Published on May 1, 2020  
Samford front gate

Samford University has announced plans to resume on-campus classes and reopen residence halls for the fall 2020 semester. 

In an announcement to employees, the university outlined plans for a gradual reopening of campus, beginning Monday, May 18. In the first phase, a limited number of employees and contractors will resume work on campus. Additional employees will be granted access to campus in a second phase, projected to begin on Monday, June 15. Entry to and exit from the campus will be gained through the use of employee identification cards at the university’s west gate. The campus will otherwise remain closed. The announcement advised that heightened health and safety standards will be implemented, consistent with public health authorities and CDC guidelines.

The university previously announced that all summer term classes will be taught online and student orientation sessions for entering freshmen, transfer students and their families will be delivered virtually.

In reflecting on the university’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Samford president Dr. Andrew Westmoreland provided additional insights, “A crisis of this magnitude creates monumental challenges, but also allows opportunities to learn and adapt. We’ve developed new processes and competencies, most notably in online education. While we look forward to the return of in-person instruction, this experience will undoubtedly strengthen our integration of technology in the classroom and across all of our operations for years to come. The pandemic has challenged us to think in new ways and to adapt our operations, but more than anything, it has reaffirmed the importance of our mission, which unites our Samford community and is what our students, alumni and employees value most.” 

For the latest on Samford’s response to COVID-19, visit

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.