Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2007-03-26

Samford University students collected more than $1,000 and a variety of supplies for victims of the March 1 tornado that struck Enterprise, Ala.

The total includes $500 contributed by students at Samford's Cumberland School of Law and $542 in donations from other Samford students and faculty and staff.

Both efforts were led by students who are graduates of Enterprise High School, where eight students were killed in the deadly tornado. All monies collected at Samford are designated for use by the Enterprise city school system.

Marilee Chambers, a 2004 EHS graduate and Samford senior education major, led the undergraduate cash donation project and also solicited classroom supplies from her cohorts in Samford's Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education.

"I want to help repair the school and the lives that were affected by the storm," said Chambers of her involvement in the campaign.

"I feel helpless and this is the only way I could think of to help restore a building that is so dear to my heart," said Chambers, whose dad, EHS coach and teacher Truett Chambers, was in the school's driver's education building during the tornado. Her mother, Kathy Chambers, teaches at a nearby elementary school.

Chambers' education classmates brought in piles of school supplies, including pens, pencils, notebooks, crayons, and rulers, which she took to Enterprise during last week's spring break.

Cumberland students Heath Loftin, Josh Moore, Josh Pipkin and April Wise, all EHS graduates, collected cash donations and useful personal items from their law classmates.

Their collection included baby items, toiletries, plastic eating utensils and blankets, in addition to school supplies. Pipkin took the assortment home for distribution by his mother, Twyla Pipkin, an Enterprise elementary school principal.

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.