Published on October 28, 2014 by Philip Poole  

The executive committee of Samford University’s board of trustees approved two new academic programs and a new faculty member in their regular fall meeting Oct. 28.

A new master of social work degree was approved in the School of Public Health. University officials said the new degree would “prepare graduates for advance social work practice.” The degree includes concentrations in clinical social work and global community development. 

A minor in communication sciences and disorders was approved in the School of Health Professions. The minor includes coursework and clinical experiences. 

Nicholas B. Washmuth was approved as assistant professor of physical therapy. He has a doctor of physical therapy degree from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, and a doctor of manual therapy degree from the University of Utah. Most recently he had been a physical therapist in Columbia, Illinois. 

Trustees also approved minor organizational revisions for the university’s board of overseers. The new guidelines provide a rotation plan for the 36-member group and approved 21 as overseers emeriti in recognition of their longtime service, Samford President Andrew Westmoreland said. 

Lisa Imbragulio, assistant vice president for business and financial affairs, reported that the university’s endowment as of Sept. 30 was valued at $275 million. 

Westmoreland reported that inquiries to the undergraduate admission office already are up more than 5,000 over last year, and applications are up by more than 100 over the same period in 2013. 

The next meeting of the board of trustees is Dec. 2.


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.