During Convocation hour on Tuesday, March 22, President Beck Taylor spoke on civil discourse, saying that Samford should strive to be a community full of grace and truth. President Taylor said that he and his wife Julie loved college so much that they found careers that helped them stay in college forever.
“The world is complex, the people are complex, and the hard issues facing our nation are complex. That complexity is what captivates my attention,” Taylor said.
College is the only time where students have almost unlimited access to any material to satisfy intellectual wants. Taylor urged students to cherish this place where students can do nothing but explore the world.
Taylor shared his experiences where he had strong opinions on controversial political matters like abortion and the death penalty. It wasn’t until after he searched for knowledge and listened to testimonies that he realized his original opinions were wrong.
“It’s okay if you disagree with my political opinions,” Taylor said. “Sometimes we’re just wrong about stuff.” He continued by asking the question, “When and where, friends, will you be given the opportunity in life to hear from so many different people on so many different topics of great importance?”
Taylor presented the verse John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Taylor said he wants Samford to be a student body that is full of grace and truth.
“Grace without truth is nothing more than cheap grace and truth without grace is equally corrupt. We don’t want a world that is full of truth and no grace,” Taylor said.
Taylor said he desires for Samford to be a community that embraces conviction and curiosity, known for its hospitality and humility, and one that lowers the stakes to encourage intellectual risk. President Taylor left a last charge for the students.
“Samford University can be a role model for a country and a university that holds fast to its convictions,” Taylor said.