Posted by Phillip Poole on 2008-04-21

Chris Metress has been named director of Samford University's new University Fellows program. The appointment is effective July 1.

Metress, a professor of English since 1993, has been instrumental in developing the new program, which targets academically gifted high schools students for a highly-competitive program of innovative liberal arts courses, international study and undergraduate research. The first 40 students are being admitted to the program for the fall 2008 semester.

"Dr. Metress embodies what Samford wants to accomplish with this program in developing public intellectuals and leaders," said Samford Provost J. Bradley Creed. "He understands and is fully engaged in the unique academic track that we have developed for these students. His interdisciplinary interests and outstanding teaching make him the ideal program leader at this pivotal time."

Samford officials spent about two years developing the new University Fellows program. It was approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in spring 2007, and officials have spent the last year recruiting students for the program.

Metress has been involved with the university's core curriculum and other interdisciplinary projects and also serves as the faculty athletics representative for the university. He helped develop a human rights conference hosted by the university through a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Metress earned a bachelor's degree from St. Mary's University, San Antonio, Texas, and master's and doctor's degrees from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

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.