Published on October 21, 2015 by Jimmy Lichtenwalter  
president westmoreland homecoming banquet

Samford University’s annual homecoming banquet Nov. 6 will feature a new location and alumni award presentations. The banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. in Seibert Hall. 

Tickets are $30 per person. Advance reservations are required, and tickets can be purchased online. 

Reunion classes and volunteers will be recognized during the banquet, according to Molly McGuire England, Samford’s director of alumni programs. Featured reunion classes are 1965, 1990 and 2005. 

The 2015 Alumni of the Year and Outstanding Young Alumnus will be recognized at the banquet for their commitment to Samford University, and success in their respective careers. Karen Carlisle, Todd Carlisle and Larry Cox will each be honored as Alumnus of the Year. Andrew R. Patterson as Outstanding Young Alumnus. 

Carlisle, a chief executive officer at the Birmingham law firm Sirote & Permutt, graduated from Samford in 1988, and from the Cumberland School of Law in 1991. His wife, Karen, also graduated in 1988. Both are very active in Birmingham’s Briarwood Presbyterian Church and longtime supporters of Samford athletics and campus events. They have 3 children, including two daughters attending Samford. 

Cox is a 1972 graduate and has remained active by serving on Samford Athletic Foundation board. He is a dentist in Phil Campbell, Alabama. 

Patterson is a 2005 graduate and executive vice president of Birmingham real estate agency Shannon Waltchack LLC. 

The alumni of the year awards date to 1956. The Outstanding Young Alumnus award was added in 2009. 

The homecoming banquet recreates a Samford tradition that dates to the 1860s when alumni first gathered for what became known as the Candlelight Dinner to welcome former college president Samuel Sterling Sherman home following the end of the Civil War. The banquet later moved to commencement weekend when alumni would return to campus to honor the graduating class. 

It was discontinued in the 1990s but revived in 2003 on homecoming weekend and has grown in popularity since, England noted. 

Seibert Hall will be the location of the students’ Homecoming Ball the previous evening, which will allow alumni and friends attending the banquet to enjoy the same atmosphere as the students, England added. Birmingham event company Kathy G’s is decorating Seibert Hall, and Tre Luna Catering is providing food service for the banquet. 


Jimmy Lichtenwalter is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in the Office of Marketing and Communication.

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.