UA to Hold 2019 Spring Commencement Exercises May 3-5

UA to Hold 2019 Spring Commencement Exercises May 3-5

This is a photo of the crowd and stage at a commencement ceremony.
UA has more than 6,000 degree candidates for its spring commencement exercises.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama will hold its spring commencement exercises beginning Friday, May 3, at Coleman Coliseum on the UA campus.

UA has more than 6,000 degree candidates.

All colleges and schools, including the UA School of Law, will participate in five total ceremonies through Sunday afternoon. The College of Education, College of Engineering and Capstone College of Nursing will participate in the first ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, the College of Communication & Information Sciences, College of Human Environmental Sciences and School of Social Work will hold their ceremonies. The Culverhouse College of Business will hold its ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by the College of Arts & Sciences at 6 p.m.

The Hugh F. Culverhouse, Jr. School of Law will hold its ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday. The School will have 125 graduates.

More information, including live webcasts details, interactive campus map, Lyft stops, lodging details, graduate profile stories and fast facts about the 2019 class can also be found at Commencement information can be heard on UA’s radio station, 92.5 FM, and at

During Friday’s ceremony, UA civil rights trailblazer Autherine Lucy Foster will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. Foster, a native of Shiloh, endured a turbulent admissions process at UA, ultimately having her once-rescinded acceptance status restored by court order. However, the board of trustees removed Foster, the state’s first black student to attend a white public school or university, citing safety concerns for Foster and other students.

This is a photo of Autherine Lucy Foster in front of a historic marker honoring her.
Autherine Lucy Foster, right, during the unveiling of her campus marker in 2017.

Foster returned to UA as a graduate student in 1988 and received a master’s degree in elementary education in 1991. Foster’s role in desegregating the university is recognized with a pair of endowed scholarships and two landmarks on campus – the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower and a historic marker in front of Graves Hall.

UA’s commencement marshals include:

Friday, 4:30 p.m.

  • Dr. Cynthia Szymanski Sunal, professor and chair of curriculum and instruction at UA, and director of the Office of Research on Teaching in the Disciplines

Sunal received The University of Alabama’s College of Education’s Bryant Professor of Research Award and has been involved in several funded projects from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and other agencies. She oversees annual Excellence in Teaching awards in 13 categories recognizing preK-16 teachers across the state. 

Saturday, 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

  • Dr. Caryl Cooper, associate professor of advertising and 24-year faculty member at UA

Cooper’s research specialties are advertising media, media management and mass communication history. Cooper has 14 years experience in media planning and media sales. Cooper began her career in New York City, where she worked for Compton Advertising and Doyle Dane Bernbach.

Saturday, 6 p.m.

  • Stacy Alley, directory of musical theatre and associate professor of musical theatre and dance

Alley is a professional director and choreographer whose teaching/artistic credits include work in Denmark, Tanzania, Norway, Scotland, and Chile and in theaters throughout the U.S. Alley is the vice president of the Musical Theatre Educators Alliance and a member of the Southeastern Theatre Conference and Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. She was recently awarded the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award from The University of Alabama’s National Alumni Association

Sunday, 2 p.m.

  • Hugh F. Culverhouse, Jr. School of Law will host Texas trial lawyer and UA alumna Paula Hinton to deliver its commencement address Sunday

Hinton earned an undergraduate degree in political science in 1976 and both a master’s in public administration and a juris doctorate in 1979, when she was named “Outstanding Graduate Student” at UA. She serves on the School’s board of governors. Hinton specializes in commercial litigation and mass tort litigation and class actions. Hinton received the Texas Lawyer Professional Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 and the Corporate Counsel Association’s “National Women in Law Award in 2018. Benchmark Litigation has named her as one of the Top 250 Women in litigation for several years and as a Litigation Star in 2018.


David Miller, UA Strategic Communications, 205-348-0825,