That was the simple, yet profound challenge given by Samford University President Andrew Westmoreland to the 330 graduates during fall commencement ceremonies Dec. 16.
“We are justifiably proud, and we believe that you are going to put that degree to good use and that the world will be better for all the things you will do,” Westmoreland said. “But, if you haven’t learned to respect everyone, our delivery of a Samford education will have been substandard, and we will have failed you.”
Illustrating his point with a list of the cross-section of people encountered in life, Westmoreland said, “Because God made them all, and God loves them all, and it is the very least – the very least – that we can do to respect them all.”
Included in the two ceremonies were the inaugural graduates of the Master of Science in health law and policy, Master of Science in Education with a concentration in instructional design and Master of Science in nutrition.
Graduates from Cumberland School of Law and the College of Health Sciences – School of Health Professions, Ida Moffett School of Nursing, McWhorter School of Pharmacy, School of Public Health – participated in the first ceremony. The second ceremony honored graduates from the School of the Arts, Howard College of Arts and Sciences, Brock School of Business and Orlean Beeson School of Education. Beeson Divinity School graduates received their degrees in a weather-shortened ceremony on Dec. 8.