Samford University


December 15, 2008

Our Story

A decade ago, Katherine Victoria “Kavi” Vance, her Samford degree in hand, took a job as a pharmacist in the local hospital in Demopolis.  Kavi’s mother, Sue Vance, remembered her in a recent newspaper article as “a free spirit who changed her hair color frequently, wrote poetry and painted the rooms of her house bright colors.”  On September 26, 1999, on the way to participate in a friend’s wedding, Kavi’s vehicle overturned and she was killed.  Each Christmas season, Sue and her husband, Lon, along with several friends, place more than 700 candles in the cemetery where Kavi is buried.  Family members and friends of others buried there provide memorial contributions for the project . . . and the gifts provide a living memorial to Kavi through a scholarship fund at Samford.  To date, the fund has gathered in excess of $185,000, providing a bright future for students through the McWhorter School of Pharmacy.   


The world is better because of Kavi Vance.    

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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