Beck A. Taylor, Samford’s 19th president, shares his vision and stories of Samford’s impact on the world.
Words cannot express the excitement that Julie, Chloe and I share as we rejoin this amazing community of learning and faith.
My family and I thank you for the hundreds of emails, cards and phone calls welcoming us back to Birmingham, and for your sustaining prayers as we said our goodbyes to a community we love in Spokane and traveled 2,250 miles to our new home here.
Greetings, Samford. My name is Beck Taylor, and it is a joy to speak with you today – my first day as Samford University’s 19th president.
Words cannot express the excitement that Julie, Chloe and I share as we rejoin this amazing community of learning and faith. My family and I thank you for the hundreds of emails, cards and phone calls welcoming us back to Birmingham, and for your sustaining prayers as we said our goodbyes to a community we love in Spokane and traveled 2,250 miles to our new home here.
I also want to express our profound thanks to Andy and Jeanna Westmoreland. Our longtime friends have been so gracious and loving to us these past several months, and we are privileged to follow in their footsteps as we lead this place they love so dearly. During my time as president, I will continually remind all of us of their enormous contributions.
As I begin my tenure today, I want us to think about two words – continuity and change. Continuity and change are words every new leader considers as they begin a new calling. And they are words we should consider together as I begin my service as president.
Of course, at a place like Samford – a university that has stood firm in its calling as a Christ-centered institution of higher learning for 180 years – there are immutable and durable aspects of our work together that persist and continue no matter the season. These include an emphasis on the Lordship of Jesus Christ, an insatiable appetite for academic and co-curricular excellence, a primary focus on the moral and professional development of our students, an investment in the professional and vocational well-being of our employees, and a fierce dedication to ensuring that all of Samford’s citizens are treated with love, dignity, and respect. During my time as president, these institutional virtues and commitments will continue to animate our work and life together.
Even as we remain vigilant to uphold the university’s timeless values, we also acknowledge that we prepare our students to engage with an ever-changing world, one that continually asks new things of them personally and professionally. It is our job, then, to continuously reinvent the university – sometimes in small ways and occasionally on a larger scale – to remain relevant and to serve our students and communities well. Samford has shown an ability to innovate and change to meet these evolving needs, and together, we will continue to look for ways to add value to our students’ educational experiences.
Since Samford’s founding, the university has deftly balanced continuity and change. As I begin a new season of presidential leadership today, I want you to know how confident I am in you, in this community – students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves, to coming alongside each of you, as we help Samford discover and live into the best version of itself imaginable. I cannot think of a university better positioned to succeed. And when we do, we’ll give God all of the thanks and glory.
Samford, it’s time to go to work. Samford’s best days are ahead.
May God in Christ continue to bless you and this place we love. I hope to see you soon. Enjoy the rest of your summer.
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