Published on May 17, 2014 by Mary Wimberley  

Veteran educator Bill Cleveland urged graduating seniors at Samford University to understand the importance of investing in people's lives by forming relationships.

"This concept of investment is important for the children in our schools.  We must invest the time to get to know our students," said Cleveland, superintendent of Homewood City Schools.

Cleveland, a 1990 Samford graduate, spoke during commencement exercises for Samford's School of the Arts and Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education on May 17.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.