Published on June 23, 2020 by Rochelle Harrison  

Samford University was awarded an emergency grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham to help students in crisis during the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 Rapid Response grant helps organizations address the immediate needs of vulnerable groups experiencing hardship due to outbreak-related closures or disruptions.

“The award will certainly help our students,” says Kim Cripps, director of stewardship. “Many of them are coping with the strains of making ends meets while continuing their education, “she said.

 Cripps oversees the intake process for the Student Emergency Assistance Fund and says requests for help have increased in the past two months. “We normally receive ten applications per month, but we’ve received over 50 in recent weeks,” she said. “Housing and food were by far what our students needed help with the most.”

The Student Emergency Assistance Fund review committee consists of representatives from financial aid, University counseling, advancement and spiritual life who work together to address urgent financial needs of student applicants. On average, requests for assistance range from $400 to $600 per student. Samford’s COVID-19 Rapid Respond grant will allow the university to provide additional assistance, especially as students plan to return to campus.

“Our plan is to welcome students back to campus this fall, and we want to have adequate resources available to support them when they arrive,” says Randy Pittman, vice president of advancement. “We are grateful for the Community Foundation’s support and their willingness to support our students, “he said.

The COVID-19 Rapid Respond grant will be utilized as part of the Meeting Student Needs campaign, a university-wide effort supporting the Student Emergency Assistance Fund. With the help of 397 donors, campaign has raised $273,815 since April.

To learn more about the Meeting Student Needs campaign and its impact on students, visit our campaign page.

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.