Posted by William Nunnelley on 2010-12-15
Samford University journalism professor Julie Hedgepeth Williams will speak in Kitty Hawk, N.C., Friday, Dec. 17, at the 107th anniversary celebration of powered flight by Orville Wright Dec. 17, 1903.  Dr. Williams is the author of the book, Wings of Opportunity: The Wright Brothers in Montgomery, Alabama 1910, released last year.  She will speak at the annual First Flight Society luncheon.

Wilbur and Orville Wright chose Kitty Hawk to conduct their flying experiments because of its regular breezes off the Atlantic Ocean and its soft sandy landing areas.  After refining their powered flying machine over the next few years, they came to Montgomery in the spring of 1910 to open the nation’s first flying school at what later became Maxwell Air Force Base.


Williams, who teaches media history and other classes in Samford’s journalism and mass communication department, was born at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, the Wright brothers’ home.  She has been interested in Wright brothers history for many years.


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.