Published on November 17, 1999 at 6 p.m. by William Nunnelley  

The Samford University School of Business has achieved accreditation of its bachelor's and master's degree programs from the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business, the International Association for Management Education. 

Samford--accredited as an institution since the 1920s--has one of the oldest business programs in Alabama, having offered undergraduate business degrees for 77 years and Master of Business Administration degrees for 32 years. The latest accreditation "further validates the quality of our business degree programs," said Business Dean Carl J. Bellas. 

Of the more than 1,200 U.S. universities and colleges offering undergraduate programs, less than 375 have achieved AACSB accreditation, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Samford is the only private university in Alabama to be so recognized. 

Samford's business programs "have been valuable to the Birmingham community and a contribution to the creativity and entrepreneurship vital to the continuing renewal of our capitalist economic system," said Samford President Thomas E. Corts. 

He noted that Samford began offering the first MBA program in the Birmingham metro area in 1967. It has since added the Master of Accountancy degree program. 

To achieve accreditation, the business program satisfied the expectations of a wide range of quality standards related to curriculum, faculty resources, intellectual climate, admission, degree requirements, library and computer facilities and financial resources. 

During the process, Samford was visited and evaluated by business deans with detailed knowledge of management education, applying standards widely accepted in the educational community. 

"The accreditation standards are 'mission-driven,' which means that we've been recognized for achieving excellence while maintaining the distinctive attributes of a Samford education," said Dean Bellas. "We are pleased with the recognition this brings to our alumni, students and faculty." 

AACSB is a not-for-profit organization consisting of more than 800 educational organizations and corporations. Its mission is to help universities and colleges achieve excellence in management education. Headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., AACSB is the premier accrediting agency and service organization for business schools. 

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.