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Samford graduates urged to act for Christcomment (0)

January 6, 2005

Judson College President David E. Potts urged Samford University seniors to seek happiness through helping others during fall commencement Dec. 18. 
“Psychologists who study happiness repeatedly discover a puzzling paradox: the happiest people are those who pay little attention to the goal of becoming happy,” said Potts, recalling Helen Keller’s advice that true happiness is acquired “through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
He saluted the efforts Samford students and faculty have made in Perry County, where Samford was founded as Howard College in 1841 and where Judson College is located. Today, the county is one of the state’s poorest, with high poverty rates and many related health and social problems.
“In the new millennium, your university has embraced again the people of Perry County through many of you who are here today,” said Potts, citing Samford’s sending of tutors and readers, organizers for summer enrichment programs and pharmacy students to conduct hypertension clinics and assist diabetics.
“While commissions study again and again the plight of the Black Belt and recommend the same or similar action plans of previously appointed commissions, while councils wring their hands over poverty and failure, while government and foundations mandate ineffective and costly programs without input from the very people they wish to aid, you act.
“You become the hands and feet of Christ,” he said.
“You understand what so few seem to know. You don’t do ‘to’ or ‘for’ the poor. You are ‘with’ the poor,” Potts told the 280 graduates, along with their friends and family members.
Potts, a 1972 Samford graduate, has been president of Judson since 1990.
Fall graduates included Mary Smothers, a history major from Talladega, whose original graduation date of May 2003 was delayed when her National Guard unit was activated. She spent a year patrolling the streets of Baghdad and helping to train Iraqi police officers.
After returning home, she completed her final courses during the fall semester. In June, she will begin a year of study in Melbourne, Australia, where she will pursue a graduate degree in international relations on a Rotary International scholarship.
Commencement weekend activity also included a pinning ceremony for graduates of the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, a hooding ceremony for School of Business master’s degree recipients and an Air Force ROTC Commissioning ceremony.
Twenty-one students received degrees from Samford’s Beeson Divinity School. They are:
Master of Divinity — Dennis E. Atchenson, Tuscaloosa; Judy Durham, Birmingham; Troy Greene, Lake Charles, La.; Amber E. Hipps, Gadsden; Gregory Arthur Jackson, Tupelo, Miss.; Christopher George Kinsley, Birmingham; John William Lemons, Irondale; Timothy Hillard Murray II, Carbon Hill; Jonathan Lee Parks, Huntsville; Mohammad Sanavi, Tehran, Iran; Tamreiwon Shanglai, Birmingham; David Phillip Smith, Hamilton; and David Matthew Sprayberry, Helena.
Master of Theological Studies — Dodd C. Allee, Huntsville; Nancy Jo Copin, Paducah, Ky.; Edmund Reuben Daniel, Ipoh, Malaysia; Chad H. Redditt, Brandon, Miss.; Jason Lee Welborn, Arab; and Louis Edward Wilson, Birmingham.
Doctor of Ministry — David Burt Julen, Cramerton, N.C.; and Wyman Lewis Richardson, Dawson, Ga. (SU)
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