Samford University’s Orlean Beeson School of Education hosted An Evening with Tim Tebow for its 12th Annual Tom and Marla Corts Distinguished Author Series presented in partnership with the Percy Cook Ratliff Lecture Series on March 14, 2023.
The two-time national champion, Heisman Trophy winner, and five-time New York Times best-selling author encouraged students to find their mission and pursue a bolder, brighter, more fulfilling life.
“Is there anything more important than that, to know who you are, to know where you’re going, your purpose in life, the impact that you get to be a part of?” asked Tebow.
Over 2,200 guests in attendance heard the gospel and inspiring words from Tebow’s own life experience and his new book, Mission Possible. When asked what inspired his recent work, Tebow says, “Mission Possible was born out of my daily experience witnessing my mom and dad live out the meaning of this book every single day. They are my two greatest examples, other than Jesus Christ, and they taught me that God can use you where you’re at with what you have.”
God’s calling on individual lives, using unique talents, and thriving in who God created us to be was the theme of the evening, which raised support for scholarships benefiting students pusuing a degree within the School of Education.
“We are thrilled for this opportunity to welcome Tim Tebow to campus in our efforts to support students pursuing their callings in the School of Education. This event helps ensure that our future generations can achieve their missions, advance Samford’s mission, and the Kingdom of God,” said Anna McEwan, dean of Orlean Beeson School of Education.
Tebow challenged the audience to make a life that counts and to pursue their callings vigorously with their eyes on the eternal impact of their efforts.
“There are so many people, and I believe probably some in this room, that are starving for hope. You get to be a massive part of bringing the hope of humanity to the hopeless, love to those who feel like nobody loves them, faith to those who feel like there is nothing to believe in. I challenge you, are you willing to do it? Because the ripple effect from your life could be through generations, but more importantly it will be for eternity,” Tebow said.
Tebow’s address was followed by a special Q&A session, hosted by Beck A. Taylor, president of Samford University.
When asked what Tebow’s deepest desire was, he replied, “to honor God, and to show up to heaven exhausted. I hope I don’t show up to heaven well rested. When we have the chance to run the race that is set before us; I want to show up to heaven exhausted from running, running towards my Savior, towards the cross, towards hurting people, towards the gospel and believing that it was all worth it.
In addition to Tebow’s speech, a VIP reception was held prior to the event. Guests who purchased tickets for the VIP experience received a photo with Tebow and a signed copy of his book, Mission Possible. Students with special needs from Unless U and Turning Points were able to take part in this special experience through the generosity of event sponsors.
Tebow has created a ministry to serve teens with special needs called Night to Shine, which provides an unforgettable prom night experience to the special needs community. The celebrity athlete and author is most passionate about his work with the Tim Tebow Foundation, whose mission is to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. The Tim Tebow Foundation is currently fighting for people who can’t fight for themselves in more than 70 countries and counting through four primary ministry focuses with 16 initiatives.
The Tom and Marla Corts Distinguished Author Series was established in 2011 to highlight reading and literacy and provide financial support for Orlean Beeson School of Education. The Percy Cook Ratliff Lecture Series was established in 1992 to bring visiting speakers with special expertise to Samford.
Previous speakers include Greg Mortenson, Wendell Berry, Garrison Keillor, Wes Moore, Laura Bush, Parker J. Palmer, Philip Yancey, Eric Motley, Anthony Ray Hinton, Patti Callahan Henry, Charles Martin, Cherie Booth Blair, John Major, Condeleezza Rice and Eric Metaxas.
Samford University and Orlean Beeson School of Education would like to thank the generous sponsors who helped make An Evening with Tim Tebow possible:
- Thomas E. and Marla Haas Corts Endowment
- Percy Cook Ratliff Lecture Series
- Alan and Dina Long Family
- Pam and Bill Smith Family Foundation
- Davis Architects
- Fi-Plan Partners
- Alfa Insurance
- Ida and Bruce Dunbar
- Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Lambert III
- Adventure Travel
- Bham Now
- Emerald Green Landscapes LLC
- McGriff Insurance
- Southland Transportation Group