Posted by Bill Nunnelley on 2008-01-02

Samford University celebrates the 166th anniversary of its opening Thursday, Jan. 3. After being chartered in December of 1841, the school opened its doors on that date in 1842 in Marion, Ala.

Known as Howard College, the institution welcomed nine students to its first class. It moved to Birmingham in 1887 and became Samford University in 1965. Now enrolling about 4,500 students, it is the nation's 87th oldest college or university and Alabama's largest private school.

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.