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Samford University

Samford University, founded as Howard College, is a private, coeducational university located in Homewood, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, United States.


800 Lakeshore Drive


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Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Southern Baptist Church
Campus Housing
Mission Statement
The mission of Samford University is to nurture persons in their development of intellect, creativity, faith and personhood. As a Christian university, the community fosters academic, career and ethical competency while encouraging social and civic responsibility, and service to others.
Spike The Bulldog
Blue Red

College History


Samford was founded in 1841 at Marion, Alabama, when members of Siloam Baptist Church acquired land in the town and invited the Alabama Baptist Convention to build a new Baptist school there.[4] They named it Howard College in honor of John Howard, known for his work in prison reform in England. Among the charter trustees in 1841 was lawyer William Parish Chilton of Talladega. The new college opened its doors to students on January 3, 1842. In 1887 the school relocated to the East Lake community of Birmingham. It also ran Howard College Academy as a preparatory school at the time. 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. In 1927 it added its pharmacy school. For religion purposes, William Dudley Geer taught Christianity. Dudley was in World War II as a soldier, but focused on religion as his career. Reid Chapel In 1961, the school acquired the Cumberland School of Law from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. Under the leadership of President Harwell Goodwin Davis, the college relocated. 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. 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 up to that time, the institution's most generous individual benefactor. (In addition, there is also a Howard University in Washington, D.C..) Beeson Divinity School 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 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 Law. 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." He said, "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." Cumberland School of Law in 2006 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.

College Specialty


The mission of Campus Dining, Inc., for the food service operations here at Samford University is to nourish the well-being of our student customers and the Samford family. We feel this mission is achieved through the following actions: Believing food and education are an integral part of the Samford experience Supporting waste prevention and social responsibility Committing to purchasing local and regional ingredients, thereby supporting the local economy Committing to providing the highest quality of food in a university setting Striving to anticipate and exceed our customers' expectations Committing to listen to our customers and using their input to provide a better dining experience



The Samford University Alumni Association counts more than 27,000 graduates among its membership. Some notable alumni include: Robert Aderholt (1990), United States Congressman from Alabama (1997- ) Mary Anderson , actress Bill Armistead (1966), State Senator and chairman of the Alabama Republican Party Zane Birdwell (2003), Grammy award-winning recording engineer Philip Birnbaum, author and translator of Jewish works Bobby Bowden (1953), former Samford head football coach, former head football coach at Florida State University Marv Breeding (1952), MLB player Larry E. Coben - Shareholder at the law firm of Anapol Schwartz. Charles Crist, former Florida governor, graduated from Cumberland School of Law Stephen Louis A. Dillard (1992), Judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals (2010-) Cortland Finnegan, (2005), cornerback for the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League Jimbo Fisher(1987), head coach of the Florida State University Seminole Football Program. Jim Folsom (non-graduate), governor of Alabama from 1947-1951 and 1955-1959 Deidre Downs, (2002), Miss America 2005. Scarlotte Deupree, (2002), Miss Alabama 2002, 1st Runner Up to Miss America Melinda Toole, (2006), Miss Alabama 2006, 4th Runner Up to Miss America Wayne Flynt, (1961), Pulitzer Prize-nominated historian Elizabeth Futral, opera singer Anne George, mystery author Corey White, American football player for the New Orleans Saints Karen Fairchild & Kimberly Schlapman of the Country Group Little Big Town Tony Hale, actor Arrested Development William Edward Hull, retired Provost of Southern Seminary and Samford University; New Testament scholar Slick Lollar, NFL player Fred L. Lowery, Southern Baptist clergyman and author from Bossier City, Louisiana David Gordon Lyon, Hollis Chair at Harvard Divinity School and founding curator of Semitic Museum Harold E. Martin (1923�2007), (1954) Pulitzer Prize winner for investigative reporting, publisher of the Montgomery Advertiser and the Alabama Journal. Eric Motley (1996) State Department official James Record (1950s), former Alabama Senator Janie Shores, retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama Lee Emmett Thomas, mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana (1922-1930) and Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representative (1912-1916); attended Samford when it was Howard College. Kristian Stanfill, Christian rock singer-songwriter Edwin L. Nelson, United States federal judge (Samford University, Cumberland School of Law - 1969)



Suburban 180 Acres (0.7 Km2)