Summer 2001
Vol 18 No. 2

Celebrating 160 Years, and a Bright Future

Overcoming Years of Bitterness

New Arts & Sciences Dean

Kelly Jones Claims Miss Alabama

The Business of Jets

Picturing Samford's History

Choir Pleases Russian Audiences

Exciting Swiss Winter Escapade

A Conference for All Sports

Bulldogs To Spread Field, Rely on Defense

Other Stories

Samford Names Brad Creed to be Associate Provost

Samford Gets $100,000 FIPSE Grant for PBL Project with Maastricht

Faculty Compendium: Ross Article Cited in Microsoft Ruling; Bass Book Nominated for Pulitzer Prize

New Arts and Sciences Dean Samford ÔAnything But SleepyÕ: Chapman Davis

Davis Proudest of Hiring Strong Faculty

Teaching Aspect of Nursing Has Always Attracted New Dean

Baur Steps Down as Nursing Dean, Will Continue to Teach

John Carroll Brings Breadth of Legal Experience to Role as Cumberland Dean

Early Edmund D. Pellegrino Medal Honors Namesake, Secundy and Fletcher for Bioethics Contributions

Biology Students to Map Nature Conservancy Properties

Cumberland Professor Ware Writes the Book on Alternative Dispute Resolution

Samford ODK Celebrates 50th Year, Recognizes 50 Leaders with Impact

Samford hosts Alabama GovernorÕs School

Halbrooks Inaugurated as President of Colgate Rochester Crozer

Frank Stagg Library Adds Greatly to Samford Baptist Collection

Student Callers Raise More than $137,000 in Phonathon Effort




Celebrating 160 Years, and a Bright Future

To prosper is not always possible-sometimes mere survival is all there is.

That has been the experience of Samford University, now in the elite company of survivors: of 3,500 colleges/ universities in America, it is among the 87 oldest still operating. Its 160 years have not been smooth sailing. Other institutions might claim endowments and bequests, initiatives and attainments that made them household names and allowed them special status; but, thus far, ours is a story of survival.

Samford history is littered with temptations to give up and close. There was insufficient money when the founders first launched the idea and got a charter in 1841. After the school advertised for students, the first group showed up obviously ill prepared for college-level work, so we began, inauspiciously, with remedial efforts (1842). The Civil War carried off all the students, Confederateüforces commandeered the campus for a military hospital, and the school’s endowment, invested in Confederate bonds, was “gone with the wind” (1865). A failed scholarship plan landed the institution in bankruptcy court, and finally, the ultimate failure and embarrassment, on the sheriff's auction block (1884). Economic straits kept government from putting up promised funds for a new campus (1887). Overextension of credit set the institution teetering a second time on the verge of bankruptcy (1896). The Great Depression afforded no money for students to pay, or for faculty to be paid (1932). Cumulative debt for operating expenses nearly suffocated the school (1939). A deteriorating campus and real-estate prices stifled growth and improvement (1945).

But the vital signs were strong. Vision was intact. Good people were at hand. Support of a caring constituency was there. Friends, donors, churches, a concerned public-all came to help in ways both subtle and obvious. And for each crisis cited above, someone stepped forward with a ray of optimism, the will to persist.

Having survived to this point, the stage has been set for Samford University to prosper. The spirit and will of those who sustained it over the past 160 years endure still—in new buildings, new technology, new faces, new ideas-and in old ideas such as the Christian faith, the primacy of people, personal virtues, friendliness, Southern courtesy and civility, academic quality.

Phillips Brooks once said, "The only way to deal with your past is to make a future out of it."

Of the Samford University idea, now 160 years old, let us make a prosperous future.

Thomas E. Corts


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