Published on November 17, 2015 by Mary Wimberley  
Christmas campus

Samford University will celebrate the Christmas season with a series of events that will be of interest to students, alumni and the general public. Some of the programs have been enjoyed by several generations of Samford students.

What may be one of the school’s oldest holiday traditions, Christmas Around the World, will be presented Thursday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. in Reid Chapel. The program, hosted by the departments of World Languages and Cultures, Classics, and Religion, offers music and scripture readings in 20 languages.

The beloved tradition, which began in the 1950s, is open to the public. Brooks Hall auditorium will provide overflow seating when Reid Chapel is filled.  Christmas Around the World will be shown via live stream.

Two popular longstanding traditions, the Hanging of the Green service and Lighting of the Way ceremony, will be on Thursday, Dec. 3. 

Hanging of the Green, based on an old English custom, will be in Reid Chapel at 6 p.m. The service will include the lighting of the Advent wreath, decorating a Chrismon tree and music by the University Chorale.  Fourteen senior honorees will lead the service, which will be shown via live stream.

Philip Poole, Samford executive director of communication, his wife, Shellyn, and their family were chosen as this year’s family to add a Chrismon ornament to the tree.

The Lighting of the Way will begin at 7 p.m. on Centennial Walk. Samford First Lady Jeanna Westmoreland will read the Christmas story, and singer/songwriter Steve Moakler will perform.

A newer Samford offering, albeit one that celebrates a 2,000-year-old celestial event, is the Star of Bethlehem presentation in Christenberry Planetarium. The shows, starting Dec. 3 and concluding Dec. 20, will be offered at a variety of times during the day and evening, and on weekdays and weekends.

This year’s program will explore the star from astronomical, biblical and historical perspectives, and offer a prayerful meditation in preparation for Christmas. 

The A Cappella Choir will fill A. Gerow Hodges Chapel with prayer, liturgy and song during a Service of Lessons and Carols Friday, Dec. 4, at 5:30 p.m.  The special Christmas program is part of the 45-member choir’s monthly choral vespers series. The public is invited free of charge. Philip Copeland directs the internationally recognized award-winning choir.

Samford’s Birmingham Young Alumni Board will host a Christmas party for recent graduates (2005–15) on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 6–8 p.m., at the home of Samford President Andrew Westmoreland and his wife. The event is free and will include heavy hors d’oeuvres. 

The Samford Alumni Association invites all families to a Samford Family Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2–4 p.m., in Harry’s Coffeehouse in the university center. Grandparents, parents and children of all ages are welcome. Kids’ activities include cookie decorating, Christmas crafts and photos with Santa. Spike, the Bulldog mascot, will be on hand. The event is free of charge. About 100 happy participants attended last year’s inaugural Family Christmas. 

Samford’s Legacy League will host its fifth annual Christmas Home Tour on Thursday, Dec. 10. The popular holiday event will showcase five homes in Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills, Alabama, ranging in style from traditional to contemporary. Proceeds will help provide life-changing scholarships for students with significant financial need.

The five featured residences include the Samford President’s home. At that stop, visitors may shop at a holiday gift market and enjoy hors d’oeuvres.


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.