BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Samford University has named Beck A. Taylor as its 19th president Wednesday.

The announcement is effective starting July 1. Current President Andrew Westmoreland will be retiring at the end of the school year after serving the position since 2006.

“We could not be more pleased with the appointment of Beck Taylor as the 19th president of Samford University,” said William J. Stevens, chair of the Samford Board of Trustees. “He brings an exceptional record of academic leadership, demonstrated success in fundraising, and a personal commitment to Samford. We unanimously and confidently agree that President-elect Taylor possesses the experience, strategic vision, and alignment with our values to continue building Samford’s reputation as a leading Christian university.”

Taylor, who is currently the president at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., returns to Samford where he was the dean of Samford’s Brock School of Business from 2005-2010.

“I am profoundly honored and excited to return to Samford University, and to follow my good friend, Andy Westmoreland,” said President-elect Taylor. “Samford is a crown jewel in Christian higher education, and it is committed to pursuing excellence at the intersection of faith and learning. My wife, Julie, and I already love this place and its people, and we look forward to the journey ahead.”

A press conference introducing Taylor as the president can be viewed in the player above starting at 1 p.m.