A Path Forward

Elizabeth Sloan Ragland speaking at SamfordElizabeth Sloan Ragland became the first woman to integrate campus housing at Samford. Ragland was a viable part of campus as a leader and student. After graduation, she stepped into a successful career in telecommunications and radio. With a warm heart and bright spirit, she went on to be a woman of impact and influence in her beloved community.

A Purposeful Community

The Ragland Scholarship exists to cultivate academic and social support for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) entering Samford. The students, faculty and staff that comprise the Ragland Scholars program aim to empower, foster and promote the leadership and academic excellence of Elizabeth Sloan Ragland. In her memory, Samford seeks to orchestrate an intentional community designed to connect ten multicultural student leaders with an enhanced Samford experience.

2022-2023 Cohort

Johnny Jones Jr.

Johnny Jones Jr.

Johnnie Jones, Jr. is majoring in biology. Originally from Dixons Mills, Alabama, Johnny chose Samford because he believes it is a great place for him to grow and amplify his character.

Kionna Ramsey

Kionna Ramsey

Kionna Ramsey is majoring in neuroscience with a minor in social entrepreneurship and nonprofit management. Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, Ramsey did not intend on continuing her education at Samford.

Meet Kionna

Katelyn Kepple

Katelyn Kepple

Katelyn Kepple is currently a pre-pharmacy major and calls Birmingham, Alabama, her hometown. After several college tours she chose Samford because of its dedication to her and her coursework.

Meet Katelyn

Dylan Alana

Dylan Alana

Dylan Alana is currently pursuing a major in law, politics, and society and is originally from Dallas, Texas. He chose Samford because he desired a Christian environment that encouraged growth and development.

Meet Dylan

Julia Ann Tripp

Julia Ann Tripp

Julia Tripp is majoring in business management and is originally from Memphis, Tennessee. She chose Samford because of its thriving community.

Meet Julia

Juan (Tito) Canales-Alvarado

Juan (Tito) Canales-Alvarado

Juan Canales-Alvarado is currently studying political science. Originally from Jacksonville, Alabama, he chose Samford because of faith, reason, and community.

Meet Juan

Chandler Jameson Carr

Chandler Jameson Carr

Chandler Carr is currently studying business management and is originally from Pelham, Alabama. He chose Samford because of what it gives today and what it gives in the future.

Meet Chandler

Natalia Fernández Arana

Natalia Fernandez-Arana

Natalia Fernández Arana is studying marketing and comes to Samford from Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Meet Natalia

Dalia Almansoob

Dalia Almansoob is studying pharmacy and calls Homewood, Alabama, her hometown.

Meet Dalia

2021-2022 Cohort

Caley Ingram

Photo of Caley Ingram

“I cannot wait to see how God works through the wonderful people who comprise the Ragland Scholars program as we work towards cultivating an environment that embraces our beautiful differences as well as seek to make a meaningful impact on campus and beyond.”

Meet Caley


Gabriela Aleman

Photo of Gabriela Aleman

“As a Hispanic student and understanding that there is a small population of us present at Samford, I knew that I would love to be part of promoting diversity on this campus.”

Meet Gabriela


Hannah White

Photo of Hannah White

“Being a Ragland Scholar feels like I just got hired and already received a promotion. I’m grateful for the staff deeming me worthy enough to be a Ragland Scholar…I know that I’m going to excel in this program because I have people, that look just like me, here to support me.”

Meet Hannah


James Jefferson

Photo of James Jefferson

“The Ragland Scholars Program not only offers diversity but being able to hear, understand, and empathize with different perspectives and backgrounds ultimately helped drive my interest in the program.”


Meet James


Myles Wynn

Photo of Myles Wynn

“The Ragland Scholars program wasn’t just a good way to start relationships with others. It was also a good way to build relationships with people with similar backgrounds as mine. I found the Ragland Scholars as a good way to get outside my comfort zone and build connections with others.”

Meet Myles


Jon Coley

Photo of Jon Coley

“I am looking forward to the academic enrichment and excellence standards that will help me to work harder from the Ragland Scholars Program. I am also looking forward to meeting a new community of people who appear similar to me while having the same academic intentions and desires.”

Meet Jon



Participants of the cohort commit to maintain a 2.0 GPA in Samford coursework and play an active role in furthering diversity initiatives on campus. Students will enroll/participate in IMPACT, Introduction to IMPACT (I2I), Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives (ODII) Foundations course, Cultural Arts (CA) and Cultural Perspective (CP) and in exchange be secured with:

  • A competitive scholarship award
  • Intentional learning communities
  • Peer-to-peer mentoring
  • Priority class registration
  • Multicultural experiential learning opportunities


Prospective Students

Applicants must meet all requirements for admission to Samford University and must be admitted at the time of any official announcement of award.

Requirements for Admission

Applicants must meet all requirements for admission to Samford University and must be admitted at the time of any official announcement of award.


Applicants must demonstrate leadership inclination or capacity, energy, industry and self-reliance in extracurricular activities.


February 15: Completed application materials and recommendations deadline

March: Ragland Scholars announced

May 1: Ragland Scholars confirmation deadline


To apply for scholarships, you must have an online Samford account. If you've started your Samford/Common App admission application, you can apply for scholarships using the same login information. If you haven't started an admission application, please log in as a new user.