Published on May 14, 2018
He excelled in his classes, participated in campus life and gave tours for the admissions office. I would frequently interrupt his tours to chat with Stephan and the families alongside him. Fast forward: Stephan was fully accepted into the McWhorter School of Pharmacy and—no surprise—he did well in that program, too. He was elected class president, again, no surprise. On the evening before the commencement ceremony for his class, Stephan spoke to his colleagues and the assembled faculty of the pharmacy school. This is what he said:
As many of you know I have a unique perspective on the concept of family. At the age of 11, the pastor of my local church and his wife, CB and Karen Scott, became my parents when they adopted me into their family. At the age of 12, I was adopted into the family of God by his Grace. And in 2014, all of us were adopted into this pharmacy family, and into the Samford family. My dad has always told me, ‘Family is everything. Everyone else is just a friend or an enemy.’ I truly believe this applies to this group as much as it could to any other. We have all been given a wonderful gift, which we should cherish. We have been given the gift of this community of support, encouragement and love as we pursued our degree. We have developed many different relationships, and we have each found the groups to which we gravitate. However, I believe we have achieved a fellowship unique to our class. Whether that fellowship was found in late night, coffee fueled study sessions, or through singing happy birthday to one another in our special way. As we enter into a world where most everyone is either a friend or an enemy, I want you all to reflect back to this time we’ve had together. The time when we were all in this together. The time when we would help one another selflessly, and support each other through good days and the tough days. Use this reflection to impact the setting in which you practice, and recreate this environment as much as you can.
To Stephan’s comments, I would add, simply, in one way or another, we’ve all been adopted into a family. I’m still grateful that Samford adopted me. Perhaps you are grateful that Samford adopted you, too.
The world is better because of Stephan Scott and all of our 2018 graduates.
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.