(Samford paid tribute to the faculty, staff, and students who served our nation in the armed forces in the dedication of the 1948 Entre Nous.)
Samford has a rich history of military participation. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Howard College president Henry Talbird and many Howard students left Marion, AL, to organize a regiment of Independent Volunteers in 1861. Future Howard President Harwell Goodwin Davis, along with many other Howard faculty members, served in WWI, where he was promoted to Major, wounded in action, and received a citation for gallantry. Later during WWII, “The Major,” recognizing the needs of the struggling Howard College, invited the Navy to host a V-12 training unit at Howard’s East Lake campus, which ultimately played a huge role in saving the struggling school. Countless men and women from Samford’s ranks have proudly worn the uniforms of our nation’s armed forces, and many continue to do so today.
Several Crimson articles paid tribute to those who served, like the following article that listed the Howard men (and women) in uniform:
Howard Men are Doing Their Share for Freedom
Ex-football Stars, Profs, Crimson Editors—They’re Fightin’ All Over the World.
From the Solomons to Suez – from Africa to Australia – and right here in the good ol’ U.S.A., Howard men and women are showing the world how to fight for freedom. They’re everywhere in every phase of the war effort, doing their share and more. Ex-football stars, professors, pharmacists, doctors, chaplains, public relations officers, physical instructors – battling the Japanese in the jungles of New Guinea, dueling the Germans over the African desert, teaching physical fitness to future aviators in Texas. Here are som [sic] typical Howard men who are serving:
- (jg) Ernest H. Dunlap of the U.S. Navy, wounded in action and awarded the Navy Cross.
- James Stuart (Coach Jim to you) physical instructor at the Naval Reserve Air Base in Dallas, Texas.
- Amasa B. Wingham, director of public relations for the Navy in Alabama.
- Osce M. Bentley, an “All-Southern” drum major and a campus tradition, in the Naval Reserve.
- Josiah Bancroft, died in service of the U.S. Army Medical Corps.
- Ensign Olivia Philabert, only Howard girl in uniform. She’s in the WAVES…
– Howard Crimson, December 4, 1942
One Howard student, who preferred to write under the initials H.R.L., put everything in perspective in a touching opinion piece for the Crimson. For Thanksgiving 1941, he or she reminded fellow Howard students just how much they had to be thankful for because of the bravery of every American soldier:
Alabama’s Hills Are Beautiful With No Machine Guns to Mar the Foliage
Howard’s campus and the mountains around East Lake are in the height of one of their full dress parade. The Beacon Mountains toward the east with its beautiful array of fall colors was a scenic background for the Howard-‘Nooga game last Friday evening. Many times during the game our eyes would wander from the field where boys in red and blue and yellow and black were fighting for possession of the ball and gaze at nature’s colors across the way. To our left was stately Main, standing in all her lofty whiteness against a background of a setting sun.
Due, perhaps, to the fact that we have had a few frosty nights followed by balmy days, the colors of the leaves are blended with a skill more than human. The roads out of Birmingham are bordered by trees of reds and yellows and browns and appear to have been planned to mix most effectively with the dark green of the pines.
It is not unusual for us to forget to see and enjoy the little things of beauty about us, but when out most inward thoughts and feelings are wrapped up with our personal problems, we find a release when we turn them outward and view the handywork of Mother Nature’s brush. During this season in which we give thanks for a harvest of blessings, we think of fields beyond these seas that yield little but broken plows and bodies of men. We know not what another Thanksgiving may be like, but whatever the coming days may have in store for us, we hope we may still be alive to give thanks. The hearts of men in other lands may be slow to give thanks this year, but but here where our roads are not filled with fleeing women and children and aged fathers; where our barns and bins and warehouses are stored with the harvest of the year; where we can look at the colors of nature without being afraid that a machine gun lies beneath the foliage, we are thankful–H.L.R.
-Howard Crimson, November 21, 1941.
Happy Veteran’s Day, and thank you.
Howard Entre Nous and Howard Crimson