Published on October 16, 2019 by Karen Templeton  
“He wanted me to graduate from Samford,” said Chelsea Baker ’19 of her father.

Every day Chelsea attended Samford University, Todd Baker looked forward to when she would walk across the stage, shake Dr. Westmoreland’s hand and receive her degree in food and nutrition. But after Chelsea’s junior year, Todd passed away unexpectedly leaving his family grief stricken and worried about their futures. 

While Chelsea’s financial situation after her father’s passing became uncertain, Samford parents did not want her Samford future to be.

“Because of the strength and generosity of our parent community, Chelsea was able to graduate last spring. There has been $350,752 donated from 789 families, and these efforts have helped five students finish their Samford degrees,” said Rhonda White, Forever Samford campaign manager. “Every amount given to this scholarship is significant and immediately helps students who are faced with difficult circumstances.”   

There are many more stories just like Chelsea’s and that is why Samford parents are invited to participate in this year’s effort. Raising funds for this important scholarship is not possible without a strong group of parent volunteers who are willing to reach out to other parents and build enthusiasm for the effort. To learn more about volunteering, contact Rhonda White.

Growing the scholarship fund each year ensures that it is available to help students who face an unexpected financial hardship. The goal is to raise $100,000 by December 31. Learn more and make your gift at

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.

View More Seasons Articles