Dear Campus Community,
The recent tragedies in Pittsburgh and Louisville were terrible and disheartening. As we grieve for the victims, their families and their friends, we stand strong in our promises of respect, inclusivity and service.
We are a community that cares for others. If you need assistance, we are here for you. Please visit https://counseling.sa.ua.edu/ for information on how to get help.
In times like these, I find solace and hope in the commitments we make as members of The University of Alabama community. Take time today to renew our unwavering oath and reconfirm our Capstone Creed:
“As a member of The University of Alabama community, I will pursue knowledge, act with fairness, integrity and respect; promote equity and inclusion; foster individual and civic responsibility; and strive for excellence in all I do.”
The UA inclusiveness and heart are evident in our strong start to the semester, welcoming many new faculty and staff and enrolling students from every county in Alabama, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 78 countries. We continue to attract the best and brightest to our campus.
Our faculty remain focused on influencing the lives of our students and making substantial contributions in research, scholarship and creative activities. After reviewing this past year, we expect to report our faculty have set a new record for research awards on our campus, and we will be highlighting that exciting news in the coming days.
Following a national search, we were pleased to announce Dr. Russell J. Mumper as our vice president for research and economic development effective Jan. 1, 2019. As part of UA’s strategic plan, Dr. Mumper will continue advancing our research and economic development efforts. Dr. John Higginbotham has been serving as UA’s interim vice president for research and economic development, and we are fortunate to have had his leadership.
Our students continue to impress. Recently, UA’s dance marathon was honored by Children’s of Alabama for raising and donating more than $1 million to the hospital over a seven-year period. What began as the vision of a small group of impassioned students has turned into a transformational service opportunity that is changing lives. In fact, our student body has completed over one million hours of volunteer service in the past year. I’m very proud of how our students demonstrate they are socially conscious through their efforts to make our world a better place.
Over the past year, we have celebrated 125 Years of Women at UA and honored women on campus through awareness, education and service. I encourage everyone to give back to their respective communities through service for 125 minutes on Wednesday, Nov. 28. You can use social media to share your kindness with #ServingFor125.
One of our alumni, Jody Singer, recently made national news as a female pioneer. She was appointed as director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville and is now managing one of NASA’s largest field installations. She is the first woman appointed to the position, and we are proud of her achievements.
Truly, our alumni and donors continue to amaze us with their philanthropy. The University benefits from the donations and support of our friends and graduates. We had a record year in fundraising through the generosity of 62,300 donors, raising more than $224.3 million in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Our alumni remain steadfast in investing in the future of our University.
One such backing came from a $26.5 million donation from Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. and his wife, Eliza, in September. The Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law will be even better positioned to continue to prepare students for meaningful contributions throughout their legal careers. UA students and alumni are also benefiting from the generosity of Marillyn and James Hewson, two UA graduates who embody the Capstone’s core values. Marillyn has an impressive career as chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation, was recently named CEO of the Year, and is No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s list of Most Powerful Women for 2018. The Hewsons’ gift will include support for the construction of Hewson Hall and will provide more space for UA’s 9,000 future business leaders while broadening the impact of the Culverhouse College of Business.
I am proud to serve as your president. Thank you for your impact. Roll Tide!
Stuart R. Bell