Published on November 3, 2017 by Sara Roman  

Orlean Beeson School of Education is thrilled to host alumnus Eric Motley as the 2018 distinguished author at the eighth annual Tom and Marla Corts Distinguished Author Series. Motley will speak at 7 p.m. in Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center March 1.

“The Tom and Marla Corts Distinguished Author Series is a staple event for the education school, Samford University and the Birmingham community,” said Jeanie Box Orlean Beeson School of Education Dean. “We are honored to offer an event to the community that highlights reading and literacy.”

For many years, general admission tickets have been complimentary to Samford University faculty, staff and students but not for the general public. In honor of the first alumni distinguished author and thanks to the generosity of event sponsors, this year, general admission tickets will be complimentary to all attendees.

“It is the education school’s honor to host a beloved friend and member of the Samford family for this special event,” said Box. “Eric Motley’s testimony is inspiring and we want to ensure that our community has the opportunity to hear his story.”

The lecture’s focus will be on Motley’s personal memoir Madison Park: A Place of Hope, set to release November 14, 2017.

Motley grew up in Madison Park, Alabama and has had an outstanding career from serving as a special assistant to President George W. Bush to holding his current title of executive vice president at the Aspen Institute.

He is a 1996 Samford graduate and was heavily involved on campus while attending. He studied political science and philosophy, was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity and Omicron Delta Kappa honor society and served as Student Government Association president and a Student Ambassador. He was also elected Homecoming King.

The education school hopes that attendees young and old will be inspired and that Motley’s story will spark potential, said Box.  

VIP tickets are $75 and include a private reception with Motley in Brock Recital Hall at 6 p.m. and a copy of his memoir, Madison Park: A Place of Hope.

Tickets are available beginning Nov 3. Order tickets now at or call 205-726-2853.

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. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 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.