Published on June 5, 2013  

Longtime Samford University English professor Ray Atchison of Homewood died May 28, 2013, of complications from a broken hip. He was 91.

Dr. Atchison, who taught at Samford for 45 years, retired in 1992.

A 1943 Samford graduate, he held a master's degree in English from Peabody College (Vanderbilt University), and a Ph.D. in English from Duke University.

He served in Alaska with the U.S. Army during World War II. For a story in a 2005 issue of the Samford alumni magazine Seasons, Atchison recalled that he missed his Samford graduation due to Uncle Sam. The Shelby County, Alabama, native was among five seniors who were summoned to active military duty in March, 1943, halfway through their final semester. His mother attended the May graduation ceremony and picked up his diploma. "I suspect I was en route to the Aleutian Islands," he said in the article.

Atchison and his wife, the late Doris Teague Atchison, co-wrote a history of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, where they were longtime members.

A private family burial service was held on June 2, 2013.

Survivors include his daughter, Faith Atchison Jansen, his son, Paul Atchison, their spouses, and four grandsons.
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.