Published on April 16, 2024 by Dakota Rice  
President Taylor and two SBAA members SC04102024347

The Samford Black Alumni Association (SBAA) celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. On April 10, the group held its annual African American Alumni and Friends luncheon to commemorate this milestone.

In 2014, founding member Isaac Cooper ’12, partnered with then President Andrew Westmoreland to make the SBAA an official extension of the Samford University Alumni Association. Since its formation, the SBAA has created a lifelong and worldwide community of alumni through increased opportunities for engagement between Samford University and its Black alumni in the form of fellowship, programs and services.

Today, the SBAA offers scholarship assistance, career mentorship and cultural advocacy through volunteer involvement, philanthropy and social enterprise. The organization has grown numerically over the years, and they have no plans to stop.

In the anniversary video shown at the luncheon, SBAA President Kendell Jno-Finn ’04 stated, “You have alumni now that have a touch point to stay more engaged with the university than ever before. When you pair that with the success we’ve had across campus, I think that is a pivotal thing in terms of where we go moving forward.”

The luncheon opened by student emcees, Jayla Duncan and Micaiah Collins, with a welcome from President Beck A. Taylor. The program included scholarship presentations, a fundraising update and a keynote message from Cooper. More than 150 were in attendance, including alumni, students and employees.

The SBAA is a pillar of the Samford community, with intergenerational board members and a solid partnership with the Office of Student Success and Diversity.

One hallmark program, SBAA Connects, offers mentorship between alumni and students. These mentors guide students of color throughout their university experience and beyond.

Casey Ramey, executive director of alumni and philanthropic engagement, shared how the program works. “The Samford Black Alumni Association launched a mentoring program, SBAA Connects, a couple of years ago,” shared Ramey. “Through this program, alumni serve as mentors and are paired with current students that participate as mentees. Mentors and mentees are paired based on profession of the mentor and academic studies of the mentee.  Promotion for SBAA Connects will begin during the fall semester of 2024.”

Want to get involved with the SBAA? Learn more about how to get involved here.


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.