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Samford Stories: Chapter 1

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Luke: My Story

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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