Published on October 3, 2022  
Samford Hall SD10195138

The Samford University Board of Trustees elected six new trustees and approved new faculty appointments at its fall meeting.

Six new members have joined the Samford University Board of Trustees. Amy Allen, Hon. Karon O. Bowdre ’77, J.D. ’81, Peter J. Clemens IV ’87, Rhega Gordon, Julie K. Jenkins and Steve Vinyard were elected at the Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 9. Learn more about each new trustee here.

Current trustees reelected to additional four-year terms were Verne Bragg, regional managing partner and audit practice leader with the international accounting firm of Grant Thornton, Orlando, Florida; Ronald L. Watkins, president, Ronnie Watkins Ford, Gadsden, Alabama; and Rev. Dr. Jay L. Wolf, pastor, First Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama.  

Officers of the board elected for a one-year term were William J. Stevens, retired president and chief executive officer, Motion Industries, chair; Honorable Karon O. Bowdre, Senior District Court Judge United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama; Victor E. Nichol, Jr., retired president and chief executive officer, First National Bankers Bankshares, Inc., secretary; and Sherri Foyt, former elementary school teacher, assistant secretary. Mr. Stevens were also elected as a Life Trustee, having completed at least 20 years of membership on the Board.

The hiring of fifteen new faculty members across the university’s ten academic schools and the renaming of two campus departments, including the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and the Office of Accessibility and Accommodation, were approved by the Board.

Jason Black, vice president for enrollment management, reported on fall enrollment in Samford’s various undergraduate and graduate programs. He anticipated soon announcing a record freshman class and a strong first-year retention rate of 91%.  

An update on the campus master plan and current renovation projects was provided, and a resolution authorizing university-provided housing for 2022-23 was adopted.

More than 725 people were approved for membership on 36 university advisory boards. These alumni, parents, donors and friends of the university provide advocacy, support and guidance for various academic, co-curricular and philanthropic programs.

The Board received a report of the cash donations made to Samford during the 2022 fiscal year. Those gifts totaled approximately $26.6 million.

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.