Published on September 20, 2016 by Philip Poole  
fam weekend

by Olivia Williams 

Samford University will welcome families of students to campus Sept. 30–Oct. 2 for the annual Family Weekend, one of the featured events during the university’s yearlong 175th anniversary celebration. With the theme “A Legacy of Family,” the history of Samford and the legacy family has played over the years will be on display throughout the weekend. 

There are many exciting events planned, including the second annual Parents Academy on Friday. Taught by Samford faculty and open to Samford families, these classes are representative of every school across a large number of disciplines. 

“Last year was the first time we offered this; it was a sold-out event, and we expect this year to be the same,” said Susan Doyle, Samford’s director of parent programs. “Parents have emailed us with great humor that they never dreamed they’d be doing college homework again. It’s a really rich experience.” 

With a total of 694 seats available for Parents Academy, there are only 40 seats remaining, Doyle added. 

This year’s festivities include the second annual Tiny Sam photo scavenger hunt. Families will receive a booklet of 30 photographs that represent tiny details of landmarks on the quad, available at registration on Friday. 

The first family to identify these landmarks and turn in its responses to the registration table will be receive a grand prize package that includes four Step Sing tickets to any show of choice, a two-night stay at the Courtyard Marriott and dinner for four at a local restaurant. The winner will be announced during the football game on Saturday. 

A vespers service at 5:30 p.m. on Friday in Hodges Chapel and a prayer walk beginning at 7:15 a.m. on Saturday provide important spiritual dimensions to the weekend, Doyle noted. 

Other highlights include a reception on Friday night hosted by Samford President and Mrs. Andrew Westmoreland at the new College of Health Sciences, a Parents Association breakfast and meeting in the main dining hall on Saturday morning, and tailgating on the quad. 

In addition to the Family Weekend tent by Centennial Walk where families can enjoy a pregame meal on Saturday, many states will be hosting their own tents at the tailgate. Florida, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia are among the list of states participating. 

“We want to encourage families to drop by and connect with other families from their states,” Doyle said.    

The weekend includes the football game at Seibert Stadium with Samford taking on Southern Conference opponent Wofford for a 2 p.m. kickoff. On Friday, the Samford soccer team will play SoCon rival Mercer at 7 p.m. at the Samford Soccer and Track Stadium. 

The weekend concludes with the annual Samford Hymn Sing Sunday at 2 p.m. in Reid Chapel. 

“We look forward to cheering on the Bulldogs as they take on Wofford, but most of all, Samford is excited to be able to share an opportunity for families to be together, enjoy the campus and build community with other Samford families,” Doyle said. 

Olivia Williams is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in the Division of Marketing and Communication.

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.