Published on May 8, 2017  

It is a stellar class, including Walt Barnes, Lauren Blankenship, Bobby Bowden, Wally Burnham, Cortland Finnegan and Charlie Owens.  As they spoke, the inductees caused the members of the audience to laugh, to cry and to be inspired.  Perhaps the most poignant moment came during the remarks of Cortland Finnegan, standout football athlete at Samford and NFL star, when he spoke across the crowded room to his mother, acknowledging her challenges as a single mom and thanking her for the sacrifices she made on his behalf.  Cortland credited Samford for his success, as well, but every person in the room on Saturday night knew that his character was shaped by a slight lady, beaming through her tears as her son spoke of his love for her.

The world is better because of Cortland Finnegan and the gentle toughness of his mother.

About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.