Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2007-09-13

Samford University will celebrate Homecoming 2007 Oct. 18-21 with a candlelight dinner, Little Big Town concert, fireworks, football, reunion activities for all alumni, and other special events.

This year's Homecoming observes the 50th anniversary of the school's move from the East Lake area of Birmingham to suburban Homewood, and the 120th year since relocating to Birmingham from its 1841 founding site in Marion, Ala.

Events start Thursday, Oct. 18, with the J. Roderick Davis Lecture featuring Walter Isaacson, CEO, The Aspen Institute and author of Einstein: His Life and Universe, at 7:30 p.m. in Pete Hanna Center. The free lecture honors Samford graduate and retired arts and sciences dean Dr. Rod Davis.

All graduates are invited to the Alumni Association meeting Friday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m. in Jane Hollock Brock Recital Hall.

Friday's events continue with a 5 p.m. Evensong service in A. Gerow Hodges Chapel, and the 6 p.m. dedication of the new multi-purpose Pete Hanna Center. The facility will be the site of a 6:30 p.m. gala, recreating the 141-year-old tradition of the alumni candlelight dinner.

The 2007 Alumni of the Year will be recognized at the dinner. They are: Walter Barnes of Birmingham, Class of 1956; Sigurd Bryan of Birmingham, Class of 1946; Carol Guthrie of Washington, D.C., Class of 1993; and George V. Irons, Jr., M.D., of Charlotte, N.C., Class of 1952.

A pep rally, bonfire and fireworks display will begin at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday morning events include a brunch for alumni from classes of 1957 and earlier, hot air balloon rides and a Live at the Library program with popular Alabama author and historian Kathryn Tucker Windham.

An 11 a.m. on-campus parade will feature the Samford marching band, cheerleaders and floats. A mid-day festival on the campus quadrangle will include reunion gatherings by affinity groups and student generations. Lunch will be available picnic style on the quad or in the campus cafeteria.

The Bulldog Fun Zone for children will open at 12 noon in Seibert Stadium and will continue throughout the football game. The Samford football team will take on Austin Peay State University at 2 p.m. in Seibert Stadium. The Homecoming court will be introduced at halftime.

Little Big Town country music group will perform at 8:30 p.m. in Hanna Center. The popular Grammy-nominated band includes former Samford students Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Roads. Several ticket prices are available.

Weekend events conclude on Sunday with a 10 a.m. worship service in Hodges Chapel. Former campus minister Esther Burroughs will speak. Worship leaders include former Hear and Now Singers director Bob Burroughs.

Various academic advisory board meetings, continuing education programs, and reunions for band members, classes of 1957, 1982 and 1987, and business, nursing, and art graduates are interspersed throughout the weekend. The Samford Art Gallery in Bonnie Bolding Swearingen Hall will display mixed media artworks by Birmingham artist Beverly B. Erdreich.

In addition to football, varsity sports events include soccer and volleyball matches, and men's and women's basketball scrimmages.

For more information, call (205) 726-2807 or toll free 877-SU ALUMS, or visit the website at Admission is free for many events. Tickets for all ticketed events except the football game are available at For game tickets, go to

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.