Spring 2001
Vol 18 No. 1

Making Samford a Better Place

An Exceptional Gift

Working for the Common Good

New Business Leadership

Opening the Free Market

Trucking with Computers

Other Stories
Bellas Created 'Climate of Achievement' in Samford School of Business

Community Banking Stresses New Technology, Personal Touch

Faculty Compendium

Early Greek Influence on Jordan Strikes Jan Term Class Members

A Cappella Choir Invited to Sing in Russia

Wind Ensemble Performs at MENC Conference

Samford Students Out-Perform Peers in 'Engagement' with Learning: NSSE

Student Accolades

Samford History Prof's Book on King Jail Letter Examines Complexities of '60s Racial Scene

Humphreys Writes on Baptists and Calvinism

Book Edited by George, Smith Examines Racial Reconciliation

George Authors Doctrine Study

Tillette's Team Makes It Interesting During Seventh Straight Winner

Pharmacies Could Hold a Key to Effective Disaster Response

Cochran and Moore Write the Samford Record Book

Baseball Alumni: Send Your Name

Kenny Morgan Scholarship Winners




When a French daredevil walked an 1,100-foot tightrope spanning Niagara Falls, it was headline news in 1859. On subsequent tightrope trips crossing the falls without falling, Charles Blondin even carried a man on his back. Folklore says that before setting out across the cable, Blondin would ask curious onlookers if they thought he could make it successfully to the other side. Invariably, someone brash and confident would enthusiastically step forward betting on Blondin as a sure thing. At that, Blondin would invite the affirming respondent to accompany him across the tightrope on his back-which usually brought a firm "no thank you" and a speedy disappearance into the crowd.

It is one thing to observe; a different thing to participate. Our dear friend, Lucille Stewart Beeson, who died January 8, 2001, just into her 96th year, was the last of a remarkable family foursome that forever changed Samford University. Her husband, Dwight Moody Beeson, with his brother, Ralph Waldo Beeson, and sister-in-law, Orlean Bullard Beeson, shared a common concern for others, a love for Samford University, a keen sense of responsibility and stewardship of possessions.

Lucille Stewart Beeson
Through their father, Dr. John Wesley Beeson, both Ralph and Dwight became serious Christians, aware of the importance of education. They also came early to associate with Frank Park Samford, Sr., and to invest in Liberty National Life Insurance Company, which became Torchmark Corporation. They lived modestly, saved carefully and invested wisely. Investments made in the '30s and '40s compounded over the years, accumulating a fortune for each brother. They used only small proportions for themselves and held most for the Lord's work, for ultimate charitable purposes.

Their affinity for Samford University was traceable to their regard for Mr. Samford, their appreciation for a young company protege, Gerow Hodges, and other Samford trustees, as well as former President and Mrs. Leslie S. Wright. Their involvement in the life of our University started with small gifts and large interest.

A divinity school, an education school, a university center, dormitories, a healing arts center, a law library: they are among their kindnesses visible every day. But beyond the obvious are endowments in the millions for scholarships and for dozens of objectives that enrich the lives of students and faculty every day and will do so far into the future.

Beeson gifts to Samford total more than $100 million, 99 percent of it coming in the past 20 years. Their generosity has been transforming, lifting Samford to levels only dreamed of in the past. That is why Beeson will forever be a revered name at Samford University. Beeson Family members did not just observe, they participated. Their earthly journeys may have come to an end, but they will keep on participating in the lives of students and faculty, making Samford better for as long as it shall stand.

To observe their participation inspires us to participate!

Thomas E. Corts

Dwight Moody Beeson


Orlean Bullard


Ralph Waldo

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