|The University of Alabama|
|President:||Dr. Robert E. Witt|
|Campus:||Urban (small city);|
1,000 acres (4 km²)
|Free:||19 Varsity Sports|
25 Club Sports
|Colors:||Crimson and White|
|Affiliations:||Southeastern Conference (NCAA Division I)|
The University of Alabama (also known as Alabama, UA, or colloquially as 'Bama) is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. Founded in 1831, UA is the flagship university of the University of Alabama System. Within Alabama, it is often called the "Capstone". UA is the senior and the largest in terms of enrollment of the state's major research universities, the others being academic and athletic rival Auburn University and fellow UA System institutions the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAHuntsville) and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
The University of Alabama offers programs of study in 12 academic divisions leading to bachelor's, master's, Education Specialist, and doctoral degrees. The only publicly-supported law school in Alabama is at UA. Other academic programs unavailable elsewhere in Alabama include doctoral programs in anthropology, library and information studies, metallurgical engineering, music, Romance languages, and social work.
As of fall 2008, Alabama has an enrollment of 27,052 students and its president is Dr. Robert Witt. Under his leadership, the University has experienced significant growth, despite lower admission acceptance rates, and higher academic standards. The UA Honors Program has grown rapidly as well, with one in five freshmen now enrolled in UA’s Honors College. In fall 2007, these 1,066 scored in the top 2 percent nationally on the ACT.http://quickfacts.ua.edu/know.html
See main article: History of the University of Alabama. In 1818, Congress authorized the newly created Alabama Territory to set aside a township for the establishment of a "seminary of learning". When Alabama was admitted to the Union on December 14, 1819, a second township was added to the land grant, bringing it to a total of 46,000 acres (186 km²). The General Assembly of Alabama established the seminary on December 18, 1820, named it "The University of the State of Alabama", and created a Board of Trustees to manage the construction and operation of the university. The board chose as the site of the campus a place which was then just outside the city limits of Tuscaloosa, the state capital at the time. The University's charter was presented to the first University president in the nave of Christ Episcopal Church in Tuscaloosa. Alabama opened its doors to students on April 18, 1831, with the Reverend Alva Woods as President.
An academy-style institution during the Antebellum period, the university emphasized the classics and the social and natural sciences. There were around 100 students per year at the University in the 1830s. However, as Alabama was a frontier state and a sizable amount of its territory was still in the hand of various Native American tribes until the 1840s, it lacked the infrastructure to adequately prepare students for the rigors of university education. Consequently, only a fraction of students who enrolled were adequately prepared for a university education and few students graduated, especially in the early years. Those who did graduate often had distinguished careers in Alabama and national politics. Early graduates included Benjamin Porter and Alexander Meek.
There was an active literary culture on campus and in Tuscaloosa. The University had one of the largest libraries in the country on the eve of the Civil War at more than 5000 volumes. There were several thriving literary societies, including the Erosophic and the Phi Beta Kappa societies, which frequently had lectures by distinguished politicians and literary figures, including United States Supreme Court Justice John A. Campbell, novelist William Gilmore Simms, and Professor F.A.P. Barnard (later president of Columbia University).
Discipline and student behavior was a major issue at The University almost from the day it opened. Early presidents attempted to enforce strict rules regarding conduct. Students were prohibited from drinking, swearing, making unauthorized visits off-campus, or playing musical instruments outside of a one-hour time frame. Yet riots and gunfights were not an uncommon occurrence. To combat the severe discipline problem, president Landon Garland lobbied and received approval from the legislature in 1860 to transform the university into a military school. As such, many of the cadets who graduated from the school went on to serve as officers in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. As a consequence of that role, Union troops burned down the campus in April 1865, which was unrelated to Sherman's March to the Sea several months earlier and farther east, in Georgia. Only four buildings survived the burning, including the President's Mansion built in 1841 and the Gorgas House built in 1829 (the oldest building on campus).
The University reopened in 1871 and in 1880, Congress granted The University 40,000 acres (162 km²) of coal land in partial compensation for $250,000 in war damages. The military structure was dropped approximately a decade after the school was officially opened to women in 1892 after much lobbying by Julia Tutwiler to the Board of Trustees. Tutwiler Hall is now the largest female-only dorm on campus.
On June 11, 1963, contrary to the wishes of University administrators, Governor George Wallace made his infamous "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door". He stood in the front entrance of Foster Auditorium in a symbolic attempt to stop the enrollment of two African Americans: Vivian Malone and James Hood. When confronted by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach and federal marshals sent in by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Wallace stepped aside. Although Hood dropped out of school after two months, he subsequently returned and, in 1997, received his Ph.D. in philosophy. Malone persisted in her studies and became the first African American to graduate from The University. In 2000, The University granted her a doctorate of humane letters. Later in his life, Wallace apologized for his opposition at that time to racial integration.
The eight divisions of The University granting undergraduate degrees are:
The School of Law offers J.D. and LL.M. degree programs. The College of Community Health Sciences provides advanced studies in medicine and related disciplines and operates a family-practice residency program in association with the UAB School of Medicine. Finally, the College of Continuing Studies provides correspondence courses and other types of distance education opportunities for non-traditional students. It operates a distance education facility in Gadsden.
Founded in 1971 and merged into the College of Arts and Sciences in 1996, the New College program allows undergraduate students more flexibility in choosing their curriculum while completing a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences degree. The program allows students to create a "depth study" in a particular field chosen by the student. The student completes approved independent studies alongside their normal coursework. The objective of New College is to inspire interdisciplinary learning at the undergraduate level.
UA is composed of a singular campus of approximately 1,000 acres (4 km²). The campus is notable for its abundance of buildings built in the Greek Revival style. Four University of Alabama buildings survived the Civil War: Gorgas House, Maxwell Hall (the Old Observatory), the Little Round House (Civil War lookout post), and the President's Mansion. All are still used today.
Landmarks include the President's Mansion, the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, and Denny Chimes, a campanile equipped with a 25-bell carillon, all of which are located on or near the Quad, the central green on campus. The Quad lies roughly at the geographic center of the campus.
On-campus cultural facilities include the [Paul Bryant Museum, the Alabama Museum of Natural History, the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, and the Frank M. Moody Music Building, which houses the [[Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra]].
The Quad anchors the campus. To the east lie buildings housing most of the science and math departments, as well as the College of Nursing. Engineering Row, home of the departments of the College of Engineering, is located to the northeast, and the fine arts and humanities departments of the College of Arts and Sciences are oriented to the north and northwest of the Quad. To the west lie the buildings of the colleges of Commerce and Education. Finally, the College of Communication and Information Sciences, the College of Human Environmental Sciences, and the School of Social Work flank the Quad to the south.
Additionally, the facilities of the School of Law, the School of Music (a division of the College of Arts and Sciences), and the College of Community Health Sciences are located in the far eastern edge of campus. The College of Continuing Education is located in Parham Hall further south of the Quad.
Athletic facilities generally flank the far south edge of campus. Bryant-Denny Stadium is in the southwestern edge of the campus and Coleman Coliseum is in the southeastern edge of campus, near the law school.
As of the fall semester of 2006, The University has a total enrollment of 23,878 undergraduate, professional, and graduate students. Of which, 76% are residents of Alabama and 24% are out-of-state students. 81% of students are white, 11% are African-American and 2% are Hispanic.http://www.cw.ua.edu/vnews/display.v/ART/2006/09/22/4513981369b06
In figures from 2005, the most recent available, The University had a faculty of 1,148. 829 held the rank of assistant professor or higher. 922 faculty members were full time. 527 were tenured with 244 on tenure track. 13.8% (114) were minorities and 34.7% (287) were women.
In April 2006, the university announced a capital campaign with a goal of $500 million called "Our Students. Our Future." The "quiet phase" of the campaign, which started in 2002, raised $299 million. The focus of the campaign, to end in 2009, was stated to be "student scholarships, faculty support, campus facilities and priority needs." In November 2007, the university announced that it had raised $428 million .
Half of the money raised in the capital campaign will go toward student financial aid to recruit and retain students. So far more than $170 million has been allocated to student financial aid. Endowed scholarships account for $75 million.
An additional $77 million has been donated to buildings and facilities. The athletics department and the UA School of Law have raised substantial amounts of money for building purposes.
A ranking of colleges and universities, published in the May 19, 2008 edition of Forbes magazine, ranks the University of Alabama second in the nation among public universities. The ranking also places UA 42nd among all national universities, both public and private. According to both the 2008 and the 2009 US News and World Report America's Best Colleges Edition college rankings, UA had the highest ranking of any university in the state of Alabama. In fact, among all public universities in the US, the University of Alabama is ranked #37, according to the 2009 USNWR America's Best Colleges Edition, up from its national ranking of #41 the previous year. The University of Alabama School of Law is ranked 11th among public law schools and 32nd among all law schools in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Reports 2009 edition of its annual "Best Graduate Schools" publication.
The University of Alabama has consistently ranked as a top 50 public university in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and has a selectivity rating of "more selective.". The University of Alabama ranked 12th in the nation among public universities in the enrollment of National Merit Scholars in 2007. Seven University of Alabama students were named to the 2008 USA Today All-USA College Academic Team, the most of any school. This year’s team brings UA’s total for the last six years to 31, a figure that tops all other colleges and universities. In addition to this year, UA had the most students on the list in 2006 with six and in 2005 and 2003, both with five. In 2007, UA tied with Washington University-St. Louis for the most team members with four. In 2004, with four students on the team, UA came in second only to Harvard.http://quickfacts.ua.edu/know.html
THES - QS World University Rankings puts the University of Alabama 5th in the world (in front of both Princeton and Harvard in terms of citations per staff member.http://www.topuniversities.com/worlduniversityrankings/results/2007/criteria/citations/
UA’s undergraduate business program ranked 29th among public undergraduate business schools in U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings, fall 2007 and 48th when private universities are included.http://quickfacts.ua.edu/know.html
The University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences’ doctoral program in mass communication is ranked seventh nationally by the National Communication Association. The most recent U.S. News rankings for communication graduate programs placed UA’s advertising program 12th and telecommunication 14th in the nation.http://quickfacts.ua.edu/know.html
The doctoral program in health education, a joint program of The University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, ranks seventh in the nation according to a recent study published in the Journal of Health Education.http://quickfacts.ua.edu/know.html
The law school, ranked the 11th best public law school in the nation by US News and World Report 2009 Graduate Programs Edition, boasts prestigious alumni such as United States Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, long time Alabama senator Howell Heflin, and both current U.S. Senators from Alabama (Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions).
UA is one of the 113 members of the Association of Research Libraries, which yearly compiles internal rankings. In 2004-2005, the last year for which statistics are available, among 113 members, the University of Alabama ranked 94th (where 113 is the bottom) in support staff; 98th in total expenditures; 83rd in total volumes; 73rd in current serials; and 103rd in total items loaned, a measurement of the library's use. This is one of the lowest rankings for a state university in the country.
Published reports have ranked UA among the top four flagship universities in the Southeast and among the nation's top 25 public flagship universities in terms of minority enrollment.
With more than 25,000 students enrolled, The University has a substantial student life component, although some students complain that increasing enrollment without a commensurate increase in the size of the faculty has led to excessively large class sizes in some areas. This complaint has no bearing in reality, as avg. class size has not increased due to record new funding for faculty hires and pay increases. In fact, University of Alabama Provost Judy Bonner stated "I’ve been here 25 years, and I have never before seen this level of funding for new faculty positions."
The University continues to hire additional faculty, qualified staff and build additional classrooms, dining facilities, and residence halls to accommodate its planned, but controlled, growth.
See main article: List of Fraternities and Sororities at the University of Alabama. Greek letter organizations first appeared at The University in 1847 when two men visiting from Yale University installed a chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon. When DKE members began holding secret meetings in the old state capitol building that year, the administration strongly voiced its disapproval. Over the two decades, four other fraternities appeared at Alabama: Phi Gamma Delta in 1855, Sigma Alpha Epsilon in 1856 (this was the founding chapter), and Kappa Sigma in 1867. Anti-fraternity laws were imposed in that year, but were lifted in 1890s. Women at the University founded the Zeta Chapter of Kappa Delta sorority in 1903. Alpha Delta Pi soon followed.
The University today recognizes 48 social Greek letter organizations. An unknown number of unofficial fraternities and sororities also exist. Three governing boards oversee the operations of the Greek organizations: the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the Panhellenic Association, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). There is also a newly established UGC, or Unified Greek Council, which includes those organizations with multicultural membership who are not national members of the latter three Greek boards. Over one quarter of undergraduates at Alabama are now members of a social Greek letter organization. The number of Greek men has more than doubled since 2002 to almost 2,500 for the fall of 2008 with fifteen fraternities now recording memberships of more than one hundred (within recent years there were none recorded with that number). For the fall 2008 over 3,500 females or 30% of undergraduate females were in a social sorority at UA. Following 2008 fall recruitment, almost all Panhellenic sororities participating through all rounds had potential new member class sizes of 80 or more; nearly all Panhellenic sororities also now have more than 200 total members. In March 2008, the University gained two new sororities to accommodate the growing Greek system interest. Alpha Phi, which had a chapter at the University from 1932 to 1963, colonized in the fall of 2008.
See main article: The Machine. Since its founding in 1914, a secretive coalition of fraternities and sororities, commonly known as "The Machine", has wielded enormous influence over the Student Government Association. Occurrences of harassment, intimidation, and even criminal activities aimed at opposition candidates have been reported, though never proven. Many figures in local, state and national politics have come out of the SGA at the University of Alabama. (Esquire magazine devoted its April 1992 cover story to an exposé of the Machine.)
Numerous media outlets are operated by or in conjunction with The University. Student-produced media outlets are all managed by the Office of Student Media, itself controlled by The University-sanctioned Media Planning Board. However, all student publications are editorially independent of The University. The OSM oversees the production of one newspaper, one yearbook, three scholarly publications, and the student-run radio station.
See main article: Alabama Crimson Tide.
Alabama's athletic teams are known as the Crimson Tide. Alabama competes in the Southeastern Conference (Western Division) of the NCAA's Division I. The Athletic facilities on campus include the 92,138-seat Bryant-Denny Stadium, named after legendary football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and former UA President George Denny, and the 14,619-seat Coleman Coliseum.
Alabama maintains athletic rivalries with Auburn University and the University of Tennessee. The rivalry with Auburn is especially heated as it encompasses all sports. The annual Alabama-Auburn football game is nicknamed the Iron Bowl.
While the rivalry with Tennessee is centered around football for the most part, there is no shortage of acrimony here, especially given the recent history between then-UT Coach Phillip Fulmer and his relationship to the Tide's most recent NCAA probation. There are also rivalries with Louisiana State University (football and baseball), University of Mississippi (football and men's basketball), Mississippi State University (men's basketball), and the University of Georgia (women's gymnastics).
See main article: Alabama Crimson Tide football. The University of Alabama football program is the most nationally-known of all Alabama's intercollegiate athletics programs. Started in 1892, it is one of the oldest and most tradition-rich football programs in the country. The team has won 21 SEC titles and 12 national championships in polls (including 6 awarded by the Associated Press and 5 by the Coaches Poll). Additionally, the team has compiled 31 10-win seasons and 55 bowl appearances, winning 32 of them – all NCAA records. Alabama has produced 18 hall-of-famers (Paul "Bear" Bryant, Harry Gilmer,Bart Starr, Johnny Mack Brown, Johnny Cain, John Hannah, Frank Howard, Pooley Hubert, Lee Roy Jordan, Dixie Howell, Don Hutson, Vaughn Mancha, Johnny Musso, Joe Namath, Ozzie Newsome, Billy Neighbors, Fred Sington, Wallace Wade, Don Whitmire) and 96 All-Americans honored 105 times.
The Crimson Tide's current home venue, Bryant-Denny Stadium, opened in 1929 with a capacity of around 12,000. The stadium has since grown to an official capacity of 92,138 via several additions, the latest being an upper deck in the north end zone (completed August 2006). This addition includes a premium club level, an official stadium entrance, and a promenade that is prominently featured in pre-game activities. Bryant-Denny Stadium's all-time attendance record is 92,138, set on September 2, 2006 vs. the University of Hawaii. The Tide has also played many rivalry games, among others, at Legion Field in Birmingham.
Nearly synonymous with Alabama football is legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant whose record at The University of Alabama was 232-46-9. He led the Crimson Tide to a national title in 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, and 1979, which is tied with Notre Dame's legendary coach Knute Rockne. Additionally, the 1966 team was the only one in the country to finish undefeated and untied, but poll voters denied the 12-0 Alabama team the three-peat as Michigan State and Notre Dame tied each other 10-10 in what was considered the "Game of the Century" and subsequently split the national championship.
On April 21, 2007, Alabama fans attended the spring scrimmage ("A-Day") game in record numbers. All 92,138 seats, as well as standing room only areas were filled. Over 20,000 fans were turned away by the Tuscaloosa fire marshal.
See main article: Alabama Crimson Tide men's basketball. Alabama's men's basketball program has been overshadowed for most of its history by football even though it trails only Kentucky in SEC basketball wins, SEC tournament titles and regular season titles. In recent years, the men's basketball program has again risen in stature nationally under head coach Mark Gottfried, achieving a No. 1 national ranking briefly in 2003. Further, UA has once again become a regular conference basketball contender, much as it was in the 80s and early 90s under the direction of Wimp Sanderson and the 70s under C. M. Newton. Alabama has 7 NCAA Sweet 16 appearances and in the 2003-04 season The University of Alabama's men's basketball team reached the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament; it ended up losing to the national champion of that year, the University of Connecticut. Alabama has the second most NCAA tournament wins without reaching the final four.
The women's gymnastics squad at The University of Alabama first competed in 1975. The squad did not have a winning season until the arrival of Sarah Patterson in 1979. In the intervening 26 years under Patterson and her husband David, the squad has won four national championships, five SEC championships, 19 regional titles, and 198 All-American honors. It has placed in the top 5 at the NCAA Championships 19 of the past 21 years and won the championships four times: in 1988, 1991, 1996, and most recently in 2002. The gymnastics squad also hosts an annual fundraiser for breast cancer, where the crowd is encouraged to "Think Pink" and support the cause by turning out in pink clothing.
Gymnastics meets have an average attendance of 9,000 at Coleman Coliseum. Meets against the team's arch-rival, the University of Georgia Gymdogs, often sell out. Alabama holds two of the five NCAA records for the largest gymnastics crowds of all time, including an attendance of 15,043 fans on Feb. 1, 1997.
In October 2005, Mal Moore announced the addition of Alabama's 21st varsity sport. The women's rowing team became the newest varsity sport at The University of Alabama in Fall 2006. The team was added due to the NCAA's Title IX and allows for 20 full scholarships.
Taking only girls who had previously rowed for the Alabama Crew Club(est. 1987) and other walk-ons, Head Coach Larry Davis built the program from the ground up. In the first year of competition (2006-2007), the Tide defeated the University of Cincinnati, Creighton University, and Murray State University and also won medals at the Chattanooga Head Race and the Head of the South.
The second year (2007-2008) of competition surprised many as the Varsity 8 went on to win silver medals at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA and also the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships in Oakridge, TN. The Tide again medaled at the Chattanooga Head Race and the Head of the South and recorded several match race victories against Southern Methodist University, Creighton, Murray State, Drake University, and the University of North Carolina. The team also landed three boats in the top 10 of their categories at the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, PA.
Within two years, the team has had 25 athletes earn SEC Academic Honor Roll honors and 16 earn Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete awards. For the 2007-2008 school year, Women's Rowing won the team service award by posting the most number of community service hours (over 1500) out of all women's sports at Alabama.
See main article: University of Alabama traditions. The most distinctive of Alabama's traditions are almost always associated with football. The nickname "Crimson Tide" originated with the 1907 Iron Bowl. Auburn, heavily favored to win, was forced to accept a tie with Alabama after a hard-fought game. Describing the game, one sportswriter described the offensive line as a "Crimson Tide", in reference to their crimson jerseys.
For example, following a victory against Auburn:
"Hey Auburn! Hey Auburn! Hey Auburn! We just beat the hell out of you! Rammer jammer, yellow hammer. Give 'em hell, Alabama!"
Yea, Alabama! Drown 'em Tide!
Every 'Bama man's behind you,
Hit your stride.
Go teach the Bulldogs to behave,
Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave.
And if a man starts to weaken,
That’s a shame!
For Bama's pluck and grit have
Writ her name in Crimson Flame.
Fight on, fight on, fight on men!
Remember the Rose Bowl, we’ll win then.
So roll on to victory,
Hit your stride,
You're Dixie’s football pride,
Crimson Tide, Roll Tide, Roll Tide!!
See main article: List of University of Alabama people.