Westmoreland Encourages Samford Graduates to ‘Respect Everyone’

Published on December 16, 2017 by Philip Poole  
2017 commencement

“Respect everyone.”

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.

Video of Commencement Address

Commencement address 

Commencement video wrap-up

Nursing pinning ceremony

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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. www.samford.edu