Posted by William Nunnelley on 2001-07-25

Samford University's School of Music and its Theatre Department have combined to form a new School of Performing Arts. The reorganization enables Samford to offer two new majors in Musical Theatre.

Under the new alignment, the School of Performing Arts is comprised of a Division of Music and a Theatre Department. Dr. Milburn Price, dean of the former School of Music, is now dean of the School of Performing Arts. Dr. Don Sandley, chair of the former Speech Communication and Theatre Department in Samford's Howard College of Arts and Sciences, is now chair of the Theatre Department.

"Music and drama have been a vital part of campus life since the school's early years," said Dean Price. "With increasing frequency in recent years, music and theatre programs and faculty have collaborated both formally and informally on opera and musical theatre productions. The performance ethos of both programs is compatible and, in some ways, similar.

"This reorganization of programs which complement each other naturally will benefit students by making the two new majors available."

The reorganization enables Samford to offer both the Bachelor of Music and the Bachelor of Arts degree with the new majors in Musical Theatre, beginning this fall.

The School of Performing Arts will continue to offer the Bachelor of Music with majors in Church Music, Music Education, Music Theory/Composition and Performance, the Bachelor of Arts with a major in Theatre and the Master of Music in Church Music and Master of Music Education degrees.

Samford's Speech major, which was also a part of the former Speech Communication and Theatre Department, will join the Communication Department in the arts and sciences college. That department, chaired by arts and sciences dean David W. Chapman, is comprised of speech and writing programs.


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.