Samford University is in Homewood, AL just 5 miles away from Birmingham. The 200 acre private 4-year college was founded in 1841 as Howard College. Upon adding schools to become a university, it was renamed Samford University in the 1960s in honor of a long-time Trustee of the college. The campus architecture is based on that of colonial Williamsburg, Virginia and has a classic, college atmosphere feel. The town of Homewood, sister city to Homewood, IL, refused annexation attempts by Birmingham in 1959 and 1966. The town benefits from close proximity to the industrial economy of Birmingham (aka the Pittsburgh of the South) while remaining its own small college town. Samford is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and notable alumni include several government officials and three “Miss Alabama” winners.
Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, Samford offers Bachelor’s Degrees, post-baccalaureate certificates, Master’s Degrees, post-master’s certificates and Doctorates in over 150 majors in 9 schools. The 30 available undergraduate degrees are almost entirely on campus, although the availability of online courses is growing. Samford University’s academic mission 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.” This has led to the specific accreditation for their Pharmacy, Law, Nursing and Physical Therapy departments. Samford is known for health-related education (pharmacy and pre-med) and business degrees. Further, Samford’s stated purpose statement says “As a Christian university, we merge academics, faith and service. Whether enjoying fellowship at a campus Bible study or listening to an inspirational speaker at Campus Worship, our students have many opportunities for spiritual development.”
The student body consists of 5,200 undergraduate and post-graduate members. Affinity-based clubs abound across all demographics, interests and affiliations. Samford does not overlook its spiritual history, either. The specific Core Values include: Belief in God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Engagement with the life and teachings of Jesus; Learning and responsible freedom of inquiry; Personal empowerment, accountability and responsibility; Vocational success and civic engagement; Spiritual growth and cultivation of physical well-being; Integrity, honesty and justice; Appreciation for diverse cultures and convictions; Stewardship of all resources; and Service to God, to family, to one another and to the community. Also, Samford fields 17 teams in NCAA Division 1-AA as the red and blue Bulldogs as well as less competitive Intramural sports. 3 on-campus traditions are noteworthy – to touch the nose of the bronze status of Major Davis, the annual “Step Sing” (an outdoor student-led concert to raise charitable funds) and “Rascal Day” in the Law School to honor the sole recipient of a Doctor of Canine Jurisprudence in 1937 after faithfully attending law school classes for 4 years.