Published on April 3, 2024  
2024 Medallion Awards Recognizing Important Civic Contributions DR04022024814

On April 2, Samford University presented its 2024 Medallion Awards. Established in 2006, the awards recognize individuals who have accomplished important civic or community good. Recipients are community members outside the Samford family who are responsible for deeds of kindness and documented actions of record that make a difference in community and civic life.

During the ceremony emceed by David Lamb, senior reporter at CBS 42, members of Samford’s Board of Trustees presented the awards to the honorees.

The 2024 Medallion Award recipients are:

Linda and Jim Jones, co-founders of Alabama Childhood Food Solutions

Experiences in global missions revealed the struggles of families in central Alabama leading the Joneses to establish Alabama Childhood Food Solutions in 2011. In 2023, their organization distributed more than 60,000 weekend food backpacks for children in 32 schools and six boys’ and girls’ clubs. With locations in Sylacauga and Eastaboga, Alabama, ACFS serves an average of 1,000 families a month with 28,199 individuals receiving more than 900,000 pounds of food.

Carolyn Green Satterfield, founder of Alabama Governor’s School

Former Samford history professor Carolyn Green Satterfield was the driving force behind the founding of the Alabama Governor’s School. Established in 1987 as the Alabama Honors Academy at Samford University, the program was patterned after others in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi and Kentucky. In January 1988, Alabama Governor Guy Hunt designated the Alabama Honors Academy as the Alabama Governor’s School.

Chris Yarboro, executive director of Community Furniture Bank

As executive director of the Community Furniture Bank, Yarboro and his team go the extra mile to meet the needs of those in the community who need assistance with furniture, bedding and other household needs.

Debra Haralson, Samford’s director of community engagement, addressed the congregation of Samford students, faculty and staff, as well as friends and family members of the award recipients. She said, “Today's event reminds me of St. Peter's bold word, ‘Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, keeping watch over them, not because you must but because you are willing (1Peter 5:2). Chris, Carolyn, Linda and Jim, we celebrate you today for one reason. You were willing. You said ‘Yes’ to serving God's people with excellence.”

Although founded nearly 20 years ago, the Medallion Awards are a direct reflection of the university’s strategic plan, Fidelitas. Through the community celebration pillar, Samford aims to engage the Homewood, Birmingham and broader communities around the university in partnership, service and cultural understanding.

President Beck A. Taylor closed the program with remarks and a prayer. He said, “Highlighting the inspirational vision and service of our award winners compels all of us to think about how we can use our gifts and resources in new ways to serve the communities we call home. Congratulations to Jim and Linda Jones, Carolyn Satterfield and Chris Yarboro. Thank you for allowing us to tell your stories and thank you for the incredible ways you are impacting lives in our community. May God bless each of you as you continue to serve.”

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.