Samford University students will welcome the 1999-2000 academic year--the last in this millennium--with changes, including several that will dramatically enhance communication on and off campus.
Campus telephone accessibility has increased so that every residence hall room will have four lines, giving each room resident both a telephone line and Internet access line. All can be used at the same time. Now, one roommate can chat on the phone while another researches an assignment on the Internet, an impossibility prior to the upgrade.
The news that Samford is the first school in Alabama to have the convenience will be good news to the school's 1,850 on-campus residents who live in 26 residential buildings.
Samford's total enrollment of about 4,600 will include an expected 675 freshmen who were accepted from a record 1,973 applications.
In July, Samford changed its telephone prefix to 726 so that all campus lines will begin with the same numbers. Previously, campus telephone lines have had three different prefixes--870, 868 and 414.
Listeners to WVSU 91.1 FM will find it easier to tune in its smooth jazz format. The station's existing antenna is being moved from campus to a higher elevation atop Shades Mountain in order to provide reception to a broader area.
The station has received approval from the Federal Communications Commission to install a directional antenna and also quadruple its power. When that process is complete this Fall, the signal will reach a population of some 465,000 in its primary coverage area. Interference-free reception is expected in the immediate Birmingham metropolitan area and as far south as Jemison and Thorsby in Chilton County.
For the first time, all Samford football and men's basketball games will be carried on WVSU, starting when the Bulldogs take on the University of Chattanooga Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. in Seibert Stadium. Broadcasts of those sports may also be heard on the Internet at www.broadcast.com.
Other campus changes include an upgrade of the baseball facility with lights, press box, landscaping and enclosure of the seating area in Georgian-Colonial architecture. Renamed Joe Lee Griffin Field, the facility will be ready for Samford's 2000 baseball season. Lighting has also been installed at the intramural and women's soccer fields across Lakeshore Drive. Residents of Smith freshman men's residence hall will move in to new paint, carpeting and furniture.
The semester also opens with several academic firsts. For the first time, in addition to having students at its residential London Study Centre, Samford will have students at both of its other study abroad sites in Hong Kong and Morocco.
As Samford enters the second year of a $1 million grant from Pew Charitable Trusts to incorporate Problem Based Learning techniques in the classroom, more than 30 PBL courses will be taught, doubling the number offered last year and reflecting the faculty's overall commitment to teaching and student learning.
Beeson Divinity School events include a centennial celebration of the legacy of D.L. Moody on Sept. 28, featuring noted Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe, former senior minister at Moody Memorial Church, Chicago. Moody died in 1899.
Beeson's annual Reformation Heritage Lectures will feature University of Arizona history professor Heiko A. Oberman Oct. 26-28.
Samford students and alumni will observe the last Homecoming in this millennium the weekend of Oct. 29-31. Events include the planting of Sherman Oak II, an eight-foot sapling grown from the parent tree that was a cherished landmark on the East Lake campus.