Members of Samford University’s class of 1967 gathered Nov. 11 for breakfast to celebrate their 50th reunion during homecoming weekend. Alumni recalled stories from their collegiate years at Howard College, the former name of Samford University.
Alumna Nancy Webb Garrett of Gardendale, Alabama, was surprised to sit at a table with a former classmate from her math class. Garrett enjoys reconnecting with fellow alumni, and she regularly meets four of her closest college friends for dinner every other month.
When reflecting on how Samford has changed over the years, Garrett said, “It has grown even more than before. That makes you proud when you’re a graduate because you hear all the good things. You say, ‘I’m a Samford graduate,’ and it resonates.”
Friends Charlotte Teas of Memphis, Tennessee, and Becky Wilkins Pierce of Clanton, Alabama, reminisced about the time when they lived on the third floor of Vail Hall. “There was no air conditioning,” Teas said. “It was hot!”
“Vail was so close-knit,” Pierce added. “We had hall devotions once a week, and we were family.”
Both women were excited to attend the reunion. “It’s awesome,” Teas said. “We’ve been communicating by Facebook, but it’s not the same as in person.”
Samford President Andrew Westmoreland welcomed attendees and presented honorary diplomas to the present alumni, which included Rodney Hovater of Roswell, Georgia, and Anne Glaze Stone of Huntsville, Alabama, both former Alumni of the Year.
Westmoreland spoke about the elements that make Samford a unique place. “The conversations with friends old and new, interactions that take place, the joy of seeing our current students, with all the light, enthusiasm and intelligence they bring, all of those things that make Samford so special, all underneath the irrepressible hope that we find in Christ” he said. “That goal is the same now as it was when you were here.”
Rhonda White, Forever Samford campaign coordinator, announced that the class of 1967 had the highest participation percentage among other class reunions who raised funds for the six-year, $300 million capital campaign.
“They were able to secure $33,460 in cash gifts to the school [in the] last fiscal year,” White said, adding that the class also secured $280,754 in commitments to the school, including planned gifts.
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Rachel Sinclair is a Samford University graduate and a freelance writer for the Division of Marketing and Communication.