By Ebonee Burrell
As the first woman elected to the Alabama State Senate and as founder of Alabama School of Mathematics and Science (ASMS), Ann Smith Bedsole celebrated her 90th birthday on Jan. 15 at the ASMS gym with the appreciation of the school’s students, faculty and staff.
Bedsole entered a new decade in her life surrounded by her greatest passion at ASMS: the students. The student body reflected back on the impact she has left on them and expressed their gratitude by presenting her with a photo of the school surrounded by a matte with notes of appreciation signed by each individual in the school.
In 1989, Bedsole established a bill in the State Senate to open ASMS with a vision for the future of education and the next generation of leaders in Mobile. She has served as a member of the school board and is currently a member of the foundation board. Bedsole has provided funding to the newest facility on the school’s campus, the Ann Bedsole Building.
“Just as we predicted way back when, we have evolved from a ‘field of dreams’ into a school that is 100 percent committed to producing Alabama’s best leaders and most outstanding innovators,” Bedsole said. “These young men and women are literally creating opportunities out of what others might see as challenges and obstacles.”
Bedsole was born on Jan. 7, 1930 in Selma and has achieved much over the past nine decades. She was recognized as the First Lady of Mobile in 1972, Mobilian of the Year in 1993, Philanthropist of the Year in 1998 and was the first Republican woman to be elected into the Alabama House of Representatives in 1979.
She attended The University of Alabama and the University of Denver. Bedsole has received many public service awards and still owns and operates Bedsole Farms. She is also the president and chairman of the board of White Smith Land Company. She is well known for her high-impact leadership skills throughout the state of Alabama from students as well as other leaders.
“She is exactly the type of leader we hope our students will become one day,” Dr. John Hoyle, president of ASMS, said. “What makes Ann Bedsole so special is that she has been a visionary for not just one but multiple organizations, populations and philanthropies. She sees the future with not just hope, but also through a realistic lens. I think that is why she has not stopped going to work even at the age of 90.”
Located at the corner of Dauphin and Ann streets in Midtown, ASMS is the only fully public and residential high school in Alabama, focusing on advanced studies in math, science and the humanities. While offering free tuition, room and board, ASMS aims to empower motivated students in Alabama to improve their community, state and nation. Students at ASMS have access to learning opportunities, research programs, leadership training and over 100 courses.
“Ms. Bedsole has given ASMS students opportunities that we could have never imagined,” senior Jalexis Edwards said. “If you told me three years ago that I would have numerous opportunities to grow as a leader, I would not have believed you. Thanks to Ms. Bedsole and ASMS, the unimaginable is my everyday reality.”
As a trailblazer known throughout all of Alabama, Bedsole, even at 90 years old, continues to leave a remarkable impact on the future leaders of Alabama as well as the students that attend ASMS.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.
It looks like you are opening this page from the Facebook App. This article needs to be opened in the browser.
iOS: Tap the three dots in the top right, then tap on "Open in Safari".
Android: Tap the Settings icon (it looks like three horizontal lines), then tap App Settings, then toggle the "Open links externally" setting to On (it should turn from gray to blue).