March 20, 2024

Vann Receives UMNAA Distinguished Alum Award

Jim Vann ’76 received the Distinguished Alumni Award, which is the University of Montevallo National Alumni Association’s highest annual honor, at the 2024 Homecoming awards dinner and annual business meeting Feb. 16 in Anna Irvin Dining Hall.

Vann is president, board member and shareholder of Dentons Sirote law firm in Alabama, where he is a member and former chair of the Dentons Sirote Real Estate practice group. In his practice, the Birmingham native represents banks and other lenders in connection with all types of lending, including commercial and industrial loans as well as real estate loans.

Upon receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award, Vann thanked his family and friends, and noted how he sought out a law career through the guidance of Dr. Sarah Posey Morgan, a who taught business law and other law-related courses at UM .

“That is the power of a professor making a connection to a specific student,” Vann said. “Those are the kinds of things that happen at our university. The faculty and staff did a particularly effective job in preparing me. I’m truly humbled.”

After graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from UM, Vann practiced as a Certified Public Accountant at the firm formerly known as Ernst & Ernst. In 1981, he graduated magna cum laude from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law and began his legal practice at various local law firms, where he became known as one of the top banking and commercial real estate attorneys in the Birmingham area.

“Jim has a servant’s heart and has spent his whole career in service to others, while maintaining a very humble demeanor,” said nominator Kirk Lightfoot ’76, Vann’s fraternity brother and 2002 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. “He has certainly distinguished himself with his impressive career, but he has also distinguished the University of Montevallo as a loyal and generous son and respected alum.”

Vann and his wife Robyn met at UM and have been married for 46 years. They have two children, Jase and Natalie, and five grandchildren.