May 21, 2012
When her name was called near the conclusion of the Commencement ceremony on Saturday morning to step to the stage to receive the President’s Cup for the highest grade point average among undergraduates, the walk represented the final steps in a journey of tragedy and hope for Kara Peal. In a message to me last week, Kara said that she first visited the campus during her senior year of high school in 2007. When Kara and her mom began their drive back home that day and her mom asked what she thought of the visit, Kara said, “I’m going to Samford.” Despite considerable financial challenges, but with the help of a generous scholarship, she enrolled in the fall of 2008. In the spring semester of her freshman year, she learned that her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She died in October of Kara's sophomore year, one day before her forty-third birthday. In the last meaningful conversation that Kara had with her mother, she said, “I want you to graduate from Samford.” With amazing perseverance, the support of family and friends, and the grace of God, Kara fulfilled her mother’s wish. Kara says, “Looking back, I realized that I’ve been at Samford because this community has provided a place for me to not just get an education or not just survive an immensely difficult time, but to grow and flourish in the midst of the struggle.”
The world is better because of Kara Peal.
The mission of Samford University is to nurture persons in their development of intellect, creativity, faith, and personhood. As a Christian university, the community fosters academic, career, and ethical competency while encouraging social and civic responsibility, and service to others.
Our Core Values
The Samford community values lifelong:
- belief in God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
- engagement with the life and teachings of Jesus.
- learning and responsible freedom of inquiry.
- personal empowerment, accountability, and responsibility.
- vocational success and civic engagement.
- spiritual growth and cultivation of physical well-being.
- integrity, honesty, and justice.
- appreciation for diverse cultures and convictions.
- stewardship of all resources.
- service to God, to family, to one another, and to the community.
Anchored in Christian understanding, Samford University will be a diverse community, stressing vigorous learning and personal faith, in the Baptist tradition. Within that commonality, the Community will be innovative in teaching, learning and research; sensitive to global issues; aggressive in self-assessment and continuous improvement. Faithful to its mission, Samford will be known and acknowledged worldwide by holding to its core values. The world will be better for it.