Published on April 20, 2010 at 7 p.m. by Philip Poole  

Samford University’s board of trustees approved several recommendations and heard updates on enrollment and finances during their regular spring meeting April 20 in Birmingham.

Trustees approved the list of candidates for May graduation, pending completion of all degree requirements, and gave final approval to the 2010-11 tuition and fee schedule. The board had given preliminary approval to the schedule at their December meeting, pending adjustments in a few fees that were necessary during budget planning. The board also approved several new student organizations.

Harry B. Brock III, vice president for business affairs, reported that the university’s endowment had a positive investment return of 16 percent over the last 12 months.

“That is a very positive development on the investment front,” Brock said. “Good things are happening [financially], and that comes from revenue growth, record enrollment and expense monitoring.”

R. Philip Kimrey, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, reported that paid deposits for fall 2010 incoming freshmen students were running about 40 ahead of the same date last year. Application and admitted student totals also are running head of the same period in 2009.

“We have been on track all spring as we move toward our goal of at least 750 entering freshmen for fall 2010,” Kimrey said. “We also have taken a proactive approach this year in awarding merit scholarships.”

W. Randall Pittman, vice president for university advancement, reported that $87.8 million had been raised for “A Campaign for Samford.” The campaign goal is $200 million.

In his report, Samford President Andrew Westmoreland discussed the overall climate of the university. He also gave credit for the institution’s performance to Samford’s five vice presidents and to “all employees outside the room.” Westmoreland acknowledged “the explosion of creativity in the academic program” that is taking place across the campus.

Life trustee John Pittman, who has served on the board for nearly 60 years, affirmed Westmoreland’s assessment of the executive officers.

“We have never had a team that comes close to equaling what we have today, and we must be grateful,” Pittman said.

The next meeting of the board is Sept. 10.

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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 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.