Published on June 22, 2016 by Erin Bognar  
walker plaza plaque

The W. W. Walker Family Plaza can be found tucked away on the side of Samford University’s Russell Hall. The small circular plaza is home to benches and beautiful landscaping. It is a place where students can relax and enjoy some quiet time without the typical campus traffic that the other plazas attract. 

The plaza was recognized as the Walker Family Plaza in 2003 during renovation of Russell Hall. The former biology building was gutted in 2002 and reconstructed to allow space for new conference rooms, laboratories, offices and classrooms for McWhorter School of Pharmacy and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. 

The plaza is named for William W. Walker Jr. and his family business, the Birmingham-based Walker Drug Company. The company, started by Walker’s father, grew to be one of the nation’s premier wholesale drug companies. 

Walker generously supported both Auburn and Samford pharmacy schools. The plaza was dedicated after Samford received a $100,000 gift from the Walker Family Foundation. 

Walker and his son, James, were inducted into the Alabama Pharmacy Hall of Fame in 2015. 

While the Walker Family Plaza is not marked on most campus maps, it remains a discreet spot for students and faculty to take a break and enjoy some peace and quiet. 

Walker Family Plaza

Hidden Gems is part of an occasional series about interesting places, people and things on the Samford University campus.

Erin Bognar is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in the Division 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. 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.