Published on October 20, 2021  
president taylor outside business building

The Samford University community is uniting to celebrate the inauguration of Dr. Beck A. Taylor as the university's 19th president with a variety of upcoming events.

Taylor choose Ephesians 3:16-19 as the scriptural theme for inaugural events because the passage underscores love as a core virtue and foundation for the values expressed in Samford’s motto and mission: For God. For Learning. Forever.

Presidential Inauguration Ceremony

Thursday, Nov. 4 is the date for the presidential installation. The service will combine pomp and ancient formality of academic ceremony with Samford University’s proud 180-year tradition and elements of Christian worship. The academic procession will begin at 9:45 a.m. on Centennial Walk ahead of the program set for 10 a.m. in the Leslie Stephen Wright Fine Arts Center. This event is not open to the public. Tickets are required for invited guests, official delegates, Samford students, faculty and employees.

Samford’s Presidential Inaugural Ball

On the evening of Nov. 4, official delegates and honored guests are invited to join Samford University students, faculty and staff for the Presidential Inaugural Ball hosted by the Student Government Association. Guests will enjoy delicious food and refreshing beverages while listening to the musical stylings of Samford Jazz.

Guests will celebrate with President and Mrs. Taylor and dance the night away with the popular party band Main Attraction. The event will also mark the official opening of Homecoming Weekend with the introduction of the Homecoming Court and the crowing of the Homecoming Queen and King. 

Door open at 7 p.m. for the on campus event in Seibert Hall. Tickets are required for students, employees and invited guests.

Other Inauguration Week Events

Samford’s Inauguration Steering Committee is hosting two additional events ahead of the formal installation service.  

Monday, Nov. 1

The Samford Medallion Awards will be presented at 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 1 in the Jane Hollock Brock Recital Hall. Authorized by the Samford University Board of Trustees in 2006, the Samford Medallion award recognizes persons whose good works have made a difference in society, in community affairs, in the life of the church and in the quality of life for individuals.

Receiving the awards are: Tony Cooper of Birmingham, Frances Ford of Marion, Alabama and the Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief program, represented by Mark Wakefield.

Cooper retired in 2019 after 29 years of service as executive director of the Jimmie Hale Mission, one of the most recognized and respected nonprofit organizations in central Alabama. Ford has served as executive director of Sowing Seeds of Hope, a vital outreach devoted to serving and supporting people in Perry County and across the Black Belt region. Wakefield is a State Missionary serving with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions since February 2013 and is the director of Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief with hundreds of volunteers to help those affected by disasters by offering food, water, childcare, showers, laundry, repairs, rebuilding and more.

Additional Inauguration Events

Samford University’s 10 colleges and schools are also supporting the inauguration through events around the theme “Rooted and Grounded in Love.”

Monday, Oct. 18
Justice: Rooted and Grounded in Love
Lunch and Learn opportunity presented by Cumberland School of Law. Judge John Carroll and Professor LaJuana Davis will address the vital mission and work of Cumberland School of Law's Veterans Legal Assistance Clinic and Innocence Project. Reservations are required for the 12 p.m. event in the Regions Room of Brock School of Business Cooney Hall.


Tuesday, Oct. 26
Character is Destiny: The Value of Personal Ethics in Everyday Life
The faculty and staff of Orlean Beeson School of Education will engage in a study of the classic book by Russell W. Gough. Invitation only.

Thursday, Oct. 28
Empathy: Rooted and Grounded in Love
In the poverty simulation, hosted by the School of Public Health, participants will experience the challenges faced by a family living on a low income in the United States. The simulation will be held in Seibert Gym from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. Reservations required.


Tuesday, Nov. 2
Praise: Rooted and Grounded in Love
A program of contemporary music and spiritual reflection lead by the School of the Arts Worship Team in A. Hamilton Reid Chapel at 7:30 p.m. Open to the public.

Friday, Nov. 5
Leadership: Rooted and Grounded in Love
This Health Care Leadership Symposium sponsored by the College of Health Sciences offers the opportunity for alumni who work within the health care industry a time of fellowship, as well as the chance to hear from alumni colleagues who are leading providers. Invitation only.

Friday, Nov.5
Business: Rooted and Grounded in Love
The Brock School of Business dean’s advisory board will gather to hear reports from recently installed Dean Chad Carson and provide insights to support and encourage the faculty and students in business disciplines. Invitation only.

Saturday, Nov. 6
Worship: Rooted and Grounded in Love
Alumni and friends of Beeson Divinity School will gather for worship during Homecoming Weekend at 10:15 a.m. in Hodges Chapel with Dr. Frank Thielman preaching and Brian and Renee Pitts leading music. Open to the public.

Saturday, Nov. 6
Fellowship:  Rooted and Grounded in Love
Howard College of Arts and Sciences will host a BBQ lunch for alumni, students and faculty at 11:30 a.m. on the quad. 

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.