Posted by William Nunnelley on 2002-05-21

Birmingham business and civic leader James A. Head, Sr., and British writer John Pollock will receive honorary doctorates from Samford University during Commencement Saturday, May 25.

Head will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters and Pollock the Doctor of Letters degree during 10 a.m. exercises in Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Arena.

Head, a Birmingham resident since 1914, was a voice for progress during the city's days of racial conflict in in the 1960s. He was active in the National Conference of Christians and Jews and a major force behind creation of Holy Family Hospital in Ensley.

Head opened an office supply and library furniture business in 1926 and, over the years, supplied a major portion of Birmingham and Alabama library furniture. In civic affairs, he was chairman of United Way and active in the Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce and Birmingham Rotary Club. He is a longtime member of the Samford Board of Trustees.

Head was the Young Men's Business Club Man of the Year in 1950 and recipient of the Spain-Hickman Distinguished Service Award in 2001.

Pollock, from Devonshire, England, has written more than 30 books on religion and Christian biography. He has written biographies of such church leaders as George Whitefield, Dwight Moody, John Wesley, Billy Graham and others. His book Moody Without Sankey is considered a classic in its field.

A graduate of Cambridge University, Pollock also has served as a teacher at Wellington College in Berkshire, England. He was ordained an Anglican priest in 1952 and served as rector at Horsington, Somerset, England, during the 1950s. He has written full-time since the 1960s.

In addition to his books, Pollock has been a frequent contributor to religion journals and a contributing editor of Christianity Today magazine.


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.