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July 11, 2012
Author of Samford History Needs Your Stories
Dr. Jonathan Bass, chair of the Samford history department and University Historian, has been commissioned to write what will be the first comprehensive scholarly history of the University. He will complete the work for Samford's 175th anniversary in 2016.
In connection with this, he is seeking stories, memorabilia, photographs and manuscripts related to the history of Howard College and Samford University. He is also looking to conduct oral histories with alumni and former employees. Please send your contributions to Dr. Bass at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bass plans a Samford history that will be a "bottom up analysis of the institution's students, faculty, and staff," reflecting his training as a southern social and cultural historian. At Samford since 1998, he was named chair in 2009 and was appointed to the additional post of University Historian by Samford President Andrew Westmoreland earlier this year.
Assisting Bass in the project will be Michelle Little, who is serving as Assistant University Historian. Although she will be involved in all aspects of research, Little will serve as oral historian for the project. She has more than 10 years of experience in the legal profession, where she conducted interviews and performed research. In addition, Erin Stewart Mauldin will serve as the research fellow for the project. She is a graduate student in history at Georgetown University.
A gift to the University is funding the history project.
Bass wrote a Pulitzer Prize-nominated book on Civil Rights-era Birmingham in 2001 entitled Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Martin Luther King, Jr., Eight White Religious Leaders and the 'Letter from Birmingham Jail.' The volume examined how clergymen responded to the racial crisis and how King used his letter to help his cause.
More recently, Bass completed two book-length manuscripts, one a history of Balch & Bingham law firm and the other a study of the integration of southern juries and jails and the end to the death penalty entitled "He Calls Me by Lightning: A Saga of Jim Crow, Southern Justice, and the Death Penalty."
Bass completed his doctorate at the University of Tennessee, where he studied with noted southern historian James C. Cobb and worked as a graduate research assistant for University Historian Milton Klein as Tennessee celebrated its 200th anniversary.
A seventh-generation Alabamian, Bass was reared in Birmingham suburb Fairfield, and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at UAB."The project would not be possible without the dedicated work of archivist Elizabeth Wells, who has carefully preserved the historical artifacts and manuscripts of the university," said Bass.