Published on August 24, 2018 by Ashley Smith  
ousley signing

Friends and family of Eleanor Ousley gathered in July to share stories and establish the Eleanor Orosan Annual and Endowed Scholarship.  The scholarship is spearheaded by former students Sue Orr and her husband Larry, Joanne Brindley Harwell and George and Judy Frey. 

Sue Orr described the impact of Eleanor on her students, “When talking with Samford music graduates and, in particular, vocal performance majors, one name always remains as the major influence in their lives, both professionally and personally. This person is their voice teacher, Eleanor Ousley. Alumni fondly recall her firm direction, feedback and encouragement and keep her in their hearts, whether it be on the stage as performers or in the classroom as teachers themselves. Eleanor’s unparalleled talent, her grace, commitment to her faith, family and her students has made her a truly cherished figure in the hearts of many.”

Eleanor’s former students feel that their performances in leading roles and with the world’s greatest opera and symphonies, and in their own studios as teachers, they owe in large part to her. Eleanor taught at Samford from 1955 until 1994 and has always been beloved by the Samford community.

During the luncheon, students showed admiration and respect for Eleanor along with anecdotes about the influence she had on their lives.  From eating right to demanding excellence, she left an indelible mark on them all. They celebrated with songs and fellowship as Dean Joe Hopkins played the piano.  The annual Ousley reunion is always well attended with former students traveling from as far away as Italy.

Orr noted that this scholarship honors “Eleanor by doing what we know will make her most happy – providing a way to help voice students achieve their dreams through a Samford education.”  If interested in giving to this scholarship, please click the link Eleanor Orosan Ousley Scholarship. For more information, contact School of the Arts Advancement Officer, Julie Boyd at 205-726-4656 or

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.