Posted by Chandra Splond on 2014-03-12

An international opera star, an internationally recognized missions leader, a federal judge and a Civil Rights movement veteran are just some of the Samford University alumnae being featured in March as "Women of Achievement."

Elizabeth Futral has sung with the Metropolitan Opera in New York and with opera companies around the world. She was Samford's alumna of the year in 2002.

Wanda Seay Lee leads Woman's Missionary Union, an auxiliary of the Southern Baptist Convention. In addition to having served as a missionary herself, she is a recognized missions leader around the world.

Karon Owen Bowdre is chief judge for the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. She received both her undergraduate and law degrees from Samford and was alumna of the year in 2003.

Carolyn Maull McKinstry grew up in Birmingham during the height of the Civil Rights movement and has a compelling story. She earned a master's degree from Beeson Divinity School and received an honorary doctorate from Samford in 2013.

The recognition, which features a different individual each day, is part of the university's centennial celebration of coeducation at Samford and coincides with Women's Month.

Learn more about these and other Samford women of achievement at


About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.