Published on October 4, 2011 by William Nunnelley  

Noted historian and author Wayne Flynt, a member of Samford University’s Golden Anniversary Class of 1961, will speak during the annual Live at the Library program during Samford Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 29.

            Dr. Flynt, professor emeritus in history at Auburn University, will speak on the topic “When We Were Young, and the World Seemed Simple: The Class of 1961" at 9:30 a.m. in Davis Library at Samford.

            Flynt is the author or coauthor of 11 books, the latest an autobiographical study entitled Keeping the Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives.  Among his other books, two were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize: Poor But Proud: Alabama’s Poor Whites (1990) and Alabama: The History of a Deep South State (1994), which he coauthored with three others.

            He has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the Lillian Smith Book Award, the Clarence Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing, the James F. Sulzby Book Award (twice), and the Alabama Library Association Award for nonfiction (twice).

            A specialist in Southern culture, Alabama politics, Southern religion, education reform and poverty, Flynt is also Editor-in-Chief of the  Online Encyclopedia of Alabama.  He taught at Samford during 1965-77 and at Auburn from 1977 until his retirement in 2005.

            Live at the Library will provide one of many Homecoming highlights the weekend of Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28-29.  Also included are reunions, tailgating on the quad, football and other activities.  “Forever Red and Blue” will be this year’s theme.

            The Homecoming Banquet Friday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 p.m. in the University Dining Hall will celebrate the 142-year tradition of the Candlelight Dinner.  Joe McDade ’61 of Montgomery, Ala., and Mark Davidson ’92 of Mobile, Ala., will be recognized as Alumni of the Year, and Kitty Rogers Brown ’01 of Birmingham as Young Alumnus of the Year.  (See the September issue of Seasons magazine for profiles of the honorees.)

            A full day of activity is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29.  Following Live at the Library, Saturday highlights will include the Homecoming parade at 10:30 a.m., the Class of 1961 Golden Reunion Luncheon on the stage of Wright Center at 11:30 a.m., alumni reunion luncheon at noon in the dining hall and the Samford-Western Carolina football game at 2 p.m. in Seibert Stadium. 

            Various affinity groups will hold reunions and tailgates Friday and Saturday.  


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.