Welcome to the Capstone

Dear Campus Community:

To our new students, faculty and staff, welcome to the Capstone! And to those of you returning, we are glad to have you back on campus. As we celebrate this Week of Welcome, I know you join me in welcoming over 10,000 incoming freshman, graduate and transfer students who are now part of our University family.

I want to share with you a few things that happened while many of you were away this summer.

Our Astrobotics team won the national championship for the third year in a row, competing against 45 other university teams at the NASA Robotic Mining Competition. These young men and women kept their focus on a common goal and pursued champion-level success while also meeting the demands of their rigorous academic schedules. We congratulate them for this great achievement.

Two of our esteemed alumni, Dr. E. Gaylon McCollough and Mrs. Susan N. McCollough, recently made the largest endowed gift to the College of Arts and Sciences in over twenty years. In June, our board of trustees approved the establishment of both the Dr. E. Gaylon McCollough Institute for Pre-Medical Scholars and the Susan N. McCollough Art Biennale, which will advance the academic preparation and success of those studying medicine and art at the University for many years to come.

Just last month, our Capstone College of Nursing received a $1.7 million grant to fund the Bama-Latino Project, which allows us to transform the nursing workforce in Alabama and across the nation so it is more representative of patient populations. As our state’s flagship university, we are grateful for the opportunity to create a lasting impact on our state and our nation through this important funding.

Earlier this month, we welcomed Dr. G. Christine Taylor, our new vice president and associate provost for diversity, equity and inclusion. Dr. Taylor’s background and experience will be an asset to our leadership team, enhancing our ability to deliver a premier higher education experience to all of our students.

Again, I’m glad all of you are back on campus. I know that like last year, we have many tremendous accomplishments ahead of us, and I look forward to celebrating them with you. As you prepare to start the semester, I hope each of you will refresh your understanding of our values, expressed in the Capstone Creed. We share a commitment to inclusion and respect for all, as I mentioned last week.

Best wishes to all of you for a great semester, and Roll Tide.


Stuart R. Bell