Published on April 15, 2024 by Dakota Rice  
1841 society logo

Founded in 1841, Samford University has long benefited from the generosity of others. Formerly known as the DeVotie Society, the 1841 Society will pay tribute to our rich history while recognizing alumni and friends who have completed a planned gift to Samford.

Families who complete the planned gift process will have the opportunity to be recognized as a member of the 1841 Society, demonstrating their philanthropic support for Samford while setting an example for others.

“The 1841 Society will recognize and celebrate members of a special group of alumni and friends who share a common bond of philanthropy, a love of Samford and the vision to provide for future generations of Samford students,” said Bo Kerr, assistant vice president for university advancement.

Planned gifts come in many forms as living donors arrange to leave assets to Samford. While the most common form is a simple bequest through a will, donors can also make planned gifts through charitable gift annuities, retirement plans and life insurance, trusts, gifts of property and retained life estates. These options often have more flexibility and benefit the donor.

Planned gifts can offer donors many potential advantages, including federal estate tax savings, the elimination or reduction of capital gains taxes and the opportunity to increase spendable income. Donors also have the ability to designate their gifts to the area of their choice.

While the names Mann, Beeson and Bashinsky will be forever woven into the fabric of Samford, each year the university receives dozens of planned gifts, both large and small, each leaving a legacy for future generations of bulldogs.

To learn more about the planned giving process and how your family can leave a legacy at Samford, please visit our website or contact Gene Howard, director of estate and gift planning, at 205-726-2366 or

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.