Published on October 7, 2019 by Sarah Cain  
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Samford University celebrated the rededication of the Ralph W. Beeson University Center with a ribbon cutting Oct. 3. The ceremony gathered faculty, students, administrators, trustees, local officials and friends to honor the building that has long served as the heart of campus life since its original completion in 1957.


In his opening address to attendees, Bill Stevens, chair of the Samford University Board of Trustees, highlighted the building’s history and the importance of investing $20 million to renew and enhance the facility.


“Restoring an existing building to give it a new life for years into the future is a practice of sound stewardship. We are grateful to all who gave their intellect, their labor and their financial resources to make this incredible transformation possible,” Stevens said. 


Hoar Construction, Davis Architects and students from Samford’s interior design program worked together to complete new and upgraded features, including renovated student commons and study spaces, expanded spaces for the Samford Shop, food court and HUB and energy-efficient features throughout. As a result of the refreshed space, student services have also expanded to include more food court options, a late-night convenience store and offices for student organizations.


Before inviting the many involved with this project to cut the ribbon, President Andrew Westmoreland first honored those who came before to foster the university’s growth and progress, “Today we celebrate the renewal of the building and also remember those who built and nurtured Samford from 1841 to this day,” he said. 


Other speakers at the service included SGA president Heath Padgett who led a prayer of dedication. The Samford University A Cappella Choir also performed the alma mater. 

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.