Published on May 24, 2017 by Philip Poole  

One in a periodic series about special places on the Samford University campus.

by Bailey Fuqua 

In the early 1990s, Samford University modernized Harwell G. Davis Library, one of the first buildings developed on the current campus. Completed in 1956, the library originally housed the English department and served as the meeting place for the university’s convocation. 

Forty years later, resources had outgrown available space, which was in much need of renovation.   

Completed in 1993, the $6 million Hudnall Library increased library capacity by 50 percent and greatly improved the aesthetics of the building. The new library featured a grand staircase, a two-story reading room and other facilities. The first floor includes space for the university’s archives and administrative space for the library staff. 

The renovations and addition of the north wing were made possible by Samford’s “Making a World of Difference” campaign in the early 1990s by a donation from Clara Clements Hudnall and a $750,000 Challenge Grant from the Kresge Foundation. 

Hudnall Library was dedicated in December 1998 in honor of Frank W. and Clara Hudnall, major donors to the library’s renovation and expansion project. 

Frank Hudnall attended Samford while working for Birmingham City Schools in the mid-1930s, and Clara Hudnall received an honorary doctor of humanities degree from Samford in 1997. Frank Hudnall died in 1995, and Clara Hudnall died in 2008. 

Today, a portrait of the Hudnalls and a dedication plaque are located on the second floor at the top of the grand staircase. 

Students use the space for study and research, and as a quiet gathering place for group assignments and meetings. 

Bailey Fuqua is a Samford journalism and mass communication alumnus and a former news and feature writer in the Division of Marketing and Communication.