Samford University Library Samford University Library Special Collection, Samford University Library

Howard / Samford Historical Timeline


Chartered in Perry Country, Alabama
Named in honor of John Howard, English advocate of prison reform


Opened in Marion, Alabama
Samuel Sterling Sherman was sole instructor and first president


First graduation class consisted of seven men

1853 Henry Talbird, President, 1853-1863

Buildings used as Confederate military hospital

1865 Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, President, 1865-1868
1868 Edward Quinn Thornton, President, 1868-1869
1869 Samuel R. Freeman, President, 1869-1871
1871 James T. Murfee, President, 1871-1887
1887 College moved from Marion to East Lake section of the rapidly growing industrial city of Birmingham
1888 Benjamin Franklin Riley, President, 1888-1893
1893 Arthur Watkins McGaha, President, 1893-1896
1896 A.D. Smith, President, 1896-1897
1897 Frank M. Roof, President, 1897-1902
1902 Andrew Phillip Montague, President, 1902-1912
1912 James Madison Shelburne, President, 1912-1917
1913 Military curriculum abandoned
Women admitted as regular students
1914 Teacher Education Division established
1919 Charles B. Williams, President, 1919-1921
1921 John C. Dawson, President, 1921-1931
1927 Department of Pharmacy established
1932 Thomas V. Neal, President, 1932-1939
1939 Harwell G. Davis, President, 1939-1958
1957 College moved from East Lake to Homewood
1958 Leslie Stephan Wright, President, 1958-1983
1961 Cumberland School of Law acquired
1965 Elevated to University status
Renamed Samford University in honor of Frank Park Samford
1973 Acquired Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing
1983 Thomas Edward Corts, President, 1983-2006
1984 London Center purchased
1988 Beeson School of Divinity established
2006 Andrew Westmoreland inaugurated as president
2013 College of Health Sciences established
2013 4,833 total enrollment, Fall

Samford University consists of the Howard College of Arts and Sciences, Schools of the Arts, Brock School of Business, Beeson Divinity School, Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies, College of Health Sciences,
Cumberland School of Law.