Published on January 18, 2002 by Mary Wimberley  

Samford University students will observe Black History Month with special speakers and an exhibit of works by artist Ronald McDowell.

Bernard Williams, pastor of Mount Moriah Baptist Church, will speak Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. in Reid Chapel. A noted recording artist and songwriter, he will also sing and play the piano during his appearance. The Miles College Choir, which he directs, will also perform.

Sam Pettagrue, senior pastor of Sardis Missionary Baptist Church, will speak Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. in Reid Chapel. He is a past president of Metro Ministry Association of Birmingham and state board member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

A collection of figure drawings by artist Ronald McDowell will be on display in Samford's Davis Library throughout February. On Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m. in library room 235, he will discuss his works and how art relates to African-American culture.

A California native, McDowell has painted the portraits of such famous individuals as Rosa Parks, Marilyn Monroe and Bill Cosby. He has 50 paintings housed in the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Muscle Shoals, including portraits of Lionel Richie and the band, Alabama.


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 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.