Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2010-10-21

Former Samford University faculty members Dr. Ben Chastain and Dr. Chriss Doss will be honored during this year’s Retired Faculty Dinner Friday, Oct. 22.

The annual dinner was begun several years ago by Samford alumni Dr. Wayne Flynt and Dr. Jimmy Harper to recognize retired faculty for their outstanding contributions to the life of the university. The event is hosted by President and Mrs. Andrew Westmoreland and the Office of Alumni and Parents Programs.

Chastain, who joined the Samford chemistry faculty in 1959, served as department chair form 1984 to 1997. He retired in 1999 and was named emeritus professor in 2001. The Alabama native holds a bachelor’s degree from Birmingham-Southern College and master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University.

During his 40-year Samford tenure, Chastain taught almost every course offered in the chemistry department and was involved in the development of the Cornerstone Curriculum.

Doss, a former Alabama state legislator and Jefferson County commission president, was named the first director of Samford’s Center for the Study of Law and the Church in 1987. He retired from the post in 2005. 

An attorney and ordained minister, Doss holds bachelor’s degrees from Samford and Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a master’s in library science from Drexel University and a juris doctor degree from Samford’s Cumberland School of Law.

Flynt, a 1961 Samford graduate, is a noted Southern historian and author of 11 books. His two most acclaimed volumes are Poor But Proud: Alabama’s Poor Whites and Alabama in the Twentieth Century. He retired after a 40-year teaching career at Samford and Auburn University. He holds a Ph.D. from Florida State University.

Harper, a 1964 Samford graduate, served on the staff of the National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ) in three states, and as regional director in Atlanta, Ga. He also holds a master’s degree in religion from Samford, where he taught in the department of religion and philosophy. He also taught English at Miles College.

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.