Gifts from foundations, parents, alumni, and friends of the program directly contribute to the success of University Fellows. To make a contribution to an established fund, you may give online by filling out the Samford Giving form. When doing so, please select “Other” as your designation and indicate which University Fellows fund you would like to support. To discuss other ways to financially support the program, contact Doug Wilson, executive director of advancement, at 205-726-4266 or

Excellence Fund

As freshmen, University Fellows read Aristotle and learn the concept of areté, the ancient Greek term for "excellence." Aristotle understood excellence as both doing things well and doing them for virtuous purposes. In keeping with this idea, the University Fellows Excellence Fund provides financial support for students to engage in truly excellent endeavors such as global internships, advanced academic scholarship, and summer seminars. Past recipients have completed international health fellowships (Uganda, Haiti, Peru, and Honduras), taught English and math to children in India, interned with a social entrepreneurship non-profit in South Africa, and attended academic conferences and seminars.

Student Assistance Fund

In 2008, our inaugural Parents Council recognized a need within the Fellows community. They established the University Fellows Student Assistance Fund, which assists Fellows with substantial financial need. In recent years, the fund has been used not only for textbooks but also for fuel, health insurance, and living expenses. Some of our neediest students work more than one part-time job, commute from home to save money, and still manage to successfully carry a full academic load. For these students, the assistance fund makes college a bit more manageable. If you would like to donate to a specific need or student, please contact Elizabeth Kolakoski at