summer 2012 / 41
Terry Smiley is the new
Alumni Association president
Terry Smiley speaks to new graduates at the 2012 Commencement.
After being a part of the Alumni Association Executive Board
for several years,
Terry Smiley ’94 (MPPM ’07)
to serve as president of Birmingham-Southern’s National
Alumni Association for 2012-13. Both of his BSC degrees are
in business. He and his wife, Melissa, are the parents of two
children—a boy and girl—and reside in Birmingham. Smiley,
whose term as president runs from June 1, 2012, to May 31,
recently answered some questions about himself and his
new leadership position:
Where has your career taken you since graduation?
I started my career at Alagasco shortly after graduating from
Birmingham-Southern. I’ve been with the company for 18 years
serving in various positions. My current role is customer service
What attracted your interest in leading the BSC Alumni
I have always been involved with various organizations
associated with the college since graduation. Leading the
Alumni Association was a gradual process for me, which came
from serving on the alumni board.
What was your involvement on the BSC campus as a student,
and what was your fondest memory?
I was very fortunate to be a student-athlete at BSC. I played
basketball for four years and loved the academic experience. I
also had great teammates and played on successful teams on the
basketball court. I have so many memories that I cherish from
my time here that it’s really hard to choose one. I enjoyed the
fantastic faculty and loved the time I spent with other students
on the campus as well.
Once you graduated, what made you want to stay involved as
I felt so blessed to be a part of the Birmingham-Southern family.
The relationships I built with Dr. Neal Berte [president emeritus]
and other faculty members made me want to give back.
How would you describe your leadership style?
My leadership style is a combination of participatory and
transformational. I like to facilitate ideas and the sharing of
information with the end goal of getting things accomplished
collectively. I also like to motivate and inspire people to get
What’s on your agenda for your term as president?
One of my goals is to increase the college’s alumni giving
percentage. We have a great president in General Krulak, and
one of his challenges to us all is to increase this percentage. It
has a great impact on BSC’s ability to secure funds from other
foundations. We’ve done a great job the past year in getting this
percentage increased, but we still have a lot of work to do. I’m
confident that we will reach and surpass the level of giving of
our peer institutions. We also need people to consider making
three-year pledges, which help us with longer-term budgeting.
And, we need every alum and parent to consider themselves a
volunteer admission counselor who looks out for prospective
students who would be good fits for ’Southern.
What unique strengths or professional experience do you feel
you bring to the association?
I have served on various boards during my professional
career, and my strength is strategy. Just like many others of
the Birmingham-Southern family, I’m passionate about the
college and will work hard to ensure that BSC and the Alumni
Association are successful. It’s a great honor to serve.
What opportunities or challenges does the Alumni Association
We have a great opportunity to increase alumni involvement
through affinity groups and other activities. Our goal will be
to stay connected to alumni and create more opportunities to
get alumni involved with the college, with the overall focus of
making a difference for the next generation of students and
alumni. This new digital age is a valuable resource for the
Alumni Association, causing us to be able to reach alumni all
over the world and do so quickly through Facebook, Twitter,
e-mail, and texts.