Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2010-03-05


The Samford University Auxiliary will host two spring events benefitting a scholarship fund that will allow a student from Big Oak Ranch to attend Samford.

A Christian home for children needing a chance, Big Oak Ranch consists of three facilities in northeast Alabama: homes for boys and girls, and Westbrook Christian School.

Through the two April events, the public is invited to support the Auxiliary’s goal to raise $500,000 to endow the scholarship, which would include tuition, books, room and board for four years.

A trio of talented guests will present a varied program on Tuesday, April 27, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Harrison Theatre at Samford.

Speakers are chef Chris Hastings, co-owner of Birmingham’s Hot and Hot Fish Club; award-winning architect and designer Phillip Sides; and humorist and author Melinda Rainey Thompson, author of SWAG:  Southern Women Aging Gracefully. 

General admission is $30. A $200 ticket features perks that include a special reception, luncheon with speakers, signed books and more.

A gala on Thursday, April 29 will feature a 7:30  p.m. dinner and live auction at Vestavia Country Club. 

Big Oak Ranch founder and executive director John Croyle will speak at the dinner and assist with the auction of 10 uniquely Samford items. Auction items include fine art, a catered luncheon at a country retreat and an English bulldog puppy.

Gala tickets are $50. A patron ticket, which includes a pre-dinner reception, is $100. Reservation deadline is April 26.

For information on either program, call (205) 726-4373.

The 922-member Samford Auxiliary has a long history of providing scholarships for deserving students. This year, 15 students receive Auxiliary scholarships totaling $53,987.

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.