More than 400 cyclists and 90 volunteers took part in Samford University’s annual Old Howard 100 bike ride April 16. The ride, #2 in the nation on Active.com’s ranking of top century rides in the U.S. this spring, takes cyclists through Alabama’s historic Black Belt, where Samford was founded as Howard College in 1841. Howard College of Arts and Sciences remains the academic heart of the university, and created the ride as a way to reconnect the university to the region.
Reflecting Samford’s Christian mission, the Old Howard 100 benefits Sowing Seeds of Hope, a partnership between Perry County and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship that seeks to enhance the quality of work and life in Perry County through improved educational opportunities, health care, tourism, transportation and economic development. Specifically, proceeds from the ride assist Perry County residents who receive care through Samford’s year-round health programs. Students and faculty in Samford’s nursing, pharmacy, and exercise and sports medicine programs offer regular health-care screenings, evaluations and monitoring services.
Ride organizer Rosemary Fisk, associate dean of Howard College of Arts and Sciences, said the Old Howard 100 this year will donate about $12,000 to Sowing Seeds of Hope, bringing the ride’s total donations to date to more than $55,000.