Published on January 9, 2012 by Philip Poole  

Samford University life trustee Virgil Pittman died Jan. 6 at his home in Mobile, Ala. Pittman, a retired U.S. District Judge, became a trustee in 1974. He was named a life trustee in 1991.

“With a keen mind and a gentle spirit, Judge Pittman was a distinguished jurist.  He used those same qualities as a Samford trustee, guiding the institution from strength to strength.  We mourn his passing, even as we celebrate an extraordinary life, and we offer our sympathy to the Pittman family,” said Samford President Andrew Westmoreland.

Pittman retired in 2006 on his 90th birthday. He had served as a judge at various levels since 1951. He had been the district judge for South Alabama since 1966.

Funeral services were scheduled for Jan. 11 at the First Baptist Church in Mobile, where Pittman was active as a Sunday School teacher and deacon.

Survivors include his wife and five children.

The family suggested memorial gifts to Samford’s Cumberland School of Law.


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 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 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 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.