December 29, 1841
With a name chosen to honor British social reformer John Howard, the Alabama Baptist State Convention chartered Howard College in Marion on Dec. 29, 1841. In 1887, the school and its six faculty members relocated to the East Lake area of Birmingham. Women were admitted on a provisional basis from 1895 to 1897 and Howard officially became coeducational in 1913. In 1921, Howard College acquired the Cumberland School of Law from Cumberland University in Tennessee. In 1953, the school broke ground on its third campus, moving to Shades Valley in 1957. Howard re-instituted its master’s degree program in 1965, elevating it to university status. Because Howard University in Washington, D.C., already existed, the Birmingham school was renamed in honor of Frank Park Samford, who was chairman of the board.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Cadets muster outside the library on the campus of Howard College in Marion, Perry County, in 1858. The school, now Samford University, moved to the Birmingham area in 1887. During the Civil War, the Marion campus served as a military hospital. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Samford University Special Collections)
A student walks toward the “Old Main” and the Sherman Oak (to the right of the building) on the East Lake campus of Howard College (now Samford University) in the 1950s. The college relocated to the Birmingham suburb of East Lake in 1887 and then to the Shades Valley community near Birmingham in 1957. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Samford University Special Collections)
A. Hamilton Reid Chapel, located on the east side of the Quad on the campus of Samford University, adjoins Percy Pratt Burns Hall to the north and James H. Chapman Hall to the south. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photograph by Justin Dubois)
Davis Library and Centennial Walk, Samford University, 2017. (Andy Montgomery, Flickr)
Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School, 2006. (Brian R. Mooney, Wikipedia)
The Rushton Memorial Carillon bell tower sits atop Samford University’s Harwell Goodwin Davis Library. Constructed in 1968, the carillon, named for insurance executive and Samford patron William J. Rushton, was originally housed at Reid Chapel and was moved to the top of the library in 1979. It contains 60 bells, each of which bears an inscribed poem about bells. The library is home to the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Justin Dubois)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.