Published on February 27, 2012 by Philip Poole  

When internationally-acclaimed Birmingham chef Chris Hastings won the Iron Chef competition on The Food Network Feb. 26, 1996 Samford alumna Tena Payne contributed to his victory. Payne's pottery is used at Hastings' Birmingham restaurant, and he used it to serve his winning recipe on the show. As a result, Payne's creations are getting national and international attention.

The Birmingham News also featured Payne in a Feb. 28 story.

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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 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 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.