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  • September 13th, 2021

BEST BETS

UA LAUNCHES $1.5 BILLION CAPITAL CAMPAIGN – The University of Alabama launched the largest fundraising campaign in state history to raise a minimum of $1.5 billion in private donations to support all areas of campus — from student scholarships and faculty research to campus facilities and athletics. The Rising Tide Capital Campaign, focused on elevating the University’s prominence as a leader in higher education, has raised $940 million to date. The campaign will add 1,000 new endowed scholarships and 75 new faculty endowments, and it will impact over 500,000 square feet of space across campus. Additionally, the Crimson Standard component of the campaign will raise $600 million for athletic facility enhancements, program support and scholarships. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu.

UA WELCOMES RECORD NUMBER OF FRESHMEN, GRADUATE STUDENTS – The freshman class at The University of Alabama is the largest to ever enroll and includes a record number of National Merit Scholars, one indication of the academic quality of students. There is also a record number of graduate students enrolled this fall as part of the University’s mission to provide a premier undergraduate and graduate education experience. This fall, 38,320 students are enrolled at the Capstone, which includes a record 7,593 freshmen, an increase of nearly 17% from the 2020 freshman class. Of those, 281 freshmen are National Merit Scholars, a 27% increase from a year earlier. Among all undergraduate students, there are 940 National Merit Scholars, also a record for UA. For more information, contact Shane Dorrill, UA Strategic Communications, at shane.dorrill@ua.edu.

UA CULVERHOUSE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS CUTS RIBBON FOR HEWSON HALL – UA’s Culverhouse College of Business officially opened the doors to its latest building during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 9. Named in recognition of a $15 million gift from alumni Marillyn and James Hewson, the $60 million Hewson Hall is a light-filled, dynamic 108,000 square-foot structure designed to connect Culverhouse faculty, staff and students through 31 collaboration rooms, 22 high-tech classrooms, three conference rooms, an executive boardroom and a multitude of meeting and flex spaces. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu.

UA RESEARCH PROJECTS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS – Several research projects on campus are seeking participants, with some offering small payments or clinical-grade health information for those willing to take the time to participate. The goal of the projects have a wide range and include improving tornado warnings to understanding how children develop helping behaviors with a particular need for teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorders. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, adam.jones@ua.edu.

UA’s INDUSTRIAL ASSESSMENT CENTER SELECTED TO CONTINUE MISSION – UA is one of 32 universities across 28 states selected in the latest round of $60 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, its largest-ever cohort of university-based Industrial Assessment Centers. This new cohort of IACs will focus on improving productivity, enhancing cybersecurity, promoting resiliency planning, and providing training to entities located in disadvantaged communities. Over the past 15 years at UA, the Alabama Industrial Assessment Center, or AIAC, helped about 250 manufacturers with energy conservation, waste reduction and productivity increases. Watch for a news release with more information, or contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu.

CURRENT COMMENT

SHORT-TERM ANSWERS FOR RESTAURANT INDUSTRY MIGHT BE HERE TO STAY – “I think the pandemic has created long-term changes for the restaurant industry,” said Dr. Kimberly Severt, director of hospitality management with UA’s Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management. “First, it was people could not gather, leaving traditional dine-in restaurants struggling to survive. Creativity came into play as restauranteurs had to find a way to generate income, and by doing so, they had to reevaluate what consumers were needing and how they could adapt to meet that need. The second challenge was that employees were not coming back to the industry. Labor has and remains a big issue in the restaurant industry. Pop-up restaurants, food trucks and delivery are ways the industry has combatted the challenges of both not being able to have large groups of people gather and having limited employees. The answer may lie in the mix of people and technology. It’s a new type of product delivery system for restaurant owners and operators. I feel pop-ups are here to stay. For more information, contact Severt at ksevert@ches.ua.edu

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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.