Samford Publications  
From the desk of the President

A University of Character

Enron, WorldCom, Tyco—suddenly the buzz is about business ethics, integrity, values. Commentators the world over, normally skittish about moral considerations, are asking: Does American-style capitalism foster greed, selfishness and personal gain? Is our system bent on tolerating white-collar flimflam in the interest of profit and bonuses? Have we accommodated businesses that devise their own rules, rearrange their numbers and spin information in order to mislead the public?

While it is a momentary fad to fire darts at business and accounting, not that long ago, The Wall Street Journal revealed that certain colleges and universities had admitted making up false enrollment numbers, claiming fictional averages for entrance test results and reporting phony graduation rates. In the late ’90s, Americans were faced with a national embarrassment when high government officials admitted improper relationships with the opposite sex. Lately, churches of all persuasions have been humbled by the sins of their clergy.

Men and women are not angels, certainly, and we are “tempted in all points.” Yet, the moral laxity of our time, the well-publicized promiscuities of the rich-and-famous, and the readiness with which people broadcast their failings almost as brag-points may all tend to a subtle conditioning of attitudes, to a willingness to accept the morally outrageous as not so bad, after all.

Character is what we earnestly need, and what we seek to encourage at Samford. Moral strength cannot be effectively taught or inspired in one three-hour course. It is not lectured into one’s psyche. Character is the gathering of those qualities and values that form habits of the heart, that encourage one instantly to see the right thing and to be unwilling to tolerate anything less.

Samford works hard to be a character-influencing university. We seek to inspire students to see their own lives as gifts from God and to respect the lives of others in the same way; to encourage one another to high performance and highest standards; to respect truth and accuracy; to appreciate the value of work and the attainment of goals. Not only with biblical instruction, but also by the affirming influence of a close-knit community, we are guided by the Scripture that gilds the gate at the entrance to the Samford campus: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind and with all thy strength. And you shall love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Character is not a one-time transaction. It is inculcated from instruction, from quiet reflection, from books read, arguments lost, sins acknowledged, forgiveness found—out of the give-and-take, the experiences of life. Our times call for a Christian university that rises to the academic challenge, but which makes no apology for seeking to influence the character of young people. That is what the founders of this institution had in mind, more than 160 years ago.

Thomas E. Corts

wants to hear from you! Call toll-free: 877-SUALUMS (782-5867) Local: 205-726-2807
Maintained by University Relations. Last updated: December 11, 2002

Summer 2002
Vol. 19, No. 2

Seasons Staff

William Nunnelley
Mary Wimberley
Associate Editor
Sean Flynt
Contributing Writer
Janica York
Publications Manager
Scott Camp
Graphic Designer
Donna Fitch
Web Designer & Editor
Caroline Baird Summers

Samford University Alumni Association Officers 2002-03

Bennie Bumpers '63
Sonya Bumpers '63

Tom Armstrong '73
Vice President

Brooke Dill Stewart '95


Seasons is published quarterly by Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, Alabama 35229, and is distributed free to all alumni of the University, as well as to other friends. Samford University is an Equal Opportunity Institution and welcomes applications for employment and educational programs from all individuals regardless of race, color, age, sex, disability or national or ethnic origin.