The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement hosts a variety of leadership programs and provides resources for both organizations and individuals.

Student Leader Spotlight

The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement seeks to recognize Samford students for their outstanding contributions to campus and community through the Student Leader Spotlight program.

Students, faculty, and staff are invited to nominate student leaders by submitting the form. Nominations will be accepted on a rolling basis and a committee will select one or two students for each month’s spotlight. Nominations must be submitted by the end of the month to be considered for recognition the following month. For example, nominations submitted by February 28 will be considered for March's Spotlight.

Nominated students are not required to hold “official” leadership positions. The purpose of the spotlight is to recognize students who may not receive recognition otherwise. The committee is looking for students who have recently demonstrated outstanding leadership on campus or in the community. Depth and intentionality of leadership, as well as uniqueness of the student's contribution, will be considered when selecting spotlight recipients.

Nominate a Student Leader

Leadership Lunch Series

Leadership Lunches are a monthly lecture series intended to provide leadership training to Samford students through a 30-minute, seminar-style presentation. It is our hope that these presentations are interactive and encourage open dialogue among participants. Free lunch will be provided to the first 35 students who register in Bulldog Central. The registration link will be available in the Campus Connection on the Friday before each lunch event.


Leadership Cadres

The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement leads small group leadership cadres each semester to help students engage in leadership principles through a Christian lens. The Leadership Cadres help students explore leadership skills and learn practical ways to incorporate Christian leadership in their daily lives. Cadres meet one-hour weekly for approximately eight weeks. Students sign up through Bulldog Central.

Leadership Certificate Program

The EXCEL Leadership certificate program encompasses a multifaceted approach to develop and augment student leadership over the course of three years. EXCEL aims to equip, excite and cultivate emerging leaders to develop critical skills in leadership and service.

EXCEL emphasizes the importance of Christian leadership and prepares students for leadership now and in the future.

Year One Focus – Students attend a series of leadership competency workshops designed to enhance individual leadership capacity and equip emerging leaders. Workshops seek to help students understand themselves as they improve communication skills, learn conflict management strategies, time management, decision-making, resilience, vocational discernment, résumé and CV writing, MBTI assessment, goal setting, True Colors training and SRLS.

Year Two Focus – Students participate in a mentorship program with professors, administrators, alumni and community leaders. Students meet regularly with their mentor to help shape leadership skills, build leadership capacity and encourage faith development.

Year Three Focus – Students engage in servant leadership projects to apply leadership skills, develop critical thinking skills, build relationships with community partners, network, participate in vocational training and incorporate service-learning experiential opportunities.

To apply, students should complete the EXCEL application in Bulldog Central, provide references and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Upon acceptance, EXCEL participants will attend an orientation to review program objectives, requirements and important dates. At the completion of the program, students earn a certificate in leadership.

Immersing oneself in inspirational and education resources promotes personal growth and development. Students are encouraged to explore the EXCEL recommended reading list, suggested social media accounts and follow leadership podcasts.

Freshman Forum

Freshman Forum is an interactive, leadership seminar for first-year students at Samford. At the beginning of the fall semester, between 40 and 50 students are selected to participate in this leadership seminar. The Director of Freshman Forum oversees all operations of Freshman Forum along with 5 sophomore advisors. Members meet weekly during the fall and spring semesters. Anna Rose Honea currently serves as the Director of Freshman Forum. The director of student leadership advises Freshman Forum.

Freshman Forum Application

Bulldog Central Assistance

Need help navigating Bulldog Central? Request assistance using the link below:

Link to Training

Leadership Awards

Each spring, Samford recognizes the outstanding contributions of student leaders at Leadership and Service Convocation. Five university awards are presented during this ceremony, as well as the Luke 2:52 Award, Shelton Community Service Awards, and two Omicron Delta Kappa Awards. These awards honors students who have displayed outstanding character, discipline, service, and commitment throughout their time at Samford University. Students are nominated by department chairs, school deans, faculty and staff from across campus.   

Gail Hyle Memorial Award

Presented to a female in the graduating class who best exemplifies outstanding qualities of Christian character, leadership, school spirit, and service. In February of 1961, a well-loved Samford senior named Gail Hyle was tragically killed in an automobile accident.  She was a drama major, student leader, the reigning Homecoming queen, a cheerleader, and a friend to every student. The Gail Hyle Memorial Award was established by her family.  It is given annually to a woman in the graduating class who best exemplifies those outstanding qualities of Christian character, leadership, school spirit, and service, which Hyle possessed in abundance.

John R. Mott Award

Presented to a male in the graduating class who represents high character, scholarship, and student public service. For thirty-two years, John R. Mott was the chairman and visionary behind the student volunteer movement …whose missionary motto became "the world for Christ in this generation."  During his extremely active and global life of service, he made four round-the-world trips, served in seventy-three countries, was decorated by sixteen nations, and received honorary degrees from eight distinguished universities which included Cornell, Yale, Princeton, Edinburgh, and Brown.  In 1946, Mr. Mott was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The John R. Mott Award was established by a friend of Birmingham to be presented to a man in the graduating class who represents high character, scholarship, and student public service.

The King Character Award

The King Character Award was established by Drs. Collin and Katherine King. 

Collin and Katie are Samford alumni who met during their time as undergraduate students.  While at Samford, both Collin and Katie were very involved in campus life. Both Collin and Katie received numerous awards during their time at Samford – Collin was recognized for his contributions and service to Sigma Nu, while Katie received numerous academic and character awards while serving as the team captain for cross country and setting records for both indoor and outdoor track.  Katie was most recently the 2021 recipient of the Orlean Beason School of Education Learning for Life Award.

It is the desire of Drs. Collin and Katie King and their children, Gray, Peyton, and Abigail, that this annual monetary award would recognize and reward a rising senior who has demonstrated exceptional Christian character and exemplary merit through community service, academic excellence, and campus involvement.

Service Award

Presented to a student in the graduating class who best exemplifies a commitment to social service. The Service Award was established by Margaret Davidson Sizemore in her role as a member of the Birmingham Service Guild and her service to Samford University.  Mrs. Sizemore served the University for many years as Dean of Women, professor of French, and as Director of Community Affairs. The award honors a student in the graduating class who, in the opinion of faculty and staff, best exemplifies the qualities of social service that Margaret Davidson Sizemore demonstrated.

James M. Sizemore Award

Presented to a student in the graduating class who has best demonstrated character, personality, scholarship, and unselfish service to Samford University. James M. Sizemore was a 1929 graduate of Howard College who became a recognized executive and authority in his chosen field of transportation.  He was an active member of numerous civic, cultural and service organizations who gave unselfishly of his time and efforts for the betterment of his community.  Mr. Sizemore was also recognized as a person of integrity, leadership and soundness of judgment.

The James M. Sizemore Award was established by Margaret Davidson Sizemore in memory of her husband.  The award is presented annually to a person in the senior class who has best demonstrated character, personality, scholarship, and unselfish service to Samford University.

Rufus Shelton Award

The Rufus W. Shelton Community Service Awards were established in 1982 in honor and memory of Rufus W. Shelton, Class of 1932, by Dr. and Mrs. R. Waid Shelton, Jr.

By secret ballot and vote of the SGA Student Senate, one undergraduate man and one undergraduate woman are selected each year to receive these awards.  The awards are not intended for the most popular among us, but for those who have done the most toward improving life at Samford – whether by working hard on campus activities, by the inner courage of smiling in the face of difficulty, by brilliance in and devotion to an art, or by any other way that has shone brightly as a special sustained effort for the betterment of community life. 

Luke 2:52

This award is given annually to undergraduate students who excel in all areas of student life: civic, social, spiritual and physical.