Category: Messages from the President

A Message from the President – September 13, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Once again, The University of Alabama is breaking records, with our largest total enrollment ever and some of the nation’s most academically gifted students! We boast the most National Merit Scholars in school history, the largest freshman class on record and an increased enrollment of students of ethnic and racial minorities. In-state student enrollment rose for the fourth year in a row, and students joined us from every state and 88 countries. The Alabama experience is emboldening rising legends for immediate impact.

Applications are currently being accepted for the Capstone’s highest honor, the Premier Awards, to recognize UA students, faculty and staff who exemplify the utmost standards of scholarship, service, leadership and character. I encourage you to nominate a worthy member of our community who personifies our mission and vision.

Recently, the University was awarded a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an HBCU bridge program for undergraduate students interested in renewable energy. Building Bama projects continue to enhance our campus landscape this semester, with the upcoming ribbon-cutting of Tutwiler Hall and celebration of the future home of Drummond Lyon Hall later this week.

Students, I hope you are continuing to take advantage of the many organizations on campus designed to help you feel at home. As you’re expanding your social networks, you are also preparing for your future and professional goals. The Career Center will be hosting several career fairs this fall, and I encourage you to sign up and use UA resources such as the Root Crimson Career Closet. Congratulations to the nearly 400 excelling students named to the dean’s list or president’s list for the summer semester.

It will be another exciting Saturday in Tuscaloosa this weekend, and I look forward to joining you and all our Alabama fans in Bryant-Denny Stadium. As the Tide continues to rise, I’m grateful you are part of our team. Together, our aspirations become reality.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – August 17, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Welcome to Fall Semester 2022 at The University of Alabama!

Whether you are a student pursuing transformational educational opportunities, a faculty member equipping our students for future professional success or a staff member working to support our mission — I am thankful you are part of the UA community.

The beginning of a new semester always generates heightened energy around campus, and there are numerous fun activities planned this month to celebrate and welcome you to the Capstone. Students, I encourage you to begin your semester by enjoying the many events planned to help you get connected and feel at home. This week, we kicked things off with the annual Ripple Effect day of service on Monday plus the Script A event for new and incoming students Tuesday, and Weeks of Welcome activities will continue through Aug. 25. From our Welcome Back Breakfast to Get On Board Day, you have plenty of opportunities to make new friends and start creating lifelong memories. There are many other events both on campus and around Tuscaloosa for our entire community to enjoy.

As we look forward to all the fall semester has to offer, I want to thank our devoted faculty and staff for the preparation that has led to this moment. The work you are doing in the classrooms, laboratories and offices across campus is not only a worthy endeavor but an impactful one, shaping discoveries, lives and our shared future.

The Tide continues to rise, and today as classes begin — We ARE Alabama. Let’s make it another fantastic semester!

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – August 2, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Please join me in congratulating our upcoming summer 2022 graduates, including students from 18 countries and 192 first-generation students who will be celebrating commencement this weekend. With just two weeks remaining until the beginning of the fall semester, I hope you are preparing to take advantage of all the opportunities the upcoming semester has to offer.

Reflecting on our accomplishments this year, I invite you to take a look back at your successes in 2021-2022. Moving forward, we will continue to win together as a unified community.

Speaking of victories, what a remarkable sight it was to witness three current and former student-athletes earn medals at the World Games in Birmingham. Congratulations to Alabama All-Americans Haylie McCleney and Montana Fouts who helped lead USA Softball to win the team’s third-straight gold medal, and to UA alumna Anna Gay for earning the silver medal in women’s trick water ski. We are also proud of Miss University of Alabama Lindsay Fincher, who was selected from among 40 candidates and crowned Miss Alabama 2022. UA students and alumni continue to demonstrate legendary influence and impressive results.

Thriving in a culture of collaboration, our renowned faculty and staff also persist in shaping the future through creativity and innovation — and yet again, earning richly deserved recognition. The University of Alabama received an award to implement the first ever Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative, an honor that demonstrates our community’s commitment to lead and serve.

The University is also transforming society through leading-edge technology, such as the new Connect Alabama app, created through the VitAL initiative in the UA School of Social Work and funded through a partnership with the Alabama Department of Public Health. The novel mobile health application will connect those seeking mental health and substance abuse assistance to information, support and treatment services. UA’s broad reach is evident in our communities.

As we look forward to the fall semester, I encourage you to revisit the Capstone Creed, which serves as a reminder to our students about what we value at The University of Alabama. Our mission is clear and our next steps precise. I’m glad you’re part of the UA family.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – July 14, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Since I began my tenure as president of The University of Alabama seven years ago, we have witnessed continuing success — academic excellence, student and faculty accomplishments, athletic achievements and alumni pride. In 2016, we unveiled the UA Strategic Plan to guide this success and serve as a roadmap for our future. Now, I am proud to share the next phase of Advancing the Flagship, which builds upon our progress and refines the bold vision for our institution. I appreciate the thoughtful and deliberate work of the review committee of faculty, staff and students who met throughout the 2021-22 academic year to provide these updates. Planning for success is an integral part of achieving progress.

One example of progress was the recent implosion of the former Tutwiler Hall, which served more than 50,000 students during its over 50-year history. We look forward to welcoming residents to their new home in the newly constructed Tutwiler Hall this fall. We also recently announced the creation of the Sworn Officer Scholarship Program for selected students who are either sworn officers or children of sworn officers for the Tuscaloosa Police Department, Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue, Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Northport Police Department and Northport Fire Rescue. The new program, which will begin in fall 2023, is an investment in our community’s future and further acknowledges and supports the brave work of those first responders.

Congratulations are in order for the Alabama Astrobotics team for claiming its seventh championship title in a row at the annual NASA robotics competition, overcoming numerous obstacles to clinch the victory. We are proud of its ongoing success. The UA College of Community Health Sciences also welcomed the first class of the Tuscaloosa Rural Pre-Medical Internship program for pre-medical students who may one day serve residents in rural Alabama practices.

Commendations are due to the University for earning multiple Circle of Excellence and Southeast Emmy Awards. The Story of Autherine Lucy Foster was one of many entries that received an honor for its compelling content.

Finally, we will soon be celebrating another class of graduates at summer commencement Saturday, Aug. 6. Around 1,000 students will attend the single ceremony, and I look forward to seeing them and their families and friends in Coleman Coliseum.

These accomplishments represent the combined efforts of our community. As we continue to propel the Capstone to even greater heights, I remain grateful for your contributions and commitment to our mission.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – June 23, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

On June 23, 1972, Title IX was signed into law promoting equity in education programs and activities. The University is celebrating the 50th anniversary of this historic legislation by affirming our pledge to continue to promote and preserve a safe, respectful campus environment and our steadfast commitment to provide an environment that promotes prevention and reporting of sexual misconduct.

The University also has several events planned throughout the year to commemorate the 50th anniversary. Today, the Women and Gender Resource Center, Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Programs, University Programs and Department of Athletics are hosting a birthday party for Title IX from noon to 2 p.m. at the Gorgas House. I encourage all to take part in this celebration and the many events that are planned throughout the remainder of the year.

The University provides Title IX-related resources, support and reporting options for students, employees and members of our community. I encourage each of you to review the information and links provided to be informed about these valuable services.

The Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy provides detailed information about what is considered Prohibited Conduct, how to report Prohibited Conduct, available supportive measures and the University’s prevention, education and awareness efforts. Students, employees and campus visitors are encouraged to report sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual or gender-based discrimination, sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, stalking, sexual exploitation or other concerns related to sexual misconduct to any of the multiple reporting avenues.

The UAct program provides a central location for information about reporting sexual misconduct. The University of Alabama Police Department provides a comprehensive array of law enforcement services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through a dedicated staff of sworn, state-commissioned police officers. A criminal report can be filed through UAPD by contacting them at 205-348-5454 or by visiting their headquarters located on campus at 1110 Jackson Ave.

Reports may also be made to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Programs. The Office oversees the University’s compliance with Title IX by receiving and investigating reports of sexual misconduct. The Office also aids with supportive measures such as counseling, safety planning and academic support. In addition, the Office provides training and education programs, including programming to improve communication and conflict resolution skills. To make a report or inquire more about the services provided by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Programs, please contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Jessica Humber, at 205-348-5496 or by email at titleix@ua.edu.

The University also provides confidential reporting and counseling options. The Women and Gender Resource Center provides victim advocacy and counseling services for all members of the University community who are survivors of interpersonal violence, as well as family and friends who have been impacted by abuse. The WGRC can be reached at 205-348-5040. On-call advocates are available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays, for crisis intervention and support. After hours, the on-call advocate can be reached by contacting UAPD at 205-348-5454.

Additional confidential counseling services include the Counseling Center, which provides counseling and outreach programming for students. The Capstone Family Therapy Clinic provides psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families to The University of Alabama and surrounding community. The Tuscaloosa Safe Center is a 24/7 sexual assault crisis center that provides a free, compassionate patient-centered environment for sexual assault forensic examinations. Moreover, the Employee Assistance Program is designed to provide eligible employees and their family members with resources for resolving a variety of work-related and personal concerns.

All of these valuable services are summarized on the Sexual Assault and Misconduct Services website. We have a shared responsibility to create and maintain a culture of safety and respect. I encourage you to personally commit to partnering with us in our ongoing effort to combat and prevent sexual misconduct.

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – May 31, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Welcome to summer! Summer term classes begin today with many UA students engaged in empowering coursework to further their educational goals. The 2022 Bama Bound experience also begins today, welcoming incoming students and their families.

Our freshmen and transfer students won’t be the only new faces at the Capstone this summer. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Brian S. Butler, who will begin his tenure in July as the next dean of the UA College of Communication and Information Sciences. And a “welcome home and Roll Tide” is due to Ashley Johnston, our new head coach of Crimson Tide gymnastics. Coach Johnston was a 10 time All-American and member of back-to-back NCAA Championship teams at UA.

There is plenty of good news to share as we begin our summer academic sessions. The Fulbright Program, the most prestigious United States international exchange program, recently selected 18 University of Alabama students for various awards for the 2022-2023 academic year. Additionally, the Alabama Forensic Council, UA’s competitive speech team, participated in four national tournaments and brought home a team national championship and seven individual national championships, among other awards.

The accolades don’t stop there. Kittson Hamill is UA’s newest recipient of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship. Moreover, doctoral student Tristan Maxson received a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship and became the first student in University history to earn the competitive award. Another record-breaking accomplishment was the awarding of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to 21 UA students, the most students to win and the largest cohort in an application cycle at the Capstone.

Finally, we continue to bear witness to remarkable achievements from our legendary alumni. A tip of the cap to Justin Thomas, a former Alabama national champion and the winner of the 2022 PGA Championship. Internationally, nationally and right here in Tuscaloosa — our people are achieving at the highest level, and together we are making a difference as the Tide continues to rise.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – May 11, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Families,

Our UA community has completed another successful academic year! It launched with record-breaking enrollment, including the largest freshman class and Graduate School enrollment in UA history, the most freshmen from Alabama in a decade and a record 940 National Merit Scholars. It concluded with commencement this past weekend, with over 5,000 degrees conferred on the Class of 2022, comprising graduates from 31 countries and 50 states and 564 first-generation students.

Once again, our faculty and staff have equipped and empowered legendary students.

It is an honor for me to lead this great University, and I am pleased to share with you this video highlighting many of our accomplishments. Thank you for your role in our success.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

video screen grab

A Message from the President – April 21, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Yesterday, faculty and staff gathered for spring Campus Assembly to connect as a professional community while recognizing the commitment and efforts of all our people. Dr. Donald Keith and Dr. Stacy Jones were presented with prestigious UA awards for bettering the lives and experiences of countless students through their dedicated service to the Capstone.

April showers were in full force last weekend, yet students and devoted fans reveled in a first look at the Crimson Tide at the annual A-Day game. Prior to kickoff, we honored UA’s first Black football players, Wilbur Jackson and John Mitchell, by unveiling a plaque outside Bryant-Denny Stadium. John Mitchell said it best at the ceremony, noting that his NFL coaching successes related to “the things that I learned right here at Alabama.” He closed by stating, “I’m indebted to this great institution for the rest of my life.” Our great institution is indebted to him, and to Wilbur Jackson, for what they have taught us about courage, grace and leadership.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Clifford L. Henderson, the next dean of the UA College of Engineering, who will begin his tenure here Aug. 1. Dr. Henderson will continue the college’s progressive trajectory of success. Dr. Stacy L. Jones has also been named the new dean of students after an impactful tenure of more than 28 years at the University.

Earlier this month, the University secured its position as the command center of national water research and operations following the announcement of a $360 million competitive grant from the federal government, the largest external award in UA’s history. The grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be administered by the Alabama Water Institute.

UA Honors College student Jules Bates became the 60th UA student recipient of the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for 2022-2023. Bates, a participant in UA’s Randall Research Scholars Program, has focused her efforts on neural stem cell therapy for the treatment of neurological disorders.

Recently, The University of Alabama School of Law ranked 25th among the nation’s top law schools — ninth among publicly supported institutions — according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Law School Rankings.” We are proud of their ongoing success. The Crimson Tide Wheelchair Tennis team also claimed its seventh National Championship last weekend, its sixth consecutive championship title.

We Are UA, the University’s faculty and staff giving campaign, and Bama Blitz 2022, UA’s annual days of giving, conclude today. You can direct your support to a variety of key projects in UA’s colleges, schools and units. All gifts also benefit The Rising Tide Capital Campaign.

Finally, I am looking forward to shaking hands with our newest graduates at commencement in Coleman Coliseum in just over two weeks. It is my ongoing honor to serve as your president.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – March 22, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I hope you have returned to our campus with renewed vigor and focus as classes resume for spring semester. For those in the final stretch of your educational journey, we look forward to celebrating commencement with you in one of our eight ceremonies May 6-8 at Coleman Coliseum. You will be a #BamaGrad in just a little over six weeks!

As the semester continues, our students remain involved and committed. First, congratulations to international studies and political science double major Ben Borja for earning a Critical Language Scholarship to study Mandarin in China this summer. Also, students across campus can look forward to several events to facilitate networking opportunities and highlight research success.

More than 400 students will present at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference in the Bryant Conference Center on April 4. Over 275 submissions will underscore the prevalence of research and creative endeavors in all academic areas across our campus. In addition, UA’s inaugural Women in Business Conference, hosted by the Culverhouse College of Business Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, will be held March 25-26 to highlight the vital role of women in business and leadership.

Faculty and staff, please join me in celebrating UA’s recognition as a university committed to supporting first-generation students. Recently, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators selected the Capstone Center for Student Success to participate in the 2022-2023 First-gen Forward cohort. The initiative demonstrates the success of our ongoing efforts to encourage and support our students who are the first in their family to attend college. We know the power of a degree from The University of Alabama to change lives, bolster communities and empower families for the future.

As a community, we continue to remember and support our students, faculty and staff impacted by the events in Ukraine. Recently, the UA Counseling Center offered two free support group meetings, and I encourage any students affected by the crisis to continue using the Center’s resources. The Capstone International Center is also available for advising and assistance for our international students. Concerned UA employees can confidentially use the Employee Assistance Program, which runs in partnership with Uprise Health. We are one family at UA, and we share a united vision with the international community for reestablishing peace and safety for the people of Ukraine and the surrounding region.

Faculty and staff, also please remember that beginning tomorrow we need you to CHIME IN and share valuable feedback about your workplace experience. The survey will run through Tuesday, April 5. The University remains committed to your professional and personal growth and career satisfaction.

Finally, in recognition of the recent passing of Dr. Autherine Lucy Foster, UA will honor her legacy by hosting a memorial service on Thursday at 11 a.m. in Foster Auditorium. Members of the UA community are invited to attend.

It is my distinct honor to serve as your president.

Stuart R. Bell
President

A Message from the President – March 1, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Last Friday was a historic day at The University of Alabama and a testament to the character and generosity of our campus, alumni and friends. We gathered as a community to dedicate Autherine Lucy Hall in honor of Dr. Autherine Lucy Foster. It was a privilege to pay tribute to Dr. Foster, a humble alumna and living legend, by adorning the building that houses our College of Education with her name. As our future teachers enter the hall, they will recall Dr. Foster’s influence and courage as a pioneer for civil rights and be reminded of their own opportunities to impact their students and generations to come. At the ceremony, the state of Alabama also awarded Dr. Foster a master teacher certificate for her celebrated career as an elementary school teacher.

We also announced a momentous gift commitment of $20 million in honor of the late Mark Smith by his wife, Linda, and her son and daughter-in-law, Clay and Cameron Smith. Pending final approval by the UA System Board of Trustees, we will name the Performing Arts Academic Center — a facility that will allow us to fully showcase our students’ exceptional talents — the Smith Family Center for the Performing Arts. The Smiths’ generous contribution is the largest gift in University history allocated for the construction of an academic facility.

In addition to being an incredible legacy for the Smith family, their philanthropy propelled UA’s Rising Tide Capital Campaign past $1 billion in charitable contributions. Already, more than 133,000 donors have contributed to the campaign, creating over 650 new scholarships, establishing nearly 40 new faculty endowments and affecting impactful changes to more than 500,000 square feet of campus. We are thrilled by what has been accomplished to date and look forward to seeing more of the direct impact on our students, research efforts, faculty endeavors and much more.

We are also proud of UA’s student-led Capstone Agency, which recently held its annual CreateAthon. In 24 hours, over 60 students donated the equivalent of almost $58,000 worth of services to 10 local organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club, Turning Point, Books to Prisons and Family Counseling Services. Through the power of service and purpose, UA students continue to exhibit an unwavering commitment to community.

March is another opportunity for our students to shine with the annual Edward K. Aldag Jr. Student Business Plan Competition. The event is an exciting occasion for UA students to demonstrate their creativity and innovation by presenting business ideas that have strong potential. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, the courage to share your ideas — and could benefit from prize money — be sure to sign up by March 4. Visit UA’s Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute’s website for more details.

March is Women’s History Month, and UA’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is hosting several special events to commemorate the significant achievements of women on our campus and throughout American history. This month also provides our UA community with a well-deserved respite during spring break. I hope you will enjoy time off to relax and recharge.

Truly, it is a remarkable season at the Capstone. As we continue authoring our next chapter, the contributions of our students, faculty, staff and alumni are the essence of our story. Thank you for your influence and for supporting our constant quest for excellence.

Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell
President