Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2006-04-03

Samford University's Cumberland School of Law honored two individuals and a foundation during an alumni weekend event Friday, March 31.

Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) co-chair Anne B. Pope of Washington, D.C., was named 2006 Distinguished Alumna of the Year at a banquet at Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort on Friday evening. Nominated to the ARC post by President George W. Bush, the 1986 Cumberland graduate received unanimous confirmation from the U.S. Senate and was sworn into office in February 2003.

The ARC is an economic development partnership between the federal government and the governors of 13 states. Pope is a former commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance and executive director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission.

Birmingham attorney Robert P. MacKenzie III was named Cumberland's 2006 Volunteer of the Year. An attorney with the law firm of Starnes & Atchison, MacKenzie is a 1984 law graduate who serves as 2005-06 annual fund chair for the law school. He was cited for his tireless efforts in recruiting volunteers as class and law firm representatives. His work resulted in a record number of contributors during 2005-06.

Cumberland named the Thomas Wesley Martin Foundation as its 2006 Friend of the Law School. The Foundation, named for the late attorney who was instrumental in the beginnings of Alabama Power Company and Southern Research Institute, has made generous gifts to Cumberland over the past 34 years.

The weekend schedule also includes tours of the law library and Samford campus, mock law class, family reunion picnic and class reunion parties on Saturday, and a closing brunch on Sunday.

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 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.