Published on August 31, 2021 by Morgan Black
Samford University held its 180th opening convocation Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, during which three annual employee awards were presented. Tracy Luke, program assistant in Cumberland School of Law’s advocacy program, was recognized with the Bill Nunnelley Award, the top university award given to a non-faculty employee each year.
This award recognizes outstanding job performance by a staff member whose work regularly and consistently exceeds expectations and reflects a high level of service, trustworthiness and respect.
Luke’s work exemplifies every element of the award. A mainstay of the Samford staff since 1989, she held roles in the Office of Alumni and Development and the School of Pharmacy before joining the law school in 1991.
At Cumberland, she is the cornerstone of its nationally ranked advocacy program. Responsible for an amazing range of duties supporting the program, she is a true team player. Her organization of Cumberland’s inter-school advocacy team competitions, as well as the team’s participation in regional and national competitions, has become legendary across the Southeast. Her diligence and expertise in managing the logistics of these events has attracted inquiries from faculty and staff members at other law schools seeking her advice.
Ramona Albin, associate professor of law and director of advocacy programs, said, “Tracy is the consummate professional, team-player, and the heart and soul of our advocacy program. She consistently goes above and beyond to support her colleagues, Cumberland students, and the Samford community. She cares deeply about our students and our program and is committed to their success and well-being. She is so deserving of the prestigious Nunnelley award.”
Dean Corky Strickland values her commitment, loyalty and excellence, and praises her ability to remain cheerful and to cultivate lasting friendships with students, alumni and guests while completing daunting tasks.
He said, “I personally have received countless compliments from lawyers and judges about how very competent, professional and personable Tracy is and how fortunate Cumberland is to have her. Tracy is a truly wonderful employee and a priceless asset to Cumberland and Samford. Not only does she perform her duties and massive projects magnificently, but she is an invaluable ambassador for the university to alumni, lawyers, judges, and other law schools. She has been deserving of the Nunnelley Award for well over a decade.”
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 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 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.