School of the Arts Annual Faculty Gala Opens Samford Arts’ Performance Season

Published on September 6, 2017 by Ashley Smith  
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Now in its 11th year, the Samford Arts faculty gala serves as the official opening event for the School of the Arts. This year’s event is Sept. 12. 

Faculty, students and friends gather to share faculty talents and thank Friends of the Arts for their generous contributions to the arts program. This year’s gala is sponsored by Patty McDonald, a longtime donor to the School of the Arts. 

Joe Hopkins, School of the Arts dean, notes, “We are grateful to Patty McDonald who has both sponsored and inspired some of our most significant public events.  Patty is a wonderful example of patronship, because her primary devotion is to our students and faculty.” 

The faculty gala originated with the opening celebration of the Jane Hollock Brock Hall and has become a tradition with the School of the Arts. According to Hopkins, “The faculty gala is a wonderful way to celebrate the talents of our faculty and acknowledge the significant support of our patrons that enhances our students’ experience.”

The evening begins with a reception from 5:15–7 p.m. in the Samford Art Gallery. The opening exhibit, Between the Shadow and the Light: An Exhibition Out of South Africa will feature a cross-cultural visual arts project which took place in South Africa in 2013. Two Samford faculty members, Joe Cory and Larry Thompson, participated in this event and share their work as part of the exhibit.

Showcasing the depth of faculty talent, the gala is at 7:30 p.m. in Brock Recital Hall. Highlights will include the Samford String Quartet, recently retired faculty member Don Sanders and collaborative performances by more than 15 music faculty members. 

A post-performance reception will follow in Boren Courtyard to honor Friends of the Arts.

The evening’s events are free and open to the public. 


ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked Christian university. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South, and Samford is recognized as the top-ranked university in the state of Alabama in national rankings published by Forbes Inc, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states and 30 countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.