Mervyn Sterne Library’s Stephens to retire after 40 years at UAB

Mervyn Sterne Library Director Jerry Stephens, Ph.D., announced he will retire May 31. Stephens, who first joined the library in 1974 when it was a part of the former University College, is only the second director for UAB's main academic library. A national search for dean of libraries is underway.

jerry stephensJerry W. Stephens, Ph.D., librarian and director of the Mervyn Sterne Library since 1985, has announced his retirement after a 40-year career at UAB, effective May 31.

“Dr. Stephens has been an exemplary leader for our library over a period of time that has seen university libraries undergo significant changes,” said Provost Linda Lucas. “I thank him sincerely for his service to our university.”

Stephens is only the second librarian UAB has had for its main academic library. He joined the library in 1974 as an accountant when it was a part of the former University College. While holding the title of librarian and director, Stephens also served as assistant vice president for academic affairs and fiscal officer for University College.

“A lot has changed in 40 years, and it has been a great experience to have contributed to the development of UAB,” Stephens said. “As an alumnus, I am proud to say that UAB afforded me the opportunity to gain knowledge that changed my world. It has been an honor and a privilege to have worked with every president and with an extraordinary group of faculty and staff from across UAB. It is easy for an organization to be successful when so many talented and dedicated faculty and staff are focused on helping students and faculty succeed in academic careers. During my tenure at Sterne, I have been blessed with a great team, and it has been an honor to have worked with them.”

Stephens received his bachelor’s degree in accounting and his Master of Business Administration degree from UAB, and has been an Accounting faculty member in the Collat School of Business. He received his Ph.D. in administration in higher education, as well as his Master of Library Science degree, from the University of Alabama.

A national search for the dean of libraries is underway.

The library was named for Birmingham stockbroker and philanthropist Mervyn H. Sterne. He and his wife, Dorah, were significant benefactors of UAB.