Monday Mission, March 8, 2021
Dr. Chris Ballman is an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology in our School of Health Professions.
He also exemplifies the qualities of so many of the competent, caring members of our faculty by exceeding expectations in serving the needs of his students. A few days ago I heard from the parents of one of Dr. Ballman’s students, expressing this sentiment: “We could not be more proud of our daughter’s success at Samford, enabled by professors specifically like Dr. Ballman.” The message from the parents explained that, regardless of the circumstances, he always makes time to provide assistance. The icing on the cake is a recent journal article, co-authored by their daughter, along with Dr. Ballman.
The world is better because of Chris Ballman and hundreds of members of the Samford faculty.
Monday Mission, March 1, 2021
Head Coach Carley Kuhns of our women’s basketball team has only been at Samford for two years...
but she has already led her student-athletes in achieving two consecutive SoCon regular-season titles. The team defeated Mercer last week to earn the title, with the strong assistance of Natalie Armstrong’s 24 points and eight rebounds. They will play their first game in the SoCon tournament this Thursday afternoon.
The world is better because of the winning attitude of Coach Kuhns and her student-athletes and staff.
Monday Mission, February 22, 2021
For many years I have relied upon these weekly messages to celebrate the work of Samford-related people but today I want to express gratitude to a cross-town institution: the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Within a few days, approximately 75 percent of our full-time employees will have received the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine. Our friends at UAB have been magnificent in enabling this progress, especially Dr. Jerry McGwin of the UAB School of Public Health. Dr. Melissa Lumpkin, Interim Dean of the Samford School of Public Health, and Dr. Colin Coyne, Samford’s Chief Strategy Officer, have collaborated with UAB throughout the process. Furthermore, UAB is seeking to offer vaccinations—as soon as plans can be developed—for our part-time employees, as well.
The world is better because of our friends at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Monday Mission, February 15, 2021
On mornings like this one—a Monday in February with temps in the 30s, rainy—
I am especially grateful for our team members in facilities and our partners in grounds maintenance, housekeeping and food service. They’re always ready to address the challenges of the moment. If you see these folks on campus today, please say thanks for all they do.
The world is better because good people keep us going on messy days.
Monday Mission, February 8, 2021
This story will take a little while to unfold.
Let’s begin with my Monday Mission of September 23, 2019 (which seems an eternity ago) . . .
Jeanna and I returned Saturday evening from a quick trip to the UK (just in time for the football game), after attending a seminar at Oxford and then spending some time at the Daniel House in London. Away from the office for a week, I expected as I returned this morning the usual piles of mail and miscellaneous reports needing attention. Included in the mail was an anonymous letter, which I began to read with the natural trepidation that accompanies the opening of unsigned correspondence. This letter was from a person who signed, simply, “a grandma.” She wrote to me of her appreciation for Samford, with particular gratitude for the attention to her grandson by one of our faculty member. “Mark my words,” she wrote, “these professors are very influential to these students.” Her grandson “has been greatly impacted by the words of one . . . of his professors.” “I don’t know the name of the specific individual. To him, and for that matter, all of them, I want to say thanks. You have won a grandmother’s heart.”
Her concluding paragraph: “I’m sure he (my grandson) would be embarrassed to know that I have sent this letter; thus, his identity will remain undisclosed. But at age 75, I think I have earned the privilege to encourage you and the generation we love so dearly. We have the privilege to pass on the baton, and thank you once again for taking up that challenge and going forth.”
The world is better because of a grandmother’s heart—and the meaningful ways in which her heart was won by the competence, compassion and wisdom of Samford faculty.
Last Friday I received a letter, signed, with this opening paragraph:
“It has been a year since I wrote to you personally as ‘A Grandma.’ At the time of my previous letter, I had one grandson there and he is now planning to graduate in the spring and heading to graduate school. His experience has been a wonderful one. I am happy to announce that his sister is now a freshman in your school of nursing and she also is loving the university life, in spite of COVID restrictions. I cannot relay to you how much I appreciate the environment where they can grow in their faith and pursue what God has placed in their hearts. I am eternally grateful for this opportunity that you have provided for them.”
The no-longer-anonymous grandmother then told me a bit about herself. As a single mom, she raised her daughter (the mother of the students who are now at Samford). She endured the upheaval of the 1960s, during the time she was in college, noting that “confusion was rampant, as was mine in a very personal way . . . my heart was searching for God and was nowhere to be found in that environment.”
And she included a bouquet to the Samford family, especially those of us who serve as members of the faculty and staff:
“In the face of studies that reveal the increase of anxiety, sadness and loneliness among college students, your university is providing ‘front line providers’ in a battle more intense than the pandemic. Providers of hope, faith, courage and love. Your staff, as believers, have the answers that go deep into the hearts of these precious students. They have the privilege of speaking ‘Words of Life’ into their lives, which my grandson has experienced personally.”
Take hearts, Samford friends. We serve a loving God, we are offered meaningful vocations, we have daily opportunities for instruction and redemption . . . and a grandmother, far removed from Birmingham, is praying for each of us every day.
The world is better because of the hope, faith, courage and love we find through Christ.
Monday Mission, February 1, 2021
When it comes to setting the bar for alumni support, Kimeran and Bill Stevens are exemplars.
In addition to being among our most distinguished graduates, they are Samford parents, Samford donors, and co-chairs of our Forever Samford capital campaign. In addition, Bill is a longtime member of our Board of Trustees, having served three times as chair. He was chair of the board when I arrived as president—and he is back at the helm again as we prepare to welcome a new president later this year. Their wisdom, deeply-rooted faith and abiding friendship are sources of inspiration to those of us who know and love them.
The world is better because of Kimeran and Bill Stevens.
Monday Mission, January 25, 2021
Even on dreary mornings like today, when I drive to Samford’s campus I am awestruck by the beauty of the place—and reminded how fortunate I am to work here.
The architectural beauty results from a collection of wise decisions by many people, most of them who have passed away, but one living legend maintains responsibility for connecting us to continuity of design. Neil Davis of Davis Architects in Birmingham has overseen much of the planning on campus for four decades. His father created the original design for the buildings on the Homewood campus. As we update many of the interiors of these Davis-inspired buildings, we preserve the campus architecture that has become so closely aligned with memories of Samford.
The world is better because of Neil Davis, his father, and those who have worked with Davis Architects to design and maintain the Samford campus.
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.
Monday Mission, November 23, 2020
Dr. Lisa Baker is the chair of our Department of Social Work in the School of Public Health.
She visited with me for a few minutes last week to provide an update as we approach an accreditation site visit from the Council of Social Work Education. I was heartened by much of what Dr. Baker said to me about our program and our people, but I was especially grateful when she mentioned a key element that we reinforce in the minds of our students who are preparing for careers in social work: “when you are with a family, you are standing on sacred ground.”
Across our many academic disciplines at Samford, the members of our faculty are preparing students for the sacred ground in which they interact with the public. I’m honored to be associated with so many good people.
The world is better because of a vibrant program in social work at Samford University.
Monday Mission, November 9, 2020
Last Monday I wrote of the success of two of our faculty members, Jeff Flaniken and Joel Davis.
Within minutes of sending the message, I heard from one of our alums, Keith Kirkland, expressing his deep appreciation for Joel. I forwarded Keith’s message to Joel, who replied that Keith had played an extraordinary role in his life, serving as his fourth-grade Sunday School teacher and mentor—and his association with Keith influenced Joel’s decision to attend Samford as an undergraduate.
Keith Kirkland is one of Samford’s most loyal graduates. Keith and his wife, Sarah, have sent their daughters to Samford, participated in dozens (perhaps hundreds!) of Samford programs over the years and offered tremendous encouragement to many of us on the campus. Approximately 40 members of Keith’s extended family have attended Samford.
As Joel said in his message to me last week, “the world is better because of Keith Kirkland.” I agree!
Monday Mission, November 2, 2020
A few days ago we learned that Joel Davis and Jeffrey Flaniken, associate professors in our School of the Arts...
...were named as finalists for the Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Musical Performance, sponsored through the Lilly Fellows Program. The honor was based on their collaboration in presenting the Samford String Quartet’s 2017 live performance of “Antiphons-Benedictions” from Joel’s String Quartet No. 1: Vespers. The piece, incidentally, was commissioned by our friends Wilton and Vicki Bunch.
The world is better because of Joel, Jeff, Vicki, Wilton—and all those who support the arts at Samford.
Monday Mission, October 26, 2020
Perhaps you don’t know a Samford employee named Terry Windsor, but her support has been a lifeline over the years as Jeanna and I have hosted guests in the president’s home.
Terry is the housekeeper, working long hours to maintain the home so that it is ready for the next event. With more than 9,000 guests through the house on an annual basis, Terry’s role is essential. Jeanna and I regret very much that she will be retiring in a few days. Terry has earned our undying gratitude.
The world is better because of Terry Windsor.
Monday Mission, October 19, 2020
Throughout the past 15 years, one person has done more to advance Samford’s mission than anyone I know.
No, it’s not me. It is Jeanna Westmoreland, my wife, and today is her birthday. Her untiring efforts to host thousands of people in our home and on campus, the volunteering of her time for dozens of worthwhile causes, her efforts to promote the raising of funds for scholarships through the Legacy League, the classes she has volunteered to teach . . . all these things and many more prompt me to ask you to join in celebrating her today. And no, I haven’t yet bought her a birthday gift, but I’ll get it done before nightfall.
The world is better because of Jeanna Westmoreland.
Monday Mission, October 12, 2020
I promise I wasn’t eavesdropping while walking through the University Center last week;
I just couldn’t help overhearing this comment from one student to another: “I knew she was having a bad day so I just called her and listened for a while.” I don’t know if the person having a bad day was a friend or a mom or a sister or someone else within the student’s circle relationships. Somewhere in the world, a person’s day was made a little better because a Samford student “listened for a while.”
The world is better when we stop to listen.
Monday Mission, October 5, 2020
I learned last week from Ramona Albin, Director of Advocacy Programs for our Cumberland School of Law, that our National Trial Team was ranked third in the nation for the 2019-20 academic year in the National Trial Competition Performance Rankings.
Cumberland has held this position since 2016. As Ramona said in her message, “The hard work, competence, and professionalism of our national trial team members, coaches and faculty are responsible for this outstanding achievement.” Well done, Cumberland!
The world is better because of the Cumberland School of Law.
Monday Mission, September 28, 2020
A few days ago, it was just another weekend in the virtual exploits of the members of the Samford debate team, participating in their season-opening competition, hosted by Northwestern University.
Fighting their way to 16th seed, our Samford students defeated teams from Georgetown and Harvard, among others. Read all about it here: https://www.samford.edu/arts-and-sciences/news/2020/Samford-Debaters-Advance-at-Virtual-Season-Opener.
The world is better because Samford students learn how to think—and speak—on their feet. Not a bad skill, regardless of professional calling.
Monday Mission, September 21, 2020
Good, bad or otherwise, higher education is obsessed with metrics these days.
It is what it is. One number worth remembering and repeating: 86 percent of our classes this fall are taught either fully or substantially in person. What a tribute to the members of our faculty!
The world is better because of the persistence and creativity of the members of the Samford faculty.
Monday Mission, September 14, 2020
The 2021 US News college rankings were released overnight.
In the most recent reshuffle of universities within categories (a couple of years ago) Samford was recognized as a “national university.” This year our ranking is 143; last year it was 147. Samford received additional recognition as #86 in “best value” in the national university category. In the highly competitive marketplace of universities, Samford steadily rises. We should be pleased with these accomplishments.
As important as rankings may be to external audiences, I’m grateful that our people—faculty, staff, students—engage each day in the ongoing pursuit of teaching and learning, with comparatively little regard for external validation. By keeping our focus on matters of importance, our reputation gains credibility.
The world is better because Samford people tend not to “worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”
Monday Mission, September 7, 2020
An e-mail message from the parent of a new student, quoting his daughter:
“I wanted to tell you about my Cultural Perspectives class. I can’t stop tearing up because our professor prayed for our class . . .”
The world is better because of the audible and silent prayers of Samford faculty and staff.
Monday Mission, August 30, 2020
During these days I think we are more aware of the efforts of our food service and cleaning personnel.
Their routines are vastly different as a result of COVID-19, yet they are finding ways each day of accomplishing their very challenging tasks. And while many of us struggle with simply speaking through our masks, they have the additional burden of the physical effort required in the normal performance of their duties. While we rely on partnerships with companies outside Samford for these services, these men and women are part of our Samford family. They are vital to our safety, our happiness and the fulfillment of Samford’s mission.
Perhaps you would like to speak a word of support or write a note today to thank them for their service.
The world is better because of the individuals who support Samford through preparing our meals and cleaning our facilities.
Monday Mission, August 24, 2020
We had hoped last spring to celebrate—in grand fashion—the retirement of Dr. Nena Sanders,
longtime dean of the Ida Moffett School of Nursing and vice provost for the College of Health Science, but our plans, like so many other elements of campus life, were delayed due to the challenges of COVID-19. Few people over the past 25 years have had as much impact on health care education in the State of Alabama as Dr. Sanders. Tuesday’s opening convocation, offered virtually this year, will provide us an opportunity to thank Dr. Sanders for her faithful and effective service to Samford and to our students.
The world is better because of Dr. Nena Sanders.
Monday Mission, August 17, 2020
Our Orlean Beeson School of Education received the great news last Friday that Dr. Andrew Jackson, a fourth grade teacher in the Pell City School System, has been named the 2020-21 Alabama Teacher of the Year.
Dr. Jackson received his undergraduate degree from Samford in 2009. In his response to the news of the honor, Dr. Jackson said, “True learning requires perseverance, problem-solving and personal connection.” I’m guessing that those qualities were reinforced for Dr. Jackson during his years of association with the members of our faculty.
The world is better because Dr. Andrew Jackson, Alabama’s Teacher of the Year.
Monday Mission, August 10, 2020
Bonnie Bolding, our Samford graduate and friend, died a few days ago after a long illness.
She possessed an irrepressible spark of vitality and lived each moment to the fullest. If the world is indeed a stage, Bonnie would inhabit the spotlight. After graduating from Samford in 1955, she headed to Hollywood and appeared in television and movies. She moved on to New York and became a Wall Street stockbroker, one of the first women to earn a seat on the exchange. It was in New York that she met and married John Swearingen, the CEO of Standard Oil of Indiana (now BP America). Bonnie also devoted her time to significant civic and philanthropic causes. Many leaders of industry, politics and society—including several U.S. presidents—knew Bonnie as a friend.
One vignette. The first time that Jeanna and I met Bonnie was soon after our arrival at Samford in 2006, when we hosted a small dinner party in her honor. Over dessert, and as the room was quiet, she looked at us and said to Jeanna, “Did he kiss you on the first date?” You’ll have to ask Jeanna how she responded.
Bonnie never forgot Samford. She loved this university, its campus and its people. We give thanks for the legacy of Bonnie’s remarkable life.
The world is better because of Bonnie Bolding, who taught us that each day of life is a cause for joy.
Monday Mission, August 3, 2020
Dr. Quentin Lee is the Principal of Childersburg High School, a gifted teacher and musician, a loving husband and father, with a master’s degree and a doctoral degree from Samford’s Orlean Beeson School of Education.
He’s also an Internet sensation. If you haven’t already watched the video he prepared to help his students understand the importance of health and safety as schools reopen in a few days, it is worth your time: https://youtu.be/oeAN8Xxz0q4.
The world is better because of Dr. Lee and the thousands of educators who have earned degrees through the Orlean Beeson School of Education.
Monday Mission, July 27, 2020
For pure joy, watch this brief video, posted last week through Samford’s social media outlets to celebrate Steve Knight’s fiftieth anniversary of admission to the Guild of Carillonneurs of North America.
Steve is, of course, OUR carillonneur. The video also gives us a backstage look at one of the most mysterious places on campus, the Belltower.
The world is better because of Steve Knight.
Monday Mission, July 20, 2020
Sometimes a little encouragement goes a very long way.
Here’s one sentence from a message I received this weekend from a Samford parent, with sentiment expressed to each member of our faculty and staff: “You are loved and appreciated far more than you know.”
And alongside these words from a parent, take note this morning of Ecclesiastes 8:15: “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.”
In these days of elusive answers to enigmatic questions, to be still for a moment, to recognize friendships and to contemplate simple joys . . . we find the tranquility and resolve to take the next step.
The world is better because of friendships we find through association with Samford.
Monday Mission, June 15, 2020
A few days ago, faculty from our Orlean Beeson School of Education and the Hope Institute joined colleagues from the University of Tennessee Knoxville, the University of Alabama and Lipscomb University to sponsor an event called “Character Convening.”
The sessions enabled faculty from the institutions to discuss current research and practice of character education at colleges and universities. Samford is at the forefront of these discussions. You may read about the conference here: https://www.samford.edu/education/news/2020/School-of-Education-Co-sponsors-First-Ever-Character-Convening-in-Higher-Education
The world is better because of the character-building work of our Samford faculty.
Monday Mission, May 18, 2020
From Paige Mathis, who oversees our academic services for student-athletes:
our overall grade point averages for student-athletes for Spring 2020 were the highest on record, with 211 students earning GPAs between 3.0 and 3.99 and 54 students earning GPAs of 4.0.
The world is better because of the hard work of our students, faculty and academic support personnel.
Monday Mission, May 11, 2020
So many stories have accumulated in my mind over the past two months that it is impossible to retrieve just one to illustrate the interaction of our faculty and students during a period that might be characterized as both our greatest challenge and our greatest victory.
One line, however, stands out and I regret that I can’t readily find the source. But I remember the line. One of our students, struggling, said of one of her faculty members, “She just won’t let me quit.”
Praise God for students and faculty and staff members and families and friends that just won’t quit—and that do all they can within their circles of influence to prevent others from quitting, as well.
The world is better because of the resolve of Samford people.
Monday Mission, May 4, 2020
Our story is told today through the voices of Samford’s A Cappella Alumni Choir:
The world is better because of the presence in our lives of a Beautiful Savior.
Monday Mission, April 6, 2020
On April 5, 1884, 136 years ago yesterday, the meager assets of Howard College (which became Samford University in the 1960s) were auctioned from the steps of the Perry County Courthouse as the college faced financial ruin.
Two trustees, J. B. Lovelace and W. W. Wilkerson, purchased the assets at auction and returned them to the Board of Trustees, securing the institution’s survival.
We have seen hard times before. We’ll see hard times again.
The world is better because of the grit of Samford people.
Monday Mission, March 30, 2020
Even as we maintain hope, challenges abound—and reports come to us daily of the circumstances of our families.
Last night I learned of one of our students, residing outside Alabama, who arrived home a few days ago to find her mother, father and brother seriously ill. She is taking care of the entire household while keeping up with her courses. So far, she has remained healthy. One of the student’s friends said this about her:
Her faithfulness to God is getting her through this hard time. She told me yesterday that her prayer for this spring semester was for God to reveal himself more to her. Looks like He has been doing that every day!
The world is better because God is bigger than our present circumstances. Look up, be smart, practice discipline, remain compassionate. Be Samford.
Monday Mission, March 23, 2020
Like many of us, Dave Luthin of our pharmacy faculty was having problems with molasses-like speed on the Internet at home.
He talked with Joe Zellner, instructional designer from our Office of Online and Professional Studies. Knowing where Dave lives, Joe recommended an area with free wifi, with 43.95 Mbps for downloads and 10.36 Mbps for uploads. Boom! How did Joe come across this information? “I had to try three different spots before I could connect. Finally succeeded in a rear lot about 50 feet from the building, near a bank of windows.”
Dave added, “we will get through this with folks like Joe Zellner willing to go the extra mile to help us succeed.”
The world is better because of all the people—that would be each of us—finding the ways to “get through this.”
Monday Mission, March 16, 2020
Philippians 4:12-13 . . .
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
We can do this, Samford.
The world is better because of Samford people, past, present and future. To God be the glory.
Monday Mission, March 2, 2020
When discussing university rankings I always begin my commentary by saying, “there are many ways to evaluate the worth of a university . . .”
So I’ll begin this “Monday Mission” by saying, again, that there are many ways to evaluate the worth of a university . . . but College Consensus has recently named the online MBA from our Brock School of Business as the top online MBA program among Christian-related universities in the United States. Other programs at strong universities are listed, as well. Congratulations to Interim Dean Chad Carson and our outstanding faculty and staff for achieving this recognition. You may read our news release here: https://www.samford.edu/business/news/2020/Brock-School-of-Business-Ranked-Number-1-by-College-Consensus-for-Best-Christian-Online-MBA-Program.
The world is better because of the competence of our people and programs.
Monday Mission, February 24, 2020
Along with Beeson Divinity School students and faculty and friends from the community,
Jeanna and I attended a standing-room-only session last Friday afternoon, listening to Dr. Robert Smith, Charles T. Carter Baptist Chair of Divinity, speak about the elements of sermon preparation. He initiates the process by reading the biblical text at least 50 times. Next he fills notebooks with his own questions and thoughts, preparing himself intellectually and spiritually to “have conversations” with commentaries and scholarly articles. Only then does he “begin” the composition of the sermon. In the case of Dr. Smith, I suppose a 40-minute sermon must consume 80 hours of study . . . and a lifetime of preparation.
The world is better because of the discipline, intellect and spirit of Dr. Robert Smith.
Monday Mission, February 17, 2020
Ramona Albin, Assistant Professor and Director of Advocacy Programs for our Cumberland School of Law, sent this message earlier today:
Cumberland's National Trial Team swept Region 6 of the National Trial Competition (NTC) with each team winning their final round and advancing to the nationals in Fort Worth, Texas in April. Each team went 5-0 on their way to winning the championship. This is the ninth time in the past twelve years that a Cumberland team has won the NTC regional championship and the fourth time Cumberland has swept the regionals in that time period, for a total of thirteen teams advancing to nationals in twelve years.
The world is better because Samford is helping great people to become great lawyers.
Monday Mission, February 10, 2020
Jonathan Den Hartog is just past the mid-point of his first year at Samford—as Chair of our Department of History—
and his recent book, Disestablishment and Religious Dissent: Church-State Relations in the New American States, 1776-1833, is already receiving strong reviews. Jonathan co-edited the book, a collection of 21 essays, with Carl Esbeck, Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Missouri School of Law. According to John R. Vile of The Free Speech Center, “Esbeck and Den Hartog have conceived and charted, and multiple contributors have delivered, a finely executed volume on individual church-state relations in the nation’s first 50 years and beyond. It is likely to become the standard work on the subject and a provocative source for further research and reflection.”
The world is better because of the scholarship of Samford’s faculty.
Monday Mission, February 3, 2020
Step Sing? Yes, it is that time of year.
While we are very much aware of the shows themselves and the amount of time they require, we are usually unaware of the co-curricular aspects of the production. Remy Garfield, Creative Producer with our Media Center, sent me this message last week:
I just wanted to send a quick note saying how excited I am to produce the livestream of Step Sing again this year, especially the opportunity to be streaming the show on Apple TV. Of the past three years I have been involved with the production team, we add new elements each year to increase the production value step by step. It's an amazing opportunity for students like myself to work on such high quality productions and streaming on such well known platforms gives us a leg up in the competitive workforce.
Remy closed his message with, “always proud to be a Samford Bulldog.” Good luck to Remy (and more than 1,000 other students) as they bring Step Sing to life and livestream this week.
The world is better because of the creativity of Samford students.
Monday Mission, January 13, 2020
Good news on a January morning: our students won the Musical Theatre Division at the National Opera Association Annual Conference during the Opera Scenes Competition in Cleveland, Ohio.
Students competed with a scene from Into the Woods, to be performed this April at Samford. Congratulations to Lydia Yates (musical theatre major), Grayson Johns (musical theatre major), Blake Mitchell (vocal performance), Madison Hablas (music education), and Savannah Bracewell (graduate vocal performance). Kristin Kenning, director of our opera program and Nicholas Robertson, pianist, accompanied the group.
The world is better because of Samford’s School of the Arts and our amazing students, faculty and staff.