A Message from the President

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

It’s hard to believe the end of the fall semester is upon us.

I know exam week can be busy for many of us. Students, I am confident you will finish well. You and your faculty have been preparing all semester so you are well equipped for success. Each semester brings you one step closer to your educational goals. I’m proud of your tenacity and your many accomplishments, and I’m also thankful for you. Every student is an important part of our campus community, and we’re all cheering for you this week.

Commencement will follow on Saturday with more than 2,300 students receiving their degrees. Part of the work leading to that day is preparing our students to be good citizens of our increasingly diverse global society — citizens who are culturally competent and ready to operate effectively in our communities, the workplace and in the world at large. While we all may leave in different directions and celebrate this season in different ways, we share the commonality of being part of one big Alabama family. Cherish your family and friends, and respect all of your classmates and our community members.

This season always reminds us there is much to celebrate. This Friday, Dec. 13, I hope you can join us for a very special ceremony set for 10 a.m. at Manderson Landing. In honor of theTuscaloosa Bicentennial, the University will present a sculpture of Minerva, whose likeness is included on the University’s seal, as a gift from the Capstone to the citizens of Tuscaloosa. Thesculpture is breathtaking, and the unveiling will be an opportunity for the University and thecommunity to gather in solidarity. I hope you will bring your family and friends to help us commemorate what will certainly be a very memorable day.

We are also still celebrating another recent accomplishment. Two weeks ago we announced a record-breaking year of giving to United Way. Through the Division of Community Affairs and theCollege of Arts and Sciences, spearheaded by Dr. Samory Pruitt and Dean Joseph Messina, UA faculty and staff contributed $483,807 to the United Way of West Alabama. Not only are we a community at UA, but we give back to our larger community. I am so proud of the ways our faculty, staff and students serve, advance the common good and live united.

As we pause to enjoy the holidays, I also want to thank all faculty and staff for another impactful year of teaching, research and service. You are the foundation of what makes this great institution so successful, and your investment in our students is making a global difference. When you share your extensive knowledge, expertise and time with your students, you are contributing to thelarger legacy of this University. Simply put, your efforts are the core of who we are, and I’m honored to serve as your president.

Finally, as the calendar year ends, we can look forward to cheering on the Crimson Tide at theVrbo Citrus Bowl against Michigan on Wednesday, Jan. 1, in Orlando, Florida. The game will be another fun way to gather over the holidays in our Alabama gear. I know fans across the nation will be rooting for our team, and we are all very proud of our players, coaches and athletic staff.

Best wishes to all of you as the semester draws to a close. I hope you enjoy a restful and joyful holiday break with family and friends. There is no greater way to be refreshed than by spending quality time with those we love.

It’s a wonderful season to make memories, and Susan and I wish you and your family many blessings in the new year.

Roll Tidings!

Stuart R. Bell