Published on December 6, 2019 by Sarah Cain  

Twelve senior honorees led the traditional Hanging of the Green service Dec. 5 in Samford’s Reid Chapel. The students are nominated by faculty and staff, and then a selection committee chooses the honorees based on leadership, scholarship, spiritual commitment and community service. 

Based on an old English custom, Hanging of the Green consists of hanging garland around Reid Chapel, lighting an Advent wreath, decorating a Christmas tree and listening to Christmas music from the University Chorale and Bells of Buchanan. Former director of campus ministries Ginny Bridges Ireland began the Samford tradition in 1980. It has since morphed into a favorite tradition for many students and faculty. 

This year’s honorees include:

  • Samuel Edwin Bartz, a history major from Germantown, Tennessee
  • Katherine Collins Campbell, an early childhood education major from Traverse City, Michigan
  • Drayton D. Cullen, a history major from Pelham, Alabama
  • Stephen William DeFrancesco, a journalism and mass communication major from Marietta, Georgia
  • Jillian Anne Fantin, a political science major from Garland, Texas
  • Jane Ann Foncea, a religion major from Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Ashley Kim Layman, a science and religion major from Enterprise, Alabama
  • Caroline C. Miller, a communication sciences and disorders major from Jackson, Tennessee
  • Heath William Padgett, a biology major from Birmingham, Alabama
  • Joyeuse Senga, a health sciences major from Kigali, Rwanda
  • Anna Ruth Waters, a communication sciences and disorders major from Lexington, Kentucky
  • Joy Grace Webb, a journalism and mass communication major from Albertville, Alabama

Following the Hanging of the Green, the Lighting of the Way took place on Centennial Walk with Samford First Lady Jeanna Westmoreland’s annual reading of The Christmas Story.

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.