Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff `98 has authored five books, including the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Quitter, which has helped thousands of people bridge the gap between their day job and their dream job. Acuff’s blog,, has more than 4.5 million readers. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Jenny (JMC ’99), and their two daughters. 

Jack E. Brymer

Jack E. Brymer `67 was a double major in religion and journalism, and went on to earn a master’s degree in journalism in 1970 at the University of Alabama. Upon graduating from Samford. Brymer became the first managing editor of The Alabama Baptist, a position he held until 1983, when he became editor of the Florida Baptist Witness. He served in that position until returning to Samford in 1994 as director of publications. He also led communications for the University Relations office that year. Brymer retired from Samford in 2003. 

Jennifer Danielle Crumpton

The Rev. Jennifer Danielle Crumpton `96 spent 13 years as an advertising executive for Fortune 500 companies before detouring to Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York and graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in 2011. An author and public speaker, Crumpton has also worked as a theater, commercial and indie film actor and playwright. Enamored with the power of story, she created, a forum for professional women to nurture spiritual growth while examining the effects of religion, politics, economics and culture on the everyday lives of women and the push for full equality. She is a contributing author to the recent book A New Evangelical Manifesto (Chalice Press) and the forthcoming Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith (White Cloud Press). She contributes a bi-monthly "religion & politics" radio segment on Fairness Radio and writes Femmevangelical columns for Patheos and the Huffington Post. Crumpton resides in New York City and is the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy (ICRD,) a non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. ICRD utilizes religious reconciliation in international diplomatic efforts to prevent and resolve identity-based and ethnic/tribal violent extremism and conflict. Ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Crumpton is a Pastoral Associate of Park Avenue Christian Church in Manhattan.

Carol Guthrie

Carol Guthrie ’93 graduated from Samford with a B.A. in journalism. After seven years as a television news producer in Birmingham, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., she served in various political roles. She joined the administration of President Barack Obama in 2009, where she served as assistant U.S. trade representative for public and media affairs. She was named senior adviser to the U.S. trade representative in 2013. In 2014, Guthrie became head of the Washington center for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and in December 2016, she moved to Paris to serve as the head of media and public affairs for the OECD. Guthrie also majored in English literature while at Samford.

Mandy Markham Johnson

Mandy Markham Johnson `03 is an associate director at The University of Alabama Supply Stores, where she is responsible for marketing and advertising for the campus stores. She also oversees the general merchandise departments such as licensed products, supplies, and the Apple Campus Store. Johnson is currently working on a dissertation to earn her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration. 

Ashley McCleery

Ashley McCleery `07 graduated from Samford with a Journalism and Mass Communication degree and a passion to help people tell their stories. She attended Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. and graduated in 2011 with an M.A. in Crosscultural Studies. She went on to work as a resident assistant at an eating disorder home in Santa Monica and realized she wanted to not only help others tell their story, but also facilitate healing through understanding their story. She's now pursuing an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller and working as a trainee at La Vie Counseling Center in Pasadena.

Heather Powell

Heather Powell ’08 graduated from Samford with a double major in JMC and Communication Studies. She attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she earned her J.D. in May 2011. She lives in Birmingham and works as an associate in the litigation department at Maynard, Cooper & Gale.