The names Tom and Marla Corts have been synonymous with Samford University for three decades. Tom Corts was known for his invaluable leadership, service and love for books and classical literature. Nearly nine year ago, Marla Corts assisted in the launch of the Tom and Marla Corts Distinguished Author Series in his memory. 

Through the vision of Tom and Marla Corts, and provided by their generosity of spirit, we are proud to present Anthony Ray Hinton, as the 2019 Tom and Marla Corts Distinguished Author. Mr. Hinton will speak about his personal memoirThe Sun Does Shine, How I Found Freedom on Death Row, at Samford University’s Leslie S. Wright Center on April 16 at 7 p.m., with a book signing to follow. VIP Tickets are available and include a reception with Hinton, a signed copy of The Sun Does Shine  and reserved seating.

About Anthony Ray Hinton:  In 1985, Hinton was arrested and wrongfully convicted with two counts of capital murder. At the time, he was only twenty-nine years old. A case of mistaken identity placed Hinton in solitude at Holman State Prison where he became confused, angry and full of despair. However, Hinton decided he did not want to wallow in resentment; instead, he began to transform his life and the lives of those around him through humor and joy.

In April of 2015, with the help of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, Hinton was released from Jefferson County Jail after spending 30 years on death row for a crime he did not commit. In March of 2018, he released his personal memoir The Sun Does Shine, How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row. The memoir became an instant New York Times  Best Seller and in June of 2018, Oprah selected The Sun Does Shine for her summer Book Club.

Today, Hinton holds the title of Community Educator with the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization that aided him in his release. He is also a powerful prison reform advocate.

Prepare to be captivated and inspired as Hinton shares first-hand the power of grace, forgiveness and relationships. 

General Admission VIP

Previous Guests

  • 2018—Eric L. Motley 
  • 2017—Philip Yancey
  • 2016—Parker J. Palmer
  • 2015—Laura Bush
  • 2014—Wes Moore
  • 2012—Wendell Berry
  • 2011—Greg Mortenson

Official recording of March 1, 2018 Tom and Marla Corts Distinguished Author Series | Condensed Version.

Sponsorship Opportunities

All proceeds benefit The School of Education Excellence Fund which provides scholarships and academic program support where the needs are greatest.

Sponsorship opportunities are available annually. Contact Sheri H. Ransome at 205-726-4462 or email shransom@samford.edu for more information.

Learn about Sponsorship Opportunities