Published on September 16, 2020 by Katie Stripling  
Cecelia Walker

Cecelia A. Walker, executive director of chaplaincy and clinical pastoral education for Brookwood Baptist Health System in Birmingham, has been elected to the Samford University Board of Trustees. Walker also serves as an Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) certified educator for a parish-based CPE program at the Morning Pilgrim Baptist Church in Montgomery and as an associate minister at Birmingham’s Greater Shiloh Baptist Church. 

Walker previously served as a member of Samford’s Board of Overseers. She is also the national certification chair for the Association for Clinical Pastoral Educators. 

Of her appointment, Walker said, “It is an honor to be given the opportunity to serve Samford, a university that has opened countless doors for me. I always refer to my education from Beeson Divinity School as the gift that keeps on giving. My degree is one of my most prized achievements and I will do my best as a trustee to serve with distinction and integrity.”

Samford’s 40-member board of trustees serves as the governing body for the university. Trustees serve four-year terms.

Reelected Sept. 11 to additional four-year terms were Linda H. Bachus, former Samford lecturer; Sherri Foyt, former elementary school teacher and church and civic volunteer; Randy Gunter, pastor, Meadowbrook Baptist Church; John E. King, Jr., church/community relations specialist, Birmingham Metro Baptist Association; Mary Shaw, retired music teacher; Zeke W. Smith, executive vice president, Alabama Power Company; Sharon D. Stuart, partner, Christian & Small LLP; and Rachel C. Wachter, registered dietitian and diabetes educator. 

James Stivender was elected as an Honorary Trustee. A former board chair, Stivender has served as a Samford trustee since 1958.

Reelected as officers of the board for 2020-2021 were William J. Stevens, retired president and chief executive officer, Motion Industries, chair; Robert Holmes, Jr., retired senior vice president, Alabama Power Company, vice chair; Victor E. Nichol, Jr., retired president and EO, First National Banker’s Bank, secretary; and Sherri Foyt, assistant secretary.

 
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.