Andrew Westmoreland is president of Samford University in Birmingham.
Photo courtesy of Samford University

‘Trust in the Lord’ as we approach fall 2020

By Andrew Westmoreland
President, Samford University

Colleges and universities across the United States are wrestling these days with some of the most challenging questions in the history of our institutions. Likewise, students and their parents are perplexed with the vast uncertainty associated with family and institutional planning for COVID-19. The frustration is particularly acute for students who will be entering college as freshmen this fall.

Through conversations with dozens of university presidents serving at institutions public and private, large and small, I know that folks everywhere are doing their best to make this next year as “normal“ as possible. This is particularly true for our three Baptist-related institutions in Alabama: Judson College, University of Mobile and Samford University.

“Large group gatherings” may be limited and last-minute changes may be the rule, but all three institutions are seeking to preserve our hallmark: Christ-honoring education offered through personal interaction with competent, compassionate faculty members.

Never more than during these days have I relied on the hopeful and helpful wisdom of Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Trusting the Lord — and with months of careful planning — we will eagerly reopen our doors in a few weeks. May God bless this entering Class of 2024.

Fall 2020 highlights:

  • Commencement ceremonies for spring 2020 graduates will be held Aug. 13–15.
  • Aug. 24 will be the first day of fall classes for most students. Cumberland School of Law students will begin on Aug. 17.
  • All on-campus instruction will end prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • Classes will be offered in several formats: in-person, hybrid and online.
  • For more information, visit