Posted by Philip Poole on 2008-10-28

The permanent flag hanging in Samford University's Thomas E. and Marla H. Corts Arena has a special connection to the facility's namesake. The Corts Honor Flag was unveiled Oct. 25 during Samford's annual homecoming weekend.

The flag flew over the United States Capitol on Sept. 1, 2008, the 25th anniversary of Corts' first day as Samford's 17th president. The flag was secured through the efforts of Samford alumna MaryAnn Buffington Moon, an American government and social studies teacher at Huntsville, Ala. High School.

Moon said the idea for the flag grew out of a conversation at a Samford basketball game last season. Several fans were discussing the need for a permanent flag, she explained, and Samford alumna Carolyn Yeager Robinson mentioned that her family had secured a U.S. Capitol flag for her father on his birthday. That launched the idea of getting a flag that would have some historical significance for Corts. Moon submitted several possible dates to the office of Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., who secured the flag for Samford through the office of the architect of the Capitol.

The flag arrived just in time for Homecoming weekend volleyball matches between Samford and Southern Conference rivals Elon University and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

The arena, located within the Pete Hanna Center, opened in 2007 and is named for Samford's president emeritus and his wife.

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.