Posted by Philip Poole on 2005-07-20

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--Samford University's board of trustees executive committee has approved construction of a new residence facility to house 80-100 undergraduate students.

The 20-member committee, which is authorized to act for the full 45-member board between regular trustee meetings, approved the project in a July 19 meeting on the Samford campus.

The new residence facility likely will be built on the west quadrant of the campus. Although specific plans for the facility have not been approved and no construction time table has been set, the project will cost about $4 million, according to University officials, and will allow the University to serve 100 additional students.

The residence construction is another step to achieve goals announced in January 2003 as part of The Promise for All Generations, a multi-year campus improvement plan. One of the goals was to increase undergraduate student enrollment by 400 students.

"We are unable to house our current undergraduate enrollment," said Samford President Thomas E. Corts. "This prudent and planned undergraduate growth will allow the University to meet the demand to serve more students."

About 200 additional residence spaces are necessary to serve current students and 300 new residence beds will be essential to serve future enrollment growth, Corts added.

According to Garry Atkins, Samford's director of residence life, all available on-campus housing is reserved for the coming semester. More than 700 incoming freshmen have paid deposits for fall 2005 enrollment. Each year the admissions office has to turn away students because of a lack of residence hall space, he said.

The trustee executive committee also approved faculty appointments for the fall semester, including: Becky M. Atkinson, teacher education; Roger A. Brown, visiting professor, law; Mark J. Castle, theatre; Cheryl S. Cecil, assistant librarian; Jill L. Cunningham, nursing; Theresa D. Davidson, sociology; Mark S. Gignilliat, divinity; Denise J. Gregory, chemistry; Connie S. Hataway, nursing; Jason L. Heaton, biology; Allison J. Jackson, exercise science; Myrtis A. Johnson, teacher education clinical coordinator; Wendy W. Kendrick, nursing; Philip E. Min, music and interim director of bands; T. N. Mohan, director, digital video center; Walter A. Moore, French; and Vicki W. Rochester, nursing.

In response to a capital gift from James R. and Jody W. Wilson of Birmingham, trustees also approved naming a reading room in Harwell Goodwin Davis Library in memory of Wilson's parents, Acy William and Annie Louise Wilson.

Don Mott, Samford's vice president for facilities, reported that the Seibert Stadium improvements and renovations in Robinson Hall, home of Samford's Cumberland School of Law, will be complete for the beginning of the fall term. Construction has also begun on a new surface parking lot south of Seibert Stadium. The parking area should be ready a few weeks after the fall term begins, Mott said.

Mott also reported plans are progressing toward the construction of new multi-purpose athletic arena and student fitness complex and for relocation and construction of a new varsity tennis complex. Preliminary plans for both projects were announced in April.

Philanthropic giving is the cornerstone of Samford's continued success according to Michael D. Morgan, vice president for University Relations. The University received $11.7 million in fiscal year completed on May 31.

"Thousands of individuals support Samford's distinctive mission of Christian higher education each year," Morgan told trustees.

"In the upcoming year Samford will look to its alumni to join with parents, friends, corporations and Alabama Baptists to again raise at least $11 million to operate and sustain the University. Additional giving will be required to fulfill the University's plans in capital investment as Samford seeks to meet an immediate need of $53 million for near-term capital improvements," Morgan said.

About $5 million comes from Baptist churches in Alabama through the Alabama Baptist Convention, Morgan noted.


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.