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  • November 2nd, 2020

BEST BETS

UA SETS FUNDRAISING RECORD IN 2019-20 FISCAL YEAR — UA saw the highest fundraising year to-date during fiscal 2019–20, which included charitable gifts and pledges in excess of $222 million from nearly 60,000 donors. The record fundraising mark represents an increase of more than $19 million from the previous fiscal year. It is the third consecutive fiscal year averaging gifts and pledges in excess of $200 million. Highlighting the success was reaching the $15 million fundraising goal to support construction of the new Performing Arts Academic Center. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu.  

UA CROSSINGPOINTS RECEIVES GRANT TO ENHANCE EDUCATION EFFORTS UA’s  CrossingPoints Transition Program, which provides young adults with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to develop life skills, has received two federal grants totaling more than $4 million to enhance education efforts for participants, as well as special education teachers and rehab counselors. “Our ability to provide excellent preparation of our students in order to improve outcomes in their desired adult goals of employment, independent living, community participation and not to mention, have a great college experience while they are preparing for their futures, is something we have worked hard to achieve,” said Dr. Kagendo Mutua, director and co-founder of CrossingPoints. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu

RIVER BUSINESS PITCH COMPETITION RETURNS FOR 2020, VIRTUALLY The Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute at UA is offering a week of learning, networking and pitching for budding entrepreneurs interested in participating. The headliner of the week will be the River Business Pitch Idea Competition on November 17. The week’s events are part of Global Entrepreneurship Week — an annual event championed by the Global Entrepreneurship Network to celebrate innovation and collaboration among individuals around the world. For more information, contact Zach Thomas, director of marketing and communications, Culverhouse College of Business, at zthomas@culverhouse.ua.edu.

UA TO HOLD FALL COMMENCEMENT DEC. 12 The University will hold fall commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 12, at Coleman Coliseum on the UA campus. More than 2,000 graduates are expected to participate in four ceremonies. The December ceremonies will follow the same model UA used to facilitate nine safe and successful commencement exercises in August. For more information, contact Melissa Parker, UA Strategic Communications, at melissa.parker@ua.edu.

UA’S RURAL MEDICAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM ADDS 10 STUDENTS — Ten students studying to become physicians with plans to practice in rural Alabama communities were recently accepted to UA’s Rural Medical Scholars Program for the 2020-21 academic year. The Rural Medical Scholars Program, part of UA’s College of Community Health Sciences, is exclusively for rural Alabama students who want to become physicians and practice in rural communities. It has been cited nationally as a model initiative. To date, it has placed 75 physicians into practice in rural Alabama. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu

CURRENT COMMENT

UA ECONOMISTS ESTIMATE ECONOMIC CONTRACTION FOR ALABAMA IN 2020 — The latest quarterly economic review and outlook from The University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Development estimates the state’s economy will drop 3.4% this year, much less than the 2.4% and 2.8% growth in 2019 and 2018, respectively. The center’s Alabama Business publication reports Alabama’s economy declined 29.6 percent in the second quarter of 2020. However, the state’s unemployment rate went to 5.6% in August, compared to 7.9 percent in July. For more information, contact Dr. Sam Addy, associate dean for economic development outreach and senior research economist, at saddy@cba.ua.edu,  and Dr. Ahmad Ijaz, CBER’s executive director and director of economic forecasting, at aijaz@culverhouse.ua.edu

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The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.