Alabaster mayor earns master’s

Published 11:08 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Alabaster Mayor David Frings earned a new title Saturday: M.S.

After many night and weekend classes, Frings has completed his master’s degree in environmental management at Samford University and participated in graduation ceremonies Dec. 13 at 10 a.m.

Frings, who is the director of the Interpretive Center at Oak Mountain State Park, also has a bachelor’s degree in geology.

So how did Frings find time to complete a graduate degree while serving as the mayor of Shelby County’s largest city and as the director of the interpretive center?

“You stay up late and do a little studying now and then,” Frings said with a laugh.

Frings also said it took an adjustment to go back to school since the last time he was in school was 1976.

“When I got my first degree, there was no such thing as the Internet,” Frings said. “So there was a learning curve. It was a challenge, but a fun challenge.”

During his time at Samford, Frings took several social classes. One class, called sustainability, allowed the students to study about New Orleans pre- and post-Hurricane Katrina.

Frings said taking such classes would be beneficial to any city leader or mayor in the county.

“It was a big eye-opener,” Frings said.

Although he has no plans now to pursue a PhD, Frings would not rule out the possibility.

He said he would like to get into the publishing and research realm, and a master’s degree will help him do that.

“You can get a lot of different perspectives,” Frings said.