Published on November 6, 2015 by Philip Poole  
Leadership Forum

Making a personal investment of time and talents in Samford has lifelong impact for the university, Samford President Andrew Westmoreland told more than 250 university leaders and friends at the first ever Leadership Forum Nov. 6.

Held during Samford’s 2015 homecoming weekend, the forum included representatives of the university’s board of trustees, board of overseers, advisory boards and alumni association executive council.

In reporting on the university, Westmoreland noted that Samford is well-equipped to meet the challenges facing higher education today.

In addition to being well-known for its academic quality, Samford also is known as a place with an “irreplaceable hope in Jesus Christ,” he said. “Our mission and our vision are strong.”

Acknowledging that higher education in general is facing increased scrutiny from government officials and the public, Westmoreland said, “I don’t know anyone in the [U.S.] Department of Education who knows more about how to manage higher education. We will need to demonstrate that we know how to do our business.”

He added, “Those of us at Samford are particularly well-equipped to deal with the problems facing higher education.”

Reading from a letter he had received from a student earlier this year, Westmoreland illustrated the importance of investing in the university.

“I think things become ours when we invest ourselves in them," Westmoreland said, reading from the letter. "But, I’m staring into the eyes of people who have invested their lives in this place. What a joy it is to be associated with a place that has as much promise for the future.”

In her letter, the student had thanked Westmoreland for investing himself in Samford.

“I know this is not your school, not like in owning a business,” she wrote. “But, things become ours when we invest ourselves. Samford is yours in the same way because of your investment of time and love.”

Noting the broad representation in the audience, Westmoreland reminded the group that “we are one university.”

“We have representatives here from every segment of the university. Samford is strong because of the existence of our [10] academic schools, and those schools are strong because they are Samford.”

The Leadership Forum and related board meetings during the day were part of a full weekend homecoming schedule.

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.