Samford University will honor seven outstanding graduates during homecoming activities in November.
Honorees include four Alumni of the Year, one Outstanding Young Alumna and two recipients of the new Humanitarian of the Year award.
Alumni of the Year honorees are William R. Baggett, Class of 1957, Keith Herron, Class of 1986, Fred Kingren, Class of 1982, and Anne Glaze Stone, Class of 1967. Class of 2007 graduate Kathryn Anne Murnane is the Outstanding Young Alumna of the Year.
Carolyn Maull McKinstry, who earned a Master of Divinity from Samford’s Beeson Divinity School in 2008, and Stephen B. Moss, a 1968 graduate of Cumberland School of Law, are inaugural recipients of the humanitarian award.
The Humanitarian of the Year award was established this year to recognize Samford graduates of distinction, wide respect and acknowledged leadership who have made outstanding contributions to better the lives of those around them by staying true to the Samford mission.
All seven honorees will be recognized at events throughout homecoming weekend, including the 175th anniversary ball Friday, Nov. 11.
“The Alumni Association is grateful for the privilege to honor those who have stewarded well their Samford education,” said Association President Todd Carlisle ’88, J.D. ’91. “We welcome this opportunity to say thank you for the valuable contributions they continue to make within their communities and workplaces, and for their contribution to Samford’s legacy of service to others.”
The Alumni of the Year honorees were nominated by members of the Samford community and selected by a committee of Samford Alumni Association representatives and university administrators. They are distinguished in their professional careers, community and church involvement, and in their ongoing service to Samford. The award to an outstanding young alumnus honors a graduate from the past 10 years.
Alumni of the Year
Baggett, of Alpharetta, Georgia, a longtime higher education administrator, is retired dean of students and professor of counseling at Georgia State University in Atlanta. The Samford religion major and student body president served many years as a music minister and minister of senior adults in Baptist churches. He and his wife, Lee Jackson Baggett, also a 1957 Samford graduate, have two children and five grandchildren.
Herron, a business graduate, is senior executive vice president, south region president and operating committee member at Regions Financial Corporation. A former Samford Alumni Association president, he serves on Samford’s board of overseers and the Brock School of Business advisory board. He and his wife, Kelly, have three children and live in Birmingham.
Kingren, a business graduate, is an attorney with the Birmingham law firm of Hand Arendall LLC. He is a cofounder of the Samford Network, a member of the Samford board of overseers and is vice chair of the Brock School of Business advisory board. He and his wife, Stacy Barbee Kingren, a 1991 Samford graduate, have two children.
Stone, an English major, is a retired high school English teacher who helped found Christian Women’s Job Corps of Madison County to assist at-risk women and their children. She is a member and former president of Samford’s Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education Dean’s Executive Council. She and her husband, Bill, live in Huntsville, Alabama.
Murnane, a business graduate, is a certified public accountant with Ernst & Young, a multinational business management firm. She is currently serving a three-year rotation in Edinburgh, Scotland, as coordinating manager on the retail bank component team of a major audit. She has served Samford as a class agent, Alumni Association vice president and a founding member of the young alumni board.
Humanitarians of the Year
McKinstry, a longtime role-player in the Civil Rights Movement, is known for her passionate commitment to promoting reconciliation and helping love triumph over hate. The sought-after speaker takes her message of reconciliation to national and international audiences, and is the author of a memoir, While the World Watched. She received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Samford in 2013. She is a member of the Samford board of overseers and Beeson Divinity School advisory board.
Moss, an attorney with Holland & Knight LLP in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founded Mission United to help military veterans obtain needed housing, legal assistance and health care. To date, the program has assisted more than 4,300 veterans, engaged more than 270 lawyers as volunteers and become a national model for other veterans resource groups. A Vietnam veteran, Moss was inspired to help after his daughter, Shannon, was injured during Army duty in Iraq.
Samford has more than 47,000 living alumni. Homecoming events will begin Thursday, Nov. 10, and continue through Sunday, Nov. 13.