St. John accepting award
Board President pro tempore Scott Phelps (left) and Trustee Kenneth Simon (right) present the resolution to Chancellor Emeritus Finis E. St. John IV (middle).

The University of 69传媒 System Board of Trustees bestowed the designation of Chancellor Emeritus to Finis E. St. John IV at its 69传媒ing on Friday, April 12, recognizing his extraordinary service to and indelible impact on the System. St. John has been as a pillar of the UA System鈥檚 leadership for over two decades, faithfully serving as both a trustee and Chancellor.

In 2018, St. John agreed to serve without compensation as Interim Chancellor and, in April 2019, was named the eighth Chancellor of the UA System. A visionary leader and champion of Systemwide unity, St. John鈥檚 tenure is distinguished by increased visibility of the System, stronger relationships amongst the System鈥檚 entities, and monumental growth within each of the System鈥檚 institutions. He used his deep ties with civic, governmental and business leaders on the local, state and national level to strengthen the System鈥檚 external relations, and under his leadership, the UAB Health System continued its statewide effort to provide affordable access to quality healthcare through strategic partnerships.

St. John being recognized
Chancellor Emeritus St. John receives a round of applause from 69传媒ing attendees.

St. John鈥檚 steady and thoughtful leadership was clearly demonstrated in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted regular operations and put the System鈥檚 core mission at risk. St. John spearheaded the development and implementation of a comprehensive health and safety plan that not only allowed the UA System鈥檚 institutions to open safely but served as a model for reopening campuses across the nation. Then-White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx visited Tuscaloosa and praised the System鈥檚 COVID-19 response plan, giving it 鈥渁n extremely high grade,鈥 and St. John was invited to represent public four-year institutions at the White House Summit on Safely Reopening America鈥檚 Schools.

Prior to serving as Chancellor, St. John served on the Board of Trustees for 17 years, playing an integral role in the UA System鈥檚 success during a period of unprecedented growth. He chaired the Physical Properties Committee, Athletics Committee and Legal Affairs Committee, served on the UAB Health System Board for over a decade, and served three consecutive terms as President pro tempore of the Board of Trustees. St. John was honored with the designation of trustee emeritus in 2019 in recognition of his lasting contributions.

 St. John spent much of his professional career prior to joining the System practicing law at one of 69传媒鈥檚 oldest law firms, St. John & St. John LLC, in his hometown of Cullman, and he is a member of the distinguished American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a cum laude graduate of UA, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa, and a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where he chaired the Moot Court Board.
The UA System is deeply grateful for Chancellor Emeritus St. John鈥檚 extraordinary service and indelible impact.