Samford, WMU Name Vaughn
Director of Christian Women's Leadership Center
|Coming together to discuss plans for the
Christian Women's Leadership Center are, from left, seated, The
Alabama Baptist Editor Bob Terry, Center Director Carol Ann Vaughn,
and, standing, WMU Foundation Director Alan Medders '86, WMU
Executive Director Wanda Lee '69 and Samford President Thomas
Samford University and Woman's Missionary
Union have moved a step closer to opening a Christian Women's
Leadership Center at Samford with the naming of Dr. Carol Ann
Vaughn as the center's first director.
The center, which will enroll its first students in the fall
of 2001, will help women prepare within a Christian context for
leadership roles in church, social institutions, government and
the general marketplace.
Vaughn, former history professor at Judson College, will hold
the Dr. Eleanor F. Terry Chair for Christian Women's Leadership.
The chair was established last year through the WMU Foundation
with a major gift from the late Eleanor Terry's husband, Bob
Terry, editor of The Alabama Baptist.
Additional gifts from national WMU and the WMU Foundation have
fully endowed the chair, which totals $1 million. Earnings will
fund the director's position and provide some of the administrative
Vaughn will work during the 200001 academic year on program
development for the center. The Huntsville native holds the bachelor's
degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and master's
and Ph.D. degrees from Auburn University-all in history. She
has taught at Judson since 1997 and has studied and provided
leadership in numerous areas of women's studies.
Samford President Thomas E. Corts said Vaughn "has an excellent
academic background, as well as a caring and compassionate heart
for the unused leadership capacity of contemporary church women.
Samford and WMU are counting on her to implement the program
and keep it focused on the most important issues."
WMU Executive Director Wanda S. Lee also described Vaughn as
an "excellent choice" for directing the emerging Christian
Women's Leadership Center.
"She understands the hopes and dreams of WMU and Samford
for developing the leadership skills of women," said Lee.
"But most of all, she has demonstrated the commitment to
develop a top quality center where women can pursue the needed
skills to follow God's call in their lives."
Vaughn said the center's goal is to develop a broadly based program
in which women can build their own course of study to meet their
vocational needs. This could be through an advanced degree, a
concurrent degree program, a concentration or continuing education
units, she said. Focus will be on those subjects and topics which
can best be dealt with on a gender-specific basis or which are
omitted from standard curricula.
"We envision a unique core curriculum in Christian women's
leadership to support students' individual interests in business,
public policy, education, health care and the church," she
Corts and Lee said their commitment to the center is based on
the ever-increasing role women play in society.
"We are joining forces to create a Christian Women's Leadership
Center to confront issues of significance to women and to do
so from a Christian perspective," said Corts. "Women
are major forces in Christian churches around the world, and
many vital concerns weigh heavier upon women than men in our
Lee agreed, describing WMU and Samford University as "perfect
partners for bringing a program such as this into existence."
Eleanor Terry died July 20, 1998, from injuries sustained in
an automobile accident in Durban, South Africa. A native of Vicksburg,
Miss., she held bachelor's and master's degrees in English from
Mississippi College and a Ph.D. in higher and adult education
administration from the University of Missouri.
She was a public school teacher, professor and administrator
at William Jewell College in Missouri, and associate dean of
graduate studies and assistant professor of administration at
Birmingham-Southern College. In the weeks preceding her untimely
death, she had discussed the directorship of the center with
leaders of both Samford and WMU.
"Eleanor's life was about missions and ministry," said
her husband, Bob. "Whether it was as a public school teacher,
a church works or a college administrator, Eleanor was about
helping people. She also had a deep commitment and passion for
women to be trained for leadership roles."
People wishing to make additional gifts to the Christian Women's
Leadership Center, National WMU or Samford University may contact
Alan Medders at the WMU Foundation,
1-877-482-4483, Perry Relfe at Samford University, (205) 726-2807