Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Hardin announced via email on Feb. 14 that his office will host a “five-day emphasis on civil discourse based upon (Samford’s) agape ethic.” The series is titled “Love Thy Neighbor” and will begin on Monday, March 21.
“This week of campus-wide gathering and reflection is therefore intended to help all of us – but most especially our students – explore how Christians, as bearers of the image of God, can best engage others with dignity and respect,” Hardin said in the email.
One of the guest lecturers who will be featured during the upcoming “Love Thy Neighbor” week is Pulitzer Prize-winning author and speaker Jon Meacham, invited back to campus after the university rescheduled his initially planned visit last fall.
On Oct. 27, 2021, Samford University President Beck A. Taylor sent an email to the Samford community announcing that Meacham would no longer be a featured speaker at an upcoming event during his presidential inauguration. Taylor’s email came following both a Student Government Association resolution opposing Meacham’s talk, as well as an online petition that circulated among the Samford community. In Taylor’s October 2021 email, he stated that he wished for his inauguration to be a time that unified the campus and indicated that Meacham would be invited back to Samford at a later date.
Meacham’s planned visit this spring is in accordance with Taylor’s statement from his Oct. 27 email, as well as a statement provided by a university spokesperson at the time confirmed that Meacham’s lecture had been postponed and would be rescheduled.Meacham is scheduled to give a lecture on Tuesday, March 22 from 6-7 p.m. in the Wright Center based on his New York Times Bestselling book, “The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels,” according to the “Love thy Neighbor” event’s page.