Rod Davis, former dean of the Howard School of Arts and Sciences and current English professor, just returned home from what he characterizes as a “three-week blitz through four cultural capitals of China.” He wrote to me last week to say that, while in Beijing, he visited with the family and friends of one of our current students from China and they treated him to meals that were even better than those found in the Samford cafeteria. But that’s only the beginning of the story. Rod continues:
“The most remarkable thing was that at Shanghai’s famous Silk Factory I saw a small hand-woven rug that is really a beautiful tapestry and began bargaining with the woman who seemed in charge of the shop. In response to my asking how my purchase would be shipped to Birmingham, Alabama, she said to me, ‘Birmingham, AL!’ Then immediately she asked if I knew a university here named Samford, and indeed I did, giving her a business card. She could not believe that she was talking to a professor from the very school in which her son is enrolled this coming year! That we should meet halfway around the world made her very excited at this coincidence, and she was torn between wishing that I could stay and meet her son and her husband, a professor, and in finding a suitable gift to send to me at my hotel, a splendid individual scene that arrived that evening framed and carefully bubble-wrapped.”
The world is better because of Samford’s global connections, even those that are bubble-wrapped.