Published on June 25, 2024 by Dakota Rice  
AOTY 2024

Samford University has named three outstanding alumni who will be honored as the 2024 alumni award recipients. The honorees will be celebrated during Homecoming weekend, which will take place Nov. 1-2.  The awards are presented in three categories: Alumnus of the Year, Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year, and Humanitarian of the Year.  Nominations are encouraged across the Samford community and the awards committee of the Samford University Alumni Association selects the honorees.

Alumnus of the Year

Alumnus of the Year recipients are distinguished in their professional careers, community and church involvement, and in their ongoing service to and financial support of Samford.

Andrew BrasherAndrew Brasher ’02 has been named Alumnus of the Year. Brasher received his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and French with honors from Howard College of Arts and Sciences. After graduating from Samford, Brasher went on to receive his Juris Doctor from Harvard University. He currently serves as a U.S. Circuit Judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit. Prior to the confirmation, he served as a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, as solicitor general for the state of Alabama and as an attorney for Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.  Brasher previously  served on the university’s Board of Overseers.

Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year

Recipients of the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award are between the ages of 21 and 39, are distinguished in their professional careers, community and church involvement, and in their ongoing support of Samford.

Brent FielderBrent Fielder ’08, MBA ’19 has been named Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year. Fielder received both his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from Brock School of Business. While at Samford, Fielder was among the first cohort of students to be part of the social entrepreneurship and nonprofit management program in the business school. In addition to receiving two degrees from Samford, Fielder completed the Executive Education Program for Families in Business at Harvard University and the Executive Certificate Program for Corporate Social Responsibility at Pepperdine University. Fielder currently serves as the senior director of corporate social responsibility for Chick-fil-A Inc. Previously, he served Chick-fil-A as an enterprise philanthropic ambassador and owned/operated the Greystone franchise in Birmingham, Alabama. Fielder has remained actively involved at Samford and currently serves as assistant secretary of Samford’s Board of Trustees.

Humanitarian of the Year

The Humanitarian of the Year award is given to Samford graduates of true distinction, wide respect and acknowledged leadership. The recipients are recognized for having given selflessly and working tirelessly to better the lives of others and society at large by staying true to the Samford mission.

Katherine RodgersKatherine Rodgers ’15, MSE ’17 has been named Humanitarian of the Year. Rodgers received both her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood/Elementary/Special Education and her Master of Science in Elementary Education from Orlean Beeson School of Education. She is the founder of Purposefully Made Ministries, an organization which provides Kenyan children with disabilities, their teachers and their caregivers crucial tools for inclusion and development. Such tools include Christian counseling, medical care, nutrition and individualized education for them to reach their God-given potential. The organization currently serves 19 children, and their prayer is to be able to steadily grow in their ability to serve more children every day. Prior to this honor, Rodgers was a recipient of Orlean Beeson School of Education’s 2023 Learning for Life award which recognizes education alumni who exemplify leadership in their profession and are making significant impact in the lives of others.

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.