Published on June 14, 2012 by Mary Wimberley  

The 25th session of Alabama Governor's School (AGS) will open at Samford University Sunday, June 17. The two-week honors program for academically gifted students will engage  82 of Alabama's top rising high school seniors. This year's participants hail from 27 counties.

David Perry, chief of staff for Alabama governor Robert Bentley, will speak at the opening ceremony on Sunday at 2:45 p.m. in Brock Recital Hall.

About 2,000 students have participated in the AGS program since it began at Samford in 1987.

"Because of their hands-on Alabama Governor's School classes, you can find alumni making a difference in law, medicine, business, the classroom and service fields," said AGS founding director Dr. Carolyn G. Satterfield, who now serves as chair of the AGS Council.  "Many have returned to Alabama, and continue to contribute to their communities in leadership positions."

During AGS, students choose major and minor areas of coursework.  Morning and afternoon course topics include the arts, law, health, research, journalism-16 different subjects in all.  A new course on entrepreneurship, funded by a grant from Alabama Power Company, is offered as a "major" for the first time this year.

An Insights Dinner on Friday, June 22, will feature a talk by Cameron Purdy, vice president of development at Oracle software company and a participant in the first AGS session.

Participants will also attend a Barons baseball game and programs on college admission and scholarships. The schedule includes work at a service project at Cornerstone School in Birmingham, and a visit to American Village in Montevallo.

In honor of the 25th anniversary, Protective Life Corporation will host a reception for all former AGS students, faculty and staff on Saturday, June 23, 5 p.m.-7 p.m., at its corporate headquarters in Birmingham. A pre-reception gathering in Samford's Hanna Center hospitality room will begin at 2 p.m.

The closing ceremony will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 29, in Brock Recital Hall.

AGS participants are nominated by their schools on the basis of academic ability, leadership qualities, creativity and community service.  Selection is also based on teacher and guidance counselor recommendations, and written essays.  Samford biology professor Dr. George Keller is in his 12th year as AGS director.


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.