End of Semester Message from President Bell

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

As the fall semester nears its close and students gear up for exams and a well-deserved break, I want to tell you how proud I am of this University community. I appreciate your hard work, your dedication to education and the way you represent the Capstone. It is our people that make UA such a special place. With less than two weeks until commencement and the beginning of the holiday break, Susan and I wish you and your family a joyful and blessed holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Students, I know you are tirelessly preparing for semester exams. Be diligent, focused and confident in what you have learned this semester. You should be very proud of yourself and your educational accomplishments. You chose to attend a legendary University, and I know you are pursuing the goals you have set for your future. I wish you the best on your exams.

Tonight, Susan, Dr. Grady and I are hosting our traditional late night breakfast for all students at Lakeside Dining Hall. With the recent improvements at Lakeside, the facility is a wonderful gathering place for everyone, and we hope you will join us. The fun begins at 10 p.m., and you should come hungry. There will be plenty of food to enjoy, including chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits and breakfast pizza. The best part is that all the food is free! There will also be a DJ to provide music while you relax and refuel.

And, to everyone in the UA family, I am especially proud of our campus community for helping us not only surpass our United Way campaign goal, but also for making this year’s contributions the largest giving total in UA campaign history. We reached a record-breaking goal of $469,483 for United Way of West Alabama. With approximately 90 cents of every dollar raised being directly distributed to agency and initiative programs, we can take pride in knowing we have invested in a worthy cause that benefits those in need in our community. Thank you for giving so generously.

Faculty and staff, what you do every day adds tremendous value to our University. We have a large campus and it takes us all being committed to a shared vision to achieve our mission. I know our employees care and are personally invested in our students. As a student-centered research university, and with our faculty working alongside our students, we are educating the future leaders of the world.

We are also making some remarkable advancements in the area of research which have far-reaching impact. I’m very proud of the external grants and contracts for research, instruction, fellowships and service that totaled almost $100 million, the highest in UA history. The total includes $62 million in research awards, and it is the highest in the University’s history. Research encourages professional excellence in both faculty and students, and we know UA students are the next generation of specialists and professionals. When our students are engaged in research that requires purposeful progress and critical thinking under the guidance of their professors, they are sharpened and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the future. We will continue to focus on the power of creative thought through innovation and advanced research at The University of Alabama.

Finally, we are all celebrating the achievements of our highly acclaimed football team for winning the SEC championship against Georgia. The win in Atlanta continues Bama’s SEC Championship legacy, and was the Tide’s 27th SEC title. Enjoy the holidays and then put on your Alabama gear to cheer on the Crimson Tide on Dec. 29 for the Capital One Orange Bowl against Oklahoma. It’s going to be a great game.

Best wishes to you all as you close out the semester. I wish you a safe and happy holiday break.

Roll Tidings!

Stuart R. Bell