Published on April 22, 2015  
Colonial Dames 2015

Sixteen Samford University students recently received cash awards from the Birmingham Center of Colonial Dames of America for outstanding papers written in Samford history classes. The papers were submitted in the annual Colonial Dames’ American Independence essay contest.

Sarah A. McGhee, a freshman psychology major from Enterprise, Alabama, won the first place award and $1,000 for her paper, “The Liar Who Created American Civic Virtue: Ethical Morality and Patriotism.”

Clayton Jones, a freshman history major from Franklin, Tennessee, won second place and $800 for his paper “Truth as an American Virtue: The Significance of the Trial of John Peter Zenger.”

James Brimm, a junior history major from Gallatin, Tennessee, won third place and $700 for his paper, “Sinners in the Hands of Religious Affections: Jonathan Edwards’ Changing Understanding of the Great Awakening.”

Robert McNeill, a senior history major form Clay, Alabama, won fourth place and $600 for his paper “Abolition in Brazil and the United States: A Comparative Study.”

Ryan Lally, a freshman English major from Killen, Alabama, won fifth place and $500 for his paper, “Collegiate Literary Societies: Moral Intellect in Action.”

Morgan Roettele, a sophomore history major from Naples Florida, won sixth place and $400 for her paper, “The Life and Role of Abigail Adams in Early American Politics.”

Other top 10 finalists winning $300 each were: Thomas Jenkins, a senior history major from Atlanta, Georgia; Franklin Lowe, a junior history major form Fayetteville, Georgia; and Amber Hammond, a sophomore history major from Atlanta, Georgia. Joshua Lay, a December, 2014, history graduate from Brierfield, Alabama, who now attends New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, won a $200 award.

Honorable Mention and $50 prizes went to six freshman essay writers: Jack G. Kawell, an engineering physics major from Chicago, Illinois; Hannah Johnston, an international relations major from Travelers Rest, South Carolina; Madeline Ingram, a psychology major from Maryville, Tennessee; Sarah Marriott, a pre-pharmacy major from Atlanta, Georgia; Madeline Perkins, an English/political science major from Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Austin Mohlenbrok, an economics major from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The awards were presented by Samford history department chair S. Jonathan Bass at a luncheon at Mountain Brook Club on March 26.

A collection of the winning papers was dedicated in honor of Meade Whitaker, Jr., and in memory of his mother and grandmother, the late Frances Baldwin Whitaker and the late Fannie Dunn Baldwin, both longtime members of the Alabama Dames. Meade Whitaker is a third-generation supporter of the Samford essay program.

A bound volume of the essays will be housed in the Samford library.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.