University of Montevallo reaches 10-year naming rights agreement for Central State Bank Arena

Published 11:41 am Wednesday, January 17, 2024

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MONTEVALLO – The home of the University of Montevallo basketball, volleyball, and wrestling teams, along with future sport acrobatics and tumbling, will have a new name after the University of Montevallo and Central State Bank agreed to a multi-year partnership to rename the university’s on-campus arena.

The newly named Central State Bank Arena is housed inside the McChesney Student Activity Center on campus.

Central State Bank Arena will become the official name on Feb. 1, 2024, when Montevallo’s men’s and women’s basketball teams host Delta State, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

“We’re excited to partner with Central State Bank and announce the newly named Central State Bank Arena at the Robert M. McChesney Student Activity Center,” said University President Dr. John W. Stewart III. “They are fabulous people and have been tremendous supporters of our students for a really long time. We’re honored to be associated with Central State Bank.”

For over a decade, Central State Bank has been a vital supporter of the University of Montevallo. Along with the naming rights agreement, CSB also supports the university through a named scholarship and a named classroom in Stephens Hall.

CSB Chief Executive Officer Mitt Schroeder serves on the University of Montevallo Foundation Board. The Deegee Downs Schroeder Endowed Scholarship was created in memory of Mrs. Schroeder by William Schroeder, Chairman of the Board of CSB.

“I have witnessed my entire life the positive impact the University of Montevallo has made on its students, its employees and its community,” Schroeder said. “The University of Montevallo’s contribution to Shelby County and surrounding areas have been felt for generations in the past and will be felt for generations to come. Central State Bank and The University of Montevallo share a deep history of over 100 years in this community and both strive to make a difference in the lives we touch. This opportunity to align ourselves with the University of Montevallo is a perfect fit for Central State Bank.”

The Bank opened its doors to the community in 1916 in downtown Calera. Throughout the first three decades, ownership and leadership of the Bank experienced change.

That is, until the hiring of Mr. Roy Downs in 1945 as President and CEO. Two years after taking the helm, Mr. Downs purchased the controlling interest of the Bank, launching an era that would change Calera and its surrounding communities forever.

Mr. Downs’ business acumen went well beyond the walls of the banking industry. Coupled with his passion for people and community, he helped fuel the economic engine of industrial progress for central Alabama by fostering hope and promise for a better life and future for its citizens.

Putting people first was not simply a mantra of Mr. Downs and the Bank, but rather, a principle of life.  He exhibited a genuine care and concern for the wellbeing of each and every person.

Upon the passing of Mr. Downs in 1971, the gavel was passed to his son-in-law, Bill Schroeder. Shortly after becoming CEO and President, both of Mr. Downs’ children came into the Bank, eventually followed by his grandchildren. They all spent their entire careers there.

While the standard had already been set at a very high level, under the leadership and direction of Mr. Schroeder, the Bank has continued to elevate the bar of service and success.  This is credited to the Bank embodying the commitment to its clearly defined mission:  To be the Bank whose community is enriched by its presence and the Bank whose customers would not consider banking anywhere else.

With Mr. Schroeder still serving as the Chairman of the Board, his children continue to carry the torch.  In 2012, the three children took on greater leadership roles in the bank.  Shane Schroeder was promoted to President; Mitt Schroeder was promoted to CEO and Shanda Schroeder Watts was promoted to Senior Vice President.

They strive to build personal relationships through following the Bank and family core values:  Integrity, Teamwork, Excellence and Genuineness.  Growing together equates to succeeding together.  The Bank does not make the effort to simply “try” and make a difference.  Rather, Central State Bank works resolutely to BE the difference!

Central State Bank Arena is a fitting name for a campus like the University of Montevallo as it features the geographic center of the state of Alabama on its campus.

The McChesney Student Activity Center was built in 2004, and its arena has been home to basketball and volleyball since then. Wrestling became the arena’s third sport in Nov. 2023, and in 2025, Acrobatics and Tumbling will compete in Central State Bank Arena for the first time.

CSB Arena has a seating capacity of 2,237 and can hold 2,500 with standing room only.

The naming rights agreement with Central State Bank is a ten-year commitment.