Published on March 19, 2012 by Philip Poole  

Samford University's trustee executive committee approved two naming opportunities on campus and elected four new faculty members at their regular meeting March 15 in Birmingham.

New faculty members include:

Sung Kwang (Paul) Cha, assistant professor of history. Cha's teaching specialty is Asian history, and he has a doctorate in Asian languages and culture from the University of California, Los Angeles. He had been a visiting lecturer in history at the University of California, Irvine.

Andrea Collins, assistant professor of nursing. Collins has three Samford nursing degrees, including the doctor of nursing practice. She had been a nurse at Carraway Internal Medicine Associates in Birmingham.

Renee Marie DeHart, professor and assistant dean of student affairs, McWhorter School of Pharmacy. DeHart has a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Florida and currently is associate dean of student affairs at the University of Arkansas Medical School college of pharmacy in Little Rock.

Marliese Thomas, assistant librarian. She has degrees from Loyola University and the University of Alabama and previously was database enhancement librarian at Auburn University.

Two veteran faculty members were named to endowed chairs in Cumberland School Law.  Howard Walthall, a faculty member since 1975, was named Leslie S. Wright Professor of Law. William G. Ross, who joined the Samford faculty in 1988, was named Lucille Stewart Beeson Professor of Law.

Trustees approved two facilities naming opportunities that will be announced at a later date after consultation with the donors and individuals involved, according to W. Randy Pittman, Samford's vice president for advancement.

Additionally, trustees received reports on the university's financial position and results of operations, investments in the endowment and pension funds, construction projects and related financing options, athletics, admission, student organizations and campaign giving.

The next board of trustees meeting is May 8.

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.