Published on July 9, 2020 by Rochelle Harrison  

Every spring, Samford faculty and staff come together with alumni, parents and community members during the Big Give to support Samford University students, scholarships and programs. However, events relating to the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the event and shifted our focus to accomplishing one goal: meeting student needs.

Samford employees quickly led the charge to support the Forever Samford- Meeting Student Needs campaign, an effort designed to respond to the most pressing needs of Samford students through the Student Emergency Assistance Fund, need-based scholarships, along with spiritual and emotional care.

With the aid of a generous $100,000 matching gift from a Samford supporter, 449 donors contributed $291,186 to the campaign. “We are very thankful for generous friends that come alongside us and our students when times are tough,” says Randy Pittman, vice president for university advancement.  “I deeply appreciate that this person saw their gift as a way to help Samford fulfill its Christian mission.”

As the number of requests for assistance continued to increase, gifts to Forever Samford- Meeting Student Needs proved essential to helping students survive.

“There is simply no way we could directly support students without this fund,” says Kim Cripps, director of stewardship. “With this fund, we have been able to provide students with a wide range of assistance including groceries, travel home, temporary housing and laptops for the transition to online learning.”

In anticipation of all students returning to campus in the fall and the potential of ongoing needs, the Big Give will resume August 11-12, 2020 with the celebratory theme “Bring Back the Bulldogs!”

Donors can designate how their gift will support bringing back the bulldogs to the campus they love – from scholarships, to support for books and other essentials. Information about the Big Give – Bring Back the Bulldogs will be shared through university communications and on social media.

For more information, contact Rochelle Harrison, assistant director of annual giving, at or x2302.

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.