Seasons: The Magazine of Samford University

Campus News

Samford Receives $310,000 Vulcan Materials Grant for Environmental Stewardship Center
Fishing for Facts Produces Bonus for Law Student: $55,000
Early Birmingham Minister, Humanitarian Elected to Alabama Men's Hall of Fame
Cruise the Blue Danube on Spring Alumni Tour

Samford Receives $310,000 Vulcan Materials Grant for Environmental Stewardship Center

Samford University received a $310,000 grant from the Vulcan Materials Company Foundation to establish a center that will support academic programs, research, seminars and other activities in environmental studies.

The grant will set up the Vulcan Materials Center for Environmental Stewardship and Education at Samford.

"Our partnership with Samford University encompasses three areas of strategic importance to Vulcan: education, environmental stewardship and employee involvement," said Vulcan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Don James.

"The University's Sciencenter demonstrates a new level of commitment by Samford to greater academic and scientific pursuits. We are pleased to provide our support for Samford's growing environmental science curriculum."

Samford opened a $27 million Sciencenter this fall to house its departments of biology, chemistry and physics (see article).

Vulcan spokesman Joy Phillips announces the $310,000 grant during the Samford Sciencenter dedication.

Vulcan Materials Company-the nation's largest producer of construction aggregates such as crushed sand, stone and gravel-is a leader in responsible environmental stewardship. It has strategic alliances with organizations such as the Wildlife Habitat Council and has established 27 Certified Wildlife Habitats on its lands with another 13 in progress.

The company-which also produces other construction materials such as hot-mix asphalt, ready-mixed concrete and industrial chemicals-helped fund Samford's master of science in environmental management program in 1993.

"We have been very pleased with Samford's responsible financial and academic stewardship of the initial grant," said James. "We need people who have a combination of business and environmental management skills. The Samford environmental management programs are preparing students to fill this critical need."

Samford President Thomas E. Corts said the partnership with Vulcan would help Samford develop a leadership position in environmental education. The partnership "supports one of Samford's stated values, 'to promote awareness of the sanctity and significance of earth and its resources,'" he added.

Fishing for Facts Produces Bonus for Law Student: $55,000

Law student Patrick Norman said he didn't expect to win $55,000. Research is something he does anyway. But Norman learned the value of research in more ways than one this fall.

The third-year student at Samford's Cumberland School of Law signed up for the "Rewards of Working Smarter" program sponsored by LexisNexis, the company that provides computer research to legal and other fields.

Law students around the nation entered. They qualified by using LexisNexis research at least five times a week during the fall semester. At the end, the company held a drawing, and the winner received reimbursement for full law school tuition.

Guess who won. Norman. And on Nov. 29, LexisNexis presented him a check for $55,000.

With bachelor's and M.B.A. degrees already in hand, in addition to two years of law school, Norman was no stranger to research. He says he enjoys the process. "I like to delve into things," he said. "I do a lot of fishing [for facts]."

Patrick Norman shows off a check that will reimburse him for the cost of law school.

But this fall's experience underscored the importance of legal research and gave him an appreciation for the LexisNexis system. "When a case depends on conducting the right research the first time, LexisNexis provides the tools to get it done," he said.

Having the stress of law school debt removed has put "a little more bounce in my step and a bigger smile on my face," he said. "I can't tell you how much this will help."

So what's his plan after law school graduation?

The Trussville resident has set his sights on earning a doctorate in management information systems, following through on his father's advice to create as many options as possible through education and hard work.

Early Birmingham Minister, Humanitarian Elected to Alabama Men's Hall of Fame

Minister James Alexander Bryan, known as "Brother Bryan," and businessman-humanitarian Samuel Ullman-both of Birmingham-were elected to the Alabama Men's Hall of Fame at Samford University this fall. Founded by the Alabama Legislature in 1987, the hall recognizes men "whose lives have impacted the state, nation and world." Honorees must have been deceased at least two years.

Bryan (1863-1941), born in South Carolina, came to Birmingham in the late 1880s while studying theology at Princeton University. He served as part-time pastor of a small congregation that later became Third Presbyterian Church. Following his graduation in 1889, he became the church's full-time pastor.

Bryan served only one church throughout his career, but he was known as pastor to all of Birmingham, conducting meetings among firemen, policemen, railroaders and students. He also led church evangelistic meetings across the South.

The pastor was perhaps best known for his helping of the poor and homeless. His legacy continues as the Brother Bryan Rescue Mission, established in 1940. He was also a champion of civil rights. He is memorialized in a kneeling statue on the circle at Five Points South and by the nearby Brother Bryan Park.

Ullman (1840-1924), born in Hechingen, Germany, emigrated to the U.S. in 1851 and came to Birmingham in 1884, establishing a retail hardware business. He was named to various city boards and elected a city alderman. Ullman held a seat on the Birmingham Board of Education from 1884 until 1900, serving as president from 1893 until 1900.

His influence and interest in African-American education resulted in the creation of Industrial High School in 1900. It served as the model for other such schools in the South. Ullman also was a poet, and one of his works, "Youth," became widely known in Japan after World War II. Gen. Douglas MacArthur had a framed copy on his wall in Manila, Philippines, before the war, and took it to Japan during his service there after the war. Ullman's home is preserved as a museum through the efforts of Japanese businessman Kenji Awakura.

Cruise the Blue Danube on Spring Alumni Tour

The Samford Alumni Association will sponsor a seven-day cruise along Europe's Danube River for alumni and friends next spring. The leisurely trip aboard the sleek Dutch river cruiser M/S Erasmus will visit four countries: Germany, Austria, the Slovak Republic and Hungary.

Covering nine days (May 29-June 6, 2002), the trip is part of the Alumni Campus Abroad program. The blue Danube flows through some of central Europe's most beautiful territory, and the tour will include cities, towns and villages rich in art, architecture, history, music and culture. Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Passau and others are included.

Travel from and to Atlanta will be by Lufthansa or similar carrier. Trip prices range from $2,395 to $2,895 per person, double occupancy, with single accommodations available for an additional fare. Reserve by February 28, 2002, and save $200 per couple.

For information, contact Elizabeth McCarty at (205) 726-2483 in the Samford Alumni Development Office or Alumni Holidays at 1-800-323-7373.

Above: Durnstein Castle overlooks the Danube River Valley. Left: The Danube flows through beautiful central Europe.

Winter 2001
Vol. 18, No. 4

Carnegie Names Chew

'Quantum Leap' in Science

Alumni of the Year

Remembering Ruhama

Gray Takes Charge

About Samford People

Campus News

Estate Planning


Class Notes


In Memoriam



©2002 Samford University
Maintained by University Relations. Last updated: April 4, 2002