Samford University will be under new management next year. University President Andrew Westmoreland, who has held the post since 2006, has announced his retirement effective June 30, 2021.
“I’ve said so often that, despite my many flaws, I am a better person because of my association with Samford. Jeanna and I agree that serving here is the greatest honor of our lives,” Westmoreland wrote in an email to students, employees and alumni.
During his tenure at Samford, enrollment has grown by almost 30 percent, with 11 years of consecutive enrollment growth. More than 30 new or enhanced academic programs have been added at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including many that are in the College of Health Sciences, which was established in 2013. In addition, during his tenure, the university has raised more than $400 million in philanthropic gifts and has invested approximately $100 million in its physical plant and campus.
“As we begin this transition in the university’s leadership it is important to remember Samford is stronger today than at any time in its 179-year history,” said Samford Board of Trustees Chairman Bill Stevens. “We all are immensely grateful for the tremendous service of President Westmoreland.”
Prior to taking his role at Samford, Westmoreland served as president at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas.
“Our careers in higher education now span more than four decades,” Westmoreland said of his and his wife’s service. “We have been blessed with opportunities far beyond our dreams and we believe that this is the appropriate time to open the door for new leaders at Samford.”
After his retirement as president, Westmoreland plans to reside in Birmingham and continue serving in a part-time capacity as executive director of Samford’s Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership.
A search for Samford’s next president has begun, with Trustees Tim Vines, CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, and Beth Thorne Stukes, a corporate and civic leader from Jasper, serving as co-chairs of the search committee. Michael Morgan, assistant to the president at Samford, will serve as secretary of the search committee.