Founded as Howard College in 1841, this university is among the one hundred oldest higher education institutions in the United States and today it is considered among the top-ranked private universities in the state of Alabama.
It was originally established as a male-only college and named after eighteenth century English social reformer John Howard. Just 13 years after it was founded a fire destroyed the college, and in 1887 it moved from Marion to East Lake. Over the next decade the university gradually became coeducational, with Anna Judge becoming the first female graduate in 1896.
In 1957 the campus was relocated to Homewood, and eight years later the institution received university status, adopting a new name in honour of insurance executive and longtime trustee Frank Park Samford Sr.
Today the university offers 30 undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as 158 undergraduate majors, minors and concentrations. The university is made up of ten academic schools, all of which are located on the scenic 200-acre campus just outside Birmingham, Alabama’s most populous city.
Most of the 50+ university buildings are built in a Georgian Colonial style and it is widely regarded as one of the most stunning university campuses in the state.
Among the notable former students are Cordell Hull, the longest-serving Secretary of State in US history, world-leading soprano Elizabeth Futral, Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper editor Harold E. Martin as well as renowned American football coach, Bobby Bowden.