Published on April 24, 2012 by Sean Flynt  

The Bells of Buchanan may sound bittersweet in their final concert of the season May 1. The free 7:30 p.m. performance in Brock Recital Hall will mark the last at Samford for music professor Billy Strickland, Director of the Bells of Buchanan and former Associate Dean for the School of Music.

The concert, sponsored by Patty McDonald, will feature six full octaves of handbells and handchimes, and selections of special meaning to the beloved professor, including a meditation on "Beautiful Savior", "It Is Well With My Soul," "Sabre Dance" and others. The concert also will feature a public reception honoring Strickland sponsored by Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman.

Strickland, who started at Samford as staff in 1975 and joined the faculty two years later, said his tenure was "a pilgrimage that I did not plan, but one that I have thoroughly enjoyed". He said he has appreciated the university's ongoing emphasis on quality and attention to individual student needs and potential. "It has been extremely important for me to get to know the students and remember them when they come through our doors after graduation as members of our alumni and contributors to both Samford and their community," he said.

The Bells of Buchanan will chime farewell as Strickland and wife Nina now look forward to exploring their favorite vacation sites of Charleston, S.C. and Fairhope, Ala., enjoying some well-earned BBQ along the way.

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.