Published on September 12, 2014 by Philip Poole  
front gate in summer

Samford University's fall 2014 enrollment has reached an all-time high of 4,933, university officials announced Sept. 12. The total exceeds last year’s record of 4,833 and is the sixth consecutive year of record fall enrollment.

Included in the totals are 3,051 undergraduates and a record 1,882 graduate and professional students.

Three programs saw significant increases over fall 2013: undergraduate business, up 13 percent; graduate nursing, 20 percent; and graduate education, 23 percent. Also, there are 33 students in new programs in the College of Health Sciences, including communication sciences and disorders, public health and health sciences. The College of Health Sciences officially launched one year ago and includes existing schools of nursing and pharmacy and new schools of health professions and public health.

“We continue to see increasing geographic diversity in our student population,” said R. Phil Kimrey, vice president for enrollment management.

In the fall 2014 enrollment, students represent 44 states, the District of Columbia and a record 25 countries. Among undergraduates, 65 percent are from outside the state of Alabama.

Samford has the highest graduation rates of any higher education institution in the state of Alabama, according to reports currently available from the U.S. Department of Education.

Samford President Andrew Westmoreland noted that Samford’s success did not happen “by accident.”

“The record enrollments that we continue to experience reflect what we have been doing at Samford for 173 years,” Westmoreland said. “We work together to provide our students with a quality academic experience that includes campus life, residence life, food service, libraries, a beautiful campus and all that is required of a university today. Our success is because of the cumulative efforts of our faculty, staff, alumni and friends.”

The record enrollment comes during a period of significant achievement, Westmoreland noted. Samford was ranked 3rd among regional universities in the South in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report annual rankings that were announced Sept. 9. Earlier this year, Samford was named the top-ranked university in Alabama by Forbes, Inc. At the end of August, the university announced that it had exceeded the $200 million goal for the multiyear “Campaign for Samford” four months ahead of schedule, at the same time a study revealed Samford’s $335 million annual economic impact on the state of Alabama.

Construction is underway on a new building for the Brock School of Business and program expansion in the College of Health Sciences will continue this year. Both will support the university’s enrollment and retention initiatives, Westmoreland noted.

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.