Former Samford president dies

Published 3:10 pm Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Thomas E. Corts, who was president of Samford University for 23 years, has died at age 67.

Samford University officials said Corts died of an apparent heart attack Wednesday morning. He was credited with overseeing a period of growth in the university’s endowment and enrollment, along with the construction of more than 30 campus buildings.

Corts retired from Samford in 2006 and served as interim chancellor of the state’s two-year college system for about seven months before resigning in 2007.

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He went on to serve in Bush administration education programs. Corts had returned to his Birmingham home from Washington, D.C., last month.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Marla, two married daughters, a married son and six grandchildren.