TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ‚ University of Alabama President Andrew Sorensen has been honored with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s State “Legacy of the Dream” Award.
Alabama State Sen. Charles Steele Jr., president of the SCLC in Alabama, presented the annual award to Sorensen during the SCLC’s Martin Luther King Day breakfast at Beulah Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa recently. The award was given “in appreciation for dedicated and untiring service in support of the goals and commitment of SCLC.”
“This is the highest statewide award given within the SCLC,” Steele said. “Dr. Sorensen was chosen for the award in recognition of his great leadership and compassion for people and for his work for the betterment of people within our society.”
He said Sorensen was recognized for his leadership in the community and for his commitment and dedication to the service of others.
“I am truly honored and humbled to receive this recognition,” Sorensen said. “I have always admired and supported the work of the SCLC and other civil rights organizations. Enhancing the diversity of the University community has been one of my goals since I came to The University of Alabama almost four years ago, and I have also made it a priority to reach out to the local community.”
UA has teamed with historically black Stillman College and the Tuscaloosa community for the last 11 years to hold a “Realizing the Dream” celebration to honor the life and works of Martin Luther King Jr. Shelton State Community College joined in the partnership this year as well.
African-American enrollment at UA has grown steadily in recent years. African-Americans this year represent 13 percent of total enrollment, up from 10.9 percent when Sorensen was named president in 1996. Some 14.1 percent of UA undergraduates are African-American, including 14.3 percent of the freshman class.
The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.