Start of the Fall Semester

Dear Campus Community:

Welcome to The University of Alabama! If you’re new to UA, I look forward to seeing what you will do as a member of the Alabama family. To returning faculty, staff and students, I know you will make this another great year. We could not achieve all we do without your contributions. The fall semester brings exciting opportunities to impact the world through teaching, research and service.

We continued to be very productive on campus over the summer. Construction crews were involved in over 100 projects to better our facilities and to meet the needs of all our campus constituents. One of our recent additions, and the summer’s largest project, was the Capstone Parking Deck, which added 1,000 new parking spaces in a key area of campus. It was completed just in time for the fall semester to begin, and certainly everyone on campus will benefit.

Students, I hope you’ve taken part in some of the fun “Yea, Alabama! Weeks of Welcome” events hosted by University Programs. Tidechella was a tremendous success and provided an exciting way for you to meet others on campus. I enjoyed seeing many of you at the Welcome Back Breakfast enjoying Chick fil-A on Ferg Plaza, as well. More upcoming events include the Druid City Music Festival on Aug. 24, the Tide Dye Fest on Aug. 25 and the BFSA Welcome Reception on Aug. 26 – plus many more entertaining ways to get plugged in and learn about our people and our campus resources.

I hope all students will also take advantage of the launch of Tide Loyalty Points, the official fan loyalty program created through a collaboration between Alabama Athletics and the Alabama Student Government Association. We’re gearing up for another great season of athletic events. UA’s intramural sports, adapted athletics programs, club sports and two student recreation centers are ranked among the best in the nation. Every student on campus has the opportunity to participate in the pride and tradition that defines Alabama athletics.

We were pleased to announce the College of Arts and Sciences has a new dean, Dr. Joseph P. Messina. With experience and success that includes an 18-year career at Michigan State University, Dr. Messina will provide vital leadership for the College. Also, Dr. Kathleen Cramer is now working as interim vice president for Student Life, and we appreciate her service and partnership with our students. Dr. Richard Friend, who served as interim dean for the College of Community Health Sciences over the past year, was also named dean of the college in July. His extensive clinical and administrative experience will serve the University well as we continue to bolster UA’s research initiatives. Recently, the UA Office for Research and Development unveiled a five-year strategic plan to advance research activities on campus. As a University with Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity status, creativity remains on the forefront of UA’s blueprint for worldwide impact.

Finally, I hope everyone will wear their Where Legends Are Made gear proudly this fall as a demonstrative way to tell the story of the University’s most renowned students, athletes and alumni. UA received the top honor in the 2019 Circle of Excellence awards competition for the Legends campaign, and our UA legends are an important part of our legacy. I know we’ll continue to add to the list of successful alumni as we advance in the future.

I’m proud to be your president, and I look forward to another semester of campuswide achievements, new discoveries and lifelong friendships.

Again, welcome back and ROLL TIDE!

Stuart R. Bell