Alumni Focus: Harry Smith

UNA College of Business Alumni Harry Smith“I graduated in 1964. That’s 50 years ago!” Harry Smith said. Harry was born and raised in Florence, Alabama, attended Florence State College where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Accounting with a minor in Economics, and remained in the Shoals area for sixteen years working as a public accountant before moving with his wife to Memphis, Tennessee, where they now reside. “I graduated from Florence State College, my wife graduated from Florence State University and our daughter graduated from the University of North Alabama. We’ve lived the UNA history!”

Harry taught several classes in the College of Business while working as a CPA in Florence and found the experience of giving back to his alma mater incomparable. “It was fun,” he said. “It was a really interesting thing to do.” He has been a member of the UNA Foundation Board for several years and has enjoyed working closely with Dan Hendricks and Judy Jackson in the development office. “They are super people to work with. I enjoyed working with Dr. Cale and I’m enjoying working with Dr. Thornell.” In past years, he has served on the UNA President’s Cabinet and served as President of the National Alumni Association. “UNA has been close to me for a long time,” he said. “I’m very fond of it.”

Harry is presently semi-retired, though he and a business partner continue to develop a 448 acre area near Memphis called Schilling Park in Collierville, Tennessee. He sits on several nonprofit boards, a bank board and serves as a Deacon for his church. In years past, he was Chairman and CEO of Schilling Companies, Inc., which owned and operated several companies dealing in real estate, HVAC, trucking, automobile sales and the auto parts industry. In 2010, he became Folgeman College’s Executive-in-Residence at the University of Memphis, where he taught classes, gave lectures and mentored business students. Smith has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Union University. Harry and his wife have one daughter and three grandsons. All three grandsons played or play at Alabama and helped win three BCS Championships. “We spend a lot of time going to football games,” he said.  Though Harry lives in a neighboring state, UNA remains very close to him. “Greg Carnes is one of my heroes,” he said. "Being an accounting major, I really like the business school at UNA and what they continue to do for the students and the area.” 

About his years spent as student at UNA, Harry said, “It gave me a great background and I felt like I got a really good education there. I had Dr. Roy Stevens and Dr. Lawrence Conwill for almost all of my accounting courses and they were great. They gave me a really good background in accounting and helped prepare me for my career. I think it’s a great institute for the Shoals area, Florence especially. The campus is beautiful and I’m proud to be an alumnus of UNA.” 

Visit the UNA Alumni site so you too can get involved like Harry.

November 2014

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