Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2008-06-12

Samford University will host 78 of the state's top rising high school seniors during Alabama Governor's School (AGS) June 15-27. Participants from 49 high schools in 27 counties are expected to arrive Sunday for the two-week honors program for academically gifted students.

Opening ceremonies will be Sunday at 2:45 p.m. in Samford's Brock Recital Hall. Alabama state senator J.T. "Jabo" Waggoner of Birmingham will address the students, parents and other guests. His topic will be "The Common Denominator of Success."

Newly-crowned Miss Alabama Amanda Tapley, a pianist who attended AGS as a high school student in 2005, will play the prelude and postlude at the ceremony. She now attends Samford.

During their two-week stay at Samford, AGS participants will choose major and minor areas of coursework, attend special lectures, and engage in an off-campus service project. They will attend a Barons baseball game and travel to Montgomery for a performance of The Count of Monte Cristo at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

The 16 course topics for morning and afternoon sessions include the arts, law, health and science-related subjects, history and other areas of interest.

Samford biology professor Dr. George Keller is AGS director.

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.