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Samford Stories: Chapter 1

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Luke's Story

Luke's Story

Professors: more than just teachers

(Why Samford) Permanent link

Professor picAlright, I have to sit down and take a couple minutes to talk about my professors. They are the absolute best. I could not possibly ask for better professors than the ones that I've got. So, we're a few weeks into the semester, right? My professors hardly even know my name at this point, much less do they know me well enough to really respect me as an individual and trust me to be completely honest with them, right? Well listen to this story: 

I get a voicemail from my mom, and she's bawling, telling me that my grandmother had just passed away last night. Of course this absolutely breaks my heart, both for losing my grandmother and for how hard my mom is taking it. I'm just in shock for the rest of the day, but I push through my classes, make it back to the dorm, do my work, and just collapse in bed, mind racing at a thousand MPH. Well the next day, I get another call from the folks and they're telling me that the tentative date for the funeral is going to be later that week. I start freaking out, wondering how in the world I'm supposed to make this work. I've got so much work this week already, and now I'm supposed to get home? And what about make-up work? What in the world do I do about that? Again, my mind's racing, but I settle myself down enough to sit down and write my professors an email. I tell them what's going on, what the plans are, and I let them know that I may have to miss class but that I can't tell them when because we don't have a solid plan. And I mean this is kind of a big pain in the butt for them, right? They would normally give me the work that I would miss ahead of time so that I could be caught up, but they can't do that now because I don't even know what days I'm going to miss. So knowing this in the back of my mind, I'm not even expecting a response, and if I do get one, I'm expecting it to be terse, frustrated, and maybe a hint sympathetic.

Boy, did my professors blow my expectations out of the water. First of all, most of them responded. Of the ones that responded, ALL of them said for me not to worry about the school work aspect of things, just to figure things out and keep them posted. On top of that, three of them offered their condolences-sincere condolences-and said they would pray for me. My CP professor even went as far as to write a whole separate paragraph about how he had recently lost a loved one and how he dealt with it. Then, just to top it all off, I went to class the next day and was stopped in the hallway after class by my CA professor who then proceeded to offer me further condolences and to talk to me in person about one of his personal experiences with losing a loved one and dealing with the pain of it all. professor

I think I can say that I knew I was at the right place from the beginning, but if there were any questions left in my mind, they absolutely and completely vanished after this experience. The funeral ended up getting pushed to a weekend did not even affect my classes but to have my professors respond the way they did was still unbelievable. Where else can you get that kind of treatment from your professors? I may be wrong, but honestly, I can't think of any other college in the world that would have professors who respond that way. I'm so thankful for this school and the people who influence me during my time here. I'm SO very blessed.

Luke: My Story

(Why Samford) Permanent link

My name is Luke Chandler, and I am a Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) major from Lookout Mountain, Georgia. My Samford Story began junior year when a representative from Samford visited my school’s college fair. I became very interested in Samford and decided that it was worthy of being on my list of schools to visit on the “college road trip” that I had planned for spring break of that same year.

When I visited, I immediately fell in love with Samford. The campus was beautiful, the people were genuine and friendly, and the small-school feel of the university just clicked with me. I visited with the head of the Journalism department, Dr. Bernie Ankney, and with one of his students, Jordan Cox. Both interactions further solidified my excitement about and love for Samford.

As the time for college decisions approached, my choice was down to two schools: Samford and a big in-state public school. The other university's School of Journalism and its array of highly credentialed professors really drew me in and made me start to lean that direction. The school was also offering the Georgia HOPE scholarship, which would cut tuition costs tremendously when paired with my in-state residence cuts. I gave that university my attention and worked very hard to make it known that I was very interested in attending their school, but at no point did they acknowledge my pursuits or even communicate with me at all.

Yet all the time that this was going on, Dr. Ankney and my regional admissions counselor, David Presley, were both calling and emailing me constantly. They were encouraging and sincerely caring for and about me. The in-state school's flair and prestigious boasts had drawn me in though, and I couldn’t see that I was just another GPA number on an application to them.

Just as I was prepared to choose the big, prestigious state school, I made one final visit to Samford. This second visit sealed the deal for me. Again, I sat down with Dr. Ankney, who remembered my name and everything that we had discussed in our previous meeting. He talked about the opportunities that my college options afforded me. By the time we finished meeting, God had opened my eyes to see how special Samford is, and I knew that Samford was where He wanted me to be. My parents and I sat down with the financial aid department to discuss our options for making the money situation work. There, God again showed me how different Samford is.

As we discussed financial aid and then over the next few weeks as my scholarship offers arrived, it became very clear to me: the people at Samford wanted me here, and they were prepared to do anything in their power to help me get here. I made my decision in May, and I have never looked back. Even before I received a rejection letter from the other university, my heart was at peace, for I knew that Samford was where I need to be. I could not have made a better decision for my future. 

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