Posted by William Nunnelley on 2001-07-10

A new pictorial history, 160 Years of Samford University, is off the presses this summer in time to help celebrate the school's 160th anniversary.

Written and compiled by Sean A. Flynt '91, the 128-page trade paperback tells the Samford story largely through vintage photographs from the school's three campuses-in Marion, East Lake and Homewood.

The rarely seen photos from the Special Collection department of Samford's library are supplemented by informative, entertaining captions. They provide a chance to relive some of the most memorable moments in Samford history.

The book is part of The College History Series published by Arcadia Publishing of Charleston, S.C. It sells in bookstores (including the Samford Bookstore) for $19.99. Book royalties will go to Samford.

Images in the book range from informal to formal, routine to remarkable and tragic to hilarious. Most of the approximately 200 photos focus on people.

"Photographs tell stories that make words pale in comparison," said Elizabeth Wells, Special Collection librarian who helped Flynt compile the volume.

Flynt, a news and feature writer at Samford, is a fourth-generation alumnus who is also a photographer, student of photographic history and collector of unusual antique photos. He relished the task of working on the book.

"I've always felt close to Samford because it has meant so much to my family, but working on this project brought me even closer and gave me a historical perspective on my personal experience," he said.

Flynt said the project would have been impossible without the help of Wells, Becky Strickland and Jennifer Taylor of the Special Collection staff.

"They never failed to point me in the direction of what I was looking for, and they revealed many of the images that are the gems of this book," he said.

Samford will celebrate its 160th year during the 2001-2002 school year beginning this fall.


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.