Bobbie Knight 2023

Meet Our President

President Bobbie Knight

Birmingham native Bobbie Knight made history in August 2019 when she was named interim president of Miles College, becoming the first woman to lead the institution since its founding in 1898. On March 5, 2020, Knight was elected permanent president, becoming the fifteenth president of the historic institution. Knight quickly made her mark by securing the largest single donation in the school’s history. With Knight at the helm, the college has received over $101 million in external funding. Since her arrival in 2019, the college has experienced an increase in gifts and grants from federal, state, local, and non-profit sources of more than 2000%. 

During her tenure, Knight led the college through its 10-year reaffirmation process with the  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The process concluded with the college receiving reaffirmation with zero findings for the next decade. The college also received certification from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the Alabama State Department of Education, the Council on Social Work Education, and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). 

Knight has been relentless in securing partnerships with corporate, governmental, and philanthropic agencies to provide her students with meaningful internships and job placements, and valuable networking and experiential learning opportunities. 

During Knight’s tenure, the college launched its state-of-the-art E-gaming Center, a Black Male  Teacher Initiative, a state-of-the-art Apple-powered communications Lab, and a state-of-the-art Apple-powered music production lab. 

Currently, Bobbie serves on the boards of Miles College, the Miles Foundation, the  Miles College CDC, the Birmingham Airport Authority, the UAB Health System Foundation, Southern Research, the Birmingham Times, Bronze Valley (a non-profit, early-stage venture investment platform that supports innovation and technology), the Birmingham Business Alliance, and the Business Council of Alabama. Bobbie is a member of the Birmingham Rotary Club and the International Women’s Forum of Alabama. In the Summer of 2023, Knight was elected to the Alabama Power Board of Directors. 

Knight is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and the Birmingham  School of Law. She is also a graduate of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management Executive Leadership Program. In May of 2022, Knight was presented with an  Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the Miles College Board of Trustees.

Knight retired in 2016 after a successful career with Alabama Power  Company(APC), which spanned nearly thirty-eight years. Throughout her career, she held various executive and leadership positions, including Vice President of the Birmingham  Division (Alabama Power's largest division), Vice President of Public Relations, and General  Manager of Supply Chain. 

Bobbie is a woman of immense influence and is passionate about giving back and mentoring young men and women to become leaders in their communities. She is married to Gary Burley, a retired  NFL player, local philanthropist, and founder of ProStart Academy and ProStart Scholarship Fund. 


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The President’s Cabinet