Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2005-01-28

Samford University history professor Marlene H. Rikard was named winner of the school's 2004-05 George Macon Memorial Award during the opening convocation of the spring semester Thursday (JAN. 27).

The honor goes annually to a Samford educator who, through outstanding performance as a teacher, counselor and friend to students, demonstrates the ability to inspire students to greatness.

Samford Provost Dr. Brad Creed presented the award, citing Rikard's commitment to students, love for Samford and high standards of professionalism as well as her capabilities as a teacher, historian and longtime director of Samford's London Program.

Dr. Rikard, who joined the Samford history faculty in 1973, served 12 years, 1988-2000, as director of Samford's London Program in England.

A specialist in American and Alabama economic and labor history, women's history, oral history, and the New South, she initiated courses in women's history at Samford as a result of her extensive research on Birmingham suffragists.

Dr. Rikard has been president of the Southern Association of Women Historians, president of the Alabama Association of Historians, and chair of the Alabama Baptist and Southern Baptist historical commissions.

She holds a bachelor's from Auburn University, a master's from Samford and a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama.

As this year's Macon Award honoree, Rikard received a silver tray and a $1,000 cash prize. Thursday's convocation marked the opening of the spring semester for Samford students. Classes began Wednesday, Jan. 26.


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.