It didn’t take long for Jim Moss ’69 to fnd success. After graduating from UM with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Moss launched a decades-long career in insurance that started as an underwriter with Liberty Mutual and ended as a partner and senior vice president at Marsh & Mc- Lennan Companies.
Moss, who has worked with clients as large as Pepsi Cola, American Airlines, Westin & Sheraton Hotel Corp. and more, has traveled internationally and lived all over the country, including major cities like Manhattan, Seattle and Dallas.
Throughout his career, Moss says he never forgot that the foundations for his success came from his time on the brick streets.
As true in 1969 as it is now, Moss credits UM’s signature small class sizes, personal attention from professors and the close bonds he formed with his Sigma fraternity brothers (now Alpha Tau Omega) for giving him the interpersonal skills to thrive in corporate environments.
“When you graduate, it’s not just about having a degree,” said Moss. “Networking and building relationships is a key ingredient to your success after college.”
Moss felt compelled to give back to UM through donations and serving on various committees over the years, which he described as “a responsibility, a duty and an honor” for all alumni. Moss currently serves on the UM Foundation Board.
Initially, Moss elected to give to the General Fund to help create a wide range of scholarships for incoming and current students. After discussing other needs with Scott Dillard, executive vice president of advancement, external afairs and strategic initiatives, Moss realized there wasn’t a fund set aside for students who may suddenly lose a parent, experience a house fre or otherwise face a financially dire situation that may cause them to drop out of college.
In 2014, Moss remedied that blind spot by endowing the James L. Moss Emergency Assistance Fund, a fund that helps students continue their education at UM despite ex- traordinary and unfortunate circumstances.
Moss, who occasionally receives letters from students who have remained at UM because of the fund, said the students’ stories make him feel proud of the unique way
he’s been able to impact the lives of current students as an alum.
In August, Moss will exercise his passion for the University even further when he takes on the role of chair of the UM Foundation Board and begins working closely with the Board of Trustees and President Stewart.
As he refects on his upcoming appointment and the University that he credits as the foundation for his success, Moss hopes his story can encourage and inspire others to fnd their own ways to give back to UM.
“It’s not the amount you give. I think it’s about being faithful and sustaining your contributions back to the school,” said Moss. “At least once a year, think about the University and how you can help out by being a part of the lives of other students. You may not meet them. But if you donate…you’re going to be helping students somewhere in Montevallo.”