UM celebrates Fall Commencement

Published 2:14 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2018


On Friday, Dec. 7, the University of Montevallo recognized 159 students for the completion of degrees at UM’s Fall Commencement held in the McChesney Student Activity Center.

Myla E. Calhoun, president of Alabama Power Foundation and vice president of Charitable Giving for Alabama Power, delivered the keynote address to the graduates, along with family members and friends.

Calhoun spoke highly of the education students receive at Montevallo.

“A liberal arts education is as vital and relevant as ever,” she said.

This type of education prepares students to enter any field with not only the knowledge of their concentrated area of study, but also a broad-based understanding of humanities and sciences.

In her speech, Calhoun encouraged seniors and the accompanying audience to follow three tips: “Be curious, be generous and be resilient.”

Following the address, John W. Stewart III, president of the University of Montevallo, conferred 121 candidates for bachelor’s degrees and 37 candidates for graduate degrees.
Prior to joining Alabama Power, Calhoun was the general counsel and senior vice president of Regional Development and Public Policy for the Birmingham Business Alliance, where she led diverse teams focused on regional revitalization, workforce development and education initiatives, and young professional engagement.

Calhoun previously served as legal counsel for United States Pipe and Foundry Company, LLC.

At U.S. Pipe, she was directly involved in negotiating project development agreements that led to the site selection and construction of the company’s Marvel City Mini-Mill in Bessemer, the first ductile iron pipe facility built in the United States in more than 60 years. Before joining U.S. Pipe, Calhoun worked with Spain & Gillon, LLC, where her practice focused on urban renewal and revitalization, municipal finance and governmental affairs.

She is a 2018 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow and a member of the advisory board for Stonehenge Capital, a nationally recognized leader in community development finance. Calhoun serves on the boards of directors for the Birmingham Museum of Art, Indian Springs School and the Virginia Samford Theatre and previously served on the board of trustees at Tuskegee University.

She was recently elected to the boards of directors for Children’s of Alabama and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and will begin serving on those boards Jan. 1, 2019.

Calhoun is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and The University of Alabama School of Law. She is the proud mother of two daughters.