Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2004-11-09

Thousands of Samford University alumni and their families made the campus an especially festive place to be during 2004 Homecoming weekend Oct. 28-31.

Samford graduates Marvin Mann and Wanda Seay Lee were honored as 2004 Alumni of the Year at the annual homecoming banquet on Oct. 29.

Mann, a 1954 business graduate, is founder and chairman emeritus of Lexmark International, Inc. He lives in Cary, N.C., and Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Lee, a 1969 Samford nursing graduate, is executive director/treasurer of the Birmingham-based Southern Baptist Woman's Missionary Union.

The banquet was also the setting for the naming of two honorary members of the Samford Alumni Association.
Longtime Samford supporters Elouise and Harold Williams of Birmingham were named the first recipients of a new designation, alumnus honoris causa. The honor, which will be given to individuals who are not Samford graduates, recognizes outstanding service to the University through campus involvement, financial contributions and service as an active member of the University community.

A pep rally, bonfire and fireworks display followed the banquet.

Hundreds of alumni and families attended a variety of reunions for classes and affinity groups during the weekend. Special events recognized the 80th anniversary of Hypatia honor society and the 20th anniversary of the London Study Programs.

Football game halftime activity featured the presentation of the Homecoming court and the crowning of the queen, Katie Hall, a senior communication studies major from Tyler, Texas. Her parents, Jenny and Danny Hall, now live in Birmingham. Sam Hawes, an English and Spanish major from Plymouth, Ind., was named senior honor escort. They were elected by vote of the student body.

The Homecoming court also included seniors Hannah Hunter of Metairie, La., Jewel Littleton of Birmingham, Brian Pavlick of Montgomery and Josh Taylor of Sylacauga; juniors Matt Harrison of Huntsville and Lacey Sims of Magnolia Springs; sophomores D. J. Carter of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Suzie Hornor of Germantown, Tenn; and freshmen Sophia Martorana of Monroeville and Paul McNeese of Montgomery.

The Samford Bulldogs claimed a 20-17 victory over Tennessee Tech.

Country music star Brad Paisley entertained an enthusiastic audience Saturday night.

Homecoming activities also included a Thursday night organ recital honoring retired music faculty member Dr. H. Edward Tibbs. Five of his former students, representing each of the decades he taught at Samford, performed on the organ, which he helped design, in A. Gerow Hodges Chapel. Performers were: Dianne Norton, Sarah Heaslett, Charles Kennedy, Phillip E. Burgess and Michael Wayne Smith.

At a meeting of the Samford Alumni Association on Friday, Oct. 29, Birmingham investment consultant Tom Armstrong was elected association president. He is a 1973 graduate. Other newly elected officers are Mark Davidson of Mobile, vice president; and Kathryn Josey of Montgomery, secretary.

Homecoming weekend concluded with a worship service on Sunday, Oct. 31. Alumna of the Year honoree Lee was the speaker.