Published on September 7, 2023 by Diamond Nunnally  
Photo Courtesy: Bradley Collins
Photo Courtesy: Bradley Collins

Bradley Collins '01 graduated from Samford University with a degree in journalism and mass communications and a minor in military history with big dreams of becoming a songwriter. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Collins returned to his hometown after graduation to follow his passion. Determined to turn his dreams into reality, Collins found himself in the music industry but not doing exactly what he envisioned.  

For 15 years, he worked as a music executive helping other artists become stars. However, the burning passion to create music himself remained an unrelenting yearning, compelling him to finally take the leap and pursue his authentic calling. Although starting over was scary and unknown, Collins left the safety net of his corporate job to begin his songwriting career. Fast forward to 2023, and he's written songs for some of the industry's most prominent country music artists and co-authored a New York Times bestselling book, When I Talk to God, I Talk About You.  

Collins's path to success has been challenging. Having finally achieved his lifelong passion, he wants to ensure future students have the support and resources they need to pursue a creative career with the confidence and boldness to go after them. So, he established a scholarship to assist and inspire students at Samford's Howard College of Arts and Sciences. 

"After graduating from Samford, I certainly didn't have it 'all figured out,' Collins said. "This scholarship is for students who, like me, look for a light in the room that sparks the imagination and makes starry-eyed dreams feel possible." 

The dean of Howard College of Arts and Sciences or a designee in collaboration with the English, Communication and Media and Music departments will award recipients. Scholarships will go to an undergraduate student majoring in music, worship, journalism or English. Recipients must also be actively engaged in an original creative pursuit, such as songwriting, creative writing, poetry, literary publishing or music publishing, with special consideration given to students pursuing a songwriting career in Nashville.  

"This scholarship is for creatives, students who create art, music or writing out of thin air," Collins said. "It's for those creative students who need to know they're not alone in the struggles of a creative career." 

Collins said his goal is to help students find what is in their hearts and encourage them to follow the path their life intended. 

"When I graduated, pulled out of the West Gate entrance and headed back to Nashville, I felt God had plans to one day reconnect my relationship with the university. Returning now and seeing the impressive commitments by Samford in music, media, English and the care for students' mental health made me realize my Samford University story is about change, positive change in Samford, and positive change in me." 

Support the Bradley Collins Endowed Scholarship. 


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.