Samford University’s Orlean Beeson School of Education hosted its annual awards ceremony on April 20 to recognize the many accomplishments of its students. This year marked the first time all three departments were recognized in one event.
Clifton Taulbert, author of Eight Habits of the Heart: Embracing Values that Build Strong Communities, which is one of 13 books he has written, served as the guest speaker. Taulbert has addressed the United States Supreme Court and the United Nations to discuss his books and the life lessons within them.
“It is an honor to be here,” Taulbert said. “It is an honor to be in any environment where educators are appreciated, where teachers are exalted and where guests come to see what they have accomplished; and students await them, even from the cradle, to transform their lives.”
Taulbert chose the topic “educators impacting generations” because of the respect he has for the field of education and educators. By sharing stories from his own life and book, Taulbert celebrated the accomplishments of Samford students by applauding their choices to become “game-changers” and investors in their communities.
“Never underestimate the transformative power of your presence upon the lives of others. That is what humans do. We are both benefactors and beneficiaries of the life in which we create, for ourselves and for others. So, when others matter to us, dreaming for them comes naturally. This is what educators do, they dream along with their students,” Taulbert said.
Orlean Beeson School of Education Dean Anna McEwan affirmed Taulbert’s comments when she honored students with their awards.
“Our graduates lead classrooms, direct schools, advocate for families, conduct research, serve organizations, and implement positive change across the country and around the world. The students we honor are those who meet and exceed our expectations,” McEwan said.
In addition to the awards, two new scholarships were awarded and presented by donors. The Twanna Caddell Powell Annual and Endowed Scholarship in Education was established in honor of Twanna Caddell Powell and is reserved for a male student of good character, in good standing with the school, and intent on teaching in the public school system post-graduation. The first recipient is Micaiah Collins.
The Charlotte Opal Herring Ennis Scholarship in Graduate Education was established in memory of Charlotte Opal Herring Ennis by her son, Dr. Leslie Ennis and his father. The first recipient of this scholarship is graduate student Tyler Berryman.