Published on May 1, 2020 by Ashley Smith  

Samford’s Division of the Music had planned a new event this year to celebrate its students and their achievements. They anticipated gathering on the Wright Center Stage in person and sharing music and stories. When the COVID19 pandemic impacted the spring semester, students and faculty were separated physically but their remarkable perseverance and work ethic got them to the finish line. During the virtual event this week, Associate Dean of the Division of Music Eric Mathis said, “It is a gift to be with all of you today and I am thankful to all of you and to our dean, Joe Hopkins, who led us through this season as though it were an adventure, kept us from losing ground, encouraged us to forge ahead, and always offered great inspiration and hope.”

Over 70 students, faculty and family members joined the online awards event that announced scholarship winners and academic honors.  At the conclusion of the event, seniors were invited to say a word about their experience at Samford. Despite the unexpected conclusion to their time at Samford, the seniors focused on the positive.  “Thankful,” “gratitude,” and “transformative” were words that echoed throughout the testimonials.  Senior music education major Madison Hablas said, “Samford has helped teach us about life through music, and music through life.” Hablas will be attending the Boston Conservatory this fall to pursue the Master of Music.

Outstanding students of the year awards went to the following students: Lydia Patrice Moore, freshman; Jessica Faith Lien, sophomore; Blake Rushing Mitchell, junior; Kylee Kaye Berggren, senior; and Whitney L. Head, graduate. 

The Shepherd/Walker Award went to Joshua Davis.  This award was given by Ellis J. Parker and goes to a student who has graciously performed for those who might otherwise have missed the joys of music. 

The Howard Weldon Smith Violin Award is given in memory of Dr. Smith by his wife Marie Smith and provides an annual scholarship to a violin student at Samford.  This year the award went to Adam Moore.

The Barbara Stevens Price Church Music Scholarship Award went to Emily Hanrahan.  This fund was given by former dean Dr. Milburn Price in honor of his wife on their 35th wedding anniversary.

Pierce Moffett received the Robert B. Hatfield Scholarship for Excellence in Music Ministry which was established to assist a current music and worship student pursue their degree.

The Presser Scholar Award went to Blake Mitchell.  This merit award goes to an outstanding junior majoring in music.

Jeff and Lori Northrup provide three different scholarships for music students.  The Northup Keyboard Performance Award went to Joshua Davis.  The Northrup Instrumental Performance Award and the Northrup Scholar Award both went to Trenton Smith.

Inductees to the Pi Kappa Lambda, Gamma Omicron Chapter were also announced.  Congratulations to these students joining this organization dedicated to music excellence: Kylee Kaye Berggren, Rebecca Anne Davis, Kevin A. James, Caleb McWilliams Phillips, Virginia Lee Barr and Matthew Daniel Wilson.  Recipients of class honor certificates and medals were also recognized.

The School of the Arts looks forward to having our students back on campus, making music and celebrating
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.