Summer 2000
Vol. 17 No. 2
Publication Number:
USPS 244-800


Heading to Graduate School with a Fistful of Scholarship Dollars

Viewpoints: Berry and Flynt

Unclaimed Bargains

Miss Alabama 2000

Campus News
Samford, WMU Name Vaughn Director of Christian Women's Leadership Center

Determined Nurse Bell Keeps Clinic Open, Studies Business Side with Stanley Scholarship

Leadership for a Changing World: Rice Suggests Formula for Success

Samford's Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing Received CCNE Accreditation for Bachelor's, Master's Programs

'Burst of New Energy upon the Sciences'

Major Gift to Athletics

Bulldogs Plan to Exercise Option Again in 2000

Men's Team Captures First TAAC Track Title

News Briefs
Bill Mathews Named VP as Laverne Farmer Retires

Interior Design Gets FIDER Accreditation

Translation Prompts Scholarship Fund

Other Stories
Bobby Bowden Day
Faculty Accolades
Class Notes
In Memoriam


Summer 2000

FAQ: Samford
(Editor's Note: Seasons asked President Thomas E. Corts to respond to the five most frequently asked questions about Samford. Here are the questions and his answers.)

Q: What is the optimum enrollment for Samford?
I believe Samford's current enrollment of about 4,473 is ideal. We have a fairly complex mixture of professional and undergraduate programs, yet our 2,700 full-time undergraduates are still the foundation of the institution. We are seeking to let each of the graduate and professional programs find a level of equilibrium-an optimum enrollment that can be met in both high and low points of cycles, while maintaining the high standards appropriate to Samford. And we want to continue to be primarily a boarding campus for undergrads, with most living on campus. We believe that provides the close faculty-student relationships, the community experience that is such a rich part of being a Samford student today.

Q: Will the cost of a Samford education continue to rise?
Yes, as will the cost of almost everything else we value. Goods and services essential to operate the University increase in cost, and Samford has to cope with those rising costs. We are very fortunate to still be significantly lower than the national average for private institutions and far below many other Christian colleges and universities. And we have been effective in controlling costs and raising funds from other sources. A student pays a smaller percentage of the true cost of a Samford education today than 15 years ago, for example. Yet, we project that costs will increase, although we work hard to assure that increased costs do not deter capable, qualified students. Through financial aid programs, our Early Admission­Baptist Assistance program and others, we want to enroll those students whom we select and who select Samford without allowing cost to be a deterring factor.

Q: Do you foresee the time when Samford is no longer related to the Alabama Baptist State Convention, or when it is no longer a Christian university?
No. While our Baptist founders clearly intended this University to be an educational enterprise, the desire for an education with a Christian emphasis brought Samford into being, and it is a vital part of what makes Samford distinct in today's educational marketplace. We believe we offer a viable alternative that benefits today's college-choosing families. Most of us who work here and who invest in Samford do so because of the Christian mission and want to be sure that mission continues into the future. Our board of trustees discusses this point regularly and consistently expresses the conviction that it is the Christian commitment of Samford that makes it worthy of their own time, energy and investment.

Q: What is Samford's greatest need?
You would expect me to say money, and I will get to that, but I would say that most important is a caring constituency. If people are valuing the institution-praying for it, contributing to it, encouraging young people to attend it-that is the most basic element. If enough people will keep Samford on their minds and hearts, our other needs will be met. Of course, we need top-flight people to be students, faculty members, administrators and trustees, and we need the endowment and current financial resources it takes to be a first-class university in this technical age to support those top-flight people. We have some building needs and program concerns, but first, give us people who care and who will make Samford a priority in their own thinking-perhaps because they or someone they love is an alum, or perhaps because they believe our nation would be sorely diminished if all education were in government hands if it did not have private, Christian, church-related institutions like Samford.

Q: Why does Samford, like all other educational institutions, frequently ask for money?
Samford University was planned as a nonprofit institution. Never in its history was it assumed that the institution would charge what an education actually costs! For today's undergraduate student, what the student pays only covers about 62 percent of what it takes to provide that student's education, and of course, many of our students receive aid so that they do not pay even that 62 percent. We hope everyone who cares about Samford will support it, and we hope those who have benefited in the past from what Samford offers will be kind enough to invest in the future. That is the only way we can keep up with the demands of our time, providing the human and material resources essential to a quality education. We will never be able to get enough funds from students and their families (although many students and families are active donors, even during their enrollment!).


  Thomas E. Corts