Stewart helping UM grow

As you probably know, the University of Montevallo has a new president, Dr. John W. Stewart. This is an exciting time for the university, the city of Montevallo and all of Shelby County.

The university has always been a point of pride for our county; students can get a quality college education for a reasonable cost there. In his inaugural address and in speeches since taking office, Dr. Stewart has described his vision for the school. I have had the privilege of being with Dr. Stewart on a couple of occasions, and I am impressed with his vision and energy. He wants to reach out to more students and grow the student body by 500 students over the next five years. He believes, and I agree, that this larger student body will not only be good for the school by increasing funds but will have a positive economic impact on the city of Montevallo and on Shelby County. These additional students will be spending money that will help small businesses in our county.

But there is more to Dr. Stewart’s vision than just increasing the size of the student body. In the next five years, the university will have its first Rhodes Scholar and will have at least two Fulbright Scholars on faculty. He intends for the university to move into the U.S. News and World Report Top 10 within the next 10 years.

The average class size at the University is 16 and 94 percent of the faculty holds a Ph.D. or other terminal degree in their field. Considering the small class size, high quality faculty and very reasonable tuition, the University of Montevallo is an outstanding choice for any student going to college.

I am very impressed with Dr. Stewart’s vision for the University of Montevallo and wish him great success. A growing, vibrant university will help all of us.

Jim Fuhrmeister is the Shelby County Probate Judge.