There are many great institutions of higher education, but there is only one Samford University. Here, a dedicated faculty and energetic students join to create a community of learning and faith like no other. The beauty of Samford’s campus is virtually matchless, but it pales in comparison to the quality of our people. From the classrooms and laboratories to the artistic stages and athletic venues, the minds and souls of Samford people make the real difference. Samford people bring the best, they are demanding and compassionate, they know the importance of engaging the world with a faith that calls them to serve. Each Monday, I share one of their incredible stories to illustrate how our people impact the world.

Monday Mission, November 30, 2020

When we concluded instruction last Tuesday, it was also the last day of teaching for a valued friend and colleague, Dr. Jennings Marshall, who announced his plans for retirement earlier this year.

Jennings joined the Samford faculty 35 years ago and quickly developed a reputation among his students for excellent teaching—and a reputation among his colleagues for fairness, hard work and good humor.  In fact, our annual award for faculty service, created in 2010, is named in honor of Jennings.  Through his 35 years of association with Samford, he mentored faculty and administrators (including me) in the cherished practice of shared governance.

For several years, Jennings and I taught 8 a.m. classes across the hall from each other in Dwight Beeson Hall.  Among my treasured memories at Samford is the sound of his distinctive voice, carrying across that hallway as he explained probability to another group of undergraduate business students—as enthusiastic as if he had just encountered the concept himself.

The world is better because Jennings Marshall planted himself at Samford 35 years ago.