Published on June 20, 2011 by Philip Poole  

Three Samford University alumni who have been active volunteers will be honored with alumni awards at 2011 homecoming activities.

Joe McDade, class of 1961, and Mark Davidson, class of 1992, will be honored as alumni of the year, the highest honor the Samford Alumni Association can bestow on graduates. Kitty Rogers Brown, class of 2001, will receive the third annual Outstanding Young Alumna award.

The three were selected from lists of nominees and represent a theme of “leading the way,” according to David B. Goodwin, Samford’s director of alumni and parents programs. All three have been “significantly involved” in alumni activities, alumni outreach and financial support for the university.

McDade was part of the first class to attend classes on the present campus. After retiring from a career in church ministry, he moved to Montgomery and reengaged with his alma mater. In recent years, he has established his own scholarship and was instrumental in leading his church, Pintlala Baptist near Montgomery, to establish a scholarship honoring their pastor Gary Burton. He has led planning for his class golden reunion during this year’s homecoming, including the establishment of a class of 1961 reunion scholarship. Goodwin noted that McDade regularly attends athletics and arts events both on campus and in other locations.

Davidson, founder and partner with Cornerstone Investment Management and Consulting in Mobile, served two years as president of the Samford Alumni Association. As president, he led efforts to increase homecoming participation and “invested significant volunteer time to help grow the ideas that have made homecoming a big campus-wide event,” Goodwin said. In addition to their ongoing financial support, Davidson and his wife, Lynn, have hosted Samford events in their home and continue to participate in activities on campus.

Brown, an attorney in Birmingham, has been active on the executive council and activities board and as an affinity representative with the Samford Alumni Association. She also has been a leader in planning the class of 2001 10-year reunion planned at homecoming. She has been a leader in establishing a scholarship for members of Chi Omega sorority and is an adviser to the Samford chapter and its members. Brown also is active in the Birmingham community and with the Birmingham Bar Association.

“These three alumni have poured themselves into volunteer roles within the Alumni Association, and they truly lead the way for how we hope all alumni will participate,” Goodwin added. “They each have helped recruit students, attend many events and give to support the Samford experience. Not to mention they are some of the finest people, heart and soul, you could ever meet.”

The three will be honored during homecoming weekend Oct. 28-30, including at the annual homecoming banquet Oct. 28. They also will be featured in the fall issue of Seasons magazine.


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.