Alabama State University

Alabama State University

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Alabama State University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States to be founded by African Americans.The university occupies 138 acres in the historic Centennial Hill area of Montgomery, Alabama.Following the Civil War, African-Americans in Alabama felt a need for providing quality education for their children. With this objective in mind, their leaders founded Lincoln Normal School in Marion, Alabama.The private school was reorganized by the state into the State Normal School and University for the Education of the Colored Teachers and Students, in 1874.However, owing to racial clashes, the school was moved to its present location in Montgomery in 1887, and was renamed Alabama Colored People’s University. The name was again changed in 1889, to the State Normal School for Colored Students.The State Normal School for Colored Students attainted the status of a junior college in 1920, and began its first postsecondary level education program.During the period between 1929 and 1954, the establishment changed its name three times: to State Teachers College, in 1929, to Alabama State College for Negroes, in 1949, and to Alabama State College, in 1954.It was reorganized as a four-year institution, and the first bachelor's degree was awarded in 1931.The first master's degree program was completed in 1943. The college was promoted to the university level in 1969, following which it adopted the present name of Alabama State University.Alabama State University owes its success to the early founding members. Prominent among these was Peyton Finley, the first black member of the State Board of Education.It was due to his efforts that the Lincoln Normal School was reorganized by the Alabama State Legislature to the State Normal School and University for the Education of the Colored Teachers and Students, in 1874.This reorganization made Lincoln Normal School the nation’s first state-supported educational institution for blacks.Another important personality in the university’s formative years was William Burns Paterson.Paterson, who was white, became the president of the university, in 1878. He succeeded in making the university the first state-supported institution for the training of black teachers in the nation.Furthermore, he led the campaign for establishing the university in its present site of Montgomery.He held the presidential chair for more than 37 years and guided the institution during its turbulent years, preventing it from closure.It was during his tenure that the university taught its first classes, in October 1887. Paterson is therefore considered as the founder of the university.Alabama State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The degrees offered include Associate of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Education, and Specialist in Education degrees.Additional associate degrees are offered in Business Administration and Management, Computer Science, and Child Development.

Alabama State University Historic District

The Alabama State University Historic District is a 26-acre (11 ha) historic district at the heart of the Alabama State University campus in Montgomery, Alabama. It contains eighteen contributing buildings, many of them in the Colonial Revival style, and one site. The district was placed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on August 25, 1994, and the National Register of Historic Places on October 8, 1998. [1] [2]

Alabama State University traces its beginnings to 1867, when former slaves Joey Pinch, Thomas Speed, Nickolas Dale, James Childs, Thomas Lee, John Freeman, Nathan Levert, David Harris, and Alexander H. Curtis founded a school for African Americans in Marion, Alabama. This school, the Lincoln Normal School, was the direct predecessor for the State Normal School and University for the Education of Colored Teachers and Students, established in 1873 by the Alabama Legislature. [3] In 1887 the school moved to Montgomery, renamed the Alabama Colored Peoples University. Classes were initially held at Beulah Baptist Church. The name was changed to State Normal School of Colored Students in 1889, following legal wrangling regarding state funding. [4]

Land for a permanent campus at the current location was purchased in 1889, with the first permanent building, the wood-frame Tullibody Hall, erected in 1890. This Tullibody Hall burned in 1904 and was rebuilt in brick in 1906. Following the death of the first president, William Burns Paterson, in 1915, the school became organized as a four-year teacher training high school and junior college. In the 1920s additional land was purchased and the state appropriated $50,000 for the construction of dormitories and dining facilities. The school became a full four-year institution in 1928, had a name change to State Teachers College in 1929, and conferred its first bachelor's degree in teacher education in 1931. The majority of buildings within the historic district date from this mid-20th century period, 1916 through 1945. The name of the university changed several more times over the next few decades: to Alabama State College for Negroes in 1948, Alabama State College in 1954, and in 1969 assumed the current title of Alabama State University. [5]


Conference Edit

Alabama State has won six conference championships. [ citation needed ]

Year Coach Conference Record
1935 Rufus Lewis Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 9–2–1
1936 Rufus Lewis Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 6–2–2
1965 Whitney L. Van Cleve Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Section B 6–4–0
1966 Whitney L. Van Cleve Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Section B 8–2–0
1991 Houston Markam Southwestern Athletic Conference 11–0–1
2004 Charles Coe Southwestern Athletic Conference 10–2
Total Conference Championships: 6

The Magic City Classic is the highest attended and most anticipated regular season ASU football game every year. The Hornets take on in-state rival Alabama A&M Bulldogs in Birmingham, Alabama.

Alabama State’s Health Information Management program gives students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in HIM . Graduates are adept at the management of information technology structures as related to healthcare data, knowledge of clinical medicine, computerized storage and use of clinical data, and supporting patients’ needs through effective utilization of patient information.

For undergraduates, Alabama State University requires a minimum high school GPA of 2.0 and recommends test scores, an essay, and an interview as part of the application process. Students majoring in music must audition, and a portfolio is recommended for art majors. There is no set admissions deadline, and no application fee. Application information can be requested on-line.

Graduate students must pay a $10 application fee and provide GRE or MAT scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.

According to its rich and diverse history, Alabama State University does not consider race, gender, or nationality a standard for admissions. The ultimate goal of the admissions process at Alabama State is to enroll the most skilled and diverse group of students possible. All students are required to attend Precollege Orientation, which is scheduled prior to the beginning of each semester. Early admissions is available for students who have a high school grade point average between 3.5 and 4.0, and who score a 24 on the ACT exam or 1100 on the SAT exam.

The Unique History Of Alabama State University

“ One must return to the yesteryear in order to travel frontward ” , is an old African adage that has been used to explicate the intent of analyzing history. This African adage non merely refers to the survey of American history, but besides the survey of one ’ s household history. Another stating that has been used to mention to the survey of history is, “ You must larn your history, or you are bound to reiterate it.

” These rules can use to instruction every bit good. The intent of go toing college is to have a formal instruction. The proper attack to get down college degree surveies is to larn your school ’ s history. Enlightenment of the troubles and barriers during the early phases of a school ’ s development in add-on to a deeper regard for a university, can be obtained, and if obtained, will function as excess motive. This holds true on the campus of Alabama State University, in Montgomery, Alabama.

The alone history of Lincoln Normal School, present twenty-four hours Alabama State University, is a major focal point country in the survey of this university ’ s history.

Modern twenty-four hours Alabama State University is a merchandise of the mid-nineteenth century thought, held by African Americans, to open universities for slaves. This thought was hard to implement because most slaves were non educated, and there were no agencies of communicating due to the deficiency of a consolidative linguistic communication. The terminal of the Civil War in 1865 heightened the state ’ s want, particularly in the South, to supply a formal instruction for the freshly freed slaves. The state ’ s first Historically Black Colleges and Universities ( HBCU ) were founded as a consequence. The first historic Black universities, which were founded with money from the American Missionary Association, and the celebrated Amistad trail, are Fisk University, Hampton University, Talladega College, and Lincoln Normal School. After these schools were established, it was still difficult for a former-salve to obtain an instruction. Fisk University for illustration, merely admitted those who were the kids of a female slave and a white male, usually a slave maestro. Many schools during this clip period adapted this same entryway standard. A southern school, Lincoln Normal School, did non hold any bias rules rooted in their entryway procedure.

Peyton Finley founded Lincoln Normal School, contemporary Alabama State University in 1867, in Marion, Alabama. Peyton Finley is besides noted for being the first African American appointed to the Alabama State Board of Education. Finley ’ s engagement with the board of instruction allowed him to acquire the American Missionary Association and the Freemen ’ s Bureau to supply books, supplies, instructors, and fundss for the new school. However, in 1864, the American Missionary Association went bankrupt, and could no longer back up Lincoln Normal School. Therefore, the African American community in Marion, Alabama supported the fiscal demands of the school. In 1874, Lincoln Normal School became the first province supported establishment in Alabama. Prior to this important event in the school ’ s history, George N. Card became the first president of the establishment in 1873.

George N. Card is largely noted for functioning as president when the Lincoln Normal School became the state ’ s first province supported Broad Arts College for African American. Card besides established Alabama State College Laboratory High School, in Marion, Alabama in 1874. During Card ’ s term of office as president, the Klu Klux Klan in Marion, Alabama endangered the lives of the African Americans go toing the establishment. In 1878, to the delectation of many African Americans in Marion, Alabama, William Burns Paterson became the new president. William Paterson was born in Tullibody, Scotland. The African American community was happy that Paterson was the new president because he was a really aggressive and austere adult male. They knew that he would be able to assist the establishment to progress to greater highs. Paterson, along with a few pupils, showed his aggressiveness by partaking in gunplay with the Klu Klux Klan when they were seeking to put the school edifices on fire. Paterson ’ s aggressive attitude brought societal convulsion to the Marion community. Therefore, to protect the safety of the pupils go toing Lincoln Normal School, Paterson relocated the establishment. The school was relocated to Montgomery, Alabama in 1887, and renamed Alabama Colored People ’ s University. Unfortunately, the school loss its province fiscal support the same twelvemonth. In 1889, the school was renamed Normal School for Colored Students, and re-gained fiscal aid from the province. The school ran thirty-three old ages on its original program as a high school teachers-training establishment. The school had Is

T foremost graduating category in 1890. Sadly, William Burn Paterson died in 1915.

The first African American instructor, John William Beverly, became the 3rd president in 1915. Beverly organized and established the school as a four-year establishment with the same program of being a high school teachers-training establishment. Beverly besides advanced the province of the establishment by buying extra land to spread out the campus. The first residence hall and faculty-dining hall was constructed in 1918. John William Beverly term of office as president ended in 1920. George W. Trenholm seceded Beverly as president.

1920 was George W. Trenholm ’ s first twelvemonth as president, and Alabama State College Laboratory High School had its first graduating category. Trenholm ’ s most of import part to the establishment was in that same twelvemonth. Trenholm ’ s add-on of the Junior College Program, which comprised two old ages beyond high school, made the establishment a criterion “ Normal School ” . After functioning a five-year term, Trenholm ’ s boy, Harper Council Trenholm took over the place as president. At the age of 25, H.C. Trenholm became the establishment ’ s youngest president. H.C. Trenholm elevated the Junior College position of the school to a four-year establishment of higher acquisition in 1928. Due to the new educational position of the school, the name was changed to Alabama State Teachers College in 1929. In 1931, the first graduation for the four-year college course of study was held. H.C. Trenholm helped the college to progress even further in 1940 by establishing the college ’ s first alumnus plan. The first alumnus plan was in 1943. The college one time once more was renamed under H.C. Trenholm ’ s term of office as president to Alabama State College for Negroes in 1948. H.C. Trenholm relinquished the place of president in 1962.

Levi Watkins was appointed as the 6th president of Alabama State College for Negroes in 1962. That same twelvemonth, under Watkins ’ supervising, the college began to offer athletic scholarships. Watkins served as president during a socially disruptive clip in the South. The civil rights motion was in full swing in Watkins ’ first twelvemonth as president. The pupils at Alabama State College for Negroes were critical members in the civil rights motion. Watkins continued to force the college frontward while take parting in the motion himself. Watkins was an instrumental factor in the accreditation of the college in 1966 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In 1969, he approved the proposal to alter the name of the college from Alabama State College for Negroes to Alabama State University. A few old ages subsequently, in 1975, the administrative control of the university changed from the State Board of Education to the Alabama State Board of Trustees. Watkins ’ last great part to the university while functioning as president was the development and beginning of University College in 1975.

Robert L. Randolph, Leon Howard, Clifford C. Baker, and William H. Harris, severally were the undermentioned presidents of Alabama State University. These presidents besides made really enormous parts to contemporary Alabama State University. However, if it were non for the difficult work of Peyton Finley, George N. Card, William B. Paterson, John W. Beverly, G.W. Trenholm, H.C. Trenholm, and Levi Watkins, the university would non be every bit outstanding as it is today. The persevering attempt of these presidents to do this university a success has non been overlooked. Buildings on the campus today have been named in their award. Finley Hall was named after the university ’ s laminitis, Peyton Finley. The Levi Watkins Learning Center was named after the 6th president that approved the name of Alabama State University, Levi Watkins. Card Hall was named after university ’ s first president George Card. Beverly Hall was given its name in award of the president that had the first residence hall built, John William Beverly. Tullibody Hall was named after the place of birth of William B. Paterson, which was Tullibody, Scotland. H.C. Trenholm Hall and G.W. Trenholm Hall were named after Harper Council Trenholm and George W. Trenholm. H.C. Trenholm elevated the educational position of the university from a Junior college to a four-year college, and G.W. Trenholm advanced the school to a normal school of instruction.

The alone history of Alabama State University is filled with the dreams of slaves for a better life. Payton Finley made the first measure in conveying the dreams of the slaves alive. The obstructions that were overcome by the influential personalities that assisted in the university ’ s success will ever be an inspiration for pupils go toing this esteemed university. Alabama State University truly has stood by its slogan, “ A proud tradition … the promise of a bright hereafter! ”

Alabama State University (1867- )

Alabama State University is a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Montgomery, Alabama. Founded less than two years after the end of the Civil War as the Lincoln Normal School in Marion, Alabama, it is one of the oldest HBCUs in the United States. Nine ex-slaves, Joey Pinch, Thomas Speed, Nickolas Dale, James Childs, Thomas Lee, John Freeman, Nathan Levert, David Harris, and Alexander H. Curtis, made up the first Board of Trustees. Under their guidance, the black and white community of Marion raised five hundred dollars to buy land for the school’s campus. The money to build the school building came from the American Missionary Association (AMA).

In 1873 the State of Alabama assumed control over the Lincoln Normal School and renamed it the State Normal School and University for the Education of Colored Teachers and Students. In 1874, the school was renamed again becoming the Alabama State Lincoln Normal School and University (ASLNSU). On June 30, 1880 the first class of six students graduated from the ASLNSU.

In 1887, the state moved the institution to Montgomery, the state capital. Twelve years later in 1899 the state legislature provided funding for the first time and changed the institution’s name again to the Normal School for Colored Students. William B. Paterson, a native of Scotland was named President of the Normal School He, in turn, hired John W. Beverly who became the school’s first African American instructor. In 1915 Beverly succeeded Paterson, becoming the school’s first black president in 1915. Beverly initiated a program of curriculum development that allowed the school to become a two-year junior college in 1920.

By 1929 the junior college became the State Teachers College and awarded its first baccalaureate degrees in teacher education in 1931. In 1948 there was another name change to Alabama State College for Negroes, then in 1954 to Alabama State College. In 1969 it became Alabama State University (ASU).

Located in Montgomery, Alabama State University’s faculty, staff and students were directly involved with the Montgomery Bus Boycott which began in December 1955. Rosa Parks, who along with Rev. Martin Luther King, became the most recognizable figure in the Boycott is an alumnus of Alabama State. After Parks’ arrest Alabama State English Professor Jo Ann Gibson Robinson and two of her students mimeographed 35 thousand leaflets which were crucial in spreading word of the Boycott. Gibson and Ed Nixon, the initial leaders of the boycott, selected Martin Luther King to head the Montgomery Improvement Association which became the organizational arm of the boycott.

Alabama State University now enrolls nearly 6,000 students in 50 undergraduate and graduate programs. It also now has two satellite campuses in Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama

Alabama State University - History

In the recently released “From Marion to Montgomery: The Early Years of Alabama State University, 1867-1925,” author Joseph Caver brings to light new information about the founding in a detailed history of one of the country’s earliest historically black universities.

Caver is a former senior archivist at the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, a history lecturer at Alabama State University (ASU) and he was the first Black archivist at the Alabama Department of Archives and History.

Caver’s interest in researching his alma mater began during graduate school, while working at the state archives.

“I was working with all types of scholars using the resources there,” Caver said. While assisting an Auburn University graduate student researching Perry County history, Caver was told, “they’ve got it all wrong over there. … The school was founded much earlier than 1874.”

Intrigued, Caver delved into the microfilm collection of the American Missionary Association (AMA) papers, as well as newspapers and other primary source materials housed at the state archives – eventually developing his curiosity into a master’s thesis for graduate school.

In his thesis, Caver provided evidence that ASU had been founded by freed slaves several years earlier than had been previously recognized.

“In the AMA papers, I found the incorporation of the Lincoln School on July 18, 1867. … I also went to the courthouse in Perry County and there was a reference there,” Caver said. “Using legislative records, I discovered the Lincoln Normal School received state funding in 1869, making it one of the country’s first state-supported educational institutions for Blacks.”

The Lincoln School’s incorporation papers were signed by nine members of the Black community in Marion who served as “elected” trustees for the school: James Childs, Alexander Curtis, Thomas Speed, Nickolas Dale, Thomas Lee, John Freeman, Ivey Parrish, Nathan Levert and David Harris.

Before Caver’s 1982 thesis, the university had celebrated 1874 as its founding and William Burns Paterson as its founder. Paterson, a native of Scotland and founder of the Tullibody Academy for Blacks in Greensboro, accepted the presidency of the Lincoln Normal School in Marion in 1878. His Feb. 9 birthday was designated as the university’s Founders Day in 1901.

“While Paterson wasn’t the founder, he was a great man,” Caver said. “He went against the grain when he didn’t have to.” Paterson was an advocate of the liberal arts and under his leadership the school experienced tremendous growth.

“The Marion Nine figured out that the way to improve the race was through education, and their establishment of a school was spectacular,” Caver said. “It testifies to the zeal that the half-million newly freed former slaves wanted to be educated.”

These new discoveries created some initial pushback.

“It was new research,” Caver said. “It’s history. … You uncover new things and basically try to find the truth.”

In 2017, Randall Williams, editor-in-chief of NewSouth Books, reached out to then-retired Caver about expanding his thesis into a complete history of the founding and early years of the university.

“Using the original thesis as the base, I uncovered so much additional information from the electronic records that are now available,” Caver said. “I could really go in-depth and bring those nine former slaves to life.”

“From Marion to Montgomery” provides extensive details, excerpts from the research materials, illustrations and photographs to provide a thorough history of the university’s first 60 years.

“I wanted the primary source documents to speak,” Caver said. “We get into this period of presentism, where we judge everything that occurs in 1867 by today’s standards. … I left that to the reader.”

For Caver, researching the story of African American education in Alabama had meaning because of the limited opportunities that were available to his father and grandfather.

“My grandfather was born in 1878 and he was able to go through the third grade at his community school and then he had to go to work,” Caver said. “My dad went through the eighth grade and then he was old enough to go to work in the agrarian community in rural Autauga County. … The availability of a higher education was limited to black Alabamians.

“In Alabama, we’re talking about a century of basically controlling what could be taught, how long you went to school, and what type of education you got,” Caver said.

By founding the Lincoln School, the newly freed black residents of Marion made an impact on generations to come. Historian and social researcher Horace Mann Bond studied African American education in Alabama. He discovered that the Black Belt region, because of the Lincoln Normal School and its successors, produced a disproportionately larger number of Black doctorate recipients.

The school flourished in Marion until 1886, when an altercation between white cadets from Howard College and black students from the Normal School occurred. The following week, a petition to relocate the Normal School began circulating.

The school was relocated in 1887 to Montgomery when the state Legislature decided to establish the Colored People’s University. Many among the city’s white community were against the relocation and shortly thereafter, according to Caver, a lawsuit led to defunding the university.

“For three years, the university went without funding,” Caver said. “But like the Marion Nine and the community in Marion, the Black community in Montgomery came together. … Members of the Black community purchased a 5-acre plot of land, and the school got off to a rocky start.

“Mary Frances Terrell, a former student and long-time faculty of the university, called this period a time to pray and pay,” Caver said.

State funding was resumed in 1890 and President Paterson continued a liberal arts trajectory for the school. However, Jim Crow laws outlined in the 1901 Alabama Constitution affected the university, as those segregation laws did for the rest of Montgomery.

“The role that Alabama State plays in the (1955-1956) bus boycott is significant because of the struggles and challenges the institution went through from its inception through the Jim Crow era. The Montgomery streetcar boycott (1900-1906) paved the way for the launching of the Montgomery bus boycott,” Caver said. “It’s an unbelievable story – mentioned in the epilogue. … I took this work up to 1925 and decided much more research was needed to complete the story. Hopefully, current and future scholars will continue this work.”

In 1915, following Paterson’s death, John William Beverly, an African American, was named president of Alabama State. Born in Hale County, Beverly attended Tullibody Academy and the Lincoln School in Marion, followed by Brown University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Beverly returned to Alabama as assistant principal at the Lincoln Normal School in 1894.

“Things changed. … Beverly established the laboratory high school, which was a college preparatory school for Blacks,” Caver said. “Before 1900, to obtain a secondary education, Blacks had to attend one of the three Black normal schools. There were no public secondary education schools for Blacks until 1900. Today’s Black colleges did not achieve post-secondary status until 1920.”

The State Normal School (Lincoln) became a junior college in 1920 and a four-year institution in 1927. Over the decades, the school continued to develop, from the State Teachers College and Alabama State College for Negroes, to Alabama State College, and finally became Alabama State University in 1969.

“This is what my work has uncovered,” Caver said. “Some of the misconception that we call colleges who were really just normal schools but that was as high and as far as they could go unless they went out of state.”

Caver said he’s extremely proud of his work.

“My journey as a historian and archivist has been quite rewarding. I enjoy sharing information with other people that’s my calling,” he said. “That’s why I was an archivist for all those years … and because I’m an African American, I migrated to this study to tell the story of this distinguished black university.”


Alabama, which joined the union as the 22nd state in 1819, is located in the southern United States and nicknamed the “Heart of Dixie.” The region that became Alabama was occupied byꂫoriginalsਊs early as some 10,000 years ago. Europeans reached the area in the 16th century. During the first half of the 19th century, cotton and slave labor were central to Alabama’s economy. The state played a key role in the American Civil War its capital, Montgomery, was the Confederacy’s first capital. Following the war, segregation of blacks and whites prevailed throughout much of the South. In the mid-20th century, Alabama was at the center of the American Civil Rights Movement and home to such pivotal events as the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In the early 21st century, the state’s economy was fueled in part by jobs in aerospace, agriculture, auto production and the service sector.

Date of Statehood: December 14, 1819

Capital: Montgomery

Population: 4,779,736 (2010)

Size: 52,420 square miles

Nickname(s): The Yellowhammer State The Heart of Dixie The Cotton State

Motto: Audemus jura nostra defendere (“We dare maintain our rights”)

Facts about Alabama State University 3: moving

The original location of Alabama State University was at Marion. But Peterson decided to move it to Montgomery in 1887. Due to the movement from Marion to Montgomery, the Alabama State Supreme Court wanted the university to change the name. Therefore, it was called as Normal School for Colored Students. If you love with Alabama sport, you have to check out facts about Alabama football here.

Facts about Alabama State University 4: a junior college

At that time, Normal School was an only a junior school, but then it became a full four years education institution in 1928.

Alabama State University Logo


The University of the State of Alabama

In 1818, the federal government authorized Alabama Territory to set aside a township for the establishment of a "seminary of learning." President Monroe signed the enabling act for statehood on March 2, 1819 and Alabama was officially admitted to the Union on Dec. 14, 1819, and a second township added to the grant. On December 18, 1820, the seminary was established officially and named "The University of the State of Alabama."

The University Finds a Home

Tuscaloosa, then the state's capital, chosen as the University's home.

UA Opens

Inaugural ceremonies for the University were held on April 12, 1831. The first students were enrolled on April 18, 1831. By May 28, 52 students had enrolled. The campus consisted of seven buildings: two faculty houses, two dormitories, the laboratory, the hotel (now Gorgas House), and the Rotunda.

Engineering at UA

The University of Alabama becomes the first in the state to offer engineering classes. It was one of the first five in the nation to do so and one of the few to have maintained accreditation continuously since national accreditation began in 1936.

President's Mansion

President's Mansion completed. Its first occupant: Basil Manly, University president from 1837 to 1855.


Total University enrollment: 63

Phi Beta Kappa

Alabama Alpha chapter of Phi Beta Kappa established.


Total University enrollment: 126

Medical College

Medical College branch of the University opened in Mobile.

UA Becomes Military School

The University of Alabama became a military school — martial departmental and disciplinary systems established.


Total University enrollment: 154

UA Burned by Union Troops

Union troops spared only seven of the buildings on the UA campus. Of the principal buildings remaining today, the President's Mansion and its outbuildings still serve as the president's on-campus residence. The other buildings have new uses. Gorgas House, at different times the dining hall, faculty residence, and campus hotel, now serves as a museum. The Roundhouse, then a sentry box for cadets, later a place for records storage, is a campus historical landmark. The Observatory, now Maxwell Hall, is home to the Computer-Based Honors Program.


The Medical College reopens in Mobile.

UA Reopens

During the Reconstruction era, a reorganized University opened to students.


Total University enrollment: 107

UA Law School

The School of Law established.

Civil Engineering

Antecedents of the UA College of Engineering were established with the offering of a formal, two-year course of study in civil engineering under the aegis of applied mathematics in 1837. The College of Engineering was established in 1909 with the opening of B. B. Comer Hall.


Total University enrollment: 154


Total University enrollment: 167

First Football Team

The University's first football team assembled — the "Thin Red Line" that later became the "Crimson Tide."

First Female Students

The first women students enrolled for the fall semester at the University. This was due in large part to the successful lobbying of the UA board of trustees by Julia S. Tutwiler. Tutwiler, then president of the Livingston Normal College for Girls, was a lifelong advocate of the right of women to be self-supporting members of society.

The Crimson White

The student newspaper, the Crimson White, makes its first appearance.


Total University enrollment: 396

Military System Abandoned

In March, the Alabama Legislature decreed that, after thirty years of student protest, the military system of organization at the University be abandoned.

Summer School

A summer school for teachers begun in response to a need for better public education in Alabama, becoming the School of Education in 1909. The College of Education was established in 1929.

Greater University Fund

At the University's diamond jubilee celebration, President John William Abercrombie presented to the board of trustees his plans for the Greater University fund-raising campaign, thus ensuring that the state legislature would no longer be the primary source for financing the University's growth.

College of Engineering and School of Education

To meet the demands for specific training in two professions, the College of Engineering and the School of Education were established. Formerly part of the liberal arts disciplines, these new offspring would function independently of the now-reorganized College of Arts and Sciences.

Alabama Museum of Natural History

The Alabama Museum of Natural History in Smith Hall dedicated. Smith Hall served as a geological museum for the University's growing collections and still houses the Museum today.


Total University enrollment: 571

Dr. George Denny

Dr. George Denny became University president the campus consisted of 652 students and nine principal buildings. His presidency began an era of unprecedented physical and enrollment growth. When he retired in 1936, there were more than 5,000 students and 23 major buildings, which form the central core of the modern campus.

University Band

University band organized.

School of Commerce

The School of Commerce founded. It became the College of Commerce and Business Administration in 1929. It was renamed the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration in 1997.

Medical College Moves

The Medical College moved from Mobile to Tuscaloosa.


Total University enrollment: 2134

Graduate School

The Graduate School officially established.

Denny Chimes

Denny Chimes dedicated. Named for Dr. George H. Denny, president of the University from 1912 to 1936.

School of Home Economics

The School of Home Economics officially established. It became the College of Human Environmental Sciences in 1987.


Total University enrollment: 4,639


Moundville Archaeological Park and its museum opened to the public.


Total University enrollment: 4,921

Medical College Moves to Birmingham

The Medical College moved from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham.

University Press

The University Press was formed.

Doctoral Programs

Introduction of doctoral programs authorized first doctorates awarded in 1952.


Total University enrollment: 5,269

Autherine J. Lucy

UA's first African-American student, Autherine J. Lucy, was admitted. She was expelled three days later "for her own safety" in response to threats from a mob. In 1992 Autherine Lucy Foster graduated from the University with a master's degree in education. The same day, her daughter, Grazia Foster, graduated with a bachelor's degree in corporate finance.


Total University enrollment: 8,257

Vivian Malone and James Hood

The first sustained enrollment of African-American students at UA — Vivian J. Malone and James A. Hood — was achieved. Vivian Malone graduated in 1965. James Hood returned to campus in 1995 and received a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies in 1997.

School of Social Work

The School of Social Work established.

Computer-Based Honors Program

The Computer-Based Honors Program, in which undergraduate students apply computer technology to research in a wide range of fields, was established.

Graduate School of Library Service Established

The Graduate School of Library Service established by act of the Alabama Legislature. It became the School of Library and Information Studies in 1989. The School merged with the College of Communication in 1997 to become the College of Communication and Information Sciences.

New College

New College established to allow students to pursue individualized courses of study while maintaining the academic standards of the University.

College of Community Health Sciences

The College of Community Health Sciences established.


Total University enrollment: 13.055

School of Communication

The School of Communication established. It became the College of Communication in 1988, and when it merged with the School of Information Sciences, was renamed the College of Communication and Information Sciences in 1997.

College of Nursing

The Capstone College of Nursing established.


The University celebrates its sesquicentennial.


Total University enrollment: 16,388

College of Continuing Studies

The College of Continuing Studies established to provide "learning opportunities that transcend the barriers of distance, time, and accessibility &hellip (and) education in the technology-based formats that non-traditional learners need, offering courses by satellite, videotape, and the Internet." Its roots reach back to the Summer School for teachers in 1904, becoming the Extension Division in 1919. In the 1970s it was called Extended Services, then the Division of Continuing Education.

M.F.A Program in Book Arts

The M.F.A. Program in Book Arts, with specializations in printing and binding, is established within the School of Library and Information Studies. It is one of only three in the country to offer such an M.F.A. and the only one do so within the context of a library school.

Honors Program

University Honors Program established.


The University's computerized library card catalog, AMELIA, available for use.


Total University enrollment: 19,366

RISE Program

The Stallings Center opened as the new home of the RISE Program.

Blount Undergraduate Initiative

Blount Undergraduate Initiative established. (First freshman class accepted in 1999.)

Second Capital Campaign

Second Capital Campaign concluded having raised a total amount $224 million in gifts and pledges.

International Honors Program

International Honors Program established.

Rise of Dallas

Modeled on UA's RISE Program, the RISE School of Dallas, Texas, opened.

Bryant-Denny Renovations

Renovation of Bryant-Denny Stadium completed, increasing capacity to 82,000.

Student Services Center

Student Services Center completed.

Sewell-Thomas Field

Renovation of Sewell-Thomas Baseball Field to a capacity of 6,000 seats begun.

First Freshman Class in Blount Undergraduate Initiative

First freshman class accepted in Blount Undergraduate Initiative. Parker Adams Hall serves as its temporary headquarters.

UA's 15th Rhodes Scholar

English major Bradley Tuggle from Decatur, Ala., named UA's 15th Rhodes Scholar.

Oliver-Barnard Hall Dedication

Historic Barnard Hall rededicated as Oliver-Barnard Hall, the first of two Blount Undergraduate Initiative academic houses.

UA Softball Complex

Construction of 1,500-seat UA Softball Complex completed.

Blount Living-Center Opens

Blount Living-Learning Center opens to its first resident class.

Construction of Alabama Institute for Manufacturing Excellence (AIME) completed.

Morgan Auditorium Reopens

Morgan Auditorium reopens after $1 million renovation, the first since its construction in 1911.

UA Alumnus Pilots Shuttle

UA alumnus Lieutenant Colonel Jim Kelly pilots a Discovery space shuttle mission.

Top Rankings for UA School of Law

For the third consecutive year, the UA School of Law ranked among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Alabama-Auburn Alliance

UA and Auburn University form the "Alabama-Auburn Alliance" to support fair funding of higher education.

Tide Navigator

Tide Navigator, a web-based registration system that is the first of its kind in the United States, debuts with incoming freshmen.


Total University enrollment: 19,633

UA Alumni Association establishes FATE: Future Alumni for Tradition and Excellence.

Crimson Tradition Fund

Crimson Tradition Fund established with $10 million gift by Paul Bryant Jr.

UA in Top Fifty

UA named one of the top 50 public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2003.

First Honors Student of the Year

UA student Kana Ellis of Northport, Ala., selected as as the first recipient of the Honors Student of the Year Award by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC)

College of Community Health Sciences Breaks Ground

College of Community Health Sciences breaks ground for its $12.6 million facility, designed to consolidate all services and operations of the Tuscaloosa medical campus.

Math Technology Learning Center

Greensboro East High School, in collaboration with UA, became the first high school in Alabama to establish a state-of-the-art Math Technology Learning Center.

Five UA Students Named to the All-USA College Academic Team

Five students from UA named to the 2003 USA Today All-USA College Academic Team. UA students garnered the most awards of any college or university, claiming five of 83 spots on the list.

Opening Doors

UA recognized 40 "pioneers" during three days of events to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Gov. George C. Wallace's "stand in the schoolhouse door."

UA Named named in Top 50

UA named one of the top 50 public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2004.

UA Student Selected as Portz Scholar

UA senior Rob Davis selected as one of three 2003 Portz Scholars in the National Collegiate Honors Council's competition for outstanding undergraduate Honors papers.


Total University enrollment: 20,333

Four UA Students Named to the All-USA College Academic Team

Four UA students named to the 2004 USA Today All-USA College Academic Team. UA came in second only to Harvard for 2004, and UA's two-year total of nine leads the nation.

University Medical Center

University Medical Center, UA's new multi-specialty clinic and home of the College of Community Health Sciences, opened on May 11.

Shelby Hall Dedication

Shelby Hall, UA's new 200,000-plus square foot interdisciplinary transportation and science complex, dedicated on May 14.

UA Named named in Top 50

UA named one of the top 50 public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2005.


Five UA students Named to All-USA College Academic Team

Five UA students named to the 2005 USA Today All-USA College Academic Team, the most of any school in the nation. UA's three-year total of 14 also tops all other colleges and universities.

Paul R. Jones Collection

Renowned art collector Paul R. Jones donated a $4.8 million art collection to UA. The 1,700-piece collection includes one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of 20th century African American art in the world.

UA Alerts

To improve crisis communications and enhance safety of the UA community, a new technological resource, UA Alerts, was installed. The system simultaneously sends alerts to cell phones, home and office phones, and emails and texts.


Total University enrollment: 28,807 total enrollment, an increase of 6.5 percent over 2008. Enrollment at UA increased 47 percent over 2002.

Bryce Hospital Agreement

UA reached an agreement with the state Mental Health Commission to purchase the Bryce Hospital property.

Grant Activity up 18 Percent

The University’s contract and grant activity increased 18 percent from the previous year, totaling $76 million—a significant step in furthering UA’s commitment to advancing its position as one of the premier research universities in the nation.

The Alabama Museum of Natural History Centennial

The Alabama Museum of Natural History in Smith Hall celebrated its centennial.

Undergraduate Welcome Center

Undergraduate Admissions opened a welcome center located on the Bryant Drive side of Bryant-Denny Stadium, under the south end zone.

Tornado Hits Tuscaloosa

On April 27 a tornado ravaged parts of Tuscaloosa but missed the campus. Graduation was cancelled and the semester ended early.

UA Ranked in Top 50 Again

UA was again ranked among the top 50 public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

Robert Witt Named New Chancellor

UA President Robert E. Witt was named chancellor of the University of Alabama system Provost Judy Bonner became interim president.

Dr. Guy Bailey Becomes UA President

Dr. Guy Bailey accepted the presidency, but resigned the same year due to his wife’s illness.

First Female President

Dr. Judy Bonner became the first woman president of the Capstone.

Through the Doors

Through the Doors, a year-long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of the Capstone, engaged all areas of the University.


Total University enrollment: 34,852, a record for total enrollment 6,478 in the entering freshmen class, the largest in UA history.


Total University enrollment tops 36,000.

The Cyber Institute

The Cyber Institute, which facilitates interdisciplinary research and educational programs related to cyber security and cyber-related technologies, was founded.

UA Smoke-Free

UA became a smoke-free campus.

Bryce Renovation Begins

Renovation and expansion began on the main buildings of the Peter Bryce campus.

29th President Named

Dr. Stuart Bell became the 29th president of the Capstone.

National Champions

The Crimson Tide defeated Clemson 45-40 to win its 16th national football championship.

Strategic Plan

The UA Strategic Plan: Advancing the Flagship was announced.


Fall 2016 enrollment reached a record 37,665, with 7,559 freshmen in the most academically talented class to date.

Adapted Athletics Facility

Groundbreaking for construction of first-of-its kind Adapted Athletics Facility.


Total University enrollment: Record-breaking 38,563.


UA earned another national football championship beating Georgia in overtime 26-23.

Doctoral Universities

Very High Research Activity status achieved.

Tuscaloosa Bicentennial Celebration

Collaboration with the city of Tuscaloosa to celebrate its bicentennial, including presenting the city with a statue of Minerva, goddess of wisdom

Fulbright Scholars

Recognized as Top Producing Institution for Fulbright U.S. Student Award for fourth time


The Crimson Tide defeated Ohio State 52-24 to become national champions.

Part of the University of Alabama System

University of Alabama (UA)

Clark Hall Established in 1820, the University of Alabama is one of the two largest public universities in Alabama. It is considered the flagship campus of the University of Alabama System, which includes the University of Alabama (UA) located at Tuscaloosa, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). It offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in more than 200 fields of study and consistently is listed among the nation's top public universities. Gorgas House In August 1819, the board of trustees met to begin the task of planning the new university, which was created through an act of the Alabama legislature on December 18, 1820. Tuscaloosa was selected as the location for the new university from a field of competitors on December 29, 1827. The state purchased land just outside the city limits for the campus the following spring, and the school opened three years later on April 18, 1831. Situated on 1,000 acres originally a mile from Tuscaloosa, the campus was designed by the state architect, William Nichols. By 1863, six buildings and four residence halls had been constructed. James T. Murfee With the coming of the Civil War, members of the Corps of Cadets were sent to camps to drill newly raised units and in some cases, remained with them as officers and non-commissioned officers. Many cadets joined the Confederate Army, but a large number remained behind at the university. They did participate in the war effort, however, serving in the Battle of Chehaw in July 1864 in Macon County, and again, in December 1864, in Mobile to assist in defending the city. They also helped defend the town and campus on the night of April 3, 1865, when U.S. troops under the command of Gen. James H. Wilson entered Tuscaloosa. The students were forced back, and the soldiers burned the campus, leaving only some faculty residences, including the building now known as the Gorgas House, the President's Mansion, the observatory, and the guard house intact. Despite the destruction, the board of trustees and President Garland were determined to hold classes in the fall of 1866. Although Garland worked hard to procure books and funding, only one student enrolled for the fall semester. The Round House Alabama's 1867 Constitution had completely changed the governance of the university. It eliminated the board of trustees and replaced it with a politicized board of regents that was given the power to appoint the president and faculty, making those positions open to abuse as political rewards. The new board, made up of Unionist Alabamians and recently arrived northerners, undid all the decisions made by the previous board of trustees. Two northerners were nominated for president, but the board of regents elected William Stokes Wyman, who had been on the university faculty since 1855. The regents then named two other faculty members, who would have been acceptable to most supporters of the school, as well as three Ohioans to other faculty positions. Wyman declined his nomination, and did one of the others, and the third seemed similarly inclined. The board then appointed three more Ohioans. Julia Tutwiler Although colleges and universities across the country had been admitting women for years, coeducation came slowly to the University of Alabama, despite discussions on the subject dating to the 1870s. In June 1892, a member of the university's board of trustees presented to the board with a petition from Alabama social reformer and teacher Julia Tutwiler to propose the admission of women to UA. Invited to meet with the board, Tutwiler appeared two days later, and before she left the room, a motion was made and seconded to admit women to the three upper classes. The board named a committee charged with reporting on the issue, and at their meeting in June 1893, the board of trustees authorized the enrollment of women at the school. Denny Chimes In 1912, George H. Denny (1912-1936, 1941) became president, with the goal of building the university into a great institution. Early in his tenure, Denny referred to the University of Alabama as the "capstone" of education in the state, a name by which it has been called ever since. Despite frequent differences with the legislature regarding funding, he was able, through a fundraising campaign in 1922 and careful management, to expand the university. During Denny's 24 years as president, UA added 14 major buildings, 35 fraternity and sorority houses, and a football stadium. Enrollment increased to almost 5,000, or 11 times the number of students at the university when he arrived, and he also increased the faculty by a factor of almost six. Denny recognized the importance of football in gaining support for the school and expanded the program. Autherine Lucy, Thurgood Marshall, and Arthur Shores In 1956, after a three-year court case, UA admitted Autherine Lucy as its first African American student. Lucy attended classes without incident for two days, although there were protests in town and on campus on those nights. On Monday, February 6, a crowd of approximately 500 people gathered on campus to protest her admission. As she was driven from one building to another, onlookers threw rocks, and the crowd increased in size. Later in the morning, the university's board of trustees suspended her ostensibly for her own safety. Some 30 years later, Lucy earned a graduate degree from UA, and the university named an endowed scholarship in her honor. In 1963, Vivian Malone and James Hood again attempted to integrate the university, filing suit and gaining admittance to UA, but Gov. George C. Wallace vowed to prevent the integration of the school by blocking the doorway, if necessary. Gov. Wallace's Stand in the Schoolhouse Door On June 11, standing in front of Foster Auditorium in a largely staged event, Wallace was asked by Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach to stand aside. After Wallace read a prepared statement reiterating that he would not allow the students to pass, Katzenback informed him that the students would register and go to school and then withdrew. Later that afternoon, after Pres. John F. Kennedy had nationalized the Alabama National Guard, Brig. Gen. Henry Graham of the Thirty-first (Dixie) Division of the National Guard, accompanied by the two students, ordered Wallace to "step aside on orders from the President of the United States." After thanking the people of Alabama for their restraint, Wallace stepped aside. Vivian Malone and James Hood then registered. University of Alabama Bruno Business Library In subsequent years, enrollment increased, entrance requirements and academic standards were raised, faculty expanded, and more research funds became available. In the 1990s, the university emphasized quality research programs and economic development. Among the programs established were the Blount Undergraduate Initiative, a special, four-year liberal arts program, and the International Honors Program.

Bryant-Denny Stadium The name Crimson Tide is said to have been originated by a sports writer describing the 1907 Alabama-Auburn football game held on an exceedingly muddy field in Birmingham. He described the team as "a crimson tide in a sea of mud." The name caught on. When a U.S. military band played a concert in Tuscaloosa in 1919, Gen. John J. Pershing was quoted as having said that regimental bands were "worth more than a million dollars to the American Expeditionary Forces." It was widely agreed that the university's band was worth as much to the University of Alabama, and the Million Dollar Band was born. The affiliation of an elephant with university athletics is said to date to late 1930, when Rosenberger's Birmingham Trunk Company, whose trademark was a red elephant standing on a trunk, presented the members of the Rose Bowl-bound football team with red elephant good luck charms. A live elephant was a feature of homecoming parades in the 1940s, but by 1950 the practice ceased because of the cost. Big Al, the costumed elephant mascot, first appeared at the 1979 Sugar Bowl.

Center, Clark E., Jr. "The Burning of the University of Alabama." Alabama Heritage 16 (April 1990): 30-45.

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