Samford to Honor Five Graduates with Annual Alumni Awards
Samford University will honor five outstanding alumni with the university’s 2018 alumni awards. The recipients will be honored during homecoming festivities Nov. 2-4
Alumni of the Year, the highest honor bestowed on graduates, are Bradley Dennis and Kimeran Brown Stevens, both of Birmingham.
Dennis, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1973, is retired chief medical officer for Brookwood Baptist Medical Center. In his distinguished career he has served as medical director of the stealth bomber division of Northrop Corp. and medical director for South Central Bell. He received his medical degree from the University of Alabama in 1978.
Dennis is current chair of the advisory board for Samford’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences and in 2010 helped to create the HCAS Advisory Board Scholarship which has distributed more than $56,000 to students.
Stevens earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1970 and has been actively involved with the university since graduation. She and her husband, Bill ’70, are cochairs of the current Forever Samford national fundraising campaign. She has been a volunteer with the Samford Legacy League and the Samford Alumni Association.
The Stevenses also teach a very popular course for engaged couples and newlyweds at Birmingham’s Dawson Baptist Church.
Nominees for Alumnus of the year should be distinguished in their professional careers, community and church involvement, and in their ongoing service to and financial support of Samford, according to Casey Ramey, Samford’s director of alumni programs.
The 2018 Outstanding Young Alumnus is Jeremy Towns, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sports medicine in 2013. Towns currently is a student at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile.
A native of Birmingham, Towns was a student-athlete at Samford and deferred medical school to play for three National Football League teams. While at Samford, he helped to establish a student ministry called R.A.N.S.O.M. (Radical Athlete and Student Oasis Ministry) that is now on multiple college campuses. He also established and leads Next Level Sports Camps that use sports to attract children and youth to Jesus Christ.
Towns is a popular motivational speaker for schools, churches and other organizations. He recently was recognized as one of the inaugural recipients of Samford’s new Audrey Gaston Howard Award.
Ramey noted that nominees for Outstanding Young Alumnus must have completed one Samford degree within the last 10 years and be distinguished in their professional careers, community and church involvement, and in their ongoing support of Samford.
Tyler and Allison Pittman Fuqua of Birmingham are recipients of the annual Humanitarians of the Year award.
Both graduated in 2006, Tyler with Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Spanish, and Allison with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. He also is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and currently is in medical practice in Gardendale, Alabama. She is an education development coordinator with Lifeline Children’s Services in Birmingham.
While still undergraduate students, the Fuquas began taking mission trips to Peru and after graduation established Not Forgotten, Inc., an organization that provides holistic care for children in Peru. Las Lomas, Not Forgotten’s children’s home, opened its doors in 2015 and now houses 25 children from the surrounding community. The organization works with Peruvian nationals and coordinates regular mission trips as part of their ongoing ministry.
The Humanitarian of the Year award is made to graduates of “true distinction, wide respect and acknowledged leadership,” Ramey said. Nominees are recognized for having given selflessly and working tirelessly to better the lives of others and society at large by staying true to the Samford mission.
“All of these individuals have truly made an impact through their careers, through dedication to helping others through ministry and through their involvement as an alumnus or alumna of Samford,” Ramey added. “We are honored for these alumni to be recognized for these prestigious awards.”
ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. 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. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other 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.