September 14-16, 2018

We look forward to hosting Samford families on campus September 14-16, for Family Weekend! The schedule for the many activities planned for the weekend can be found below. Registration will open at Monday, August 6, at 8 a.m. CST. Because some events have limited seating, we encourage you to register in advance and as soon as possible.

Times and specific locations are listed for many events, but not all. To stay current with the schedule, plan to download the Family Weekend 2018 Guidebook app before you arrive. The Guidebook app will offer the most up-to-date schedule, events, and locations.

If an event is ticketed, it will be noted. There is no charge for children ages 0-2 for any event or meal.

Online registration at will be available until midnight, Sunday, September 9. After September 9, you may register in person at the Samford Parent tent located on The Quad near Mr. Beeson, Friday, September 14, 12 p.m. until 5 p.m., and Saturday, September 15, 8 a.m. until noon. Please be aware that by delaying registration or ticket purchases until these dates, many activities and opportunities will be unavailable or sold out.

If you have questions about the weekend, please email

Register for Family Weekend

Friday, September 14

12 p.m-5 p.m. Check In, On-Site Registration and Information, Samford Parent Tent on The Quad

Noon Friday through Noon Saturday Tiny Sam Photo Scavenger Hunt - Pick up a copy of the Tiny Sam Photo Scavenger Hunt at the Family Weekend registration tent on The Quad and begin sleuthing! The first person to accurately identify the location on The Quad of all of the photos and return the form to the registration tent will win a Step Sing weekend package including four Step Sing tickets to the performance of choice, a two-night stay at the Homewood Courtyard by Marriott, and dinner for four at Little Donkey. The winner will be announced and awards presented during the afternoon football game.

1 p.m. Sibling Tour - Offered by the Samford Office of Admission (prior registration required)

1-3:30 p.m. Parent Academy - Parent Academy offers two sessions of one-hour classes taught by Samford professors especially for Samford parents. Parents may attend class during either or both one-hour sessions. Advance registration is required. Seating in each class is limited. Some professors ask parents to complete an assignment prior to class. These assignments will be emailed ahead to registered class participants.

Parent Academy classes are designed for parents only, with the exception of the two classes offered in the planetarium, which school-aged children may attend. Please do not ask your Samford student to attend the parent-only classes with you. Your cooperation will enable us to have room for the many parents who want to attend. Please check the schedule once you arrive on campus to confirm classroom locations, as last-minute changes may be necessary.

Session One - 1-2 p.m.

Alabama Autumn Skies: Constellations
Location: Christenberry Planetarium
Instructor: David Weigel, Director of the Christenberry Planetarium
Course limited to 94 participants, including school-aged siblings.
Description: Enjoy a tour of the Alabama autumn night sky, as you discover the visible planets, stars, and constellations. Learn how to find planets, stars, constellations, and deep sky objects while hearing some fascinating mythology stories focused on constellations.
Economic and Political Uncertainty: Does It Matter for Corporations?
Location: Cooney Hall 109
Instructor: Dr. Anna-Leigh Stone, Assistant Professor of Finance, Brock School of Business
Course Limited to 40 participants.
Description: Over the last decade, the finance and economics academic literature has devoted more attention to how corporations respond to economic and political uncertainty. This class will describe the tools used to measure political and economic uncertainty and give a summary of the conclusions reached by recent research in this area. In class, we will juxtapose these conclusions with how attendees have experienced these uncertainties in their professional lives.
How to Lie With Maps: World Stories, Skyscrapers and Apollo’s Views
Location: Russell Hall Geography Lab
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Speights-Binet, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Geography and Sociology
Course Limited to 20 participants.
Description: Where would we be without maps? The obvious answer is, "Lost!" If geography is an attempt "to know and understand the world," maps are the texts and tools we use to communicate that knowledge. The urge to map is a basic, human instinct. However, even the best maps tell a multitude of lies, and the wise map-reader must be critical, always aware of distortions and deceit. Using ancient texts, architecture, and photographs from the Apollo Space program, we order the world through an ever-changing geographic lore created through myth and storytelling, faith and reason, and, of course, maps. Now, more than ever, we need to learn to read maps not because they tell us where we are, rather, because they tell us who we are.
Immigrants, Refugees and the Great Commission
Location: North Divinity 203
Instructor: Dr. J. D. Payne, Associate Professor of Christian Ministry, Christian Ministry Degree Program
Course Limited to 80 participants.
Description: Immigration and the refugee crisis are hot topics in our daily news. This class will address what the Bible says about God and the movement of the nations, and examine how the Church should respond. Class participants will look at global migration numbers, with particular emphasis on the movement of unreached people groups to the United States, and will identify practical steps individual Christians and churches can take in response to the needs and opportunities.
Paul's Letter to Ephesus: An Introduction
Location: Divinity Hall North 302
Instructor: Dr. Frank Thielman, Presbyterian Chair of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School
Course Limited to 25 participants.
Description: This class will introduce the historical and cultural setting of the New Testament letter to the Ephesians. It will briefly describe Paul’s purpose in writing the letter, give an overview of the letter’s argument, and point out some applications of the letter’s teaching for the contemporary church. Class participants are asked to read Ephesians in a modern translation before attending.
Understanding Skeletal Muscle: What We Can Learn from Poultry
Location: College of Health Sciences, Building 1, Room 1460
Instructor: Dr. Alan Jung, Dean and Professor, School of Health Professions
Course Limited to 45 participants.
Description: This course will explore basic metabolic characteristics of skeletal muscle and how these relate to energy expenditure, fuel usage, and physical activity. Thanksgiving Day turkey will provide some insights.

Session Two—2:30-3:30 p.m.

Alabama Autumn Skies: Solar System Exploration
Location: Christenberry Planetarium
Instructor: David Weigel, Director of the Christenberry Planetarium
Course Limited to 94 participants, including school-aged siblings.
Description: Delve into planets and objects of interest in our solar system as we visit planets, comets, asteroids, moons, dwarf planets, and the sun.
Applying Mass Communication Theories to Television
Location: North Divinity 302
Instructors: Dr. Bernie Ankney, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Dr. Betsy Emmons, Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication
Course Limited to 50 participants.
Description: Did you have a crush on Marsha Brady? Did you cry when Magnum, P.I. died? Did you stay away all night after watching "Nightmare on Elm Street"? Did you pretend you were Michael Jordan when you played basketball? This course will explain how the television shows you watched as a child and teenager affected you.
Ask Your Pharmacist: 10 Questions That Could Save Your Life
Location: College of Health Sciences, Building 1, Room 1213
Instructor: Dr. Roger Lander, Professor, McWhorter School of Pharmacy
Course Limited to 30 participants.
Description: You know the drill. You don't feel well. The doctor has just told you he has sent four (or was it five?) prescriptions to your pharmacy. You decide to save time and head through the drive-through to get them. Sounds like a good idea, but is healthcare supposed to be like fast food? In this class, learn how to be a proactive quarterback on your healthcare team. Learn what questions you should to ask at the pharmacy that could make a significant difference in your health and maybe even save your life.
Blockchain Applications in Health: Hype and Reality
Location: College of Health Sciences, Building 1, Room 1103
Instructor: Dr. David Robbins, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health
Course Limited to 40 participants.
Description: With the explosion of blockchain-based technology, driven in no small part by the astronomical valuations of cryptographic currencies such as Bitcoin, numerous applications in health care have been proposed. But do these applications solve real problems? What is a blockchain anyway? This class will summarize recent proposals and experiments in applying blockchain technologies to health informatics activities, separating the hype from the reality.
Cultural Perspectives (CP)
Location: Chapman 320
Instructor: Dr. Jason Wallace, Richard Stockham, Jr., Chair of Western Intellectual History and Director of the Core Texts Program, Howard College of Arts and Sciences
Course Limited to 24 participants.
Description: Every culture seeks to explain human nature, the natural world, religion, and political community. This Core Texts Program taken by every Samford student ensures Samford graduates understand this quest. Even more, it equips them to enter their chosen profession confident they are capable of meaningful critical thought. While the curriculum emphasizes Western thinkers, we also recognize that certain perennial themes are part of the development of every culture and civilization. Disparate voices in time and place often converge in the task of transmitting values. To this end, the curriculum integrates texts from non-western, or global sources, including especially Asia and Latin America. Get a glimpse of what Samford students study during the fall semester as they focus on the great thinkers from the Greeks, the Romans, Early Christianity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance.
How Plato Can Save Your Life
Location: Brooks Hall 105
Instructor: Dr. Bryan Johnson, Director of University Fellows, Professor of English
Course Limited to 24 participants.
Description: All Samford freshmen read an excerpt from Plato’s The Republic called "The Allegory of the Cave." The "Allegory" is a foundational text in the development of the Western Intellectual Tradition, providing a framework for how we think about reality, education, government, knowledge, and what it means to excel as a human. This class will give you a better understanding of the origins of Western thought while also letting you share in the experience of a Samford great books discussion. A supplemental reading is recommended prior to class. Information will be emailed to participants.
Manual Physical Therapy: What Is It, and Why Does It Work?
Location: College of Health Sciences, Building 2, Room 2206
Instructor: Dr. Nick Washmuth, Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy
Course Limited to 30 participants.
Description: This class will introduce the history of manual physical therapy and how it is currently used in clinical practice. The proposed theories behind the effectiveness of hands-on care will be discussed. Videos of Samford University Doctor of Physical Therapy students performing a variety of manual physical therapy techniques will be included to provide examples of the benefits of hands-on care.
Preparing Today to Care for Tomorrow
Location: College of Health Sciences, Building 1, Room 1107
Instructor: Dr. Heidi H. Callighan, Dr. Heidi H. Callighan, Assistant Professor, Ida Moffett School of Nursing
Course Limited to 40 participants.
Description: Did you know there are currently more than 52 million seniors in America? By the year 2050, this number will grow to more than 83 million. This class one-hour class will exam the physical, social, spiritual, and psychological aspects of aging and longevity. The class will also discuss a range of topics, from mental well-being, to social policy, to demographics and diversity in aging. Class time will include hands-on simulation activities to engage learners and a brief tour of the high-fidelity simulation lab to demonstrate how current students are preparing to care for an aging population.
4-6 p.m. Pops with the Pres – Sherman Circle at Mr. Beeson--Join the Doctors Westmoreland, Samford families, and other members of the Samford community for a casual, come-and-go, kickoff reception in Sherman Circle below Mr. Beeson’s statue. We will be serving an assortment of your favorite Steel City Pops treats and offering self-guided tours of newly renovated buildings on the east side of The Quad. This event is free for Samford University families, but we request advance registration.
6:30 p.m. Vespers - Reid Chapel--Inspired by the ancient practice of monastic prayer, the Samford Choral Vespers Series has become a Family Weekend favorite. This service is an opportunity to experience exceptional choral music through contemplative worship. The service alternates hymns, Bible lessons, a meditation and other elements that distinguish corporate worship. Vespers is led by the School of the Arts and the A Capella Choir. Advance registration is not required, however, seating is limited.

Saturday, September 15

7:30-8:15 a.m. Parent Prayer Walk--Mr. Beeson’s Statue - Join other parents at Mr. Beeson’s statue to take a prayer walk around The Quad. You will receive a map of The Quad including specific prayer requests focused on the Samford community and Scripture passages to pray. Walk and pray alone, with a friend, or with a group.

8:30-10 a.m. Samford Parents Association Breakfast - The Caf--Join Samford parents for the annual Samford Parents Association breakfast. Hear university updates and visit with other parents and Samford administrators while enjoying a delicious, hot meal to begin the day. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children.

10-11:30 a.m. Open Houses and Dean’s Coffees/Teas - Plan to check the Family Weekend Guidebook app or the schedule once you arrive on campus for a listing of open houses hosted by departments and organizations across campus and Dean’s Coffees/Teas.

11:30-1:30 p.m. Tailgate Lunch and Bulldog Walk - The Quad--If you don’t bring your own tailgate meal, plan to enjoy lunch under the large Family Weekend tent on The Quad. Lunch will be a traditional BBQ tailgate meal catered by Jim ‘n Nicks. Students WILL need purchased tickets to eat the tailgate lunch as their Samford meal cards will not be accepted by Jim ‘n Nicks. After lunch, visit with friends across The Quad at state and school tents.

Noon—Bulldog Walk on The Quad

2 p.m. Samford vs Mercer University, Seibert Field

Sunday, September 16

2 p.m. Hymn Sing, Reid Chapel - Hymn Sing, an annual Samford tradition, is an afternoon of congregational singing of hymns and gospel songs selected by audience participants. This event, sponsored by the School of the Arts, is free and open to the Samford community and public.