Samford Publications

Winter 2000
Vol. 17 No. 4
Publication Number:
USPS 244-800


National Model of Excellence

Soldier and Soldat

Studying Guide-by-Your-Side

Love Those Statistics!

These Were Close, Too

Other Stories
Willingness to Change Made Education School Most Effective

Faculty Compendium

Watching for Patent Expiration Dates Can Save Consumers on prescription Drug Costs

Bennett Cites Influence of a Great Teacher, Dean Percy Burns

A Cappella Choir CD Available

Floyd, Marler Receive $56,000 Lilly Fellows Program Grant

Debow, Sansom Get $32,000 Award from Atlas, Templeton

Samford Honors Alabama Ministers
Scofields Rate a Homecoming Cheer
for Loyal Support of Their Alma Mater

Crimson Editors Half a Century Apart
Find Differences, Similarities in the Job

Having a ball at Homecoming

Men's Cross-Country Team Wins Second TAAC Title; Kolb Named All-TAAC Freshman After Nine-Goal SeasonCLASS NOTES


Winter 2000

Bennett Cites Influence of a Great Teacher, Dean Percy Burns

Samford graduate J. Claude Bennett '54 encouraged seniors to place a high priority on education by being "lifelong learners," citing the influence the late Dean Percy Burns had on him during undergraduate days.

Bennett sought Burns' advice on attending Harvard Medical School, where he had been accepted, after his graduation from Samford.

"He said to me, 'there's something about doctoring that not everybody perceives. It is a long and arduous educational path, but it does imbue one with compassion, reason and most of all, a lasting respect for the gift of life.'

"He suggested that helping people becomes the true goal."

Bennett told the graduates he still remembered something Burns said in an introductory lecture on Shakespeare.

He quoted Burns' description of Shakespeare: "He was an uneducated man from a small village who became not only the greatest playwright of his time, but of all time. He, more than anyone else, gave the English language its dominant place in world history."

Bennett added, "Isn't it extraordinary how truly great teachers in very ordinary situations can say things that you remember for years afterward?"

The speaker also urged the 304 graduates to "be open to new directions." Bennett's own career illustrates that point. He has been a basic scientist, teacher of clinical medicine, university administrator (as president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham) and now, head of a for-profit corporation, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals.