Dr. Bryan, Who Started Teaching in East Lake, Retires
After 46 years, Dr.
Sigurd F. Bryan decided to retire. It was not that the longtime
religion professor felt he was slowing down. He still plans
to teach part-time, and his daily exercise regimen of swimming
or walking remains as steady as ever.
“It’s time for somebody younger to come in with
fresh ideas to inspire the students,” Bryan said in
May. “Nobody could enjoy it more than I did.”
Bryan was the last active teaching link with Samford’s
East Lake campus. He began teaching at then–Howard College
in 1956–57. The following summer, the school moved to
|Sigurd Bryan retired in May, but
his schedule remains busy.
“If the calendar didn’t say I had been here 46 years,
I would not believe it,” he said. “It seems like yesterday
that I came.”
Bryan has taught thousands of students Old Testament during his
days on the faculty.
“I tried to give them an overview,” he said, adding
that he did not push narrow interpretations. “The Bible can
be interpreted differently by different people. I’ve always
tried to stay in the middle of the road.”
Bryan said he likes the diversity that Baptists have always had.
For him, the trend in the Southern Baptist Convention away from
diversity has been “a disappointment.”
Bryan graduated from Samford in 1946 and earned a doctor of theology
at Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He thought he might
be a pastor, but found he had a love for teaching.
“I enjoy studying and teaching the Bible, and that’s
what I’ve been allowed to do for 46 years,” he said.
“I love the stories that are in the Bible. I have enjoyed
sharing that and introducing the Bible to students.”
Bryan has done his share of preaching over the years as well,
filling numerous Baptist pulpits. He’ll continue to do that
when called on. He’ll also continue to teach Old Testament
in Samford’s extension program.
No sooner had Bryan retired than he took on yet another part-time
assignment for Samford. He’s the new director of Samford Sunday,
the program that schedules ministerial students as guest preachers
in Baptist churches around Alabama.