Published on April 17, 2018 by Philip Poole  

Samford University’s sixth annual Big Give took place on April 10-11 and set records with total number of donors and total dollars raised. 

The original goal was engaging 600 donors. With participation of alumni, faculty, staff, parents, students and friends, the campaign more than doubled its original goal ending with 1,492 donors and raising $271,212 for Samford programs. 

This year, the Big Give encompassed faculty and staff giving along with the senior gift campaign. Alumni from reunion years voted on projects that felt most meaningful to them. The four highlighted projects were the Sports Analytics Laboratory, Character Development Gives Hope, the Micah Fellows and the Center for Faith and Health. Faculty and staff involved with each project encouraged donors from within their schools and the communities they work with to get involved with the Big Give. This resulted in new donors, and alumni and friends sharing information about the Big Give on their social media platforms.   

In addition to the four main projects, each school, athletics and the library had featured focus areas donors could support. The combined effort resulted in a significant increase in donors and the amount raised. Last year the effort raised a little more than $61,000 with the help of 564 donors. 

“We are grateful to all of our donors and to those who took time to spread the word about the campaign,” said Karen Templeton, director of annual giving. “We recruited 134 ‘SAMbassadors’ who shared information about the Big Give on social media, through email and by making phone calls. Their dedication helped us achieve not only raising important funds but also increasing our outreach about how special Samford is.” 

Most notable this year was the student involvement, Templeton reported. 

“We had a giving station set up in Ben Brown and were overwhelmed by the number of students lining up to make their gifts to the Big Give,” she said. “We had 177 students donate on April 10 and 11. Their dedication is inspiring to all of us on campus and beyond. It was fun to share the activity on campus with our alumni through social media and updates.” 

A number of dedicated alumni from reunion years served as team leaders and reached out to fellow graduates to get them involved. The reunion years’ campaigns will continue through the end of June and the class with the most participation will enjoy a complimentary tailgating event in November. 

For more information on the Big Give and faculty and staff giving, contact Karen Templeton at or 205-726-4580. 

Big Give 2018

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.