Published on June 29, 2016 by Philip Poole  

The executive committee of Samford University’s board of trustees approved candidates for graduation, new academic programs and new faculty recently in their regular summer meeting in Birmingham.

Trustees approved 110 students for summer graduation, pending completion of degree requirements. Following their long-standing tradition, trustees stopped to pray for the graduates and their futures.

“This is the best thing we do as trustees,” Executive Committee Chair Beth Stukes told trustees.

Two new programs were approved in Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing that will allow students to transition from either the Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Registered Nurse to the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in health system and administration with a concentration in informatics.

A new minor in health care administration was approved for the School of Public Health, pending final accreditation approval. The minor will provide health care executive knowledge and can be paired with a variety of majors, according to Nena F. Sanders, vice provost for the College of Health Sciences.

Fourteen new faculty members were approved.

Trustees also heard a series of reports from university administrators.

Randy Pittman, vice president for advancement, reported that annual giving to the university is at the highest level in five years.

Current projections for fall 2016 indicate a record freshman class and record enrollment, according to R. Phil Kimrey, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management.

Lisa Imbragulio, assistant vice president for business and financial affairs, reported that the university’s endowment was valued at $272.8 million as of May 31.

Executive Vice President Harry B. Brock III provided an update on campus construction projects that are in process, including the new College of Health Sciences facilities, parking and a new residence facility.

In his report, Samford President Andrew Westmoreland spoke of the strong growth in enrollment and physical plant in the midst of some challenging times for higher education.

The next meeting of the board of trustees is Sept. 8-9 in Birmingham.

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.