The Myralyn Allgood STORI

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As part of preparations for Samford’s 175th Anniversary, the Office and University Historian and the University Library’s Special Collection and Archives have the opportunity to revitalize oral history work at Samford.  Earlier this fall we launched the Samford Traditions and Oral History Recording Initiative (S.T.O.R.I.) website to provide digital access to these oral histories.  The site will offer interviews from Samford and the local community to document our shared history. A new addition to the site, just this week, is the Myralyn Allgood STORI.

From head cheerleader and member of BSU choir to head of the World Languages and Cultures Department, Myralyn Allgood’s involvement at Samford University spanned nearly six decades. A passing glance at a Howard College ad in a Beta Club Journal peaked her interest enough to drive over for a visit in the summer of 1957 while boxes were still being unpacked on the new Homewood campus…

Allgood: So, one day I was flipping through a Beta Club journal.  This was in 1956 or something like that.  There was this tiny little blurb about Howard College, and it had a picture of the library. . . . It had all the things listed – teacher education (and I knew that was what I wanted to do), intercollegiate athletics, Greek organization, Baptist affiliation.  I thought, “Yes – all the things on my checklist right there.”  Let’s go see it.

So Mom and Dad and my friend and I got in the car, and I’m thinking it was on . . . July 4th . . . .  We came over looking for the old campus because that was the summer before the move here, and that’s where the administrative offices still were. But we got lost and wound up driving up this hill and [I] looked down and said, “There it is.  There’s that library that’s pictured in my Beta Club journal.”  So we turned around and came down here. There were some people beginning to move into the administration building . . . . So we walked through and got to look at [campus].  It was not a rainy day like it was in the fall when we came and [there] was mud for a whole semester. . . . We thought “Oh, this is so beautiful.  We just can’t wait to get here.” 

We went down to the administration building and they said, “Well, . . . we’re beginning to function over here, but in order to enroll you’re going to have to go over to the old campus.” So they gave us good directions and we got there.  And when we got there, they were having a watermelon cutting under Sherman Oak.  So I at least got to know Sherman Oak before the college was no more over there.  And [we] went in and signed up and that was it and we were done.  And I thought going home, “Man, we . . . surely are glad we saw the new [campus] before we saw the old [campus]. . . .”  We may never have taken the next step because it was falling down. 

And then we came in the fall.  And all the upper classmen were just weeping and wailing, they so missed the old campus.  And then the sorority, they said, “Okay come on, we’re going to go clean out the sorority house and move over to this place where all we have is a little room.”   And so we went and we packed things up and they were crying and I’m thinking, “Why?” But it’s tradition.  Wherever you are and wherever your experiences are, that’s the place that’s dear to you.  Be it ever so humble.  It was home.  So for those folks that were sophomores and juniors and seniors coming over here it was a difficult transition. For us, as freshmen, we were blissful.  We didn’t know what we’d missed but apparently missed something but that smaller college spirit was just something very special, and that’s one thing that no matter how many changes have taken place here over the years, the one thing that remains the same is that same spirit, that whether you know people or not, you smile at them and you greet them as you grow up together and when you see each other after a long time there’s this big embrace because, you know, you’re friends.  You grew up together.  So that’s how I got here.  And I have always known that’s where I would go to school.  And I loved it from the day I set foot on campus. It was home to me.

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE: STORI

Adapted from:

Oral History interview with Myralyn Allgood conducted by Bryan Kessler, November 14, 2012.

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