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Samford’s spring commencement sees about 900 graduatescomment (0)

May 29, 2014

Samford’s spring commencement sees about 900 graduates

Samford University in Birmingham graduated about 900 seniors during commencement activities in May. Graduates, families and friends celebrated during seven graduation exercises for various schools and colleges of the university.

Judson College President David E. Potts delivered the address for Samford’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences on May 17. Potts, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Samford, was surprised at the commencement with a Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa in recognition of his accomplishments and service.

During his Samford address, Potts emphasized the spirit of Christian service that created both Alabama Baptist schools and that continues to find expression in the work of their students, faculty and staff.

In sharing a brief history of Samford, which was founded in Marion in 1841, he noted the selfless spirit and generous philanthropy of its early founders, who were committed to Christian education for men and women.

“While you and I may not establish a college or university ... or organize a missions board ... or publish a religious newspaper, our transformation of heart and spirit impels us to live transcendently,” Potts said.

Later in the day, graduates of the School of the Arts and Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education heard Homewood city school superintendent Bill Cleveland stress the importance of investing in people’s lives by forming relationships.  

In the inaugural May commencement for Samford’s new College of Health Sciences on May 16, graduating seniors Anna Beth Shelton and Megan Montgomery shared thoughts of faith, service, grace and relationships.

At the Cumberland School of Law ceremony, speaker and retiring law dean John L. Carroll became the first recipient of a new award that will be given in his name. The John L. Carroll Service award is in recognition of the former federal magistrate judge’s service and leadership of the law school. Law graduate Julien Mitchell Relfe, of Birmingham, received the law school’s annual Daniel Austin Brewer Professionalism Award.

Multiple programs

Commencement programs also were held May 16 for McWhorter School of Pharmacy with speaker Thomas Menighan, chief executive officer of the American Pharmacists Association, and Brock School of Business with speaker Martin Newton, a Samford business graduate and director of athletics.

Beeson Divinity School graduates received degrees during a commencement program and service of consecration May 7. Anglican bishop John A.M. Guernsey of the Mid-Atlantic Diocese of the Anglican Church in North America spoke.

University-wide student awards were presented at various programs. Caroline Reid Donaldson, a double art and English major from Greer, S.C., won the President’s Cup. Anna Grace Poole, a psychology major from Arkadelphia, Ark., received the Velma Wright Irons award. Three graduating seniors were named winners of the 2014 John C. Pittman Spirit Award:  Hannah Joy Barnette, of Birmingham; Sabbath Joy McKiernan-Allen, of Indianapolis, Ind.; and Kaleigh Elizabeth Warwick, of Alpharetta, Ga.

Samford’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 012 commissioned nine cadets during ceremonies May 16. 

Andrew Westmoreland is president of Samford.


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