Start of spring semester update

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

I hope you all enjoyed a safe and happy holiday break with your friends and family. We are thrilled to welcome you back to campus as we enter the new year together.

We ended 2016 with the most successful United Way campaign we’ve ever had. We are grateful for the generous support that has continued to come in over the past several weeks, with over $434,560 pledged from the UA community to support the United Way of West Alabama’s 26 partner service agencies. Many thanks to the College of Continuing Studies and the campus coordinating committee for their leadership throughout the campaign. What a terrific way to begin 2017 — celebrating the remarkable generosity of our campus.

As we begin the semester, I hope you’ll attend Get On Board Day next Wednesday, January 18, from 5-8 p.m. at the Ferguson Center so you can discover new opportunities to connect with other students over shared interests. Considering positive ways to get involved on campus is a wonderful way to start the year.

Any new year is not without its challenges, and already we note the tragedy of a life lost too soon as we send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the LSU student who passed away here Monday evening. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those left behind to cherish her memory.

Yesterday you may have received emergency alerts about a hostage situation at the Alabama Credit Union on Bryant Drive. I am pleased to report this incident was resolved with no injuries, and the suspect is in police custody. However, in light of these events, perhaps now is a good time to make sure you are signed up for UA Alerts. For more information on how to subscribe to these alerts, please visit the UA Alerts website. We are committed to providing you with timely updates in any event of emergency affecting our campus. Please know we will continue to put your safety and well-being first.

Last semester was one full of excitement and much celebration, as we celebrated many academic and athletic accomplishments from all of you — and congratulated over 2,000 new graduates at Winter Commencement! Although we didn’t win another National Championship Monday night, we are proud of the success of our football team and the many accomplishments of all our student-athletes. With such a tremendously talented family of faculty, staff and students, I am eagerly anticipating even more achievement and celebration in 2017.

Best wishes to all of you, and of course, Roll Tide!

Stuart R. Bell