Published on July 21, 2021 by Holly Gainer  
bulldog days crew

After last summer’s virtual Bulldog Days, Samford University’s orientation has returned to in-person sessions. Hosted by Samford’s Office of Admission, hundreds of students and their parents have experienced what campus life is like through one of the many two-day programs.

“Although last year’s orientation was successful with orienting incoming students to Samford, it was vital to return to in-person orientation because it gives our new students an opportunity to connect with each other and truly understand what Samford has to offer them in the fall,” said Jenn Debrecht, assistant director of admission and orientation. “Physically being on campus was helpful to make the new students feel at home in a more engaging way. After the past 15 months, these incoming students needed something to look forward to and we were happy to offer an opportunity for students to see Samford as their future home!”

The mission of Bulldog Days is to provide a student-centered approach to the transition experience while also introducing families to all aspects of Samford. During each session, students connect with their major and academic advisor, are given a tour of campus, introduced to various programs, such as Student Services,  Spiritual Life and Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives, and participate in campus activities with the other students in their orientation group. 

They also hear from and talk to current students who are also available to answer questions about their own experiences at Samford. 

“Giving incoming students the opportunity to talk to and hear from current students and employees in person is invaluable,” Debrecht said. “It allows us and students to build relationships and be more intentional throughout the semester.” 

“We, as a team, are so grateful for orientation because it has allowed us to grow spiritually, professionally and socially,” said Ambria Underwood, one of the orientation leaders. “We always say if you look back at each of us a year ago you would see a completely different person. That is because orientation has offered an opportunity to breakdown our limits and shape us into better individuals.”

For the parents, they are introduced to Parent and Family Programs, Financial Services, attend a prayer walk and worship services, and meet other parents and family members of the new students.

The first session began on June 7 and the last will be on August 26. All incoming students are required to attend. There is also a session for transfer students and their parents.

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.