Posted by Philip Poole on 2012-05-07

Bryan Johnson, Samford University associate professor of English, will become director of Samford's University Fellows program July 1. He replaces Chris Metress, who had directed the program since its inception in 2008. 

University Fellows is Samford's undergraduate honors program centered on the great books of the Western intellectual tradition. The first cohort of students admitted to the Fellows program will graduate May 18-19. 

Johnson has been involved with the University Fellows program since its beginning and also has led the summer Great Text Institute for high school students. He joined the Samford faculty full-time in 1999 and has a doctor of philosophy degree in creative writing from the University of Denver. 

"Dr. Johnson is an excellent choice to take the reins as we move this program forward," said Samford Provost J. Bradley Creed. "He understands the importance of this rigorous academic program and will work with Dr. Metress and others to ensure a smooth transition with our current and incoming Fellows." 

Creed noted that Metress never considered his leadership of the Fellows program to be a "career-long commitment." Metress will become a University Professor. He will continue teaching in the Fellows program and other areas and will work directly with the provost's office on special academic assignments with the "expertise and creative energy he used to launch and lead the Fellows program," Creed added.


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.