Name: James Samuel “Sammy” Davis, Jr.
Degree and Graduation Year: Bachelor of Science, Engineering (Mechanical), 1978
Hometown: Helena, AL
Current town: Pelham, AL
Current employer and job: MW/Davis Dumas & Associates, Inc., President/CEO
Why are you proud to be a UAB Blazer? I am proud of the growth and reputation of UAB for academics.
What made you choose UAB? I married my high school sweetheart following high school graduation and worked full time. UAB offered night classes.
What are your hobbies/what do you like to do in your free time? Golf is my current hobby. I love to swim and enjoy spoiling my two grand kids.
Why did you decide on your career? My 7th grade math teacher, Mrs. White suggested I should consider being an Engineer.
How has UAB changed since you graduated? It has grown to be a campus type environment for students with a much larger enrollment.
What’s your favorite quote? We need a game plan.
What was your first job? My brother and I had a grass cutting business for widows.
What is your proudest accomplishment? Owning my own business.
Out of your college experiences, what was your favorite UAB memory? Finally graduating.
What was the last book you read? The Walk by Shaun Alexander
What do you like best about your job? Every project brings a different challenge.
What are your pet peeves? People not doing what they say they are going to do.
Have you ever won a trophy? Little League Baseball County Championship
If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be? I Broke It, But I Can Fix It!
If you had a time machine and could only select one year to relive, what year would you travel to? 1973
What’s the greatest invention in your lifetime and why? Smartphone/Blackberry – It keeps me connected with work.
Who would you want to portray you in a movie about your life? Johnny Depp
Name: Graham Holladay
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Spanish Fort, Al
Why are you proud to be a UAB Blazer? I’m proud to be a UAB Blazer because of how much UAB has given to me. The connections I have made here made me fall in love with the city, community, and college. I bleed green and gold to show everyone who sees me how much UAB means to me.
Why did you choose UAB? I chose UAB because I am originally from Birmingham and still have family in the area. Also, both of my parents are UAB graduates. They directed me to UAB, but it was the campus atmosphere in city that made me fall in love. Birmingham is a good community and I felt at home here.
What are your hobbies/what do you like to do in your free time? My biggest love outside of school is my fraternity. I am a brother of Pi Kappa Phi and the current Vice President. Being a brother of this fraternity has helped me grow as a man and taught me the true meaning of brotherhood and friendship. I also enjoy racquetball, climbing, spearfishing, backpacking/hiking, and plethora of intramural sports.
What are your future goals? I hope to move to Colorado after graduation to experience a new place and find a good job. After working for a few years, I would like to get my Masters Degree in business. My dream goal is be a CEO or part owner of a company by 26 years old. This is pretty ambitious, but I wanted to set my sights high.
Who is the best professor that you have had so far and why? This is a very difficult question to answer. I have had so many good relationships with professors here at UAB that it’s hard to name just one. I would have to give this honor to Dr. Alan Shih. I am currently taking is linear algebra class and have enjoyed every second of it. He is extremely knowledgeable as well as kind. He’s a fair teacher who knows his material and conducts himself with very good professionalism. I’m looking forward to taking more courses with Dr. Shih.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be? I can say with great certainty that I would never trade my life for someone else's, even for a week. There are many things I would like to experience, such as going to space, climbing in Yosemite, or driving Formula One cars, but would only want to do it as myself, not as someone else. But just for fun, I think it’d be cool to be Spiderman.
If you had a theme song, what would it be? Green Grass and High Tides by The Outlaws
What’s your favorite event at UAB? Tailgating with my fraternity brothers
If you were written about in the newspaper, on the front page, what would the headline say? 26 yr old CEO takes office - Good things to come!
Have you ever won a trophy? Yes I have. My favorite trophy was a roll of duct tape given to me for having the best chance of being a successful engineer out of high school. I’m very proud of that one.
What’s the greatest invention in your lifetime and why? In engineering they teach us not to strive to invent new things, but to gather the resources at hand and use them the best way possible. The closest thing to an invention that I can claim as mine is the recruiting program I wrote for my fraternity. As VP I am in charge of recruitment. With the help of my rush chair, we completely redesigned the way recruitment had been conducted in the past and found incredible success with this program. In my mind, this is an invention because we threw out everything that had been done before and made it our own.
What’s your favorite study spot on campus? Probably my room or the BEC. To actually make progress, I need to study alone, so my room is a good spot. If I’m with a group, the BEC is the place to go.
What would be your dream job? Complete or part owner of a very successful company. On the way there, I would settle for a position is sales or upper level management.
If you could go a road trip anywhere with anyone, where would you go and with whom? If I were limited to roads, I would have to say the Grand Canyon with my roommate, Brandon, and my girlfriend, Galle.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be? Dedication to Excellence: The Story of G.P. Holladay