Samford Musts

KATHRYN KIZZIAH

Hey everyone!! This week we wanted to give you an inside scoop on some of our favorite Samford traditions! These are just fun activities to do with your friends throughout your four years here at Samford.  

  1. Climb Reid Chapel.

Reid Chapel is one of the beautiful chapels on outskirts of the quad. It is a Samford tradition to climb the tower with friends and sign your name at the top with a sharpie. The view is phenomenal and overlooks all of central campus.

      2. Hang out in Ben Brown.

Ben Brown is the plaza between the caf and the library. This place is poppin’ between classes and is a great place to catch up with friends or meet new people while enjoying the awesome Birmingham weather.

     3. Fountain Jumps

We didn’t include this in our video because it would have been a little chilly, but this is definitely something that is popular for Samford students to do. You can just jump right in!!! Swim a few laps or just splash around with your friends. This is a Samford must!! I went with about 30 freshman during Connections weekend-- our first weekend on campus-- a memory I will treasure forever! There are two fountains, one in Ben Brown and the other outside of our Cumberland School of Law.

    4. Take pictures with Mr. Beeson.

Ralph W. Beeson and his family are forever friends of Samford University. Their gifts, totaling more than $110 million, supported a variety of building and academic projects. A life-size bronze statue of Mr. Beeson sits at the foot of Centennial Walk welcomes visitors to campus. Students love to have a seat with him and snap a picture too!

    5. Explore the Wright Center tunnels.

This is only if you are brave enough!!! These tunnels are top secret and very spooky to say the least! They are located under the massive auditorium and are extremely hard to find.

    6. Rent Bikes from the HUB.

Who wouldn’t want to stroll around campus via bicycle on a gorgeous day?! Samford provides students with the opportunity to rent bikes for the day! All you have to do is visit our University’s Hub and ask to rent a bike for a couple of hours or even for the day.

    7. Step Sing

Step Sing began more than 50 years ago and has developed into one of the most popular Samford traditions. Each year, over 1,000 students participate in this amazing show!! Different groups on campus develop a show that is written, choreographed, rehearsed and performed by students. In addition to entertaining thousands of audience members, the proceeds are donated to charity.

    8. Get a picture with Dr. Westmoreland.

What a special tradition. Dr. Andrew Westmoreland is a living testimony of the character of Samford University. He is always encouraging students and willing to stop and chat at any point in the day.  We love to ask him for a quick picture and he is eager for the opportunity to meet and interact with students.

    9. Learn how to swing dance.

This one took me by surprise!! I am the most uncoordinated dancer on the planet and before coming to Samford, I had no idea what swing dancing was. However, I quickly learned after my first greek event that swing dancing is THE move at Samford. Lucky for us ladies, the boys are the ones who lead so our job is fairly easy!!

    10. Rub the nose in the library.

This is a simple and sweet tradition carried out by the majority of library goers. A bronze sculpture of Major Harwell Goodwin Davis, the 15th president of Samford, can be found as soon as you walk in the library doors. Those who rub Major Davis’s nose will have good luck with their studies!

Guest Staff Post: 5 Ways Samford is a Good Fit for Your Family

CARTER JACKSON

First and foremost, it is important to realize there is a fit for every student somewhere in terms of being at a college or university. Samford University was my fit. As an Admission Counselor, I want to help every student and family I interact with figure out where the best fit is for them. That is my top priority.

 

I am going help you decipher what areas of your life to draw upon to determine the best fit for you. I will tell you the 5 ways Samford was a good fit for my family:

 

1)    Faith

Every decision I make throughout my day and my life revolves around this one word. My faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it should lead me to excellence in every area of my life lined up perfectly with the mission of Samford. I knew it would be an environment in which I could continue to grow in a community of people who I could pour into. I knew they would do the same for me.

2)    A Nurturing Environment

I know these words might sound strange. I like to use my parents as an example. My parents have nurtured me ever since I was a child. They have loved me, cared for me, taught me and shown me the way. They have also corrected me, challenged me, comforted me in times of struggle and pushed me to be my absolute best in every area of my life. It was easy to see within the first month of my freshmen year how Samford’s nurturing environment was exactly what I was looking for.

 

3)    Academics

If you are anything like I was, you are not confident about “what you want to do with the rest of your life.” I knew Samford was the top ranked school in Alabama and academically prestigious but I did not know how I would fit into that mold. Academically, Samford pushed me to grow more than I ever thought I would while also making it personal every step of the way. I was able to combine being the most knowledgeable about my major while also having great relationships with my professors.

 

4)    Birmingham, AL

Early on, I knew I wanted to attend college in a city I loved. I never knew anyone who had lived in Birmingham, AL before but I immediately fell in love with this incredible city. The city in which you spend your college years is honestly more important than you might think. I grew up in a small town in Florida, so I wanted a place that had a big city feel with things to do but also a community environment that didn’t make me feel insignificant. Birmingham has given me opportunities for jobs, internships, church community, restaurants, parks and more than I can keep up with every day. Birmingham is truly the “Magic City” and I am thankful Samford gets to be a part of it.

 

5)    The Big 3

This might be repetitive but at the end of the day, these are some of the things Samford has given to me, which I will never be able to repay. Academically, spiritually and socially there are very few schools like Samford University. For example, some schools you might get an academic and social experience but not a spiritual one and vice versa. I did not have to compromise what I was looking for in the college experience. Samford had it all.

 

My biggest desire is that every student and family will be where they need to be. I can only hope it is at Samford but my recommendation for you would be to take out a pen and paper. Write down your top 5 things you are looking for in your college experience and draw lines to universities that have those things you are looking for. Whether it is the city the college is in, the major you want to pursue or even how aesthetically beautiful the campus is, write these things down. You will never truly know the right fit in your college and university experience unless you visit. When I visited Samford campus during my senior year, I knew within five minutes Samford was the perfect fit for my family and me.

 

P.S. Samford has a Chick-fil-A and that was just further confirmation.

 

           

 

Guest Staff Post: 8 Scholarships You Can Still Apply for by December 1st

There are several scholarships that seniors applying to Samford need to apply for before December 1. All of these scholarships can be applied for though each student’s application status page.

  • Presidential Scholarship: Recognizes top students for outstanding academic achievement, and for demonstrated leadership roles in school, church or their community. Students who meet the criteria will be asked to attend an interview in the spring.

    • Average ACT: 30 | Average SAT: 1340 (redesigned SAT 1400)

    • Average GPA: 4.0

    • Average Scholarship: $18,500 per year, for four years

  • University Fellows Scholarships: Samford’s Honors College is a select group of students who have special concentration in Samford’s core curriculum. The first two years of the Fellows Program, students will have a deeper understanding for ancient works of literature, and how they can be applied to the modern world. During the students sophomore year, there is a study abroad opportunity to Italy. All majors are welcome to apply. Students who meet the criteria will be asked to attend an interview in the spring.

    • Minimum ACT: 28 | Minimum SAT: 1250 (Math and Critical Reading) and redesigned SAT 1310

    • Average ACT: 4.0

    • Average Scholarship: $18,500, for four years

  • Leadership Scholarship: Recognizes students who have focused their years in highschool toward leadership roles.

    • There is no minimum ACT to qualify for Leadership, but generally the middle 50% of applicants were anywhere from a 23-29 ACT.

    • Average GPA: 3.5-4.0

    • Average Scholarship: $2,000 per year, for four years

  • Minister Dependent Scholarship: Specifically for Students who are dependent on a minister serving in Southern Baptist or Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Church. Students will indicate this on their application to Samford.

    • Average Scholarship: $3,450, for four years

  • Global Missions Scholarship: Recognizes students who have a calling to global missions. There students can major in computer science, nursing, business or education.

    • Average Scholarship: $2,000, for four years
    • Cross-cultural mission travel stipend: $3,000, one time
  • Micah Fellows Scholarship: Offers students a chance to make an impact on their community and around the world. These students will have opportunities to work with local service organizations and serve abroad.

    • Service abroad scholarship: $3,000, one time

  • Preministerial Scholars Program: This program is for students with an intended major of Religion. In this program, students will be prepared for their future ministries through hands on experiences.

    • Minimum ACT: 26 | Minimum SAT: 1760 or 1190 redesigned SAT

    • Average Scholarship: $15,000, for four years

  • Harry B. Brock Jr. Scholarship: Recognizes incoming freshmen who have declared pre-business on their application.

    • Minimum ACT: 25 | combined SAT of 1250 or higher

    • Minimum GPA: 3.0 GPA


Reach out to your admission counselor, and ask questions about scholarships. We are happy to review your scholarship essays and give feed back in your résumé.

 

Getting Involved at Samford

ROWAN ROSEWARNE

Hey everyone! It’s crazy to think that I have already been on campus for over a month. It feels like just yesterday I was going through move-in day worrying about how all my stuff was going to fit in my dorm room. My first month went by so fast and I have so many good memories and friends from it.

My favorite activity during my first month at Samford was Connections Weekend. Connections Weekend starts the afternoon of move-in day until Sunday night. You do so many fun things with your classmates and it really helps you to feel more comfortable here at Samford. Two of my favorite events from Connections were the carnival at Railroad Park, which you go to the first night and the neon party, which happens the second night. I made so many friends that weekend and I am so happy Samford gave me the opportunity to meet them as well as settle into the Samford community before classes began.

Aside from being a Freshman blogger, I also play intramurals, a member of the Freshman Representative Council, in a sorority, a University Fellow, and a pharmacy technician at Publix. Samford gives students so many opportunities to get involved both on and off campus. We had an organization fair a week or two into school where all the school organizations and clubs had a table set up and you could talk to them individually and see where you really fit in and where you want to invest your time. There are also so many activities held for Samford students to bring us together as a student body. Recently we had a bowling night at Vestavia Bowl and later this month we are having a Halloween party at Skates 280.

Another great part of campus is the dorm life. I absolutely LOVE living in Vail. I was extremely worried about having to use a community bathroom before I got on campus, but it has turned out to be awesome. If you have a community bathroom you don’t have to clean it, the showers are always warm (at least from my experience so far), and you really get to know the girls on your hall because you are constantly seeing them in there. My hall has intramural teams and hall activities which allows us to get to know everyone on the hall including our Resident Assistant and our Spiritual Life Advisor. Vail is also great because it is exclusively only for freshman girls and really allows you to get to know some of your classmates. It’s also really nice to be able to walk down the hallway or a few stairs to see your friends.

I honestly expected that once I was on campus as an official student the attention and care I received as a prospective student would stop and I would be on my own. This is definitely not the case. My admissions counselor still makes sure I’m doing okay and even recommends me for positions around campus. My professors are absolutely amazing and want to make sure I succeed not only in the classroom, but outside it as well. The community, as a whole, is so genuine and I’m excited I get to be a part of it and I hope you do too!

 

Guest Staff Post: Why Apply Early?

Senior Admission Counselor Rachel Stanback shares why it's important to apply early.

Why apply early?

Students who plan to enter Samford in fall 2018 can submit their application starting August 1. You might have heard from teachers or on college visits that it’s important to apply early. Here are a few reasons why:

  • You’ll have more time to submit all materials: Your application itself is just one piece of the process. You’ll also need to submit at least one letter of recommendation, an ACT or SAT score, and your high school transcript, and all of these things generally take time. Teachers, counselors and principals are busy, and you want your recommenders to have the best impression possible in mind as they write your letter, so give them plenty of time to write the best letter possible!
  • Avoid missing deadlines: College is an exercise in time management and attention to detail, and your application is how you first present yourself to a university. Submitting scholarship and admission materials after deadlines demonstrates a lack of preparation and could also mean missing out on opportunities for scholarships and financial aid.
  • Hear about your admission decision sooner: Samford’s first round of admission decisions will go out in early November. The sooner you apply, the more likely you are to hear about an admission decision earlier in the year.
  • One less thing to worry about! Senior year is busy. Between classes, extracurriculars and college visits, knocking out your application earlier in the fall will give you more time to enjoy it and less stressful late nights trying to meet an application deadline.

Still have questions? Check out our website or contact your admission counselor with any questions about your application process.

Fool-Proof Tips for College Searching

This summer, our incoming freshmen have been registering for classes and attending Orientation. Isn't it crazy to think that could be you this time next year? We have some fool-proof tips to help you figure out the best way to college search:

1. Plan a road trip with family this summer and fall to tour colleges. While you're planning, go ahead and put Birmingham on your list. We're ready for you!

2. Make a list of pros and cons when it comes to college. Public vs. private? Big vs. perfect-size? Close to home or far away?

3. Join upcoming seniors on Zeemee and connect. Create a Zeemee account and feel free to select Samford to connect with. It's no commitment - just a helpful tool!

4. Did you know you can apply to multiple schools by filling out ONE application? Apply using the Common Application and don't forget to add Samford to your list of schools! For more info, visit www.samford.edu/apply.

Our application opens on August 1st. Do not miss out on applying early and taking the first step towards your future! 

3 Things to Explore in Any College City

When you visit any college, make it the best visit possible. Here are our top three things to explore in any college city:

1. Check out the food!
Any college will have a food court, but not many have food scenes that compare to Birmingham. Visit meetmagiccity.com to see our best recommendations.

2. Check out the landscape!
Cities vary in landscape - some are hilly and classic, some are flat and modern. Spend some time driving around town to get your bearings (and even find a beautiful overlook!). We like to call Birmingham a mixture between urban and elegant.

3. Check out the history!
Birmingham is rich with history and has the museums and history buildings to prove it. Spend some time understanding how the city came to be and what made it the city it is today.

You can also visit meetmagiccity.com to virtually explore all the different sides of Birmingham. Downtown Birmingham is a 10-minute drive from Samford. You will never run out of things to do, places to see or locations to explore. 

We can't wait for you to visit Samford and see this great city in person! 

Life With a Roommate

BRIDGES HARRISON

My alarm goes off at 7:00 A.M. I quickly hit the snooze button on my phone, careful not to wake my roommate. I roll out of bed and navigate past the furniture and piles of clothes in my room on my way to the bathroom, while trying to wake up at the same time. I quietly get ready for the day all the while making sure my roommate doesn’t wake up. This is my morning routine. This is what living with my roommate is like.

            So I might have been a little overdramatic... Living with a roommate isn’t exactly something straight out of Mission Impossible like I just described it to be. At first, it may seem weird to live with someone that you really don’t know that well. However, it can be one of the most fun things about college. Don’t worry, you won’t have to live with a completely random stranger if you don’t want to. I picked my roommate out myself! The summer before my first semester at Samford, I was in a huge incoming freshman group message. Through this group, I found myself talking to my current roommate. We texted for a while, met up in Birmingham before school started, and then decided that we should room together.

            Living with another person is not what I was used to. My roommate and I quickly learned that sharing and being respectful of our space and privacy would help our relationship. Communication is very important when it comes to living together. Making sure we’re stocked up on food, cleaning supplies, and just checking up on each other are simple ways to have a great roommate relationship.  After all, if you’re living in the same room together, you might as well be involved in the each other's life, am I right? It may sound like the two of us don’t get along from the way that last sentence sounded, but that’s not the case at all. Harrison and I are really good friends, and it's simply because we talk, hang out, and look out for each other. In my opinion, when it comes to rooming with someone, you tend to get out what you put into the relationship. So, from the first day that you meet your roommate next fall, I highly recommend hanging out, talking with them and building a lasting friendship. You can thank me later.

Step Sing 2017

RYAN BURZUMATO

From the moment I stepped onto campus in August, whispers of Step Sing had already begun.  Even though practices did not start until the second semester, everyone was already curious and excited to hear when group sign ups would be. I had only watched Step Sing on the live stream, so I couldn’t understand the excitement it brought to campus. However, when I went to my first Step Sing practice at the beginning of the spring semester, I was quickly able to understand what made Step Sing so special. If you are not familiar with Step Sing, it is one of Samford’s oldest and most beloved traditions. It takes place in mid February, and students of all ages work tirelessly for three weeks to put on a spectacular production of singing and dancing. After one week of practicing, you begin tech rehearsals and get to practice on the big stage. Although it seems impossible, excitement levels rise even higher. The best part about the “Step Sing Season” is not competing or being on stage in front of hundreds of people. The best part of Step Sing is the deep and genuine relationships that you develop with the other members in your group. The friends I have made allowed for countless connections to be made across campus. I now understand why Step Sing is such a big deal to so many students. It is not just about the dancing and singing, it is about the genuine friendships that are developed through these exhilarating first weeks of the spring semester. We all hope you will come to experience the magic for yourself in the future! Happy Step Sing! 

Janterm Chronicles- Costa Rica

TOMI LYEW

Over my Janterm, I was given the opportunity to go to Costa Rica with the Samford cheer and dance team. It was so awesome to be able to serve alongside my teammates all week in such a beautiful country, and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my Janterm any other way. While in Costa Rica, we were able to sightsee as well as serve, and it was an experience I will never forget. It was my sixth missions trip to Costa Rica, but I honestly never get tired of it because I love being in the country, and I love being able to serve the people of Costa Rica (aka the ticos!!).

Our trip started out sightseeing, and we got to go to the beach where had a short devotional and talked about what our week would look like. We then went zip lining down a mountain and ended the day with a crocodile river tour.

On our second day, we worked in a community and hosted a “block party” for the kids in the neighborhood, which was similar to a VBS. We did face painting and handed out balloons, chalk and jump ropes. We also performed skits and told Bible stories. Another cool thing we did was perform the Samford fight song for all the kids. They absolutely loved it! It was such a cool experience to represent Samford.

For the next two days, we helped build an orphanage across the road from the mission compound, where we were staying, by sanding and painting the walls. We were also able to pray over the homes for the orphans who will eventually live there.

Not only were we able to help with the construction of a new orphanage, but we were also able to help in an active orphanage and daycare called the Abraham Project. Throughout the day, we helped with classes and got to do arts and crafts with the kids in the daycare. At night, we helped take care of the orphans in their homes so that the house parents could have a date night. One of the cool things about the Abraham Project was that they want the orphans to see what a healthy, Christian marriage looks like because so many had been taken out of broken families, so instead of the kids being raised by women, they are raised by a Christian couple. It was great to be able to help out the parents in any way we could! 

Another cool experience in Costa Rica was being able to attend a church service. It was awesome experiencing how a different culture worships God. One of my favorite things that happened in Costa Rica was attending that church service because at one point, they started singing the hymn “How Great Thou Art” in Spanish, and it was so cool being able to sing the song in two different languages worshipping the same, powerful God.

I am so thankful that I got to travel over JanTerm and serve. I would highly recommend it to anyone in the future!

Samford Homecoming Week

MICHAL GRAVES 

Hey guys and gals! Last week was Homecoming at Samford, and it was a blast! The past week was full of things to do where the campus could come together in celebration of not only our Homecoming, but also the school’s 175th anniversary. Talk about a two for one bonus!

In Ben Brown Plaza, there were a variety of delicious, must grab finger foods each day. There were meatballs, chicken wings, chips, corndogs, and even root beer floats! They were scrumptious. Also, there were Homecoming boards being painted by various organizations. These large plywood boards all were assigned to an organization and were painted to portray Samford homecoming and the 175th anniversary. They were very creative and Samford Crew, our rowing team, won first place!

The events continued into the nights with the Bulldog Bash and the 175th Anniversary Gala. At the Bulldog Bash different Samford sports teams come out to Ben Brown and thanked the students for their support. There is food, music and performances by the Samford cheerleaders and dancers and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. The 175th Anniversary Gala was held on Friday night in the Pete Hanna Center. The gym was completely transformed into an elegant black tie affair with food stations rotating by the hour and live music from an amazing band. It was so refreshing seeing everyone dressed in their best and ready to dance the night way celebrating Samford and Homecoming.

The week wrapped up with the packed homecoming game against the Mercer Bears. The game was a little chilly, but the goose bumps were well worth the nail biting win the Bulldogs clinched over the Bears. It was amazing to hear the fans roar in triumph of a score, rally behind our defense and support the boys until the last second of the clock.

Homecoming week truly opened my eyes to the caring and committed community at Samford. So many families and alumni came back, not only to join in the festivities, but also to help by contributing to further the future success of Samford. This week was by far one of the best I’ve had at Samford so far. The experience not only reassured me that Samford was the right choice for me, but it also added on to my joyous Samford story.

Greek Life at Samford

MARY MCCAIN POTTER

As I’m sitting in my sorority house’s chapter room among so many bright and smiling friends, I cannot even begin to explain how blessed I feel to be writing to you about an organization that has brought me exponential joy in the last month and a half.  Greek life at Samford is truly a unique experience, and it is one unlike any I’ve heard of or had myself. The Samford Greek experience kicks off shortly after Labor Day with rush. The thought might make some of your stomachs turn, just as mine did back in September. However, recruitment at Samford is just as unique as other parts of Greek life here. By that, I mean that rush didn’t feel like frantic rushing from house to house as the word “rush” implies. Instead, it is a time spent with girls that are caring, loving and pumped to get to know YOU. I genuinely enjoyed sitting down and getting to know girls in each sorority, and I had great conversations in each house. When I walked out of each house after rush I knew that I had just made friendships that would last much longer than just that week, regardless of what house I ran to on Bid Day. I felt and still feel welcomed by the friends I love dearly in each sorority. That is the Greek unity that makes the Samford Greek experience so unique. At Samford, you aren’t defined by your Greek affiliation (or even lack thereof, because we love our independents!) You’re loved for who you are, and I think that’s one of the most exciting things ever.

Recruitment ends with Bid Day, where each person receiving a bid is welcomed into their new family. It is hundreds of screaming girls sprinting full speed out of Reid Chapel to find their sorority on the quad, and it’s probably more exciting than Christmas morning. No joke. After I opened my bid card, I frantically pushed my way out of Reid and jumped into the arms of the first girl in my sorority that I saw, more excited than I have ever been. The rest of the day was consumed by taking pictures with my new family, eating pizza at a great restaurant and celebrating the beginning of a new journey.

Beyond Bid Day, there are bid bashes, socials, philanthropy fundraisers and opportunities for leadership in Greek organizations. After Bid Day, each sorority kicks off their social events with a Bid Bash, a themed dance party to celebrate the new pledge class. This was so fun, and it was a great way to begin my Greek social experience while also picking up some new dance moves. (Shout-out to Sally and Mattie for showing me how it’s done.) Other social events my sorority does include a winter formal, mixers with fraternities, Greek trick-or-treat, tailgates at football games, a low country boil, a spring semi-formal and so many more. Alongside social events, each Greek organization has a philanthropy, which is a cause or group that they support through service. My sorority’s philanthropy is Make-A-Wishâ, an organization that grants wishes to children with terminal illnesses. It has been absolutely amazing to serve this cause alongside girls who are truly passionate about it. We recently put on our first annual carnival to raise money for Make-A-Wishâ Alabama. It was a great time spent jamming to live music and eating carnival food to our heart’s content with people in the Birmingham and Samford communities. Philanthropy reminds us that Greek life isn’t just about social events. It’s about giving back to the communities that we love because they have made us who we are.

Greek life at Samford also allows those who participate in it the opportunity to hold a leadership position that will prepare them for leadership in other areas of life, such as church, clubs or the job field. College is largely about discovering your passions, and leadership in a Greek organization promises the discovery of new passions, as well as opportunities to act on preexisting ones. Whether you love people young or old, community service, event planning, advertising, design, handling money, management of facilities, or ensuring rules are followed, there is a leadership position for you. Each Greek organization has a group of executives, committee heads, and committee members, so the possibilities to get involved in leading something of your interest are absolutely endless. When you join a Greek organization at Samford, you become part of a family, find ways to better the communities around you, and engage in leadership. Most importantly, you get to participate in the work of a large, interconnected group of amazing individuals who love you, Samford and the world we live in.

Spiritual Life at Samford

BRIDGES HARRISON

Hi, everyone! This is my first post for the freshman blog, and I’ll be telling you guys all about the aspect of Samford that sets it apart from so many other universities—the campus’ thriving spiritual life. Being a private Baptist university, Samford has the great privilege of providing its students numerous opportunities to grow in their Christian faith. Just one great example of these opportunities is Campus Worship, a special time set aside each Tuesday and Thursday morning from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. A worship band plays a set for the congregation, and every “convo” has a special guest that comes to speak to everyone there.  At night, groups like RUF, a student led worship service, Reign, a service specifically directed towards music, and Campus Outreach, a campus led worship service, give students even more ways to find a group of people to grow with. For me personally, all of these opportunities are perfect ways for me to take a break from all the craziness of college life, reflect and find my peace in God. Sometimes, I struggle with spending time with God with my busy schedule, and these events are a great time to do just that! There are even more opportunities to get involved with spiritual life that you can learn more about here:  https://www.samford.edu/spiritual-life

What truly makes Samford so unique is what takes place outside of those set-aside worship times. Even in the classroom, I’ve been able to experience what Samford has to offer for my faith. Some days in class, we’ll begin with a short prayer. How cool is that? This simple act shows me how much Samford cares about its Christian roots, and that’s something that you won’t be able to find at many other universities. Samford gives its students opportunities to grow spiritually, and it’s located in the perfect city for students who want to find a church home! Birmingham offers hundreds of different churches for college students. From mega churches that have different campuses across the city to smaller community churches, there’s a church for everyone here! If you come and visit Samford for Preview Day, say hi to me and the other bloggers. If you see any of us, we’d love to talk to you! However, even more importantly, I highly recommend staying until Sunday to visit one of the many wonderful churches in Birmingham. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. 

Family Weekend

MICHAL GRAVES

Hey guys and gals! It’s your girl Michal and I am ecstatic to be able to show you my Samford story as you begin to form your own. I am from Prairieville, Louisiana, which is about 20 minutes from Baton Rouge and a whopping six- hour drive from Samford. So, as you can imagine family visits are few and far between. Therefore, I was looking forward to Family Weekend more than anything!

This past weekend, on October 1, was Family Weekend! This weekend is tailored to showing families the intricacies of Samford while giving your family a multitude of ways to get involved with the university. My mom, Aimee and great-aunt, Linda took the hike down to B-Ham. I was so happy to see them. It had been over a month because I moved in early for cheerleading early and I hadn’t seen them since. Sammy U did a great job of hosting events for parents and families such as a prayer walk, state themed parties, a tailgate and multiple classes and seminars. My mom attended the prayer walk and she absolutely loved it. She felt that being able to pray over a place where I am learning and growing in Christ with so many other parents at Samford who are going through the same thing, made her feel at peace. My mom and aunt attended the tailgate where they also had a blast. The variety of tents allowed them to not only experience good eats but great fellowship with the Samford community. My mom has already made many friends with other Samford parents and is beginning to plan her own tailgate with her new pals.

But I think what astounded me the most was that the Samford was just as welcoming to my mom as they were to me. They immediately gave them shirts upon arrival and were very friendly and personable with my family from the start. They treated my mom and aunt as if they were a part of the Samford family as well. Honestly, that’s the beauty of Samford. Every day I walk around campus and don’t meet a stranger. Every day I find more people who have similar interests. Every day I make connections and friendships that will last a lifetime. Family Weekend is a time where your two families get the chance to collide and become one. 

Welcome to Samford

RYAN BURZUMATO

It is such a surreal feeling to sit here in the library as I write to you guys. I have dreamt of going to Samford University since I participated in the Animate Worship and Arts Camp the summer after my sophomore year. My love for this school and my experience completely changed my outlook on college during those four days at camp. Throughout my junior year, I read the Freshman Blog and became infatuated with the thought of attending Samford. I went to Junior Preview Day and took my family to see the place I wanted to call home, and they instantly fell in love with it as well. The application opened on August 1st, and I submitted my application on August 3rd. I eventually got my acceptance letter and freaked out! I ran around my house like a 5-year-old on Christmas morning. I had been accepted to my dream school!

 Eight months later, I was finally on campus to stay. I walked around on the brink of tears as I took in my surroundings. I moved in early due to Band Camp, so I unfortunately didn’t get to experience the Connections leaders and football players help move me in.  However, I saw it take place and it was incredible! Seeing current students welcome my fellow classmates to their new home and carry their belongings to their dorm was another reminder of what an amazing place Samford is.

After Move In Day, the fun begins… CONNECTIONS Weekend! Connections takes place for the first three days you are on campus as a freshman. Each day is full of various activities that are extremely fun. On the first night I was assigned to my group, we went with our Connections leader to a restaurant in Birmingham, and then we ended up at a carnival in Railroad Park. The next day we had “Pops with the President”, one of the best parts of Connections; we got to go to the president’s house and eat a delicious popsicle from Steel City Pops! I then capped off the night at the Neon Dance Party, which was a blast. The last day is packed full of activities: from campus worship, to finding where your classes are, the game of Life and the “Your School, Your City” concert, I had so many opportunities to meet my classmates and, as cheesy as it sounds, make “connections.”

After the excitement from Connections dwindled down, the anxiety set in when I thought about classes starting the next morning. As I took a seat in my first class, I had no clue what to expect. Was my teacher going to be bad? Was the class going to be hard? As soon as my professor walked in, I had an instant feeling of relief. She made it very clear that she was here to help me succeed in the class, and all I had to do was ask for help. The small classes and the amazing professors ensured I felt like a student instead of just another number.

If you have read this far, I am glad you did. I am so happy that you are interested in Samford enough to read the Freshman Blog. Throughout this whole year I hope you use the blog as a way to see what life at Samford is like. I know how stressful the application process can be and I promise you it is going to be okay. The other bloggers and I got through it and so can you. Stay true to yourself as you complete your applications and go on the college search. I hope that the first few weeks of school have gone well for you, and I hope that you choose Samford!

Bow wow Bulldogs and bow wow bloggers!