Published on January 28, 2016  

Cumberland School of Law Professor Howard P. Walthall recently received a top Samford University faculty award.

The George Macon Memorial Award for outstanding performance as a teacher, counselor and friend who inspires students to greatness was presented to Walthall at the spring semester opening convocation on Tuesday, January 26. Samford President Andrew Westmoreland presented Walthall with a $1,000 cash prize, and a video presentation highlighted his service and dedication to the university.

Walthall, who has taught at the law school for 40 years, was cited for his teaching, innovation, energy and devotion to students. He has taught an array of courses, including first-year contracts, federal and state constitutional law, numerous business and commercial law courses, and cultural perspectives in the Samford undergraduate core curriculum. He has won the law school’s Harvey S. Jackson Excellence in Teaching Award multiple times.

By pioneering the integration of writing instruction and assessment processes into classes and addressing a need for essential analytical skills, he continues to develop new approaches to meet the unique needs of students — making the law school program better for each new generation of students.

His tribute to the legend of Rascal, a dog that was awarded the degree of canine jurisprudence when Cumberland School of Law was located in Tennessee, is a popular part of the law school’s annual Rascal Day celebration. He is also a longtime participant and organizer of Samford’s Old Howard 100 bike ride held each spring.

Walthall is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and a graduate of Harvard Law School. Before joining the Cumberland School of Law faculty, he was a partner in a Birmingham law firm.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.