Published on September 3, 2018  

The setting is a small restaurant in Oxford, England.  Steve and his family have been there for several weeks for a seminar on science and religion, sponsored by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, but I’ve just arrived for the concluding days of the conference.  As he recounted his conversations with bright faculty and authors from other universities around the world, I remember one detail.  His eyes.  They literally danced as he spoke of his own intellectual, spiritual development.  He was completely, utterly engaged in a fusion of the life of the mind and the life of the spirit.  I’m treasuring that memory as I think of him this morning.

I recall imagery that Steve employed in a book that he authored a couple of years ago on the examination of science and faith.  He wrote of “cairns,” piles of rock left behind by hikers and mountain climbers to mark a route for those who follow behind.  Aren’t we grateful for the cairns that Steve left for us?

In his passing yesterday, we lost a stalwart friend, a gifted faculty member, a dreamer, a realist, and a committed follower of Christ.  Some within our Samford family lost a husband, father, son, brother.  To Carol, his wife, their five children, to Dr. and Mrs. Frank Donaldson, his mother and father, and to Steve’s extended family, we offer our love and prayers today and for the days ahead. 

The world is better because of Steve Donaldson.


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.