Published on April 6, 2017 by Philip Poole  
Athletics Hall of Fame 2017

The Samford University Athletics Department has announced the names of the six individuals who will make up the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame's inaugural class.
 
Basketball coach and student-athlete Walter Barnes, track and field/cross-country standout Lauren Blankenship, football coach and player Bobby Bowden, football student-athlete Wally Burnham, football standout Cortland Finnegan and tennis star Charlie Owens make up the inaugural class.

The hall of fame, located on the third floor of Pete Hanna Center, will be officially dedicated with a ribbon cutting April 19 at 9:30 a.m. The class will be inducted May 6 with a reception at 5 p.m. in Hanna Center, followed by a dinner at 6:30 p.m. in Cooney Hall, home of Samford’s Brock School of Business.

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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 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 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.