Published on May 11, 2021 by Sean Flynt  
The seal of Samford University
The seal of Samford University

Samford history students earned multiple research honors in the 2020/2021 American Independence Awards ceremony this spring. The annual event is made possible by contributions from the members of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA) in the State of Alabama–Birmingham Chapter. The 44 societies and 15,000 members of the NSCDA promote appreciation for the people, places and events that led to the formation and development of the U.S., and provide leadership in the field of historic preservation, restoration and the interpretation of historic sites. For more than 60 years, the organization has worked to honor outstanding historical research by Samford undergraduate students.
Department of History chair Jonathan Den Hartog hosted the awards this year, and presented the following honors:

First Place (tie)
     Yorgo SarrisA Tale of Two Revolutions: The American Revolutionaries’ Reaction to the French Revolution as Means to Understanding the Founding.
     Sarah SchansbergThe Providential Theology: A Unifying Framework for the American Revolution and Its Understanding as Seen in the Lives of Witherspoon, Washington, and Franklin. Schansberg, a graduating history and classics double major, has received the top scholarship for a masters-level student at the University of Alabama. In that program she will focus on intellectual religious history, with plans to pursue a Ph.D. and college teaching career.
Sarris and Schansberg presented their first-place essays as part of the awards ceremony.

Second Place
     Earle GlascockThe Forgotten Empire (Conflict with Native Americans in the Northwest Territories).

Third Place
     Sam PlottMadison’s Federalist Argument for the Ratification of the Constitution. Plott is a graduating global and cultural studies major who hopes to work with a ministry or nonprofit organization in the Birmingham area.

Honorable Mention
     Collin StaffordThe Composition and Problems Faced by the Continental Army
     Trenton HannahAmerican Diplomacy and the Barbary States. Hannah graduated with a history degree in December, 2020, and will begin work as a park ranger with North Dakota State Parks this summer.

This year’s winning student historical essays will be printed, bound and presented to the Special Collection Department of Samford University Library as Volume LXV (65).

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. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 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 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.