Published on May 3, 2016 by Sean Flynt  
Riders enjoy the 2016 Old Howard 100
Riders enjoy the 2016 Old Howard 100

More than 400 cyclists and 90 volunteers took part in Samford University’s annual Old Howard 100 bike ride April 16. The ride, #2 in the nation on’s ranking of top century rides in the U.S. this spring, takes cyclists through Alabama’s historic Black Belt, where Samford was founded as Howard College in 1841. Howard College of Arts and Sciences remains the academic heart of the university, and created the ride as a way to reconnect the university to the region.

Reflecting Samford’s Christian mission, the Old Howard 100 benefits Sowing Seeds of Hope, a partnership between Perry County and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship that seeks to enhance the quality of work and life in Perry County through improved educational opportunities, health care, tourism, transportation and economic development. Specifically, proceeds from the ride assist Perry County residents who receive care through Samford’s year-round health programs. Students and faculty in Samford’s nursing, pharmacy, and exercise and sports medicine programs offer regular health-care screenings, evaluations and monitoring services.

Ride organizer Rosemary Fisk, associate dean of Howard College of Arts and Sciences, said the Old Howard 100 this year will donate about $12,000 to Sowing Seeds of Hope, bringing the ride’s total donations to date to more than $55,000.

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.