Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2010-09-01

Students and faculty at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School celebrated the beginning of a new academic year at its semester-opening convocation Tuesday, Aug. 31.

Beeson dean Dr. Timothy George preached from Psalm 130 in the first of a series of fall worship gatherings that will follow the theme, “Knowing God Through the Psalms.”

The worship program included special recognition of professor emeritus of music and university organist H. Edward Tibbs, who joined the Samford music faculty in 1959.

Throughout his  decades at Samford, said Samford Dean of the Arts Joseph Hopkins, Dr. Tibbs’ hallmark has been one of devotion.

Tibbs has been devoted to education, to performance, to his students, to Samford, and to God, said Dr. Hopkins.

“He has influenced the lives of young musicians through his teaching and Christian character. His students serve around the country and the world,” said Hopkins.

Tibbs, designer of more than 50 pipe organs in the South, designed the 22-stop Letourneau pipe organ in Beeson’s Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel. The organ was dedicated in 1995 along with the chapel, which serves as the place of worship for Beeson students and faculty.

He performed J. G. Walther’s “Praise to the Lord” as an organ interlude during the convocation service.

In his sermon, George explained why he chose the topic, “Out of the Depths,” to begin the series on the Psalms.

While psalms of instruction, thanksgiving and remembering all recall the deeds of God, he said, Psalm 130 begins in the depths, which is “where real prayer begins and authentic faith is born.”

 Only in our depths do we see our need for forgiveness, and it is out of the depths that we cry, wait and hope, he said, noting that Psalm 130 ends in praise. 

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.