Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
I am pleased to share two bold new initiatives made possible thanks to our friend and UA alum, the newly retired U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, which were approved last week by The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees. First, the $100 million Shelby Endowment for Distinguished Faculty will strengthen the University’s recently updated strategic plan by investing in the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty in STEM disciplines, building on our renowned academic programs and innovative research.
In addition, the newly created Shelby Institute for Policy and Leadership will prepare students interested in public service to cultivate, apply and assess policy solutions for some of humanity’s biggest challenges. We are thankful for the longstanding and ongoing support of Senator Shelby and his wife, former UA professor Dr. Annette Shelby, of our mission, students and faculty.
Congratulations to the 12,791 students named to the dean’s or president’s list for the fall 2022 term. Our students continue to distinguish themselves academically, and I am proud of the prominent scholarship you consistently achieve.
UA community, I encourage you to participate in The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development’s 17th annual Books for the Black Belt campaign that continues through Feb. 24. Our goal is to provide educational resources for every child in the Black Belt counties, over 30,000 books. Public outreach — especially that which prepares and inspires children and young adults — is vital to supporting our next generation of legends.
Finally, we are excited to witness the recent success of our winter sports programs. Fresh off two conference wins last week, including the largest SEC win in program history, the Alabama men’s basketball team continues to climb in the national rankings. Our women’s basketball team earned another tough road victory on Saturday to improve to 17-6 on the season. And our women’s gymnastics team defeated Auburn in thrilling fashion in front of a sold-out Coleman Coliseum crowd Friday night. Our programs’ distinction and the success we are witnessing have been fostered by the leadership of Coach Nate Oats, Coach Kristy Curry and Coach Ashley Johnston. We appreciate the investment they make in our student-athletes as they pursue excellence in the classroom and in the competitive arena.
It is my ongoing honor to serve as your president.
Stuart R. Bell