Published on May 13, 2019 by Sarah Cain  
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Samford University celebrated several historic milestones during spring commencement activities, including the largest graduating class in the university’s 177-year history.

A record 1,277 degrees were awarded, although the official total will not be available until all grades have been submitted and graduates certified, according to university officials. That tops the 2018 record of 1,240. An estimated 350 students graduated with honors. In the seven commencement ceremonies, 33 different degree programs were recognized.

Commencement speakers, whose speech excerpts can be found in the summaries below, included graduating students, distinguished faculty, and industry professionals. Several are Samford alumni.

Emily Youree, a University Fellow and English major from Madison, Alabama, received the President’s Cup, awarded to the graduating student with the highest undergraduate grade point average across all Samford colleges and schools. She was one of five students to receive prestigious honors during commencement ceremonies.

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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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 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 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.