Published on June 10, 2024 at 3 p.m. by Dakota Rice  

The Samford Alumni Mentorship Program was created to provide professional development opportunities by cultivating intentional mentee/mentor relationships among alumni. The 2023-24 year served as the launch for the program in three of Samford’s larger alumni markets, Birmingham, Nashville and Atlanta.

Mentors and mentees were paired together based on similarities in their professional careers so the experiences shared and advice given could better pertain to the mentee’s career path.

Throughout the year, the pairs met in person or via phone or Zoom calls. The Samford University Alumni Association (SUAA) provided each pair with topics for their meetings in order to maximize time together and offered webinars with professional development topics.

Pairs were surveyed at the end of the year, sharing valuable feedback for the improvement and progress of the program. The majority of respondents said they would like to continue participating in the program because they enjoyed connecting with other alumni and supporting one another. Respondents also appreciated the check-ins from SUAA staff and the manageability of the periodical check-ins.

One alumni pair reflected on how this program allows mentors to share valuable vocational and personal experiences with their mentee to help them grow in their own careers. Lauren McCaghren ’07 served as a mentor to Taylore Miller ’21, MSW ’22.

Lauren McCaghrenMcCaghren said, “I was grateful for the opportunity to work at Samford after graduation and was immersed in the community for many years. Since moving away, the busyness of life has caught up with me and I'm fortunate to read the occasional Seasons or Belltower update.  This program allowed me to reconnect with Samford in a way that was truly meaningful, and it was rewarding to be able to share what little wisdom I've learned in my career with Taylore.  She seemed to value it, and I hope that it continues to resonate with her as she grows in her own career. I wish I had the opportunity to connect with an alumni mentor when I was a student!"

Taylore MillerMiller said, “Many of us chose to attend Samford because of the community. The Alumni Mentorship Program is a great way to stay connected to that community in early post-grad or later in your career. I’m grateful for Lauren’s wisdom and kindness. Also, she was just fun to get to know! My biggest take-away as a young professional was exposure to the wide array of career possibilities in my current industry and beyond. I hope that this program only grows in popularity!” 

Casey Ramey, executive director of alumni and philanthropic engagement, said, “The SUAA is appreciative of every mentor and mentee who participated in this program’s inaugural year. We look forward to continuing implementing improvements every year to better serve Samford alumni in their professional journeys.”

The program will launch nationally for alumni in the 2024-25 academic year, with applications opening in August.

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.