Posted by Philip Poole on 2009-09-22

Six Samford University faculty members have been named to endowed chairs and professorships for the 2009-10 academic year. The appointments were approved by the university’s board of trustees. The six join 11 other faculty members who already held endowed chairs or professorships.

Susan P. Alverson is the Anthony and Marianne Bruno Professor of Pharmacy in Samford’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy.  The Brunos established the endowed professorship in 1987 because of their “commitment to high standards of academic and Christian character.”  Alverson, who also is associate dean, has taught at Samford since 1993.  She earned her doctorate from the University of Southern California.

Betsy Bugg Holloway is the Dwight Moody Beeson Chair of Business in the Brock School of Business.  This endowed chair was established by estate of Dwight Beeson.  The Beeson families were major donors to Samford in the latter part of the 20th century. Holloway is associate professor of entrepreneurship, management and marketing and the Hackney Family Research Fellow.  She has a doctorate from the University of Alabama and has taught at Samford since 2002.

Franz T. Lohrke has been named the inaugural holder of the Brock Family Chair in Entrepreneurship.  The chair was established last year with gifts from retired Birmingham banker Harry B. Brock Jr. and his family and supports Samford’s new programs in entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship. Lohrke came to Samford in 2006 and has a doctorate from Louisiana State University.

J. Maurice Persall is the Orlean Bullard Beeson Professor of Education, an endowed professorship established by the Ralph Beeson estate in 1990 in memory of Beeson’s wife.  He also is chair of graduate studies and professor in the Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies.  A doctoral graduate of Auburn University, Persall also joined the Samford faculty in 1993.

Charles E. Sands III is the Fred E. McWhorter Chair of Pharmacy, a position normally held by the pharmacy school dean.  The chair was established in 1996 by Samford graduate and Nashville businessman Clayton McWhorter in honor of his brother, who also is a Samford graduate.  Sands has taught at Samford since 1997 and has been dean since August 2008.  He earned his doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Florida.

David M. Smolin is the first to hold the Harwell G. Davis Chair of Constitutional Law in Samford’s Cumberland School of Law.  The chair was endowed by the estate of Elizabeth Davis Eshelman in memory of her father, who served as Samford’s 16th president.  Smolin has been a Samford faculty member since 1987 and received his law degree from the University of Cincinnati.

“Each of these faculty members was chosen because of their academic strengths, their classroom experiences and their commitment to scholarly endeavors,” said J. Bradley Creed “They each bring national, and in some cases international, reputations to the positions. They are among Samford’s finest academicians and classroom teachers.”

Creed is Samford’s provost and executive vice president and recommends appointments in conjunction with deans of each academic school.

Endowed chairs and professorship are important because they enhance a university’s academic stature and reputation, according Creed, and it is an honor for those selected to hold the endowed positions.  Although each fund has specific guidelines, the endowments generally salary support, research funding or professional development stipends.

Others continuing in positions to which they were named earlier are Joseph W. Blackburn, Wehlan W. and Rosalie T. Palmer Professor of Law; John L. Carroll, dean and Ethel P. Malugen Professor of Law; Lyle W. Dorsett, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism; Timothy F. George, dean and Ralph W. Beeson Chair of Divinity; and Robert J. Goodwin, J. Russell McElroy Professor of Law.

Also, John Knapp, Mann Family Professor of Ethics and Leadership; Archie Lockamy III, Margaret Gate Bush Professor of Business; Allen P. Ross, Beeson Professor of Divinity; Kenneth Roxburgh, Louis and Ann W. Armstrong Professor of Religion; and Nena F. Sanders, dean and Ralph W. Beeson Chair of Nursing.

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.