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.

About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.