Not one tear was shed as we left our eldest son at Samford University this past weekend. And why would we cry? He’s going to have an amazing time at this fabulous school. Recently ranked #1 in the state of Alabama by Forbes Magazine, Samford is known for it’s beautiful campus and friendly and caring faculty. It probably also helped that we had already said, “goodbye” to him once before earlier in the summer, when he worked at a summer camp in Mississippi. It was a long summer without him, but great practice for college. The top left photo is just after a swarm of upperclassmen gathered around our car and unloaded everything in about two minutes flat. Then, after my son got his room assignment, they showed up again, and within minutes, everything was in his room . . . it really is the Magic City!
Located in Birmingham, the school was chartered in 1841 and has approximately 5,000 students who represent 44 states and 22 countries. The classes are structured with a true focus on learning and there is a 12:1 ratio for students to faculty. The top right photo above shows University President, Dr. Andrew Westmoreland addressing the incoming freshmen. The popular leader mingles with the students and knows many of them by name.
Two days of parent meetings were held to familiarize us with the campus and academic requirements. Having attended a large state school, I’ve never heard of so much involvement between the students, parents and faculty. Students are invited into the instructor’s homes once a week for a home cooked meal and discussion group – seriously? That makes a mother very happy.
And speaking of happy, here I am at my favorite spot on campus, in front of the Bobby Bowden statue, who was “my” coach at Florida State, and before that, the coach at Samford, when my parents were students there. That makes Bobby Bowden our official family coach. Coach Bowden is typical of the entire Samford faculty as far as being a great Christian example for young people.
Another little FSU/Samford connection is that FSU’s current coach, Jimbo Fisher, is the former quarterback for the Samford Bulldogs!
The statues around campus all have their own twitter accounts and talk to each other. Very funny stuff from a bunch of statues.
The Bulldogs field 17 varsity sports in the NCAA Division I Southern Conference, and since 2008, have won nine conference champions. My only disappointment during the entire visit was that I didn’t get to meet the Bulldog mascot, “Spike.” You know how I love pups.
During the entire visit, the administration was visible at every turn, sitting with us in the cafeteria, and even helping with traffic. We were all invited to a casual reception at the President’s home, which sits atop the mountain, and it was absolutely beautiful. The 60 year old residence was purchased by the University six years ago and remodeled to use for entertaining guests and dignitaries who visit the campus.
The large atrium addition has a dramatic view overlooking the entire campus and city of Birmingham. And of all things, on Saturday, the entire Freshman class was invited over for a gourmet popsicle treat from Steel City Pops. Nothing like having 800 or so 18 year olds over. I hope my son used a napkin and didn’t drip on the furniture! I’ll never stop thinking like his mom!
As the sun set over campus, the twinkling lights appeared. The Vulcan can be seen on the far right of this photo, and the construction crane you see in several of the photos is being used to build the new facility for the School of Business. Onward and upward! New adventures ahead!