Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2004-08-20

Samford University faculty and the school’s newest students will arrive on campus Aug. 23-29 for a series of start-of-school programs.

Faculty, including 24 new members, will participate in a pre-school workshop Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 23-24.

Demographer and sociologist Steve H. Murdock will speak Tuesday morning on the topic “Population Change in the U.S.: Implications for Higher Education in the 21st Century.” Dr. Murdock, who teaches management science and statistics at the University of Texas at San Antonio, is the official state demographer of Texas.

Samford president Thomas E. Corts will also address the faculty.

While faculty members are convening on campus, some new Samford students will be bonding in the Tennessee mountains during a Samford Outdoor Summer Adventure program Aug. 22-25. Offered for the first time last year when 22 people signed up, this year’s trip includes 50 freshmen, 10 upperclassmen and five faculty members. They are rock climbing, caving, white water rafting, camping and hiking near Ocoee, Tenn.

Orientation leaders believe the adventure gives new students a time and place away from campus to get to know other freshmen and ease the transition into college life.

Freshman move-in day is Thursday, Aug. 26. A series of events called “Connections” will start Thursday afternoon with an assembly in Seibert Hall followed by small group meetings.

On Friday, students will participate in faculty-led group discussion of their summer reading assignment, themed “Journey to Birmingham: Race, Community and Christianity in the Magic City.” The reading list includes writings by Ed Gardner, Martin Luther King, Jr., George Packer, Gerald Austin and Jonathan Bass. Dr. Bass, a Samford history professor, is the author of Blessed are the Peacemakers: Martin Luther King, Jr., Eight White Religious Leaders and the Letter from Birmingham Jail.

Discussions will center on Birmingham’s history, the evangelical tradition and the broader topic of community.

Connections programs continue through the weekend with presentations by student leaders and Samford staff, pep rally, football game against University of West Alabama and a freshman dance. A Sunday morning event on Centennial Walk will feature a procession of the Class of 2008 and remarks by Samford president Thomas E. Corts, followed by a special worship service.

Later on Sunday, returning students arrive in preparation for classes to begin Monday, Aug. 30.

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.