Published on September 10, 2021 by Leighton Doores  
Education Learning Commons Area

As Orlean Beeson School of Education students returned for the fall semester, they were greeted by new and improved learning spaces. The recently renovated Education Learning Commons (ELC) and classroom 316 on the third floor of Orlean Bullard Beeson Hall has been thoughtfully designed to better accommodate the needs of students from all departments, including Educational Leadership, Human Development and Family Science, and Teacher Education.

Through the generosity of Pete and Julie Clemens, the former Curriculum, Materials and Technology Center has continued to provide resources, media and services to students, faculty and staff designing instructional materials. With this additional gift through the estate of the late Arminda Thompson, Orlean Beeson School of Education is honored to present these classroom and learning environment enhancements which will provide advanced teaching aides and equipment to supplement the quality of students’ education.

“We, as a faculty and staff, are adopting and adapting to technology and innovative pedagogy so that students are being taught the way that they are used to learning and the way that they frequently interact,” said Amanda Stone, Technology and EduLearning Commons Coordinator.

Education Learning Commons Screens

Thus, one goal of the renovation is to offer a safe space for students to learn in the ways they are most accustomed to learning, interacting and living. Flexible learning spaces provide an environment that promotes collaboration on many levels.

The renovated learning spaces are accessible 24/7 and include flexible seating and furniture, charging stations, a high-top area, updated technology, rolling white boards and peg boards, two 80” TVs with updated technology and study booths that can be used for working in small groups.

After listening to students discuss their needs and soliciting feedback from faculty and staff, the opportunity for innovation was clear. The third-floor renovations and technology tools demonstrate that Orlean Beeson School of Education students had a voice in creating a hands-on/minds-on learning environment that will enrich the student experience for years to come.

“None of this is about us,” said Stone. “It’s about the students’ space, how they’re used to learning, how they interact and what they need. It serves students’ unique learning styles.”

Education Learning Commons Desk

Orlean Beeson School of Education faculty and staff have joined in the effort to provide other modern, vibrant learning spaces for Samford’s education community. There are also six named offices, two named administrative suites and a named classroom that comprise efforts to enhance “Places and Spaces” within Orlean Bullard Beeson Hall.

Built in 1978, Orlean Bullard Beeson Hall is a solid but aging facility that will continue needing technology updates and renovations in the years to come. Donors who invest in scholarships, academic programs and enhanced learning spaces allow Orlean Beeson School of Education to continue, and even increase, the tremendous impact the school’s graduates have on this world.

To learn more about how you can join Orlean Beeson School of Education in investing in Places and Spaces, visit

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.