Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2011-04-22


Samford University students observed Earth Day with a week-long series of activities and special events April 18-22.

The Thursday, April 21, schedule featured a “Renewing the Earth” fair that, due to Mother Nature, was held inside rather than as planned on Ben Brown Plaza.

“Despite the rain, we had a good Earth Day,” said coordinator and biology professor Dr. Betsy Dobbins.

Thirty-seven groups with diverse presentations and causes set up displays in the University Center’s Flag Colonnade Room and surrounding hallways after rainy skies loomed over campus all day. Exhibitors included campus groups as well as community non-profit agencies.

Friends of Shades Creek brought along a mannequin, “Mr. Shadey,” composed of objects found in the creek that runs near the Samford campus.  His attire included an entire outfit, from shoes to sunglasses and hat, that had been retrieved from the creek.

The fair followed an inspiring convocation presentation by longtime Samford professor art Dr. Lowell Vann, who gave his popular Chalk Talk, “Resurrection.”

Hands-on activities included a bed of milkweed seedlings planted by students in hopes of establishing a “Monarch Way Station” outside Propst Hall. The colorful butterflies are known to be particularly fond of the flowery green plants.

The Earth Week schedule featured four films, including “Encounters at the End of the Earth,” a documentary about Antarctica and its residents.  The continent was also the topic of the concluding Earth Week event: a lecture on ecological impacts of climate change on the Antarctic peninsula by Dr. Jim McClintock, professor of polar and marine biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The Samford library was the setting for a week-long earth related art display, and Trash Mountain Project executive director and co-founder Brett Durbin told about the ministry’s efforts during a Tuesday convocation.

Three students received prizes for outstanding Earth Day-themed essays.  Jay Meservy, a senior philosophy and religion major from Knoxville, Tenn., won first place. Stephen Bailey and Kelsey Nolen tied for second place.

On Friday, April 22, the generally recognized Earth Day, an essay and photos by biology professor Dr. Kristin Bakkegard  were featured in a “Keeping Alabama Forever Wild” series on


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.