February 1, 2008
Samford English professor Dr. J. Roderick Davis has received the school's 2008 George Macon Memorial Award for teaching. The annual award recognizes a faculty member for exceptional performance as a teacher, counselor, friend and inspiration to students.
"Students have been endeared to him by his gentle wit and compassionate heart," said Samford Provost J. Bradley Creed. "He patiently listens to their struggles and problems, and offers sympathetic words and wise counsel."
The Marshall County native and Samford alumnus holds graduate degrees from Boston University, Yale Divinity School and Columbia University. He returned to his alma mater in 1990 as arts and sciences dean after two decades of teaching in New York and New Jersey.
Davis is known for his passion for social justice and his work for racial reconciliation. He serves on the board of the Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail and is an active member of Birmingham's Baptist Church of the Covenant.
Rod Davis Receives 2008 Macon Teaching Award
Samford's Vulcan Materials Center for Environmental Stewardship and Education has received an Educator of the Year award from the Cahaba River Society for its work in behalf of environmental conservation.
The Society cited the Vulcan Center's "leadership and support to launch a community response to (biologist) E. O. Wilson's altar call" to build broad partnerships for water and energy conservation and biodiversity protection.
After Wilson's 2007 Earth Day lecture at Samford, the Vulcan Center organized dinner and luncheon meetings with faith leaders, scientists, educators and environmental and civic leaders to continue and deepen the conservation dialogue.
The Society also cited Vulcan's support for the Watersheds & Warming effort and for its exploration of an Alabama chapter of Interfaith Power and Light to open new avenues for science, education and faith collaboration.