Orlean Beeson School of Education students are actively engaged in experiential learning combining classroom theory with hours upon hours of experience in K-12 schools, family agencies, and in shadowing the best school leaders ensuring that our graduates are not only successful but the best. Their jobs of working with children, adolescents and families are too important to offer less.

How do we maintain this quality while being enriched in a Christian environment? For faculty, staff and students, numerous partnerships, grants, travel to conferences and abroad assist in maintaining our highest standards in a faith based community. Donors who invest in scholarships, academic programs and enhanced learning spaces allow us to continue, and even increase, the tremendous impact Samford Education graduates have on this world. You can help us transform lives! 

Forever Samford Logo and Artwork


Orlean Beeson School of Education students are preparing to fulfill their calling in the “service” professions. Many will accept entry level salaries disproportionate to the investment they make in their Samford educational experience. Your gift to support our students through scholarships launches graduates into their “ministry” in schools, churches, the mission field, and community agencies, with the best possible financial foundation.

Gifts can provide for existing scholarships, new annual scholarships and/or endowed scholarships.  With an initial pledge of $25,000 you can establish a named endowed scholarship that changes the lives of Samford education students for generations to come. A gift of $500,000 can sustain a full endowed scholarship for a deserving student.

Make a gift of any amount in support of current featured scholarships by clicking on the scholarship below or establish a named endowed scholarship.

Orlean Beeson School of Education Legacy Scholarship

Awarded to rising junior students who feel called to work within education and/or in work that enriches the lives of families; with preference given to those with demonstrated significant financial need.

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Jewel Littleton Scholarship

Awarded to minority students of any classification who demonstrate significant financial need and are pursuing any degree offered within Orlean Beeson School of Education at Samford University.

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Alto L. Garner Memorial Scholarship

Awarded to a teacher education graduate candidate within Orlean Beeson School of Education with demonstrated financial need, letters of recommendation regarding pertinent information relative to character and should have completed two graduate courses.

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Maurice Persall Endowed Scholarship

Awarded to a doctoral candidate within the Orlean Beeson School of Education with demonstrated financial need, academic ability to succeed and commitment to completion of the doctoral program in Educational Leadership. 

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In addition to our existing scholarships, Dean McEwan has shared her vision for additional scholarships in the following areas:

Minority recruitment through scholarships

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2016), the percentage of public-school principals from minority populations has barely budged over the last 29 years. While less than 20 percent of school leaders are minorities, well over 50 percent of school-age children (ages 5-17) represent minority populations. The percentage of minority school leaders is not keeping pace with the shifting demographics of today’s schools.

Further complicating matters is a disparity across the nation in the number of doctoral degrees awarded to candidates who represent minority populations. During the 2016-2017 school year, 66 percent of all doctoral degrees (including, but not limited to the Ed.D.) were conferred to white candidates while only 34 percent were conferred to minority candidates. For school leaders who aspire to district- and state-level leadership positions, preference is often given to those who hold an educational doctorate. Advanced preparation for school leaders who represent minority populations could result in more equitable representation of minorities in executive level leadership positions.

To address these incongruences, the faculty and staff of Samford University’s Orlean Beeson School of Education will prioritize the preparation of minority P-12 school leaders.

Early child development program scholarships

High-quality preschool programs provide opportunities to improve child development and school readiness, promote educational outcomes, and contribute to the skilled workforce of tomorrow. A December 2018 study revealed that children who participate in Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program demonstrated greater proficiency in math (3.2 percentage points higher) and reading (1.6 percentage points higher) when compared to students who do not receive First Class Pre-K.

With expanded state and federal funding to establish more FirstClass Pre-K programs, comes a need for well-trained educators who understand the unique needs of children and families in the early years of development. To address this need, the faculty and staff of Samford University’s Orlean Beeson School of Education will prioritize the preparation of in-service and pre-service professionals in early childhood development.

For more information, please contact Sheri Ransome, advancement officer at shransom@samford.edu or 205-726-4462.

Academic Programs

Gifts to support Academic Programs within the Orlean Beeson School of Education provide our faculty and students with the resources necessary to pursue research and scholarly activity, as well as grow our community partnership initiatives. These experiences allow students and faculty to excel in their field and enhance education for all.

Character Education

Character education is woven into the fabric of the OBSOE mission because it enriches and empowers students to educate, lead and serve their communities and the world. We strive to develop both professional competence and strength of character as we prepare our graduates to fulfill their calling.

Delivering Quality Distance Education

Orlean Beeson School of Education prepares students to use remote and distance technology in their chosen career path. Recognizing the potential of digital technologies to enable global connectivity in pursuing one’s “call,” we value high quality instruction and interaction in digital environments. Through community partnerships and forums called “Lessons Learned,” we hope to address accessibility issues in distance learning statewide.

Early Child Development Program

It is estimated that 95 percent of a child’s brain develops during the first five years of life; therefore, the importance of nurturing the cognitive, physical, social-emotional, and spiritual development of young children is of utmost importance. Our early child development program prepares students to serve birth to age five children and their families, meeting the needs of both typically and atypically developing children. Gifts to support this impactful work provide academic program resources in areas such as: faculty research, immersive student experiences and expert level training for early child development professionals.

Marriage and Family Therapy

Preparing students to provide communication and relationship-building resources for couples and families is another fulfillment of the Orlean Beeson School of Education mission. We recognize that healthy families serve as a mirror or microcosm of what it means to live in Christian community. Gifts to support our Marriage and Family Therapy program provide resources enhancing faculty research, affording students enriching opportunities to pursue this impactful work within His Kingdom.

New Endowed Chair or Professor Positions

An endowed position provides funds to help further student experiences. The gift means more resources for students, faculty and staff, and allows our school to ensure all teaching and programs are at the highest academic and professional level.

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For more information, please contact Sheri Ransome, advancement officer at shransom@samford.edu or 205-726-4462.

Places and Spaces

Built in 1978, our building needs technology updates and renovations to enhance our educational environment. As we continually enrich our educational experience, we identify opportunities to improve our learning spaces through the renewal of necessary facilities and classroom spaces.

OBB Building Schematic (PDF)

Naming Opportunities
Location Available Amount*
Dean's Suite 1/1 $20,000
Associate Dean's Suite—FUNDED 0/1 $15,000
Assistant Dean's Suite 1/1 $15,000
Department Chair Suite 3/3 $10,000
Faculty or Staff Office 40/45 $5,000
Large Classroom 4/4 $50,000
Medium Classroom 6/7 $35,000
Seminar Classroom 1/1 $25,000
Faculty/Staff Common Area 1/1 $25,000
Student Common Area 2/2 $10,000
Education Learning Commons 1/1 $75,000
Administrative Services Suite 1/3 $15,000
Conference Room 3/3 $25,000
Outdoor Patio 1/1 $15,000

*Cost quoted is for each named room

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For more information, please contact Sheri Ransome, advancement officer at shransom@samford.edu or 205-726-4462.

Solid Foundation

Faithful, annual gifts to support our School of Education Excellence fund allow our school to provide scholarships and academic program resources where the needs are greatest. We encourage our donors to make annual tribute gifts honoring your favorite educator. As you reflect on your own educational experience, we ask you to make a tribute gift to the School of Education Excellence Fund in honor (or memory) of someone who has been most influential in your own life. We encourage you to think of all those who may have made such an impact, from your first-grade teacher, to your Sunday school leader, to your favorite professor during your senior year.

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For more information, please contact Sheri Ransome, advancement officer at shransom@samford.edu or 205-726-4462.