On July 1, Beck A. Taylor began his term as President of Samford University. Almost immediately, Beck made an impact on the Samford community, thanks in part to his past educational and leadership experience. According to his official Samford biography, Taylor served as the associate dean for research and faculty development for Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business from 1997-2005. Later in 2005, he accepted a position at Samford University and became the youngest dean in the country at the time as Dean of Brock School of Business where he remained until 2010. Most recently, Taylor taught economics at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, where he also served as the 18th president of the university.
Taylor said he believes meaningful relationships are at the heart of leadership and was beyond ecstatic when he had the opportunity to return to Samford and lead the community once again. His move from Whitworth to Samford was a smooth transition, he said, and his family is settling back into the community they can now call home again.
Taylor attributes much of his inspiration and support to his predecessor at Samford, former President Andrew Westmoreland, as well as his parents and past faculty members he has worked with. As a former professor, Taylor knows firsthand how a student can be impacted and encouraged, and he plans to continue that same mission during his time as president. Although he is now outside the classroom, Taylor has been intentional in creating meaningful relationships with students, and he plans to meet with various student leaders around campus. Taylor said he was drawn back to Samford because of its emphasis on Christian higher education and “relational community.”
Taylor felt called by God to pursue his career in higher education leadership and wants to incorporate his faith in every way he can.
“I want students to know that I do this job for them,” Taylor said. “I want them to enjoy their time as a college student on this campus.”
Taylor believes Samford attracts those seeking out meaningful connections, intentional conversations and an incredible education that will make them successful, strong and sincere in their fields.
Taylor has been busy during his first few weeks back on campus, meeting students, attending events and creating meaningful connections with faculty and staff. Students can often find Taylor walking around the quad, cheering at football games or even petting Samford’s new furry friend, Buxley.
Taylor is confident in the years ahead.
“I believe my goals for my time as president here are to strengthen and protect Samford’s identity, expand opportunities for students, and create a real impact in the community surrounding us,” Taylor said.
Taylor’s official inauguration ceremony will be held on Nov. 4 from 10-11 a.m. All Samford students and faculty are invited to attend.