Published on July 10, 2012 by Mary Wimberley  

Five Samford University students are spending part of the summer helping to economically empower people who live in South African townships.

For much of July, the Samford team is working with Living Way, a Christian not-for-profit microenterprise center based in Cape Town, South Africa.  There, they are using their varied talents and skill sets to develop a basic business curriculum for Living Way's agri-academy that trains and mentors aspiring farmers.

The service practicum is facilitated by Samford's Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement (OSLCE) and the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership, which began the partnership with Living Way in 2011.

The current endeavor builds off last summer's work project that focused on entrepreneurial development.

Team leader Mallory James, a senior business major who participated during last year's inaugural involvement, says that getting to know the South Africans who will benefit from their efforts is special.

"I know one of them really well from last summer when I was here, and it definitely makes me so much more passionate and emotionally invested in the project," said James, a Brock Scholar from Memphis, Tenn. "And now, the other group members are beginning to feel the same way."

The team also includes Emily Mallory, a senior Brock Scholar and business major from Louisville, Ky., Tracy Knapp, a sophomore philosophy major from Vestavia Hills, Ala.; Lindsey Mallory, a master of business administration student from Louisville, Ky.; and Madelie Janse van Rensburg, a master of accountancy student from Franschhoek, South Africa.

The students are accompanied by Mann Center director Dr. John Knapp and OSLCE director Janna Pennington.


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.