Samford University

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February 10, 2014

Our Story

A few weeks ago Shelley Chapman (Admissions Operations Coordinator) forwarded a message that she had received from a student worker in the admissions office.  The student, attired in a Samford shirt, was waiting in a local office to see an orthopedist.  The remainder of the story, related in the free-flowing-I’m-telling-this-in-the-moment style of an e-mail narrative, is reproduced below:

“A woman looks at me and tells me she likes my shirt (it is a Samford shirt) and I tell her thank you as she continues to ask me if I go to Samford and what my name is and where I'm from.  I tell her my name and that I'm a nursing major and currently a sophomore from Roswell, GA.  She then proceeds to tell me her name is Mary Hodges, formally Mary Shirley, and she was born in Valdosta, GA and how she moved to AL when she was 5 years old so claims her home state as Alabama.  She shares that she is a Samford graduate but went to Samford when it was Howard College during WWII.  She continued to share with me all of her experiences at Howard and how Howard is where she met her husband, Andrew Hodges, which is who the Divinity school chapel is named after. After she shared that I jumped into say how sweet that they are a Samford couple (which a lot of girls now a days want to say that they met their husband at Samford and got married in Reid Chapel and the rest is history!) to which she laughed a little and said yes and continued to share that Samford has great potential for the future and I shared how amazing it must be for her to see all that Samford has become and will become in the future.  She also shared about which buildings and which pictures are around on campus that her husband is in—the one she shared was the one where he is in the picture that was taken when they broke ground for the move to Samford's current location. The history geek inside me was eating up every single word and story that she shared while the other half of me thought to myself you know if I hadn't been here today and if my foot still wasn't janky I would've never met Mrs.Hodges and heard her Samford story.  As her name was called she looked at me and by name said how great and nice it was to meet me and for me to look out for her on campus and to tell her hello when I do see.  And for those of y'all who know me I definitely will be on the lookout for sweet Mrs. Hodges to say hi and give her a hug :)”

Can’t you see the generations coming together in this piece?  I am specifically including this story today because the central character, Mary Louise Hodges, had surgery last week.  She’s doing well, but she would appreciate your prayers today, I am sure.  She is a gem.

(For those not in the know, “janky” in this context would best be characterized as “less than optimum.”)

The world is better because of Mary Louise Hodges and the anonymous young lady who chronicled this encounter.

Our Mission

The mission of Samford University is to nurture persons in their development of intellect, creativity, faith, and personhood. As a Christian university, the community fosters academic, career, and ethical competency while encouraging social and civic responsibility, and service to others.

Our Core Values

The Samford community values lifelong:

  • belief in God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
  • engagement with the life and teachings of Jesus.
  • learning and responsible freedom of inquiry.
  • personal empowerment, accountability, and responsibility.
  • vocational success and civic engagement.
  • spiritual growth and cultivation of physical well-being.
  • integrity, honesty, and justice.
  • appreciation for diverse cultures and convictions.
  • stewardship of all resources.
  • service to God, to family, to one another, and to the community.

Our Vision

Anchored in Christian understanding, Samford University will be a diverse community, stressing vigorous learning and personal faith, in the Baptist tradition. Within that commonality, the Community will be innovative in teaching, learning and research; sensitive to global issues; aggressive in self-assessment and continuous improvement. Faithful to its mission, Samford will be known and acknowledged worldwide by holding to its core values. The world will be better for it.

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