Posted by Philip Poole on 2014-11-07

Samford University has declared victory in the multiyear “A Campaign for Samford.”

The university announced during its recent homecoming that as of Oct. 31, the final day of the campaign, a total of $202,542,090 had been received in gifts and pledges from 18,276 different donors. The original campaign goal was $200 million, and the university had announced in late summer that it had exceeded the goal five months before the original ending date of Dec. 31.

W. Randy Pittman, vice president for advancement, and Doug Wilson, executive director of development, presented a symbolic check to Samford President Andrew Westmoreland during the annual homecoming banquet Oct. 31. Gifts ranged from 36 cents to $13.4 million.

“Samford is better today because of what donors provided through ‘A Campaign for Samford,’” Pittman said. “Tonight, we celebrate victory, but, tomorrow we start planning for the next campaign.”

The campaign supported five major areas:

          Academic programs -- $31,582,390

          Annual fund -- $78,630,351

          Faculty enhancements -- $6,022,064

          Facilities -- $29,755,069

          Scholarships -- $56,552,215

During the campaign, 172 new endowed funds were established. These will provide strong financial support for academic programs and student scholarships well into the future, Pittman noted.

He also stressed the importance of annual fund gifts because tuition and fees provide only about 70 percent of the university’s annual operating budget. “Annual gifts come to us in all amounts and are critical to ensuring that we continue providing the level of academic programs and experiences that our students and their families have come to expect from Samford,” Pittman said. “We cannot stress enough how important those gifts have been and will continue to be.”

Among new facilities resulting from the campaign are Brock School of Business building, West Village residential complex, Sullivan-Cooney Family Field House, John T. Haywood Field House, Martha and Albert Brewer Plaza, Hazel Boren Courtyard, Gertha Earwood Bolding Garden and renovations to Bonnie Bolding Swearingen Hall.

Among the major gifts was more than $34 million from Alabama Baptist churches, primarily through the Alabama Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program giving plan. An additional 32 donors made gifts and pledges of $1 million or more.

Pittman called A Campaign for Samford the “most challenging” in university history, more than doubling the previous record campaign.

The “Making a World of Difference” campaign had an $84 million goal and coincided with the university’s sesquicentennial in the early 1990s. “The Promise for All Generations” campaign in 2003-06 raised about $54 million and included Pete Hanna Center, Jane Hollock Brock Hall and other projects. “The Samford Commitment” campaign early in the administration of previous president Thomas E. Corts had a goal of $28 million.

At the time, each of these campaigns was considered very ambitious, Pittman noted, including the most recent, which was launched in the midst of a global economic crisis.

“The Samford community consistently has demonstrated its faithfulness in giving through the generations,” he said. “To have 18,276 members of our family contribute to this campaign affirms that they are committed to Samford’s mission of providing academic excellence in an environment undergirded by a Christian worldview.”

Pittman noted that university officials already have begun planning for the next campaign which likely will launch in 18-24 months.


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.