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UA MILLION DOLLAR BAND NEEDS SUPPORT AS THEY HEAD TO NYC – Marley Perry attended the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade the first time as a kid. This fall, she’ll get to experience the magic again, this time as a performer in the Million Dollar Band, as they travel to New York City to participate in the iconic event. “It hit so close to home for me,” said Perry. “I’ve watched my cousins perform in it, and now I get to be in it. Ever since I was a kid, it’s been something I’ve dreamed of being able to do.” To alleviate costs for the band’s 400 members, the College of Arts and Sciences is asking for the public’s help. Contributions can be made through UA’s Bama Blitz fundraiser at beginning March 25 at noon. Perry is available for an interview today and tomorrow after 11 a.m., Thursday after 3 p.m., all day Friday and by phone March 16 and 17. Watch for an upcoming story. For assistance, contact Melissa Parker in UA communications at or 205-348-0825.

READING ALLIES LITERACY PROGRAM FEATURED IN BAMA BLITZ – Reading Allies, an innovative reading initiative to improve literacy among elementary school students across Alabama, is the UA Honors College’s passion project for the upcoming Bama Blitz crowdfunding campaign. Reading Allies aligns with the goals of the recently-passed Alabama Literacy Act, which requires all students to read at grade level by the end of their third grade year. The program has expanded its reach throughout Tuscaloosa County and the Black Belt region, also partnering with Progress Rail in Marshall County and other corporations committed to helping children master reading skills. To support Reading Allies, donors can make a gift online at Bama Blitz’s website starting at noon March 25 through 8:31 p.m. March 26. Watch for an upcoming story. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at 205-348-8325 or

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH AT UA — To celebrate the month, UA’s Women and Gender Resource Center has a lineup of events focusing on 100 years of women’s suffrage. “This year is particularly important because it’s the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage and when white women gained the right to vote,” said Jaclyn Northrup, assistant director of the center. “Certainly with the passage of the 19th amendment, everyone should have had the right to vote, but with those who are disenfranchised, they experience more obstacles than others.” For more information, contact Jamon Smith at or 205-348-4956.


ECONOMIC IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS HINGES ON DURATION – The U.S. economy could quickly recover from impacts of the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19, but it hinges on how soon it’s contained, says a UA insurance researcher. A reduction in activity by those avoiding or recovering from the disease is the primary economic effect from potential pandemics, says Dr. Lars Powell, director and senior research professional with the Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research. Suspension of many Chinese factories will have a short-term impact on some U.S. companies’ supply chains. “If the virus is effectively contained, it will run its course, and the economy will rebound quickly,” Powell says. “If COVID-19 spreads problematically in the United States, the effect on the U.S. economy will be much worse.” Powell is available for potential interviews between Monday and Wednesday. He may be reached at 205-348-4498 or For assistance, contact Bryant Welbourne in UA communications at 205-348-8325 or

CORONAVIRUS’ EFFECT ON TRANSPORTATION — A new paper by an expert in transportation policy at UA discusses the effects and looming hazards to the transportation industry from the spread of the new coronavirus. The severity of transportation impacts will depend on the abilities of manufacturers to maintain inventories, government agencies to manage exposure, and the workforce to adapt to rapidly and sometimes drastically changing conditions during the coming weeks, according to Steven Polunsky, director of the Alabama Transportation Policy Research Center. “What we’ve learned from China and other countries is that precautions taken today will pay off by limiting the period of COVID-19’s effects.” To arrange an interview, contact Polunsky directly at 205-348-4574 or For assistance, contact Adam Jones in UA communications at or 205-348-4328.


2020 ALABAMA WRITERS HALL OF FAME TO INDUCT 7Seven distinguished authors will be inducted March 9 into the 2020 Alabama Writers Hall of Fame at UA’s Bryant Conference Center. This year’s inductees include Mark ChildressFaye Gibbons, Carolyn Haines, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers and Michael Knight. Authors Ralph Ellison and Zelda Fitzgerald will be inducted posthumously. A reception will be held in the authors’ honor at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The induction ceremony will immediately follow dinner. For more information, contact Jamon Smith in UA communications at or 205-348-4956.

KNAP-IN TO SPOTLIGHT NATIVE AMERICAN STONE TOOLS, CULTURE – UA’s Moundville Archaeological Park invites the West Alabama community to learn the Native American skill of flintknapping at the 20th annual Knap-In March 13-14. The event will feature some of the best flintknappers from around the nation demonstrating the ancient art of making tools out of stone, bone or antler using only rocks. Aside from flintknapping, the event will showcase Native American culture in a variety of ways. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at 205-348-8325 or  


3RD ANNUAL BAMA BLITZ SET FOR MARCH 25, 26 – Bama Blitz, an annual online fundraising event, will begin at noon March 25 and end at 8:31 p.m. March 26, lasting one day, eight hours and 31 minutes in honor of the University’s founding year. Alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of UA can use the power of social media and crowdfunding to build support for a series of unique and impactful passion projects. More than $4.3 million has been raised since the inaugural Bama Blitz in 2017, thanks in large part to the total number of gifts – 5,462, most of which were less than $500. Gifts can be made on beginning noon March 25. The website will provide updates about fundraising totals for each passion project as well as the total amount of money raised. Watch for an upcoming story. For more details, contact Deidre Stalnaker at


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