Samford University’s 2023 spring semester officially kicked off with Opening Convocation held on Jan. 10. Provost J. Michael Hardin provided the address where he urged students and employees to focus on prayer and the act of God teaching us how to pray.
Citing Matthew 6:5-13, which is also the basis for the Lord’s Prayer, Hardin emphasized three points. The first: What does it mean to address our Father in heaven? Hardin said when Jesus teaches us to say God, our Father, it is a new exodus and a hope for both resurrected life and the future.
For the second, he examined the verse, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” and how it signifies how God brings the sphere of heaven and our earthly sphere together through Jesus Christ. Finally, he referenced the importance of not trifling with evil, but to turn to God instead.
Hardin said, “Let us remember that our Father is our hope, and we are invited to be his children. Let him teach us to be humble in seeking God’s power and to not trifle with powers and circumstances that are beyond us.”
Each year, two awards are given to faculty members during the spring convocation ceremony.
Greg Kawell, assistant professor of Mathematics and Computer Science in Howard College of Arts and Sciences, received the George Macon Memorial Award. The award is given annually to a faculty member who through outstanding performance as a teacher, as a counselor, and as a friend to students demonstrates the ability to inspire students to greatness.
Stephen Chew, professor of psychology in Howard College of Arts and Sciences, earned the Jennings B. Marshall Award for University Service. The award is given to full-time faculty members who have made significant and sustained service contributions to the university during their career at Samford.