Published on February 2, 2018 by William Nunnelley  

Retired professor Belle Howe Stoddard of Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law died Jan. 30 at her home in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. She was 74. Stoddard directed Cumberland’s Lawyering and Legal Reasoning Program for first-year students for 15 years. She joined the law school in 2001 and retired in 2017.

Stoddard was also a graduate of Cumberland, where she was one of 11 women in her first-year class of 1975 and a founding member of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy. She earned her law degree in 1978 and entered private practice in Birmingham. She served as staff attorney for Alabama Supreme Court Justices Janie Shores and Thomas Woodall, and also served 10 years on the Birmingham Board of Education.

Stoddard earned her undergraduate degree at the University of South Carolina. She was born in Hopewell, Virginia, and grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, where her father was a prominent attorney and her mother founded a nonprofit mission that helped migrant workers.

She is survived by her daughter, Belle Tuten, her daughter’s husband, two grandsons and three brothers. A memorial service is being planned.

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.