November 3, 2014

University of Montevallo alumnus endows scholarship

MONTEVALLO — Thanks to the generosity of University of Montevallo alumnus James L. Moss of Plano, Texas, students at UM who are experiencing a financial emergency will have a source of assistance. The James L. Moss Emergency Assistance Fund was endowed to help students who might be facing situations that may prohibit them from staying in school or even completing their degree in their final semester.

Moss, who graduated from UM in 1969 (B.S., Business), was a member of the Sigma Club, which grew into the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. Now a partner and Senior Vice President at MHBT Inc., a commercial insurance brokerage firm in Dallas, he established the fund as an expression of his appreciation to the university for the opportunities he was accorded while a student. He said, “The University of Montevallo provides students with a solid foundation, academically and culturally. UM gives so much to its students, and it is our responsibility to give something back. I encourage anyone who can to support their favorite programs.”

Brenda Knight, executive director of the University of Montevallo Foundation, said that, at their first meeting at an alumni event held in Dallas, Moss immediately asked, “How can I, as an alumnus, help University of Montevallo students succeed?” She continued, “As we discussed the growing needs of students, it became clear Jim wanted to give a gift that made an impact for students facing emergency situations. The James L. Moss Emergency Assistance Fund does just that – it helps students when they need it the most. Jim Moss is an alumnus who truly understands the challenges facing college students today.”

Students in good standing who wish to receive assistance through this fund will complete a needs-based questionnaire explaining the nature of the need and must participate in counseling as determined by the director of the university’s counseling services. Selection of the recipient(s) will be handled by the director of counseling services. The amount of the award will vary depending on the circumstances.

Dean of Students Tammi Dahle said, “Most UM students qualify for financial aid with many meeting criteria for federal grants. Given that general demographic, we have found that many students need assistance for unforeseen emergency situations, especially during these recent economic times. Having donors, like Jim Moss, who are willing to support our efforts in retaining students during difficult times is truly a testament to the generosity of our supporters and symbolizes the commitment they make to all students regardless of circumstance.”

Those wishing to support UM’s student emergency fund may do so by calling 205-665-6215 or visiting