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  • Math professor Foreman remembered for humor, kindness


    Mathematics professor David Foreman passed away after a long battle with cancer on Thursday, May 1. (Photo courtesy of Gregory Kawell, Computer Science)

    Mathematics professor David Foreman passed away after a long battle with cancer on Thursday, May 1. (Photo courtesy of Gregory Kawell, Computer Science)

    Mathematics professor David Foreman died on Thursday, May 1 after an extended battle with cancer. Foreman had been part of the mathematics and computer science department since 1986.

    Foreman is survived by his wife and his daughters Julie and Emily. His funeral is set for 2 p.m. today at Brookwood Baptist Church. Additionally, a Samford memorial will take place in Reid Chapel on Monday, May 12 at 3 p.m.

    Students and professors have been leaving notes of remembrance on his office door in Ingalls Hall and sharing their favorite memories about Foreman.

    Mathematics professor Jeffrey Powell recalled Foreman’s quick wit, which made staff meetings and classes a fun time.

    “He had a really dry, great sense of humor,” said mathematics professor Jeffrey Powell.

    “Students absolutely loved him. [They were] always going on about how funny he is and he just really made that connection with them in a way that’s really unique.”

    “Anyone who has taken Dr. Foreman for a class knows of his humor. I wish I had written some of his classic jokes down,” said senior mathematics major Corey Fuller. “But more important than the humor was that he made me feel loved as a student and I knew I could stop by his office to just chat whenever I wanted to.”

    Fuller said Foreman never failed to ask about his internship and offered help for classes whenever he could.

    “I hope the Lord uses me to touch as many lives as he was able to touch,” Fuller said. “He never wanted to quit teaching. He knew of his disease and yet still pursued teaching his students until the end. I loved Dr. Foreman and I respected him as the selfless leader he was.”

    Professor Bruce Atkinson, the chair of the mathematics and computer science department, remembered Foreman’s constant selflessness and ability to put others at ease.

    “He was very kind and self-effacing. Whenever I would greet him in the hall he would always want to know what I was doing and how the family was. We would talk about that a while and then I would realize that he would never initiate anything about himself unless he was asked,” Atkinson said. “He lived his life by putting others first.”

    Atkinson said that during the department’s annual awards picnic, Foreman always emceed the “math Pictionary” game.

    “He loved picking the words or phrases, and was in his element in front of the crowd,” Atkinson said. “Last month we had the picnic while he was still ill, and we decided not to even attempt that game. No one could do it better.”

    Junior mathematics major Gary Gao met Foreman during his Calculus 2 class. When he struggled with the class, Gao began spending extra time in Foreman’s office to work on math problems and share jokes. Foreman continued to help him with other math courses and talk about his future. Gao remembered one day, after missing a couple 8 a.m. math classes, Foreman took his phone and recorded his own voice as an alarm clock to make sure Gao got to class on time.

    “I really enjoyed his classes a lot. I loved his classes because he explains everything so well and he’s always willing to stop and spend half an hour if someone has a problem. He’s a great person. We were really close after class,” Gao said. “Our relationship was beyond just professor and student.”

    Only a few weeks before Foreman passed away, Gao had decided to delay his graduation in order to take his senior seminar with his favorite math professor.

    “After hearing he died, I went to his office and stood in front of his door and wrote something on a sticky note. It said, “Dr. Foreman, you are the best,” Gao said. “I just stood there at his door and cried for a while.”

    Mathematics professor Emily Hynds said Foreman was popular among students both for his sense of humor and his ability to explain challenging concepts. Since his death, Hynds has heard from former students who loved him even if they received a failing grade. Foreman won Samford’s John M. Buchanan Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010 based on the nominations of his students.

    “He’s the kind of professor that students don’t forget. So 20, 25 years later they still come back to see him, they still email him,” Hynds said. “Not even math majors, necessarily; some of these are students he had for one class, but he impacted them so much that he wanted to keep up with them.”

    Foreman was also a source of advice for his fellow professors, as he had been in the department the longest.

    “He gave great advice. He would know how to handle a situation,” Hynds said. “He was just everybody’s friend, mentor, confidant, joke factory.”

    2013 mathematics alumnus Josh Brandl remembered the way Foreman’s office door was always open so he could greet students as they walked by. In classes, Brandl said Foreman struck the “perfect balance” between recognizing students’ current abilities and pushing them to grow.

    “He had this habit of stopping midway through a problem and waiting for someone to finish up the explanation for him. At first I found it a little frustrating; I am not a very outspoken person, and he would literally not move until someone chimed in with some sort of response,” Brandl said. “After a while, though, we all picked up on what he was doing: he wanted us to think through the problems ourselves and to practice explaining our reasoning.”

    When Brandl and fellow 2013 mathematics alumnus Evan Elmore graduated, their church, Brookwood Baptist, held a “Graduation Sunday” to celebrate the college graduates. Their own parents could not attend, so Foreman and his wife Elvia acted as their substitute parents for the day.

    “I remember Evan and I being called to the stage, and then turning around and seeing the proud look on Dr. Foreman’s face when we were both up there,” Brandl said. “Seeing how proud he was made me feel like I had really accomplished something in my time at Samford.”

    | May 7, 2014 | 0 Comments
  • Sons of Light conclude egg hunt with candles, trickery

    ZACH BROWN Editor-in-Chief 


    The Sons of Light egg hunt ended early Good Friday morning with a team of about 20 winning the $2000 prize.

    Contestants and curious onlookers arrived at the Lady Justice statue by Memory Leake Robinson Hall at midnight, only to be told via the Sons’ Twitter (@Filii_Lucis) to relocate to Reid Chapel.

    Upon entering into darkness, students saw three hooded figures standing on the stage, illuminated by four candles.

    Elizabeth Smith, a member of the winning group and junior religion major, said, “It was beyond creepy. It looked like you were going to meet your maker basically.”

    A Son of Light, shrouded in all black and a red and white belt, oversees the midnight proceedings. (Photo courtesy of Caitrin Williams, Features Editor)

    A Son of Light, shrouded in all black and a red and white belt, oversees the midnight proceedings. (Photo courtesy of Caitrin Williams, Features Editor)

    A hooded figure presented scrolls to students with instructions on how to finish the game.

    Michael Southerland, a junior music major, read the first scroll. He did not know he was going to be asked to read.

    “[The figure] handed me the scroll and it was wrapped in twine and waxed pretty substantially,” Southerland said. “It was nerve-wracking.”

    Though the game had been an individual competition, one scroll gave competitors the option of forging alliances.

    Students clamored to create teams, shouting out how many coins they had collected in the week-long hunt. Eventually people settled and were asked to bring their coins to the front of Reid in provided vases.

    After vases had been presented and the Sons had tallied the number of coins, they exited through the back of the chapel. The entire event lasted about an hour.

    The identities of any of the Sons of Light remain a mystery.

    Smith said “at least four different” groups joined together to win.

    “The reason we formed that super team at the end was because none of us wanted to keep any of the money. We wanted to make sure [the money] got used for two charities,” Smith said.

    The group has yet to finalize the two charities to which it will donate. Members are awaiting information from the Sons.

    Southerland was glad to have the opportunity to participate.

    “To the Sons of Light, I’d have to say thank you for giving us the opportunity to be a part of all that they’ve put together,” Southerland said. “It was a blast.”

    | April 25, 2014 | 0 Comments
  • Men of Night car-marking prank a ‘nuisance’

    ZACH BROWN | Editor-in-Chief

    men of night

    Cars in Beeson were marked with a white “M.” Zach Brown, Editor-in-Chief

    Beeson Woods residents awoke Thursday to find their cars blazoned with a crude, white “M.”  The group “Men of Night” has claimed responsibility for the marking through their Twitter account.

    Nearly every car in Beeson Woods was marked, most on the back windshield.  Other areas of campus were unaffected.

    Senior computer science major Jared Nelsen was not pleased by the apparent prank.

    “Darn vandals,” Nelsen said.

    The Department of Public Safety heard of the incident this morning when a concerned student called.

    “It’s a nuisance, it’s a nuisance to the student because they probably don’t want to drive around with that on their windshield,” Director of Public Safety Wayne Pittman said.

    “I’m not sure if they[Men of Night] are trying to make fun of the other organization[Sons of Light],” Pittman said. “[Sons of Light], from my interaction with them, they try to do good at Samford.”

    Pittman said the Sons alert Public Safety of future events to make the officers aware.  He has never had any problems with the organization.

    The Sons of Light, a secret organization at Samford, have been orchestrating a campus-wide Easter egg hunt throughout the week, set to conclude at midnight.

    “I think this is an immature, knee-jerk reaction to the Sons of Light being a big deal,” Nelsen said. “I think someone wants a piece of the pie in all the hullabaloo.”

    Pittman said that at this early stage, it is impossible to gauge intent or goals of the Men of Night.

    “It’s not a very good start,” Pittman said.

    The Crimson has reached out to the Men of Night via Twitter and the Sons of Light via email.  Neither group had responded at time of posting.

    The Crimson will continue to research this developing story.

    | April 17, 2014 | 0 Comments
  • Student Executive Board officers elected for 2014-15 school year

    ZACH BROWNEditor-in-Chief

    (Photo courtesy of Natalie Wilkinson, Photo Editor)

    (Photo courtesy of Natalie Wilkinson, Photo Editor)

    Students elected a new Student Executive Board for the 2014-2015 SGA on April 7. Around 350 votes were cast in the online elections.

    Three of the four positions were uncontested. Junior journalism and mass communication major Maddie Davis beat junior accounting major Andrew Bragg for Vice President of Events. Other SEB offices will be appointed and presented to Senate for approval within the next week.

    A constitutional amendment moving Senate elections to the spring also passed in the election.

    The annual Inauguration Ceremony and Reception is April 29 at 4:30 p.m. in Brock Recital Hall.


    (Photo courtesy of Natalie Wilkinson, Photo Editor)

    (Photo courtesy of Natalie Wilkinson, Photo Editor)



    “With the help of SEB members, I plan to continue refining SGA in hopes of it one day operating as a well-seasoned business. Additionally, I wish to reform various on-campus operations, such as the existing meal plan. I also aspire to continue Cameron’s efforts in supporting our athletes, whilst also extending our support to the enormously talented Arts Department.”


    (Photo courtesy of Natalie Wilkinson, Photo Editor)

    (Photo courtesy of Natalie Wilkinson, Photo Editor)



    “I plan on creating more competitive Senate races through a new recommendation program for students to nominate their peers as potential leaders. I am also arranging to have the first-ever training workshop in the fall. We can create clearer goals, empowering Senators to do their job efficiently and effectively.”


    (Photo courtesy of Natalie Wilkinson, Photo Editor)

    (Photo courtesy of Natalie Wilkinson, Photo Editor)



    “I am very excited and honored to serve Samford students as the VP for Events this year. I hope to make the Student Activities Council a positive experience, working hard to bring new ideas and unique events to campus. I want to continue making Samford traditions special and to enhance campus life.”


    (Photo courtesy of Natalie Wilkinson, Photo Editor)

    (Photo courtesy of Natalie Wilkinson, Photo Editor)



    “As a current Sophomore Advisor for Freshman Forum, I am really looking forward to staying involved in this organization. I am also eager to get to know the upcoming class officers and help them connect with their classes and hope to see this in turn have an effect on a united student body at Samford.”

    | April 9, 2014 | 0 Comments


Artwork, endowed scholarship created in honor of Trevelyn Campbell

Students share poems and Bible verses at Trevelyn Campbell's memorial.

Students share poems and Bible verses at Trevelyn Campbell’s memorial. Photo by Samantha Nelson.

SYDNEY CROMWELL - Editor-in-Chief

Around 130 people gathered in Reid Chapel at 9 p.m. Sunday night for a prayer vigil honoring Trevelyn Campbell. Students and professors shared stories about the junior fine arts major, who was remembered as a caring friend, lover of selfies and a brilliant artist.

“She was the real deal,” said Larry Thompson, the chair of the art department. He recalled his last conversation with Campbell and the way she practically skipped to color guard practice despite the August heat.

Students also read Bible verses and poems, and members of the band played “It Is Well With My Soul” in her honor. Everyone at the vigil was given a card so they could write or draw to express their emotions and thoughts about Campbell’s passing. They could then choose to leave their cards on the chapel altar to be included in an art installation.

The marching band performs "It Is Well With My Soul."

The marching band performs “It Is Well With My Soul.” Photo by Samantha Nelson.

The installation will hang in the Buchanan Hall lobby through the month of September and then be given to Campbell’s parents.

Art professor Kathryn Kauffman also announced the creation of an endowed memorial scholarship for art students so that Campbell would not be forgotten. Kauffman said a donation drive will begin in the coming weeks.

Campbell’s funeral will be Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 1 p.m. at Briarwood Presbyterian Church.

Students gather to remember Trevelyn Campbell


Trevelyn Campbell

Trevelyn Campbell

Samford students, faculty and friends gathered Saturday for a time of sharing and prayer to support one another after receiving the news of the death of junior visual arts major Trevelyn Campbell. School of the Arts Dean Joe Hopkins explained to those in attendance that Campbell, a Vestavia Hills native, was killed in an automobile incident at 11 p.m. Friday evening after spending time with her family.

“You’re here because Trevelyn was a dear friend, and this was a shock,” Hopkins said, visibly emotional like many of those seated in Brock Recital Hall.

Hopkins went on to describe the impact that Campbell had made on his life, and invited those in the room to share their thoughts as well. Students and faculty spoke of how Campbell was a “source of life” to those around her.

“Trevelyn was a truly incredible artist and wonderful friend of mine. I was constantly in awe of the work she created. She was always such a joy to have in class and to be around,” classmate Kyle DeMarco said. Campbell was heavily involved in the School of the Arts as well as a member of the Samford Color Guard.

Her presence on campus was strongly felt as nearly 80 people from all walks of life on campus gathered to comfort one another and plan tributes to her in the coming days. The memorial was closed with several spoken prayers from Campbell’s friends and classmates, with Campus Minister Matt Kerlin giving the final prayer.

Trevelyn Campbell

Trevelyn Campbell

In addition to the gathering Saturday, students and faculty are organizing a prayer vigil in Reid Chapel at 9 p.m. Sunday, after the close of the Your School Your City concert. Hopkins said the band will participate and they are hoping to include some of Campbell’s artwork. As people enter Reid Chapel, they will be given a card to write or draw upon. The cards will be used to create an art installation in the lobby of Buchanan Hall.

Funeral arrangements at Briarwood Presbyterian Church, where Campbell’s father is the minister of music and worship, will be released in the coming days. A campus-wide memorial service in Reid Chapel is also being planned.

Hopkins and Kerlin encourage students to seek out Samford’s counseling services and spiritual life staff in the coming days and weeks, and to encourage those around them to do the same. Counseling Services is located on the lower east side of Seibert Gymnasium, through the “Health Services” entrance. They can also be reached at counseling@samford.edu or by phone at (205) 726-2065.

Memorial service remembers Foreman as a ‘blessing’


Friends, family, and those touched by mathematics professor David Foreman gathered in Reid Chapel on Monday for a memorial service to celebrate his life. The service included reading of Malachi 2:5-6 and Philippians 2:1-4 and a musical reflection, “God Is My Shepherd,” by Randall Richardson, the performance studies department chair. A congregation of about 75 joined in singing three hymns.

The memorial was centered on gratitude for Foreman’s impact on campus.

“To be with him was to receive a blessing,” Provost Bradley Creed wrote in a letter that was read aloud. “The Foremans had discovered the joy of being people for others.”

“He loved students and wanted to help them,” mathematics professor Emily Hynds said. “As faculty, we lived in that office. His door was always open…most of the time we were in there in there laughing.”

His humor was brought up frequently during the service. 2002 mathematics alumnus Torry Patton said, “I never met someone who knew him who didn’t smile when you mentioned his name—which was quite an accomplishment when you consider he taught the subject that is nearly everyone’s least favorite!”

Patton had also battled cancer shortly after graduating and Foreman supported him through that time.

Even more than his humor, people remembered Foreman someone who always put others before himself.

“With him, it was always about the other person,” said Donald Sullivan, who attended Brookwood Baptist Church with Foreman. “He epitomized what it meant to be a servant.”

The emotions of those at the memorial service are best summarized by a line from the litany of thanks spoken at the beginning of the service: “We are thankful for his calling to which he was faithful, and we give thanks that he accomplished his calling among us.”


Three students receive Fulbright grants

SYDNEY CROMWELL - Editor-in-Chief

Senior music education major Chris Barbee and senior history major Zach Brown received grants from the Fulbright program to study abroad for a year. Additionally, freshman English and classics major Stone Hendrickson was chosen for a summer grant to study in the U.K.

Barbee will be traveling to Latvia to study choral conducting and music education at the Jazeps Vītols Latvian National Conservatory. He also hopes to work with the Riga Dom Choir School and perhaps start and conduct his own choir.

“I’m looking forward to all of it, [but] mostly the feeling of adventure. It’s somewhere totally new and a chance to forge a completely new path,” Barbee said. “It’s all terribly exciting.”

Barbee had a late start to the Fulbright application process and created his entire proposal for submission in three weeks. This included audition videos, cultural research, overseas sponsorship and actually writing his proposal.

When he received his acceptance, Barbee said he was in disbelief and kept expecting “another requirement, another step or the word ‘psych.’” Barbee wanted to express his gratitude to his mentor, Professor and Director of Choral Activities Philip Copeland, and the friends and professors who helped him create his application.

After his time in Latvia, Barbee plans to get a master’s degree in choral conducting and compete in conducting competitions in the U.S. and Sweden. He also hopes to create a nationwide arts education program for underprivileged students.

Brown will be living in Tajikistan as a Fulbright scholar and English teaching assistant. Tajikistan is a small Central Asian country bordered by Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China.

After waiting seven months to hear from the Fulbright program, Brown said it was “entirely relieving” to receive his acceptance notification. He will spend the next year teaching English and working with community outreach programs.

“I hope to soak up my time in Tajikistan and see possibilities while I am there.  The Fulbright Program has given me a great opportunity, and I hope to make good on it in the future,” Brown said.

As part of the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission, Hendrickson will spend four weeks of his summer at Durham University in Durham, England. While at the university, Hendrickson will study Roman archaeology and ancient and medieval English history.

“I am most looking forward to being immersed in a new culture and unique studies. Archaeology is something I would otherwise probably never get the chance to study outside of this opportunity,” Hendrickson said.

Classics professor Shannon Flynt oversees Samford’s Fulbright applicants and assists in their submission process. For these students to receive grants from the prestigious program, Flynt said they had to spend long hours creating proposals that would stand out to the review boards from a crowd of undergraduate and doctoral students.

“I think all of our students who receive Fulbrights are the ones who best embody Fulbright’s stated mission: to promote ‘international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science,’” Flynt said. “All of these students make clear in their proposals that they are looking beyond themselves and their own career goals to foster true understanding among cultures.”


Finals week: study healthier, not harder

LAUREN HUNTFeatures Writer

As finals week approaches, many students are planning their strategies for studying. Students are tempted to drink large quantities of caffeine to stay awake longer. Even worse, some students choose to take prescription pills such as Adderall to help them stay focused and alert. These may seem like harmless actions that will improve mental capacity, but the side effects could potentially be fatal.

Drinking large quantities of caffeine to stay up and study is harmful to the cardiovascular system. Dr. Mark Ticola, Samford’s full-time physician at University Health Services, said caffeine accelerates the heart rate and, at a high enough quantity, can cause potentially fatal heart conditions such as heart palpitations and cardiac arrest.

Students’ access to prescription medications, believed to boost attention span and memory, can be even more dangerous.

Students can easily buy pills from classmates and friends who have a prescription for attention deficit disorder medication. According to the Medicine Abuse Project prepared by the Center on Young Adult Health and Development Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School or Public Health, 31 percent of college students will use prescription stimulants like Adderall and Vyvanse for nonmedical reasons during their college years.

“This is a bad idea. It’s potentially very dangerous, not to mention illegal,” Ticola said.

“Students think it’s going to help them focus, and it might, but it can have some serious cardiovascular effects. People can have blood pressure problems, elevated heart rate, or even cardiac arrhythmia if someone has a bad heart.”

Even if a student has taken prescription medications before without incident, they could still be at risk for heart problems the next time. No one should take medications like Adderall and Vyvanse unless they have a prescription for it.

Finals week can be stressful, but there are better alternatives to get the most out of studying time without caffeine or pills.

“Eating a well-balanced diet, getting adequate sleep and exercising daily will help students manage and reduce the stress that comes with finals week. They will be able to study more efficiently and not need to guzzle coffee to stay awake,” Ticola said.

Finals Weeks Essentials

1. Healthy drinks and snacks
Have some tasty grub on hand for those long nights. Go for some veggies, fruit and nuts instead of processed foods or highly caffeinated drinks, because where there’s a high, there’s also a crash.

2. Sleep
You’ll do better on that big test if you spend more time sleeping and less time cramming. Students who sleep more have higher GPAs according to a study explained by Dr. Michael J. Breus.

3. Breaks
Take a break every so often to give your brain a rest and reduce stress and anxiety. Take a walk, talk to friends or just sit and give your brain a rest.

4. A study buddy
Having a study buddy can keep you focused and motivated throughout hours of relearning cumulative information.

5. Anti-distraction app
Computer applications like WasteNoTime and LeechBlock can block distracting websites and social media outlets to keep you on track to a better grade and a more attentive mind.

Movie review: Marc Webb’s ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’


 This being the second installment of “The Amazing Spider-Man” series, I already knew that I preferred director Marc Webb’s film series to Sam Raimi’s Kirsten Dunst-plagued saga.

Webb and his crew kicked the special effects and stunts up several notches while keeping the web slinging and Oscorp shenanigans at a somewhat believable level.

With GoPro-esque shots and beautifully constructed slow motion CGI images, Webb’s second try at the superhero’s legacy is visually more appealing, but that’s about as far as the compliments go.

From the first scene of the film, the foreshadowing was borderline annoyingly blatant. Good news for comic book lovers (sort of SPOILER): the film follows the comic books. Bad news for everyone else: the film follows the comic books. Tears for days – that’s what this movie will cause. But in case you’re not a comic book reader or the ominous movie stills swirling around the Internet haven’t spoiled it for you yet, I’ll stop there.

Jamie Foxx appears as Supervillain Electro, in his worst role yet. Instead of looking like a threatening villain, Electro resembled a slightly more human Flubber.

To cast Foxx as a one-dimensional, clichéd character is a waste.

Unfortunately, Electro wasn’t the only fault of the film. The dialogue was full of cheesy clichés, though it did have several moments of comedy gold, which is to be expected with the likes of Emma Stone, Paul Giamanti and Sally Field on the credits.

Perhaps in an effort to plump the soundtrack, out-of-place songs and old news tracks like “Gone Gone Gone” by American Idol winner Philip Phillips mar scenes, as if we haven’t heard that one enough already.

Dane DeHaan’s depiction of Harry Osborn is almost as laughable as his transformation into the Green Goblin, who looks more like Dr. Suess’ Grinch than anything else.

Webb and his team would have been better off funneling the money spent on advanced CGI and stunts towards finding better writers and a good casting director.

Overall, the film is entertaining and thrilling, but the writing and casting choices (Giamanti as a dim-witted Russian gangster, really?) along with the embarrassing costuming and depictions of the villains makes for a disappointing follow-up to 2012’s massive success.

However, Andrew Garfield is a stellar Peter Parker, and we even see him shirtless at one point, and nothing, not even childish dialogue, a gangrene inflicted Grinch or bright blue Flubber villains can spoil that treasure.

What’s behind the curtain at Samford’s ‘Wizard of Oz’?


Samford students can follow the yellow brickroad to the theater department’s production of “The Wizard of Oz,” from May 2-4. This journey will take an unexpected turn compared to most productions though – the show will be steampunk.

Steampunk is a science fiction genre featuring steam-powered machines rather than high-tech spaceships that often incorporates an industrial aspect into a Victorian setting.

Director Laura Byland explained her decision to choose this genre: “I was inspired by the costume designer’s work from a class project. Then as I explored the time period of when ‘The Wizard of Oz’ was written, around 1900, I thought it was a good fit to combine the Victorian age with the industrial age.”

Assistant stage manager sophomore Kaitlyn Moore described the efforts that went into making the show steampunk. “We have incorporated steampunk everywhere possible. The costumes and props especially have been worked on since January to make sure they are perfectly detailed and play into the steampunk vibe!” she said.

“Oz” will be performed in the Wright Center Theater because of its large scale, which has proved both exciting and challenging.

“The scale of everything is a whole lot bigger so everything is a little more grander and exaggerated and there is a lot more to do,” Moore said. “The hardest part is making sure everything is in place at the proper moment. This is such a technically exact show, with all the set pieces and props and special effects we have, everything has to be in the exact place at the exact time or something could go wrong. We also have people flying in this show so we had to learn a whole new system of rigging and safety procedures.”

The large size of everything has also made things more fun for Byland. “The cast has been a highlight of this experience. I have enjoyed working with every one of them!” she said. “There are 60 cast members and they have all given me 100 percent. I also have an amazing design team and production staff. We have a total of 130 persons working to make this production happen!”

In addition to the extra technical procedures, “Oz” presents a new challenge in that it uses a live animal – the dog, Toto.

“We had three dogs audition for the role, and the third dog, Jasper is Toto. He is really incredible. Very calm and well behaved on stage. I think that is remarkable since he never has done anything like this before. He is so excited to perform,” Byland said.

Audiences can look forward to seeing him and the rest of the cast perform as well. “This is a show you definitely don’t want to miss! There are special effects in nearly every scene and we are utilizing the Wright Center space to its fullest potential. The actors have been working so hard to make this a wonderful show,” Moore said.

For ticketing information, call the Wright Center box office at (205) 726-2853 or visit tickets.samford.edu.

Movie Review: ‘Captain America 2’


 The films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are, for the most part, great movies. A great deal of time, effort and talent go into these films – and it shows.

Yet, as much as I enjoy the Marvel movies – and superhero films in general – I never thought that they would be the vehicles that carry intriguing political themes. As intelligent as it is fun, “Captain American: The Winter Solider” sets a new standard for big-budget filmmaking.

Set in the aftermath of 2012’s “The Avengers,” the newest Captain America film pits its titular hero, who is still played with boyish charm by Chris Evans, against the forces of S.H.I.E.L.D., the massive governmental organization that is responsible for assembling the Avengers team. Without giving too much away, Cap finds himself on the run with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) after a sinister force infiltrates S.H.I.E.L.D.

The two are joined by Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), a member of the military who is armed with a wing pack that allows him to fly. This concept sounds lame and cartoony but is incredibly cool to see on screen.

The trio is pursued by S.H.I.E.L.D and a mysterious assassin known as the Winter Solider.

There are some enjoyable twists throughout, and the dialogue between the characters is excellent. But the film really shines in its political message.

Credit for this goes to writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely for the film’s convincing argument against government use of technology to invade privacy. Given recent events such as Edward Snowden’s leaks about the National Security Agency’s misuse of technology, the film has a potent message. It never feels heavy-handed or boring, though.

Another of the strongest aspects of the film is the direction by newcomers Anthony and Joe Russo. The fact that Marvel and Disney passed off such a lucrative property to two no-name directors is astounding, but it seems to have paid off.

With the exception of the necessary digital shots used to make the massive flying aircraft, the film is mostly comprised of practical effects such as outstanding fight sequences and car chases.

With excellent directing, writing and use of practical effects, “The Winter Solider” raises the bar for superhero films.


Positive paralysis

TAYLOR BURGESS – Opinion Columnist 

 I spent much more time not writing this than I did actually putting words to page. I think this is the best way my last Crimson column could have come together.

I am not making another argument about the value of time management or an enumeration of reasons why I procrastinate. Instead, this is about why uncertainty, public silence and not writing are some of the most important things we can learn to do as undergraduate students.

After four years of constant study, reflection and usually just grueling work, I did not expect to finish school with specific vocational skills. I am an English major; very few people have the luxury of writing about or reading books for a living. This is something I have never held any illusions about.

However, there are positive arguments for a liberal arts education that I have tended to lean on. We have all heard these rhetorical turns many times, and they tend to go something like Louis Menand’s explanation in an article in “The New Yorker:” “In a society that encourages its members to pursue the career paths that promise the greatest personal or financial rewards, people will, given a choice, learn only what they need to know for success . . . College exposes future citizens to material that enlightens and empowers them, whatever careers they end up choosing.”

In short, the liberal arts force students to think more than they otherwise would. Menand elaborates and describes how college further encourages students to think in a specific way, independently, and thus take the process into their own hands. This autonomy of thought is another oft-cited merit of the humanities.

However, Menand also mentions how universities fit students in a particular mold of idealized citizenry by having them all read the same sort of texts. While this argument for the socializing function of the university feels almost like a footnote to Menand’s point, I think this is the most important part of a non-technical undergraduate education. College is not primarily about forging your own path. That can come later. It is about learning your place.

It is crucial that students learn to shut up and understand that 99 percent of what we think or say is not original. Increasingly I feel that my proverbial works are gummed up, filled with decontextualized chunks of all the assigned books I have read and ideas that have been taught to me. This is my education doing its job.

I am proud to be completely tongue-tied. I am proud that every day I feel a less adequate thinker and writer. Though a definite cliché, the adage “the more you know, the more you realize you do not know” actually contains a lot of truth.

Because I am more aware of all that I have yet to know, I am satisfied that it now takes a Herculean effort from me to generate ideas for this column. I am especially satisfied that my last piece was the longest struggle yet.

Taylor Burgess is a senior English major. Email him at tburges1@samford.edu. After graduation, Taylor will travel through Europe for a month before touring the eastern United States with his band, Press. 

Why I write

MICHAEL DORRILL - Opinion Columnist

I wrote my first editorial for the Crimson as a freshman. It was about the Harvey Updike tree-poisoning incident. It was a brief few hundred words. I was upset by both the incident itself and the response to it. I argued that a rivalry should be intense, and that we should not try and set the rivalry aside because of the incident. But at the same time, we should not become destructive.

I’ve lost count of the editorials I have written since then. I have written on gay rights, the government shutdown, celebrity hero worship, the treatment of low wage workers, gun control, internet censorship, campaign finance reform and about as much on intelligence policy as the rest of those combined.

Those are issues I feel strongly about (although admittedly, some stronger than others). They make me angry. They make me feel like I should do something to fix them. And so, ever since freshman year, I’ve written editorials for the Crimson.

I write because I want to make you angry. Mostly, I think there are things out there that are worth being angry about, and I think you should be angry about them too. I think that there are things in this world that are messed up, and that we should work to fix them. I think you should call your congressman, grab a picket sign or maybe just write an editorial. You could get angry at me for writing that editorial instead, and that is fine by me, so long as what I did got you to get up and try to do something about it.

I had a friend my freshman year who was a bit of a mentor, and he would often say that before he graduated, he wanted to start a protest. It did not really matter what it was about to him, just any kind of protest. Back then I thought he was being a bit silly, but nowadays I think he had the right idea.

Because although I have a great many wonderful things to say about Samford, I will give it this critique – it is an incredibly passive place. People here do not seem to get worked up about much. And while that makes it a pleasant place to go to school at times, it is not a trait we should cultivate. Speaking out about things that upset us should be instinctual. It should be second nature.

Soon, I will be a Samford alumnus instead of a Samford student, so here are my last words to you all – get angry next year. It does not matter what it is about. It could be an issue of national importance. It could be about Samford housing policy. But find something to care about, and then do something about it.

Get up, and try to make a real difference. I write because I think it is worth it. What will you do for things that are worth it?

Michael Dorrill is a senior political science major. Email him at mdorrill@samford.edu. After graduation, Michael will attend the Masters of Arts Program in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.

Please don’t edit this column

ZACH BROWNEditor-in-Chief 

 In my time on the editorial staff of the Crimson, I have been baffled by how writers cannot grasp the role of an editor.

Multiple times, myself and other members of the editorial staff have received impassioned emails, demanding that editors not edit a piece for myriad reasons, usually largely unjustified. Or people would seek to have final editorial control of their content. Or, the best of the bunch, people would ask if content was even read before it was put into layout or online.

In each of these cases, it is as though the senders do not understand the word at the root of the title “editor.” Nor do they seem capable of reading the fine print published in every edition of the Crimson: “All submissions may be edited for grammar, spelling and brevity.”

Unless a writer is scribbling in a journal or publishing on a personal blog or website, he or she is edited by another person to maintain a sense of integrity, identity and ideology. (Honestly, the public, in many ways, becomes the editor of any public forum, as seen in the grammar hounds on Internet comment boards.)

Writers assent to an unwritten (or written, depending on the size and importance of an organization) contract with their editor; writers trust that editors will be adept at their jobs, will not intentionally change the tone or meaning of a piece and are ultimately trying to improve the piece.

Criticism and change compose the core of the editing process. Especially with editorial and opinion writing, writers must see that editors endeavor to criticize the piece not for its stance on an issue, but for its logical construction. “The Wasteland” might have made sense to T.S. Eliot, but Ezra Pound helped him get it closer to making sense to the world.

Edits are made to adhere to grammar and style standards set by the Associated Press and to tighten content to the spatial constraints without marring the ideas presented. On a number of occasions, I have called columnists to confirm if they were comfortable with an edit before it has gone to print.

Change is not bad in writing and can be a growth experience if both the writer and editor make it so. Writers need to read their edited copy to see how things were changed – be it repetitive grammar mistakes or stylistic changes for the publication – and adapt in the future. Editors should, ideally, interface with writers to help generate and challenge ideas, while also listening to how the writer feels things appeared previously.

But to ask editors not to edit something is to ask them not to do their job and is, frankly, arrogant. If the choice is between submitting to an editing process or not having work published, there is really no decision as to what is more advantageous if a writer truly wants to share thoughts and start conversation. Egos must be set aside to advance ideas.

Zach Brown is a senior history major. Email him at zbrown@samford.edu. Zach has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Fellowship in Tajikistan and leaves in September. 

Real world rush

LINDSAY WISEMAN - Opinion Editor

A certain stereotype surrounds the sorority girl. Energetic and enthusiastic, the classic sorority girl is always willing to try new things.

At Samford, this stereotype does not necessarily ring true. At larger state schools, however, evidence is far from absent. The most obvious difference between the two environments is the recruitment process. Girls who fit the advertised mold are more likely to thrive through rush — standing out in crowds, talking to strangers and casually bragging about their strengths and achievements.

Those who do not foresee themselves excelling in the recruitment process are not required to take part. However, a similarly tasking process is inevitable: the job search.

There are obviously differences in the application process for differing career paths. A typical chain of events at least includes an extensive application asking for more bits personal information than one would ever dream to share, sending resumes to anyone that could possibly have a connection to a potential job opening and, an introvert’s worst nightmare, appearing calm, cool and collected throughout an entire interview.

In schools, we differentiate instruction and assessments to appeal to different learning styles. We strive to allow each student an equal opportunity to learn and express his or her learning. Then, when school is over, there is one main path to employment, and it is automatically biased toward a specific type of candidate.

People with the skill set beneficial to interviews – quick thinking and unintentional charisma – are certainly capable of completing the job requirements for many positions. They are not, however, the only ones.

People who are better at writing than explaining their thoughts aloud have a place in the working world, too. Half an hour of high-pressure conversation are not sufficient to provide a holistic picture of a person’s work ethic and capacity to fulfill a given role.

Some people struggle to fully portray their capabilities in an interview setting, while others can easily misrepresent themselves as more appropriately suited to a role than they are.

This situation is unfavorable for all parties involved. The employer thinks they have hired an ideal candidate only to find that time brings inconsistency. The hired employee has a job for which he or she is not the best candidate. And the better candidate is still without a job.

I can appreciate an employer’s perspective on the issue. As the person who best knows the expectations and requirements of the available position, the employer should understandably want to meet with candidates before hiring them.

However, there should be an option with less pressure and more potential for true representation than a standard interview. Additional interactions and points of contact such as essays and mock collaborations, although more involved, would provide a more well-rounded picture of a candidate’s working potential in lieu of the typical face-to-face interview.

I do not foresee the application process being restructured anytime soon. Thus, the quiet ones must learn to compensate. Either individually or with guidance, it is a good idea for people planning to begin searching for jobs to practice and research before jumping in. Samford’s Career Development Center is a great resource for both composing application documents and modeling a typical interview. Plenty of online articles also offer tips for anxious applicants.

In the ever-changing working world, one thing is certain; sorority recruitment should not be the final rehearsal.

Lindsay Wiseman is a senior elementary and special education major. Email her at lwiseman@samford.edu. After graduation, Lindsay hopes to teach in the Birmingham area.


Softball wins final regular season series


The Samford softball team hosted the Georgia Southern Eagles this past weekend in the final regular season SoCon matchup.

The Dogs won the first two games of the series before losing on Sunday. Samford edged GSU 1-0 and 2-1 in Saturday’s doubleheader.

Sophomore nursing major Caroline Wilder blasted a solo home run in game one and recorded the game-winning hit late in the second game to clinch the series for the Bulldogs.

Game three had more offense from both teams, but the Eagles took the game by a score of 7-4.

“We really fought hard the entire weekend,” senior education major Arica Dykes said. “If we struck out in previous at bats we were determined to make something happen the next at bat.”

Dykes was recognized before Sunday’s game for her achievements and dedication to the team as the only senior on the roster.

Dykes scored the first run of the senior day contest after getting hit by a pitch.

In the fourth inning junior graphic design major Rachel Bickert touched home on a base hit by Dykes.

Freshman exercise science major Abbie Miranda went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored to lead the offense on Sunday.

The Bulldogs (36-16, 11-9 SoCon) will begin the 2014 SoCon championship tournament today as the number four seed.

The Bulldogs will face fifth-seeded UNCG at 4:30 p.m. (CDT).

“We are all really excited to get there,” Dykes said. “We have had a good season and coming off a great weekend, but we still have a lot to prove.”

Football prepares to defend SoCon title


After recording an 8-4 record and reaching the FCS playoffs in 2013, the Samford football team has begun preparation for the 2014 season.

Samford will have to replace a number of players from the 2013 SoCon co-championship team, most notably quarterback Andy Summerlin.

Sophomore communication studies major Michael Eubank transferred to Samford from Arizona State to help fill the void on offense.

Eubank has joined senior management major Carson Barnett, freshman pre-business major Albert Mitchell and freshman interior design major Drew Pederson in a four-way competition for the starting quarterback role in the fall.

On defense, Samford looks to overcome the loss of starters like Jeremy Towns, Justin Shade and Tae Lewis. Sophomore communication studies major Jay Galloway, a defensive end, is looking forward to the challenge.

“A lot of guys have done an awesome job of stepping up and are ready to be the leaders of our team,” Galloway said. “As a whole, the defense looks very strong and we are eager to continue to get better in fall camp.”

The Bulldogs will have a challenging 2014 schedule, opening at a Big 12 team in TCU on Aug. 30 and closing with a visit to defending SEC champion Auburn on Nov. 22.

“Auburn will be a great opportunity to persuade our student body at Samford to break their FBS ties and support our great program here,” sophomore biochemistry major and offensive lineman Armando Bonheur said. “Leaving at halftime every week? That hurts, but the atmosphere of the stadium [at Auburn] will be raucous and that’ll be great.”

Samford will host both new SoCon programs, VMI and Mercer, in 2014 as well as conference rivals Wofford and Western Carolina. The Bulldogs’ two toughest SoCon games will be on the road against 2013 co-champs Chattanooga and Furman.

“Everyone will be gunning for us this upcoming season,” Mitchell said. “Nobody will be looking to take us lightly, and we will get everyone’s best shot.”

Dogs get season split with AAMU


 Samford avenged a loss earlier in the season with a 5-1 home win over Alabama A&M on Tuesday night.

Samford jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and never trailed.

Samford’s bats retired Alabama A&M’s starting pitcher Payden Khun by the end of the first, recording two hits and three walks through two-thirds of the inning.

Undeclared freshman Hunter Swilling led the way, hitting a double in the first inning and two more hits in the game in a 3-for-3 effort.

Freshman pre-business major Cody Pugh (4-4) earned the win on the mound for Samford, allowing just two hits and one unearned run in six innings.

Samford earned a season split with its in-state rival. Alabama A&M won an April 2 contest in Huntsville 5-3.

Samford is 9-4 against in-state opponents this season and will play crosstown rival UAB in its final in-state game of the season today at 6:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs won the teams’ first meeting, a 13-5 decision at Samford on Feb. 26.

Samford (29-20, 12-9 SoCon) will then host its last home series of the season this weekend against Appalachian State. First pitch is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m.

SU senior memories


What will you miss most about your team? 

Hamilton Bailey, basketball guard: “What I’ll miss most is something I know I’ve taken for granted, being with my teammates. No one knows me like they do.”

Katie Murphy, volleyball middle blocker: “I will miss being around my sisters every day. I could always count on the team to make my day better.”

Kelsey Pope, football wide receiver: “I will miss the brotherhood that was formed over the years.”

Shanika Thomas, soccer midfielder: “Travelling, eating meals, waking up to run and lift weights together – having teammates made the physically and mentally demanding times not quite as painful.”

What was your favorite moment at Samford? 

Jordan Johnson, soccer defender: “My favorite memory was beating all the SEC schools this year. We knew we were better than them. What was rewarding was being able to show everyone else.”

Tony Thompson, basketball guard: “My most special moment is the Sunday we had team chapel the day of a game. The entire team, coaches included, basically had church. We won that game, too.”