Published on September 11, 2018 by Katie Stripling  
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Samford University’s board of trustees elected trustees to serve the 2018-2022 term and approved new faculty at its meeting September 7.

Verne Bragg, regional managing partner and audit practice leader at Grant Thornton in Orlando, Florida, was elected as a new Samford trustee. He has served as a member of Samford’s Parent Leadership Council and is a deacon, Sunday School teacher and trustee at First Baptist Orlando.

Reelected to additional four-year terms as trustees were Al Shumaker, attorney, Centre, Alabama; J. Theodore Jackson, attorney, Montgomery, Alabama; James R. Jackson, retired pharmacist, Sterrett, Alabama; Alan Register, executive vice president, Birmingham market executive and commercial district director for Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle, Regions Bank, Birmingham; William J. Stevens, retired president and CEO, Motion Industries, Inc., Birmingham; Beth Thorne Stukes, civic volunteer and former teacher, Jasper, Alabama; Ronald J. Watkins, president, Ronnie Watkins, Ford, Gadsden, Alabama; and Jay L. Wolf, pastor, First Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama.

Reelected as officers of the board for 2019 were Tim Vines, president and CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Birmingham, chair; Beth Thorne Stukes, civic volunteer and former teacher, Jasper, Alabama, vice chair; Victor E. Nichol, Jr., retired president and EO, First National Banker’s Bank, Birmingham, secretary; and Sherri Foyt, former elementary school teacher and church and civic volunteer, Vestavia Hills, Alabama, assistant secretary.

Eight new faculty members were approved in arts, arts and sciences, education and health professions.

The trustees also approved a new department in Samford’s School of the Arts. The Department of Christian Ministry will house the new Christian ministry program. The Christian ministry program is designed to equip students for the work of ministry and missions through a biblically grounded, mission focused curriculum. Three faculty members currently serve in the Department of Christian Ministry.  

Trustees approved advisory boards for all schools and programs on campus for the 2018-19 year.

In reports from university administrators, trustees heard that enrollment for fall 2018 is another record, including the largest freshman class in Samford history. The university’s endowment was valued at more than $297 million. Through August, more than $150 million had been given or pledged for the Forever Samford campaign

The next full meeting of the board is December 4.
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.