Notable Alumni

Arts, Literature & Entertainment

  • Jon Acuff, author of 2013 New York Times bestseller Start
  • Mary B. Anderson, actor, Gone with the Wind, Lifeboat
  • Zane Birdwell, Grammy Award–winning recording engineer
  • Kate Campbell, Nashville-based singer-songwriter
  • Jennifer Pharr Davis, world-record holder, fastest through hike of the Appalachian Trial (2011)
  • Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman, Grammy Award–winning vocalists for Little Big Town
  • Wayne Flynt, Pulitzer Prize–nominated historian
  • Elizabeth Futral, international opera star
  • Anne George, Pulitzer Prize–nominated poet and Agatha Award–winning mystery novelist
  • Tony Hale, Emmy Award–winning actor
  • Harold Martin, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist (Montgomery Advertiser, 1970)
  • Susan Patterson, international opera star
  • Sarah Smiley, nationally syndicated columnist and author
  • Kristian Paul Stanfill, Christian rock singer-songwriter and Dove Award nominee
  • Perry Stephens, actor, Loving, The Bold and the Beautiful

Business

  • Daryl Byrd, president and chief executive officer, IberiaBank
  • Don Cathy, executive vice president, Chick-fil-A, president, Dwarf House Inc.
  • Stephen Christopher, former president/chief executive officer, ING Life Insurance
  • Gayla Delly, president and chief executive officer, Benchmark
  • Andrew Gerow Hodges, former executive vice president, Liberty National Life Insurance Company
  • James F. House, president and chief executive officer, First United Security Bank and United Security Bancshares Inc.
  • Thomas Luckie, chairman and chief executive officer, Luckie & Co.
  • Marvin Mann, founding chairman and chairman emeritus, Lexmark
  • Mickey Newsome, chairman and founding CEO, Hibbett Sports Inc.
  • William S. Propst, founder and former president, Qualitest and Vintage Pharmaceuticals
  • Leigh Ann Pusey, president and chief executive officer, American Insurance Association
  • Jimmy Rane, president and chief executive officer, Great Southern Wood
  • William Stevens, former chairman and chief executive officer, Motion Industries
  • R. Clayton McWhorter, former chairman, Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.

Education

  • Hugh C. Bailey, former president, Valdosta State University (1978–2002)
  • J. Claude Bennett, former president, University of Alabama at Birmingham (1993–96)
  • Mary Lynne Capilouto, former dean, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry (1998–2005)
  • Sonia Carrington, National Distinguished Principal of the Year (2008)
  • Kirby Godsey, former president, Mercer University (1979–2006)
  • William E. Hull, former provost, Southern Seminary (1972–75) and Samford University (1987–96)
  • Jasper Hutto, founder, South’s first Department of Journalism (Samford, 1915)
  • David Gordon Lyon, former Hollis Chair, Harvard Divinity School (1882–1910)
  • Ladell Payne, former president, Randolph Macon College (1979–97)
  • Betsy Rogers, National Teacher of the Year (2003), Alabama State Teacher of the Year (2002)
  • Pamela Smith, Milliken Family Foundation National Educator Award (2012)

Health

  • John G. Beard, chairman and president, Alacare Home Health & Hospice
  • Peter J. Clemens IV, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Surgical Care Affiliates
  • Francois J. Coutu, president and chief executive officer, the Jean Coutu Group, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Juanzetta S. Flowers, pioneer, nurse practitioner movement
  • Frances Watts Johnston, pioneer, surgical technology
  • John B. McWhorter, president, Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas
  • Ida V. Moffett, nursing pioneer and namesake of Samford’s nursing school
  • Sylvia Rayfield, internationally known nurse educator, entrepreneur and business leader
  • James E. Shmerling, president and chief executive officer, Children’s Hospital, Denver, Colorado
  • Connie Yarbro, internationally known leader and lecturer, oncology nursing
  • Sylvia Young, president and chief executive officer, HealthONE and HCA’s Continental Division

Law & Politics

  • Robert B. Aderholt, U.S. House of Representatives (1997–present)
  • Karon Bowdre, chief judge, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama
  • Houston L. Brown, first African American presiding judge, 10th Circuit, Jefferson County, Alabama
  • Charles J. Crist, Jr., governor, state of Florida (2007–11)
  • James E. Folsom, Sr., governor, state of Alabama (1947–51; 1955–59)
  • Cordell Hull, 47th U.S. secretary of state (1933–44), Nobel Peace Prize winner (1945)
  • James E. Horton, presided over retrial of one of the “Scottsboro Boys”; set aside guilty verdict
  • Howell Edmunds Jackson, U.S. Supreme Court justice (1893–95)
  • Thomas Lemuel Johns, U.S. Secret Service; present during John F. Kennedy assassination (1963)
  • Horace Harmon Lurton, U.S. Supreme Court justice (1909–14)
  • Charles Robert Malone, chief justice, Alabama Supreme Court (2011–13)
  • Nina Miglionico, civil rights advocate and first female elected to Birmingham City Council
  • Horace Elmo Nichol, chief justice, Georgia Supreme Court (1975–80)
  • Robert Ashby Pate, justice, Supreme Court of Palau (2013–present)
  • Loreta Raulinaityte, permanent representative, Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania to the European Union (2006–present)
  • Martha Roby, U.S. House of Representatives for Alabama (2011–present)
  • J. Griffin Smith, chief justice, Arkansas Supreme Court (1937–55)

Religion

  • Charles Billingsley, Christian singer, worship leader, songwriter, author, worship leader at Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Matthew Cook, moderator-elect, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
  • Scott Dawson, founder, Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association; founder, Strength to Stand Conference movement
  • Herschel Hobbs, pastor, First Baptist Church, Oklahoma City; president, Southern Baptist Convention (1960s); author; Baptist World Alliance leader
  • Richard Lance, executive director, Alabama Baptist Convention
  • Wanda Seay Lee, executive director, Women’s Missionary Union
  • Russ Levenson, pastor, St. Martin’s Episcopal, Houston, Texas
  • Randall Lolley, retired president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Martha C. Myers, M.D., Christian missionary to Yemen
  • R. Albert Mohler, president, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Willy Rice, senior pastor, Calvary Baptist Church; president, Southern Baptist Convention Pastor’s Conference
  • Ed Stetzer, president, Lifeway Research
  • Ralph Douglas West, pastor, The Church Without Walls, Houston, Texas
  • J. Robert White, executive director, Georgia Baptist Convention

Sports

  • Bobby Bowden, head football coach, Florida State University (1976–2009), national champion (1993, 1999); College Football Hall of Fame (2006)
  • Marv Breeding, player, Major League Baseball—Baltimore Orioles, Washington Senators, Los Angeles Dodgers (1961–63)
  • Phillip Ervin, first-round draft pick, Cincinnati Reds (2013)
  • Cortland Finnegan, player, National Football League—Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins (2006–14); Pro Bowl (2009)
  • Jimbo Fisher, head football coach, Florida State University (2010–present); national champion (2013)
  • Wendell Magee, player, Major League Baseball—Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians (1996–2002)
  • Jaquiski Tartt, second-round NFL draft pick (highest drafted football player in Samford history, 46th overall pick)—San Francisco 49ers (2015)
  • Corey White, player, National Football League—New Orleans Saints (2012–present)
  • Alyssa Whitehead, professional soccer player, Sweden (2011–13)
  • Nick Williams, player, National Football League—Pittsburgh Steelers (2013–present)