May 23, 2011
Caroline Summers is Samford’s senior staff photographer. She was on special assignment for the Associated Press in the immediate aftermath of the April 27 storms in Alabama. Caroline sent this message to me, with the subject line, “Proud Does Not Contain It.”
“Yesterday I went to Pratt City to photograph our students helping out at Scott Elementary School. There were many students who showed up to sort clothes, haul water, prepare food. Jazmine Powers, a basketball player, came in with several football players to reload their truck with items to distribute in the community and offered for me to ride along. The students included Jazmine, Devyn Keith, Jeremy Towns, Jacobi Rodriguez, and Bill Kottas. These students were so calm and so supportive of everyone they came in contact with as they passed out sandwiches, water, toilet paper and such. However, there was one moment in particular that stole my heart. A lady pulled up in her car and Devyn stopped her to see if she needed anything. She asked him if he was going to take care of her. He said, "No, ma'am. I can't take care of you. God's gonna take care of you. I'm just gonna help out." Well, that's all it took; the woman broke down crying in her car. The students reached in and hugged her and just let her cry it out. She said it was the first time she'd been able to cry since the tornado. Devyn loaded her up with sandwiches and other supplies and told her that he loved her and that everything was going to be alright. I've had to cover several tornadoes for UPI and AP in my career. I've heard people calling out for their loved ones after the storm and watched people digging through the remains of their homes. However, I will say that I have never been so moved as I was at that moment with Devyn and the other students and that woman. They gave her a lot more than sandwiches and toilet paper; they gave her hope and that's what those people need more than anything.”
The world is better because of Jazmine, Devyn, Jeremy, Jacobi, and Bill.
The mission of Samford University is to nurture persons in their development of intellect, creativity, faith, and personhood. As a Christian university, the community fosters academic, career, and ethical competency while encouraging social and civic responsibility, and service to others.
Our Core Values
The Samford community values lifelong:
- belief in God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
- engagement with the life and teachings of Jesus.
- learning and responsible freedom of inquiry.
- personal empowerment, accountability, and responsibility.
- vocational success and civic engagement.
- spiritual growth and cultivation of physical well-being.
- integrity, honesty, and justice.
- appreciation for diverse cultures and convictions.
- stewardship of all resources.
- service to God, to family, to one another, and to the community.
Anchored in Christian understanding, Samford University will be a diverse community, stressing vigorous learning and personal faith, in the Baptist tradition. Within that commonality, the Community will be innovative in teaching, learning and research; sensitive to global issues; aggressive in self-assessment and continuous improvement. Faithful to its mission, Samford will be known and acknowledged worldwide by holding to its core values. The world will be better for it.