Published on February 28, 2017 by Sean Flynt  
East Lake

The Samford Traditions and Oral History Recording Initiative (STORI) at Samford University will host a day of local story collecting in Birmingham’s East Lake community March 9.

The oral history project, East Lake Together, will be open 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at East 59 Vintage & Café in East Lake.

Michelle Little, director of Samford’s Oral History Program, said she wanted to hear from East Lake residents about what the community was, is and can become because Samford was part of the community for 70 years (1887–1957), and East Lake helped make the university what it is today. “If you think about it, we were in East Lake for a longer period of time than we have been in Homewood so far, and for longer than we were ever in Marion,” Little said. “I think it is very important for Samford to try to be involved in the East Lake community.”

Little said meeting Samford Spanish alumna Amber Tolbert ’11, co-owner of the East 59 Vintage & Café, helped inspire the project. The café began as a 2013 REV Birmingham Pop-Up Shop Project. Tolbert moved to East Lake in order to be involved in the community. “It just seemed like the perfect place to do the interviews,” Little said.

 
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.