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Samford University is a private, coeducational, Alabama Baptist-affiliated university located in Homewoodmarker, a suburb of Birminghammarker, Alabamamarker, United Statesmarker, and is home to the Howard College of Arts and Sciences, Cumberland School of Lawmarker, McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Brock School of Business, Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing and Beeson Divinity School. As of 2006, Samford ranks number four in the South among master's degree institutions in this year's U.S. News & World Report rankings of America's Best Colleges. The 2006 ranking was the 17th consecutive year for the school to be ranked in the top 10 in its category. In 2007, Samford was reclassified as "national research university" and on 17 August 2007, Samford ranked 130 out of 261 doctoral universities in U.S. News and World Reports' college rankings. In 2009, Samford improved to a ranking of 126 out of 262 doctoral universities.


Bird's-Eye View of the Campus
was founded as Howard College in 1841 and opened its doors to students on January 3, 1842, in Marion, Alabamamarker. In 1887 the school relocated to the East Lake community of Birmingham. Howard College was named for a Christian prison reformer John Howard.

Women were first admitted to Howard College in 1895, and the college officially became coeducational in 1913. One year later the school established its Teacher Education Division. In 1920 the school joined the Southern Association of Colleges and in 1927 it added its pharmacy school.

Reid Chapel

In 1961, the school acquired the Cumberland School of Lawmarker from Cumberland University in Lebanonmarker, Tennesseemarker.

Under the leadership of President Harwell Goodwin Davis the college looked to relocate again and on June 11, 1953 Howard College broke ground on its third campus in the Shades Valley just south of Birmingham. The school occupied its new campus in 1957.

As a private segregated institution, Samford University was to some degree insulated from the events that defined Birmingham and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and early 1960s. But a growing core of Samford faculty and students opposed segregation, and by the late 1960s changing laws made racist policies untenable even for private universities.

In 1965 Howard reinstituted its master's degree program. This led to the college's elevation to university status on November 9, 1965. The school was renamed in honor of Frank Park Samford, chairman of the Board of Trustees and to that time, the institution's most generous individual benefactor, because there was already a Howard Universitymarker in Washington, D.C.marker.

The Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing owned by the Baptist Medical Center of Birmingham, was added to the University in 1973. In 1988, the Beeson Divinity School was established through donations from Ralph W. Beeson.

The University now consists of the Howard College of Arts and Sciences, Brock School of Business, Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies, School of Performing Arts, Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Beeson School of Divinity, and Cumberland School of Lawmarker.

William Self Propst Hall

On January 29, 2004, in his Founder's Day Address, then-President Thomas E. Corts announced a multi-year improvement plan called, "The Promise." According to Dr. Corts, "Samford University will be an academically vigorous Christian university that coordinates a strong, effective educational program and encouragement of Christian belief and service, within a community that respects its individual members and encourages each to highest and best levels of performance and conduct -- academically, socially, spiritually, physically."

The plan calls for Samford to invest some $200 million to "enrich and enhance the educational experience of its students." Since June 1, 2003 more than $37 million has been contributed in philanthropic gifts toward the campaign.

Civil Rights

Leslie Stephen Wright resisted integration, but Samford's whites-only policy threatened Federal student aid and institutional accreditation. Cumberland School of Lawmarker faced the greatest immediate jeopardy, so finally admitted Samford's first black student, Audrey Lattimore Gaston, in 1967. Once that door was opened at Cumberland, Wright was unable to close it there or prevent the integration of the university as a whole".


William Self Propst Hall- Built in 2001, it was originally known as the Sciencenter. It is home to the Biological and Environmental Sciences Department, the Physics Department, and the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. It was dedicated as William Self Propst Hall on March 10, 2009. Propst initiated the concept of leased pharmacy operations in Kmart stores that eventually saw 1,278 pharmacies operating in the discount chain. He served as president of the Kmart pharmacy operations for 17 years.

Beeson Woods- A residential "community" consisting of approximately twenty residence halls named in honor of select members of the Beeson Family.

Dwight M. Beeson Hall - Named in honor of Ralph Beeson's brother, it houses the Brock School of Business, named in honor of Harry Brock, the founder of Central Bank of Alabama, now BBVA Compass. It is also home to the History Department and Political Science Department.

Memory Leake Robinson Hall- Houses the Cumberland School of Law, acquired from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennesseemarker.

Lucille Stewart Beeson Law Library- Connected to Robinson Hall, part of the Cumberland School of Lawmarker. Named in honor of Dwight Beeson's wife.

Percy Pratt Burns Hall- Houses Psychology and Sociology Departments and the University Ministries offices.

Mamie Mell Smith Hall- The second largest residence hall on campus with space for approximately 250 residents.

James Horton Chapman Hall- Joined the faculty of Howard College (now Samford University) where he established the Department of Religious Education at Samford in 1918. He retired in 1958. This hall houses the Religion Department and the World Languages and Cultures Department.

Lena Vail Davis Hall- Largest residence hall on campus with 198 rooms and over 400 residents. Vail construction concluded in 1959.

Harwell Goodwin Davis Library- The main library of Samford University. Named in honor of the first Assistant Attorney General of Alabama, serving 1916-17 until the declaration of the war with Germany. He was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General, 1919-21 and was appointed Attorney General. Harwell Goodwin Davis helped expose, and bring an end the state's convict lease system. He was also a president of Samford, and it was his vision to have the campus forever reflect the style of Colonial Williamsburg, Virginiamarker. The Davis Library is crowed with Samford University's iconic bell tower and Rushton Carillon.

A. Hamilton Reid Chapel- Built in the image of the first Baptist church built in the Americas.

Thomas D. Russell Hall- Home to Computer Science and Mathematics Departments. It is named in honor of the founder of the Russell Athletics clothing company.

Frank Park Samford Hall- Named after Frank Park Samford. Houses the Office of Admissions, Office of Financial Aid, the Bursar's Office, Student Records, and Office of the President.

Leslie S. Wright Center for the Fine Arts- Named after Samford's first president at the Homewood location. Houses the University's 2,633 seat concert hall.

Elinor Messer Brooks and Marion Thomas Brooks Hall- Originally it was the home to the sciences, before the construction of William Self Propst Hall. Now it houses the offices of the Howard College of Arts and Sciences, Classics Department, Communication Studies Department, and Technology Services.

Beeson Bridge- A pedestrian bridge that links the residence halls of Beeson Woods with the main campus

J. D. Pittman Hall- Houses a 90-person capacity dormitory and Student Health and Counseling Services

Dwight M. and Lucille S. Beeson Center for the Healing Arts- Houses the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing and the Rotunda Club

Orlean Bullard Beeson Hall- Houses the Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education

Ralph Waldo Beeson University Center and Annex- Houses the Cafeteria, Food Court, "The Hub" Information Center, Post Office, Student Mailboxes, Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management, University Bookstore, Office or Residence Life, Student Government Association offices, Office of Student Involvement, Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Career Development Center, Geography Department, Journalism Department, WVSU studio, and The Samford Crimson offices

Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel / Divinity Hall- It was the location for a men's dorm building (Crawford Johnson Hall) before it was renovated. Dedicated in 1995, and named in honor of Andrew Gerow Hodges in 2002. Though the chapel is an original design, it was inspired by a chapel in Venice designed by Andrea Palladio. The interior of the dome contains paintings of prominent figures from Christian history, and was inspired by a passage in chapter 12 of Hebrews. It was painted by a modern Romanian fresco master named Petru Botezatu. The chapel also commemorates one 20th century Christian martyr from each of the six inhabited continents, and the sculptures portraying each of them are also the work of Botezatu.

Honorary Statues

Angel of Mercy- Seen on the south side of the Healing Arts Building, the angel statue is the happy result of a collaboration between Birmingham artist/sculptor Constantine Breton.

Justice and Mercy- Located in the plaza between the Beeson Law Library and the Robinson Hall, the statue grew out of a phrase Mrs. Lucille Beeson wanted to have placed on the Law Library, "Seek wisdom to temper justice with compassion". The concept is that the Angel of Mercy is seen encouraging the Lady of Justice. She is staying the sword of justice to keep it from being used too swiftly, tempering it with compassion.

Ralph W. Beeson- Statue located on the south end of the Centennial Walk, commemorating the tremendous contributions Ralph W. Beeson made to Samford University .

Martha Myers- The statue of Martha Myers is part of the Marla Haas Corts Missionary Biography Collection of Harwell Goodwin Davis Library. Created by Glynn Acree of Roswell, Ga., Myers' statue commemorates her life of service as a medical missionay in Yemen.

William Curry- From 1908-2009 the statue of William Curry resided in Washington D.C.marker The 7 foot tall statue was created by sculptor Dante Sodini.William Curry served as the third president of Howard College.Curry was known as a crusader for education, Curry was one of the first leaders after the Civil War to advocate religious instruction and general education for black children in the South.Curry studied at Harvard Law Schoolmarker and he became an advocate for free universal education. William Curry later became an ambassador to Spainmarker. His publications included works on education, American government and Spanish history. He died in 1903, and is buried in Richmond, Va. The school of education located at the University of Virginiamarker is named in his honor.


Board of Trustees

Samford University, as a private corporation, is wholly governed by an independent, self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. The Board appoints the President of the University, who serves as chief executive officer. The Board consists of its regular members and the President.


Andrew Westmoreland is the current President of Samford University. Appointed by the Board of Trustees, he is the chief executive officer of the university, and serves only at the pleasure of the Board. Prior to his taking office on June 1, 2006, Westmoreland served as president of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphiamarker, Arkansasmarker.

Prior to Westmoreland, the following men served as president:

President Tenure Institution
1 Samuel Sterling Sherman 1842–1852 Howard College (Marionmarker)
2 Henry Talbird 1853–1863 Howard College (Marionmarker)
3 Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry 1865–1868 Howard College (Marionmarker)
4 Edward Q. Thornton 1868–1869 Howard College (Marionmarker)
5 Samuel R. Freeman 1869–1871 Howard College (Marionmarker)
6 James T. Murfee 1871–1887 Howard College (Marionmarker)
7 Benjamin Franklin Riley 1888–1893 Howard College (East Lakemarker)
8 Arthur W. McGaha 1893–1896 Howard College (East Lakemarker)
9 A.D. Smith 1896–1897 Howard College (East Lakemarker)
10 Frank M. Roof 1897–1902 Howard College (East Lakemarker)
11 Andrew P. Montague 1902–1912 Howard College (East Lakemarker)
12 James M. Shelborne 1912–1917 Howard College (East Lakemarker)
13 Charles B. Williams 1919–1921 Howard College (East Lakemarker)
14 John C. Dawson 1921–1932 Howard College (East Lakemarker)
15 Thomas V. Neal 1932–1939 Howard College (East Lakemarker)
16 Harwell Goodwin Davis 1939–1958 Howard College (Homewoodmarker)
17 Leslie Stephen Wright 1958–1983 Samford University (Homewoodmarker)
18 Thomas E. Corts 1983–2006 Samford University (Homewoodmarker)
19 Andrew Westmoreland 2006–present Samford University (Homewoodmarker)

Colleges and schools

Samford University is currently divided into degree-granting units. Each division is headed by a dean. The divisions of the university (and their current heads) are:

College/school Dean
Howard College of Arts and Science David W. Chapman
Metro College Cindy Kirk
Brock School of Business Beck A. Taylor
Beeson Divinity School Timothy George
Beeson School of Education & Professional Studies Jean A. Box
Cumberland School of Lawmarker John L. Carroll
Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing Nena Sanders
School of the Arts Joe Hopkins
McWhorter School of Pharmacy Charlie Sands


As of fall 2008, the last semester for which comprehensive data have been published, the university had an enrollment of 2,848 undergraduate students and 1,621 graduate and professional students.

Approximately 42% of the total student body comes from Alabamamarker, 13% come from Georgiamarker and 12% come from Tennesseemarker. As a result, Samford's flavor, though leavened with students from across the United States (40 states are represented, along with 18 foreign countries), is overwhelmingly Southern. Almost 85% of Samford's students are Caucasian, and about 7% are African American. About 15% of Samford students are minorities, and 40% are male.


Samford's campus has moved several times during its history. Originally, Howard College was located in Marion, Alabamamarker, a black-belt town between Selmamarker and Tuscaloosamarker; it is the birthplace of Coretta Scott King. In 1887, the college moved to the East Lake community in Birminghammarker.

The college—and now University—is presently located approximately south of downtown Birmingham in Homewood, Alabamamarker's Shades Valley area. The campus lies along Lakeshore Drive in Homewood, just from Interstate 65.

Besides its lush lawns and well-maintained gardens, Samford boasts a distinctive example of Georgian style architecture found in the United States. Samford's uniform style, based upon Colonial Williamsburgmarker, was the vision of President Harwell Davis when he moved the campus to the Shades Valley area in 1953-55.

Student life


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According to Samford officials, co-curricular involvement is an important aspect of a total education. Because of this philosophy, Samford students are encouraged to select from more than 100 honors, religious, professional, educational, service and social student organizations. These groups, overseen by the Office of Student Involvement, offer Samford students an opportunity to explore their interests with like-minded individuals.

Samford's diversity of programming runs the gamut from a student-led group of Oxfam America, a social justice organization, to the Samford Young Life chapter, an Evangelical Christian group.

Greek life

As of spring 2004, 33% of the undergraduate student body was affiliated with one of 14 social Greek organizations. Specifically, 29% of men were members of fraternities and 34% of women were members of sororities.

The local chapters are supported by active alumni bases that continue to involve former active members in both the life of the social organization and the life of the University. Many members of Samford's administration, along with several notable alums, were members of Greek organizations.


The fraternities represented on campus are:

Fraternity Chartered locally
Alpha Phi Alpha 2000
Pi Kappa Alpha 1911 - 1994
Kappa Alpha Psi 1998
Lambda Chi Alpha 1911
Pi Kappa Phi 1925, 1991
Sigma Chi 1872, 1984
Sigma Nu 1879


The sororities represented on campus are:

Sorority Chartered locally
Alpha Delta Pi 1910
Alpha Omicron Pi 1995
Delta Zeta 1924 (closed)
Zeta Tau Alpha 1964
Kappa Delta 1968 (closed since 1985)
Phi Mu 1924
Chi Omega 1963

Samford also houses chapters for Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the social fraternity for men of musicianly character; Delta Omicron; and Gamma Sigma Sigma, a service sorority. These chapters are not affiliated with the Interfraternity Council or Panhellinic Council.

Code of Values

You may view the Samford University "Student Handbook" for details on Samford University's values. Samford uses a system of Value Violations which assign points to a person's record. When a certain number of points are acquired the person must pay a monetary value to the university or may be expelled from the university. Samford University does not use an Honor Code.

Samford's Values Court deals with specific infractions of the Code of Values by students and consists of representatives of all three of Samford's stakeholders: administration, faculty, and students.

  • Preamble
    We as the Samford community affirm the value of a peaceful and purposeful community, founded on the moral and ethical integrity of students and faculty.

    We commit ourselves to the Christian values on which Samford University was founded.

    We expect that our commitment to mutual responsibility and a spirit of cooperation will create a community that is orderly, caring and just.
  • Worth of the Individual
    We value the intrinsic worth of every individual in the community.

    Our respect for other individuals includes an appreciation of cultural backgrounds different from our own, an understanding of different attitudes and opinions, and an awareness of the consequences of our actions on the broader community.
  • Self-Discipline
    We value personal responsibility and recognize the individual’s need for physical, intellectual, spiritual, social and emotional wholeness.

    We value the full development of every student in terms of a confident and constructive self-image, of a commitment to self-discipline and of a responsible self-expression.
  • Integrity
    We value a campus community that encourages personal growth and academic development in an atmosphere of positive Christian influence.

    We affirm the necessity of academic standards of conduct that allow student and faculty to live and study together.

    We value the fair and efficient administration of these standards of conduct.
  • Respect for Property and the Environment
    We value the rights and privileges of owning and using property, both personal and University, and the benefits of preservation and maintenance of property and of our natural resources.

    In our stewardship of property, we recognize the accountability of our actions to the future of the Samford community.
  • Respect for Community Authority
    We value our privileges and responsibilities as members of the University community and as citizens of the community beyond the campus.

    We value the community standards of conduct expressed in our system of laws and value the fair administration of those laws, including University, municipal, state and federal laws.

Allegiance to these values obligates the Samford University student to refrain from and discourages behaviors that threaten the freedom and respect every individual deserves.[67375]

Student housing

All undergraduate students (with some exceptions) are required to live on campus until the age of 21 to the extent that on-campus student housing facilities can accommodate them.

Approximately 66% of undergraduates -— freshmen, sophomores, and many juniors -— live on campus. Many senior undergraduates also live on campus, and those who do not often join the graduate and professional students in living near campus. Consequently, student life at Samford is heavily intertwined with campus life.

Erskine Ramsay Hall

On Sunday March 9, 2008 at 3:58 PM Ramsay Hall suffered structural damage. Rafters supporting the roofcollapsed unexpectedly. Residences heard a series of loud "shots" minutes before the roof collapsed. Campus safety responded promptly alerting fire departments and structural engineers. President Andrew Westmorland helped students survive the first night by providing a $100 gift card in order to purchase necessities until personal belongings could be recovered from the dormitory. All residences were reassigned dorm rooms the following week. As of April 20 2009 the remainder of the dorm still stands on campus with no construction repairs done. The fate of the building is still unknown. [67376] [67377]

Campus Safety

At 10:00 PM every night, the main gate onto campus is closed and all access on and off campus is made at the Southwest gate. The Department of Public Safety provides a safety escort service for all students to any safe destination on campus during the day or night. On Friday May 9 2008 before 5 A.M. "A campus security officer spotted the man shortly before 5 a.m., while making a routine patrol of the north parking deck. The man reportedly put the gun in the officer's face and then ran off. The university immediately went into lockdown. Officers began the search for the suspect at two nearby residence halls. By 7:30 a.m., when the suspect still hadn't been found, university officials decided it was safe to lift the lockdown." A few days later, it was found out that the security officer made the whole story up and that there was no man with a gun on campus. Serious action was taken as consequences of the officer's actions.For more information or to view crime statistics visit their Homepage for more information at Campus Safety.


There are several media outlines at Samford, with administration, faculty, and students producing different publications.

Inside Samford is the official newsletter of the university administration and faculty. Published ten times each year, it does not publish opinion.

Other media at Samford include:
  • The Samford Crimson, the student-run, campus-wide newspaper. With a circulation of 4,000, it is available free to all full-time, undergraduate students and is distributed at key locations on campus.
  • The Belltower, the official online news source of the University administration, published once per month during the summer and weekly during the academic year.
  • Seasons, the alumni magazine, published quarterly.
  • WVSU-FMmarker (91.1), a 500-watt FM radio station that serves the southern portion of the Birmingham area.
  • Cumberland Law Review [67378] whose members are selected by write-on from the top 15% of the Cumberland School of Law's first-year class to write articles and comments on newly decided cases and recently passed laws.
  • The American Journal of Trial Advocacy [67379], also published by the Cumberland School of Law, which is a national journal focusing on developments in trial law, technique, and practice.
  • Keeping Faith is a newsletter for Alabama Baptists about current events at Samford University. It is produced by the Office of Public Relations and published regularly in The Alabama Baptist newspaper.
  • Samford Business is a semiannual publication of the Brock School of Business, produced by the Office of University Communications.
  • PBL Insight is the newsletter for the Beeson School of Education's Center for Problem-Based Learning, published by the Office of University Communications.
  • Exodus magazine is published by journalism majors from Samford's Howard College of Arts and Sciences.
  • ENGAGE magazine is a student run publication that was started in the fall of 2005. ENGAGE serves to encourage students to examine the relationship between faith, culture and vocation. Students are encouraged to contribute by writing and designing and it is made available to all students at key areas around campus when it is published twice a semester.
  • Samford University Library: Special Collection: The papers of C.H. Spurgeon - The collection contains galley proofs and hand written sermon notes from 1879 - 1891.


Notable alumni

The Samford University Alumni Association counts more than 27,000 graduates among its membership. Some notable alumni include:


External links

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