Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2014-10-15

Samford University alumni will gather to celebrate friendships and their alma mater at the annual homecoming banquet Friday, October 31, at 6:30 p.m. in the University Center dining hall.

The event will honor 2014 Alumni of the Year Brenda Mitchell Hackney and Helen Shores Lee, both of Birmingham, and Bryan K. Owens of Atlanta, Georgia, and 2014 Young Alumnus of the Year Houston Estes of Nashville, Tennessee.

 “The homecoming banquet continues to celebrate Samford’s rich history of distinguished alumni, philanthropic efforts and educational excellence,” said director of alumni programs Molly McGuire. “The evening will provide an opportunity for alumni and friends to reconnect with former classmates and recall their favorite Samford memories.”

The banquet is part of a three-day homecoming weekend celebration at Samford.

Hackney, owner of Jefferson Giles Investments LLC and president of the Hackney Foundation, earned a bachelor’s degree at Samford in 1990 and an M.B.A. degree in 1994. She serves on Samford’s board of overseers and the Brock School of Business advisory board. She is a certified life underwriter and chartered financial consultant.

Lee, a 1986 graduate of Samford’s Cumberland School of Law, is a judge in the civil division of Jefferson County Circuit Court. Many service groups benefit from her leadership, including Camp Fire Inc., United Cerebral Palsy, American Red Cross, Leadership Birmingham, and University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Minority Health and Research Center.

Owens, a 1981 graduate, is founder of The Owens Group International. His companies also include NetTracer Inc., Lost and Found Central LLC and the popular Unclaimed Baggage Center Inc., in Scottsboro, Alabama. He studied in Harvard Business School’s owner-president management program and at the International School of Theology.

Estes, a 2004 graduate, is a complex property claims adjustor for Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. He is chair of Samford’s Nashville alumni chapter, and is a financial supporter of the history department and other campus projects. He is involved with Nashville’s Country Music Association and Country Music Hall of Fame.

The evening will include recognition of classes and other alumni groups for milestone achievements of financial giving during the past year. Samford Alumni Association president Gil Simmons, a member of the class of 1983, will preside during much of the program. Banquet goers may want to conclude the evening at the 8:30 p.m. bonfire and pep rally in the Seibert Stadium commuter parking lot.

Banquet tickets are $30 per person. For more information and tickets, click here.  Reservations are requested by Wednesday, Oct. 22. Dress is business attire.

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.