Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, 1865-1868
Though president for only three years, Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry is among the most distinguished and widely-recognized of Samford’s early leaders. The Georgia native practiced law in Talledega, Alabama and served for many years in the state legislature before his election to the U.S. Congress. Resigning from Congress when Alabama seceded from the Union, Curry joined the Alabama 5th Regiment of the Confederate States Army. Soon after the war, Curry was elected president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention and one month later became president of Howard College. Curry was known for his staunch support of separation of church and state and for his promotion of free public education for all citizens. In later years Curry declined an appointment to head the U.S. Bureau of Education and was instead appointed to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Spain.