the bridge, the first of many the county would build.
Harlan Meredith was born in Tuscaloosa, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Owen Meredith. He graduated from Tuscaloosa High School in 1937 and from the University of Alabama's School of Commerce and Business Administration in 1941. He served in World War II as a naval officer in the South Pacific and was discharged with the rank of Lt. Commander after approximately five years of active duty.
Meredith worked in the insurance business for more than 53 years. He was a partner with his father and later with his brother in the family firm, Owen Meredith & Sons, and then with the Duckworth-Morris Agency. He served as president of the Insurance Agents of Tuscaloosa, the Alabama Association of Insurance Agents, and the Alabama Chapter of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters. He also served as a director of the National Association of Insurance Agents.
Meredith was active in community affairs and received many awards for his outstanding efforts. He chaired the YMCA New Building Committee that resulted in a modern new central facility and served as president at the time of its opening. He was also instrumental in building the Benjamin Barnes branch of the YMCA and in the acquisition of land for expanded day camp programs known as Y's Acres. Meredith's leadership was also contributory in the completion of the family life center at First Presbyterian Church and the expansion of the pre-school training center. He was an active member of the Chamber, the United Fund of Tuscaloosa County, and the Exchange Club.
Meredith served as state chairman for the establishment of a Graduate School of Social Work at The University of Alabama, the effort resulting in passage of legislation which established the school. He was named Tuscaloosa County's Citizen of the Year in 1967.
Born in 1910 to Thomas Edward Caddell and Bertha Evelyn Griggs Caddell in Glen Allen, Alabama, Dr. Minnie C. Miles earned a teaching degree from Florence State Normal School (now the University of North Alabama) in 1928. She went to Texas to earn her bachelor's from Mary Hardin-Baylor College in general business, then earned a Master's in personnel management from Northwestern University, and later earned her PhD from Purdue University in industrial psychology.
Miles began teaching at The University of Alabama in 1942, becoming one of the first women to hold a faculty position in the College of Business. Miles was a tireless leader at national and international levels in efforts to achieve equality in the workplace. An active, founding member of the Alabama Federation of Business and Professional Women, she became president of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women in 1962.
In 1963 she stood at the shoulder of President John F. Kennedy as he signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara appointed Miles to the Defense Committee on Women in Services, which led to a bill that removed restrictions on promoting women in the military. She later served in numerous other leadership roles in pursuing equality for women. She later served in numerous other leadership roles in pursuing equality for women including work with the US Civil Service Commission, NASA, Federal Aviation Administration, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Marshall Flight Space Center.
Dr. Miles also leaves a legacy of generosity and civic service. She was one of the first individuals to establish a University of Alabama annuity trust to promote faculty excellence and scholarships for women. Not only did she initiate this early trust, Dr. Miles was a leader in spearheading and supporting a wide-range of endowed funds. Among these endowed funds are the Frank Rose - Minnie Miles Endowed Commerce & Business Administration Professor of Leadership, and the Minnie C. Miles Endowed Graduate Scholarship.
Her leadership and service was broad and touched the lives of many citizens during her lifetime. Dr. Miles was a founding member of the Alturas Club, Chair of the Wesley Foundation at UA, and national trainer and spokesperson for the Widowed Person's Service of the American Association of Retired Persons. Her work with the Tombigbee Council of the Girl Scouts earned her a Distinguished Alumni Award from Purdue University.
Dr. Miles was one of only 13 recipients of the Governor's Women in Leadership Awards in 1989; was awarded an honorary doctorate from Mary Hardin-Baylor University; named "Woman of Achievement" in Alabama; and received the Soroptimist "Women Helping Women" Award and the International Women's Year Award of Achievement.
In 1993, Dr. Miles was named the Tuscaloosa County Citizen of the Year for her service and impact on people throughout the community. In addition, she was honored by induction into the Alabama Women's Academy of Honor as well as the Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.
Miles retired from the University as Professor Emeriti of Organizational Behavior in 1978 and died in 2001.
Henry Holman (Bene) Mize was born in 1911 in Tuscaloosa and attended local public schools as well as The University of Alabama, receiving his undergraduate, graduate, and law school degrees. An excellent scholar, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and held a teaching fellowship while attending the university.
He served with distinction in the US Army, National Guard, and the reserve and at the time of his retirement in 1963, he had served his country for over 33 years. In the field of law, Mize served as president of the Tuscaloosa Bar Association as well as president of the Alabama Association of Circuit Judges.
He was elected to the Alabama State Senate from Tuscaloosa County and served from 1946 to 1950. An effective and respected legislator, he was instrumental in passing legislation that created the Druid City Hospital Board of Trustees, of which he was later appointed to serve as a member during an important time of growth for the community's hospital.
A practicing attorney for more than 30 years, he was the senior member of the law firm of Mize, Spiro & Phelps when he was elected as circuit judge in 1966. As the presiding judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, he developed a reputation for fairness and served until his death in 1971.
Judge Mize also served on the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education, and was chairman of the Tuscaloosa County Board of Pensions and Security. He was a lifelong active member of First Baptist Church, serving in many leadership roles. Judge Mize was a charter member of the Tuscaloosa Lions Club, which honored him with the Lion of the Year award in 1960.
Born in 1935 in Sumter County, Alabama, Theophilus Yelverton Rogers, Jr., better known as T.Y. Rogers, Jr., came to Tuscaloosa in 1964, and he is credited with providing key leadership for the civil rights movement in Tuscaloosa.
Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., to whom Reverend Rogers had served as an assistant pastor at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, recommended Rogers to the First African Baptist Church as pastor in late 1963. Rogers started work with the church in January 1964 and went on to lead Tuscaloosa in the fight for dissolution of racial inequality. Rogers strictly adhered to the teachings of King on achieving equality through nonviolent means.
Reverend Rogers received his undergraduate degree from Alabama State College in Montgomery, and his divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania with the encouragement of King and where he was a Lily Foundation Fellow.
While serving as pastor at First African Baptist, Reverend Rogers gained support from both blacks and whites throughout the county, and with the help and support of pastors and citizens, he organized the Tuscaloosa Citizens for Action Committee in 1964. This organization served as the base for planning and directing all civil rights activities in Tuscaloosa, and later became an affiliate of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Among his significant contributions, Reverend Rogers led the famous march on the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse in 1964, a time that was known as Tuscaloosa's Freedom Summer. Police tear-gassed the church while members were preparing to march on the newly built Tuscaloosa County Courthouse downtown. About 600 people gathered at the church to prepare to march, in an effort to force the city to uphold the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which declared an end to segregated facilities. Rogers was arrested during the march.
A new march, however, was planned with protection and great success. That day Reverend Rogers' speech on the courthouse steps had great impact, and the next day all signs in the courthouse designating separate facilities for blacks and whites were taken down. The records show this day as the 'death of black water and white water' in Tuscaloosa County.
Rogers remained pastor of First African Baptist Church until March 26, 1971, when his life was cut short by a tragic car accident. In 1985, part of 27th avenue, the street on which the First African Baptist Church, sits was renamed for T. Y. Rogers.
Active on many fronts, Reverend Rogers served in key leadership roles during his career, among which included: director of affiliates and chapters for the SCLC, president of the Confederation of Alabama's Political Organizations, NAACP, and contributing editor to the Baptist Foreign Mission Outlook. Honored on numerous occasions for his courageous leadership efforts, Reverend Rogers was elected as an outstanding young man of America by the Jaycees in 1967, and was honored by the SCLC, YMCA, and other church affiliated organizations