Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2005-09-02

Samford University music professor Donald Sanders received the school's 2005 John H. Buchanan Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching.

Dr. Sanders, a pianist who teaches primarily in the area of music history and literature, received the honor Tuesday, Aug. 30, at the opening convocation of the fall semester.

Sanders gives generously to students, both inside and outside the classroom, said Samford Provost Dr. Brad Creed in presenting the award, which includes a $1,000 cash prize and silver tray.

"Students who nominated Sanders describe him as someone who displays courtesy, integrity and honesty of character, and who inspires students to behave likewise," said Creed.

Finalists for the award were nominated by members of the Class of 2005.

Sanders joined the Samford music faculty in 1974. He holds a bachelor's in piano performance from the University of South Carolina, a master's in piano performance from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Kansas.

The South Carolina native has led Samford music students on tours of Italy, where he has done research on 18th century keyboard music and 17th century Italian church music.

Through the years, he has studied piano with John Adams, David Renner, Angelica von Sauer and most recently, while on sabbatical in 1998, with Samuel Sanders at the Juilliard School of Music.

Sanders, who regularly performs as a chamber music player and accompanist, also speaks and writes about 17th and 18th-century Italian music. He is a contributor to the current edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

His next public performance will be Sept. 27 with Samford School of Performing Arts faculty members Jeffrey Flaniken, violin; and Angela Flaniken, viola.

He and his wife, Ruth, live in Mountain Brook.


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 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 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.