Our story this week is found in the life of Laverne Farmer, who helped to oversee Samford’s financial operations from 1983 until his retirement in 2000.  A study in competence and character, Mr. Farmer died last week, facing the transition with grace, stoicism, and gratitude for a blessed life.  He provided stability for our institution during important years of transition.  On more than one occasion, I’ve heard him tell the legendary story of the time that Samford friends took a birthday gift of two pairs of trousers to the very frugal Ralph Beeson.  Mr. Beeson reportedly thanked his guests, admired the trousers, then handed back one pair with the admonition, “I only need one pair.  You can return the other pair and get your money back.”  Laverne was a good steward of relationships, as well as a good steward of Samford’s financial resources. 

The world is better because Laverne Farmer was born into it.  We mourn his passing, and we celebrate a life well lived. 

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.