For The News Courier
Gov. Robert Bentley announced eight appointments Friday to the newly created Board of Trustees that will govern Athens State University.
This is the first time the 190 year-old institution has been led by a board since the then-private Athens College was transferred from the purview of the Methodist Church to the State of Alabama in 1975, becoming a public school.
“We assembled an extraordinary slate of candidates from which Governor Bentley made his decision to fill the eleven positions on the board,” said Dr. Robert Glenn, president of ASU. “We were humbled by those civic leaders, alumni, and friends of the University who came forward to offer their support to our great institution. The governor’s decision exemplifies the talent needed to promote our mission.”
Those elected and their terms of service include:
• Mary C. Dickens, 2012-2017. Dickens is currently a contract executive in the Senior Executive Service within the Department of Defense at the U.S. Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal. Dickens has also served in various positions within the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command. Dickens is a 1993 graduate of Athens State College and received her Master’s degree in Management/Contract Management from the Florida Institution of Technology. Dickens resides in Meridianville.
• Garth Lovvorn, 2012-2015. Lovvorn served as area president of Bank Independent from 2006-2012. He retired in 2012 and is currently managing family farming interests in the Tennessee Valley and the Mississippi Delta. Lovvorn is a 1969 graduate of Athens State College, and a 1978 graduate of the LSU School of Banking of the South. Lovvorn resides in Athens.
• Macke Mauldin, 2012-2015. Mauldin has served as president of Bank Independent since 1996. He has served as board director for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Birmingham Branch) and director of the Southern Development Council. Mauldin is a 1982 graduate of Auburn University. Mauldin resides in Florence.
• Sen. Arthur Orr, 2012-2015. Orr currently serves as an Alabama State Senator and as vice president and general counsel for Cook’s Pest Control. He has previously served as a country director/staff attorney for Habitat for Humanity International and as an Educational Consultant for the United States Peace Corps. Orr received his Bachelor’s Degree from Wake Forest University in 1986 and is a 1989 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law. Orr resides in Decatur.
• Maxine Randolph, 2012-2019. Randolph has served as a store manager for Lowes, Inc. since 2000 and opened the Athens location in 2004. She has also served as a store manager for Target and as chairperson for the Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce. Randolph received a bachelor’s degree from Marian University. Randolph resides in Elkmont.
• Clint Shelton, 2012-2019. Shelton is the owner of Tennessee Valley Printing Co., which publishes The Decatur Daily and Times Daily in Florence. He has previously worked for The Raleigh News and Observer and the Waxahachie Daily Light. Shelton has served as board chairman of the United Way and Salvation Army. Shelton is a 1986 graduate of Washington and Lee University. Shelton resides in Decatur.
• Tazewell T. Shepard, 2012-2017. Shepard is a principal in law firm of Sparkman, Shepard & Morris in Huntsville. He currently serves as president of the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association. Shepard is a 1979 graduate of the University of Alabama. He resides in Huntsville.
• Dr. Sandra Sims-deGraffenried, 2012-2017. Sims-deGraffenried has an extensive career in public education leadership. For almost two decades, she served as an advocate for public education as executive director of the Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB). Following her retirement from AASB, she was associate executive director of the Alabama Nursing Home Association. She now serves as a consultant. Sims-deGraffenried earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Athens College in 1967 and 1970 respectively, and her Doctorate from Vanderbilt University in 1984. She resides in Orange Beach.
• Gov. Bentley will serve as the Board President. State Board of Education member Mary Scott Hunter and Post-Secondary Chancellor Dr. Mark A. Heinrich will also serve on the board in their respective roles as leaders in the Alabama educational system.
In a letter from Bentley to the appointees, he states, “Appointing you to this position comes with great responsibility because you will be making important decisions that affect the citizens of Alabama.”
Governance of Athens State by the Board of Trustees will become effective on Oct. 1. The Board of Trustees will conduct its first meeting on Oct. 12.