Samford University celebrates the 166th anniversary of its opening Thursday, Jan. 3. After being chartered in December of 1841, the school opened its doors on that date in 1842 in Marion, Ala.
Known as Howard College, the institution welcomed nine students to its first class. It moved to Birmingham in 1887 and became Samford University in 1965. Now enrolling about 4,500 students, it is the nation's 87th oldest college or university and Alabama's largest private school.