Posted by Philip Poole on 2007-09-11

Dust has not settled from current construction projects, but the Samford University board of trustees approved additional projects in their regular fall meeting Sept. 6.

Trustees approved renovations and repairs to Lena Vail Davis Hall, one of the original residence facilities when the present campus opened in fall 1957. The project, which includes infrastructure updates and replacement of all windows, will be phased over three years to allow continued use of the facility during the academic year.

They also approved a $12 million fundraising campaign for a new track and field facility, a new football field house and other athletics-related projects.

The track and field facility, which is expected to be a joint project with local partners, will be located on university-owned property across Lakeshore Drive from the main campus. The 500-seat facility would provide space for field events that was eliminated when artificial turf was installed at Seibert Stadium.

Preliminary plans call for the new football field house to be built at the north end of Seibert Stadium, which would eliminate part of the existing track.

Samford President Andrew Westmoreland told trustees that earlier announced plans were to renovate Seibert Hall and Bashinsky Fieldhouse to meet the needs of the football program. But, subsequent studies revealed that a new facility would be more cost-effective. All athletics teams, other than football, and athletics administration will move this fall into the new Pete Hanna Center under construction.

"We have positioned athletics to be able to raise all the necessary funds for these projects from external sources," Westmoreland said. "We have no plans to use operating budget or endowment for these new, additional athletics facilities."

All construction projects are subject to final approval of plans, budget and full funding by the board of trustees, Westmoreland said.

Five new faculty members were elected:

Naomi Gold, assistant librarian. Gold has a doctor of philosophy degree in theology from the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto and a library science degree from the University of Alabama. Gold comes to Samford from the University of Alabama, where she has been involved in providing virtual reference services

C. Barrett Hathcock, instructor in core curriculum. Hathcock most recently was a writer and editor at Birmingham-Southern College and has a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Alabama.

Michael W. Lee, assistant professor of pharmacology. Lee has graduate degrees from the University of South Florida, and was most recently an assistant professor at Pacific University School of Pharmacy in Hillsboro, Ore.

Kay Reyes, instructor in Spanish. She has a master's degree in Spanish from the University of Akron. She has taught at the University of Alabama and Judson College in Marion, Ala.

Douglas W. Webster, professor of divinity. Webster has a doctor of philosophy degree in theology the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto. For the last 14 years he has been the senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church, San Diego, Calif.

In other business, trustees received the 2006-07 audit, approved new funding-level guidelines for named and endowed funds and heard that Samford's endowment was $298.6 million as of July 31.

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.