President Beck A. Taylor officially began his term as the 19th President of Samford University on July 1, which marked his first day in office.
Accompanied by his wife, Legacy League Executive Director Julie A. Taylor, he began the day with a morning prayer service at Hodges Chapel where he provided the blessing.
âWords cannot express the enthusiasm that Julie, Chloe and I share as we join this incredible community of learning and faith,â said Taylor. âMy family and I thank you for the hundreds of emails, cards and phone calls welcoming us to Birmingham and for your prayers of support as we say our farewells to a community we love in Spokane and drove 2,250 miles to our new home here. “
Taylor, who recently served as President of Whitworth University, a position he held in 2010, is no stranger to the Samford community. He was dean and professor of economics at the Brock School of Business, Samford from 2005 to 2010.
âI don’t think there is another school like Samford in the country that combines great academics and a loyal community and prepares students for a life full of meaning and purpose in the world,â Taylor said. “Only Samford could call me back, and we are delighted to be here.”
While addressing his top priorities as president, he said he plans to consider two words: continuity and change. For Taylor, continuity means sustaining aspects that have persisted within the Samford community for 180 years.
âThese include an emphasis on the Lordship of Jesus Christ, an insatiable appetite for academic and extracurricular excellence, a primary focus on the moral and professional development of our students, an investment in professional well-being and professionalism of our employees and a strong commitment to ensuring that all citizens of Samford are treated with love, dignity and respect.
As for change, he hopes to lead the university as it prepares students to engage in an ever-changing world.
âIt’s our job to continually reinvent the university – sometimes on a small scale and sometimes on a larger scale – to stay relevant and serve our students and communities well. Samford has demonstrated its ability to innovate and change to meet these evolving needs, and together we will continue to seek ways to add value to the educational experiences of our students.
Taylor’s top priorities that he would like to achieve in his first year on the job are meeting as many students, faculty, staff and alumni as possible and learning about their experiences at Samford, to implement immediate work on the Races Justice Task Force report initiatives, build positive and productive relationships with Samford’s administrators and key benefactors, listen to campus aspirations, and begin developing a narrative that will inform a possible update to the strategic plan, complete the Forever Samford campaign and celebrate the university’s new community after two academic years disrupted by the pandemic.
He also plans to visit alumni chapters across the country, churches and other supporting organizations, meeting with other leaders in Birmingham and Alabama to assess how Samford can best contribute to the development of his people. home communities, and finally, eat a lot of barbecue.
âSamford’s best days are yet to come, and I look forward to working with our faculty, staff, students, alumni around the world and friends to chart an exciting vision for the future of the institution.”
– Submitted by Samford Unviersity