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.


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.