Published on November 13, 2017 by Rachel Sinclair  
dr westmoreland mr bolton

Samford University’s heritage was evident during homecoming weekend and especially at a gathering for alumni who graduated at least 50 years ago and their visiting guests. On Saturday, Nov. 11, Samford hosted nearly 80 attendees at the annual Golden Bulldog Luncheon. 

The group shared memories of their Howard College / Samford University experiences and celebrated several award presentations. Historical photographs and other memorabilia were displayed throughout the room for them to view. 

Samford’s Vice President for Advancement, W. Randy Pittman, announced the awards distributed by Samford President Andrew Westmoreland. 

The Alumnus Egregia Cum Laude Award was presented to John Bolton of Birmingham, who served for many years as a pastor in Alabama and Tennessee. Bolton, who is 101, is the university’s oldest living graduate. He finished his degree in 1951, and multiple generations of his family also are Samford graduates. 

“The great legacy that Rev. Bolton and his late wife left behind is a family that is literally serving the Lord here locally, throughout the United States and honestly to the uttermost parts of the world through some of his grandchildren,” Pittman said. “Congratulations, and thanks for being a Samford Bulldog for all these years.” 

Pittman then presented two Belltower Awards, the first to Sigurd Bryan ’46. Bryan is professor emeritus of religion and remained active with the department beyond his retirement from teaching through the Samford Sunday program.

“Dr. Bryan was such a beloved professor for some many decades in the department of religion,” Pittman said. “He has served the Lord faithfully for all these years.” 

The second Belltower Award went to C. Wayne Atcheson ’64, former sports information director of the University of Alabama who more recently served several years as the director of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

“For all your years of service and loyalty to Samford since you graduated in 1964, we thank you and honor you today,” Pittman said. 

Samford’s Director of Gift and Estate Planning Gene Howard distributed the David Lockmiller Awards to the male and female in attendance from the earliest graduation year. This year’s recipients were Bryan ’46 and Margaret Ann Miller Peterson ‘47, who each received an elegant, engraved clock. 

Additional homecoming coverage:

Bulldog Bash

Homecoming Court

Leadership Forum

Homecoming Banquet/Alumni Honors

Homecoming Song Premiere

Class of 1967 Reunion

First Female SGA President

Daniel House Reunion

Rachel Sinclair is a Samford University graduate and a freelance writer for 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.