Orlean Beeson School of Education donors are ministry partners with us in facilitating the growth and development of Samford students who are preparing to teach, lead, and serve in school, church, family, business, and community settings. Your gifts help us provide scholarships, enhance academic programs, and improve our teaching and learning spaces.

Some donors may prefer to designate their gifts to meet specific needs; thus, we are pleased to share a current wish list of items identified by our faculty, staff, and students. We also provide information for donors who would like to join us in advancing our mission through the support of scholarships, enhancements within Orlean Bullard Beeson Hall, and the Orlean Beeson School of Education Excellence Fund.

We are grateful for your gifts, large and small, and the distinctive, faith-immersed education they allow us to provide for our students. May God richly bless you in your giving!

Advancing Our Mission

Gifts in support of Advancing our Mission within Orlean Beeson School of Education provide our faculty and students with the resources necessary to pursue research and scholarly activity, as well as grow our community partnership initiatives. These experiences allow students and faculty to excel in their field and enhance education for all.

Character Development

Character education is woven into the fabric of the Orlean Beeson School of Education mission as students prepare to educate, lead and serve in their chosen professions. We recognize that both technical competence and strength of character is essential for graduates to fulfill their calling. To that end, our faculty, staff, and students attempt to embody what it looks, sounds, and feels like to be members of a Christlike “community of character.”

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Distance Technology

Having experienced the impact of a global pandemic on the way we conduct our work, Orlean Beeson School of Education is more committed than ever to preparing students who are adept in the use of remote and distance technologies in their chosen career paths. We seek to optimize the use of digital environments so that faculty, staff, and students can fulfill their callings both locally and globally.

Child and Family Well-being

It is estimated that 95 percent of a child’s brain develops during the first five years of life, so supporting adults who nurture the cognitive, physical, social-emotional, and spiritual development of young children is of utmost importance. Orlean Beeson School of Education faculty, staff, and students recognize that advanced knowledge in human development and family science along with experiential education opportunities can be a mechanism for furthering the cause of Christ around the world.

Biblical Unity in Diversity

Affirming that all people enjoy the respect, fairness, and equitable treatment due persons created in the image of God, Samford University and Orlean Beeson School of Education are committed to honoring diverse backgrounds, celebrating diverse ideas, and preparing students through their chosen professions to courageously identify with, and advocate for, those who suffer injustices.

New Endowed Chair or Professor Positions

An endowed position provides funds to help further student experiences. The gift means more resources for students, faculty and staff, and allows our school to ensure all teaching and programs are at the highest academic and professional level.

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For more information, please contact Sheri Ransome, director of donor engagement, at shransom@samford.edu or 205-726-4462.


Orlean Beeson School of Education students are preparing to fulfill their calling in the “service” professions. Many will accept entry level salaries disproportionate to the investment they make in their Samford educational experience. Your gift to support our students through scholarships launches graduates into their “ministry” in schools, churches, the mission field, and community agencies, with the best possible financial foundation.

Gifts can provide for existing scholarships, new annual scholarships and/or endowed scholarships. Annual scholarships are established beginning with a commitment of $1,500 a year for a minimum of four years. With an initial pledge of $25,000, you can establish a named endowed scholarship that will change the lives of Samford students for generations to come. A gift of $1,000,000 can sustain a full endowed scholarship for a deserving student.

Make a gift of any amount in support of current featured scholarships by clicking on the scholarship below or establish a named endowed scholarship.

Orlean Beeson School of Education Legacy Scholarship

Awarded to rising junior students who feel called to work within education and/or in work that enriches the lives of families; with preference given to those with demonstrated significant financial need.

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Jewel Littleton Scholarship

Awarded to minority students of any classification who demonstrate significant financial need and are pursuing any degree offered within Orlean Beeson School of Education at Samford University.

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Charlotte Opal Herring Ennis Graduate Scholarship

Awarded based upon need to students in graduate education in Orlean Beeson School of Education.

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Maurice Persall Endowed Scholarship

Awarded to a doctoral candidate within the Orlean Beeson School of Education with demonstrated financial need, academic ability to succeed and commitment to completion of the doctoral program in Educational Leadership.

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Mary Elizabeth Wyatt Scholarship

Awarded to a student recipient for this scholarship who is starting their junior year at Samford University and is a registered declared student in Orlean Beeson School of Education. The Scholarship and Awards Committee within Orlean Beeson School of Education must have evidence that the scholarship recipient exhibits Christ-centered character, has shown evidence of propensity in leadership, exemplifies Samford’s motto of For God, For Learning, Forever, has earned at least a 3.0 academic average in their coursework at Samford University and demonstrated financial need.

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Carter Family Legacy Scholarship

Awarded to Teacher Education students studying within the Christian Missions concentration, with preference given to rising juniors and seniors. Award(s) may be based on both merit and financial need.

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David Finn Legacy Scholarship

Awarded to undergraduate students studying within the teacher education department with demonstrated financial need and preference given to those who have a passion for teaching special education and wish to travel abroad as part of their Samford experience through a Samford sponsored program.

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In addition to our existing scholarships, Dean McEwan has shared her vision for additional scholarships in the following areas:

Minority recruitment through scholarships

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2016), the percentage of public-school principals from minority populations has barely budged over the last 29 years. While less than 20 percent of school leaders are minorities, well over 50 percent of school-age children (ages 5-17) represent minority populations. The percentage of minority school leaders is not keeping pace with the shifting demographics of today’s schools.

Further complicating matters is a disparity across the nation in the number of doctoral degrees awarded to candidates who represent minority populations. During the 2016-2017 school year, 66 percent of all doctoral degrees (including, but not limited to the Ed.D.) were conferred to white candidates while only 34 percent were conferred to minority candidates. For school leaders who aspire to district- and state-level leadership positions, preference is often given to those who hold an educational doctorate. Advanced preparation for school leaders who represent minority populations could result in more equitable representation of minorities in executive level leadership positions.

To address these incongruences, the faculty and staff of Samford University’s Orlean Beeson School of Education will prioritize the preparation of minority P-12 school leaders.

Early child development program scholarships

High-quality preschool programs provide opportunities to improve child development and school readiness, promote educational outcomes, and contribute to the skilled workforce of tomorrow. A December 2018 study revealed that children who participate in Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program demonstrated greater proficiency in math (3.2 percentage points higher) and reading (1.6 percentage points higher) when compared to students who do not receive First Class Pre-K.

With expanded state and federal funding to establish more FirstClass Pre-K programs, comes a need for well-trained educators who understand the unique needs of children and families in the early years of development. To address this need, the faculty and staff of Samford University’s Orlean Beeson School of Education will prioritize the preparation of in-service and pre-service professionals in early childhood development.

For more information, please contact Sheri Ransome, director of donor engagement, at shransom@samford.edu or 205-726-4462.

Orlean Bullard Beeson Hall

Built in 1978, Orlean Bullard Beeson Hall is a solid but aging facility that will continue needing technology updates and renovations in the years to come. As we continually enrich our educational experience, we identify opportunities to improve our learning spaces through the renewal of necessary facilities and classroom spaces. Donors who invest in scholarships, academic programs and enhanced learning spaces allow Orlean Beeson School of Education to continue, and even increase, the tremendous impact the school’s graduates have on this world.

OBB Building Schematic (PDF)

Naming Opportunities
Location Available Amount*
Dean's Suite 1/1 $20,000
Associate Dean's Suite—FUNDED 0/1 $15,000
Assistant Dean's Suite 1/1 $15,000
Department Chair Suite 3/3 $10,000
Faculty or Staff Office 39/45 $5,000
Large Classroom 4/4 $50,000
Medium Classroom 6/7 $35,000
Seminar Classroom 1/1 $25,000
Faculty/Staff Common Area 1/1 $25,000
Student Common Area 2/2 $10,000
Education Learning Commons 1/1 $75,000
Administrative Services Suite 1/3 $15,000
Conference Room 3/3 $25,000
Outdoor Patio 1/1 $15,000

*Cost quoted is for each named room

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For more information, please contact Sheri Ransome, director of donor engagement, at shransom@samford.edu or 205-726-4462.

School of Education Excellence Fund

Faithful, annual gifts to support our School of Education Excellence fund allow our school to provide scholarships and academic program resources where the needs are greatest. Your gifts enrich the Samford experience for our students and we recognize that many of you wish to designate your gifts to meet specific needs within our school. We are delighted to present a wish list of items which enhance the Samford experience within Orlean Beeson School of Education this academic year. Please join us in making a gift to meet one or more of these needs. We are grateful for your partnership and the distinctive education it provides to our students. Thank you for your continued investments in the success of our students!

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For more information, please contact Sheri Ransome, director of donor engagement, at shransom@samford.edu or 205-726-4462.

Ways to Give

From stocks and property to estate planning and planned giving, discover the many opportunities to invest in Samford University.

Giving Online

Giving online is an easy way to make a gift to Orlean Beeson School of Education. There are many funds to designate your gift.

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Giving by Mail

Samford UniversityAttention: University Advancement800 Lakeshore DriveBirmingham, AL 35229

Giving by Pledge

By making a pledge, you can make a significant impact to Orlean Beeson School of Education and its mission to empower students to educate, lead and serve.

Making an Annual Gift

Annual giving is critical to providing Orlean Beeson School of Education with budget-relieving resources. The fiscal year ends June 30 of each year.

Estate Planning and Bequests

With a planned giving strategy, you can put your assets to work for any part of Orlean Beeson School of Education you choose. To ensure your goals are met, we invite you to contact Sheri Ransome, director of donor engagement (205-726-4462) to learn more.

Stock Gifts

Thank you for your interest in gifting securities to support Orlean Beeson School of Education. Your wise market investment is a wonderful gift. By donating appreciated stock, you can avoid long-term capital gains tax and deduct the full market value on your tax return.

To transfer stocks, please provide the following details to your brokerage firm then contact Doug Wilson, assistant vice president for university advancement, at 205-726-4266 to inform Samford of the amount (dollars or shares), stock name and desired use of funds.

Brokerage Firm

Northern Trust DTCClearing #2669Account #26-38462If requested, Samford’s EIN number is 63-0312914

For cash wire transfers, contact Ian Schwarting, Accounting and Financial Services, 205-726-4536.