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  • May 9th, 2022

BEST BETS

UA PRESENTS FRED DAVID GRAY WITH HONORARY DOCTOR OF LAWS DEGREEUA presented civil rights pioneer and attorney Fred David Gray with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the School of Law commencement ceremony May 8. As one of the most prolific civil rights lawyers in the history of Alabama and the United States, Gray successfully represented Vivian Malone and James Hood in their quest to enroll at UA in 1963, playing an indispensable role in the legal desegregation of public education not only in Alabama but throughout the United States. Among the many others whom he represented during his career were plaintiffs in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., participants in the Selma March, and the participants and families in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study class-action lawsuit. For more information, contact Josh Bird, UA School of Law, at jbird@law.ua.edu 

INVESTMENT IN UA EDUCATION PAYS OFF A degree from The University of Alabama can pay more over time than investments in United States stock market indexes, according to a recent economic analysis. The data is drawn from the latest UA economic impact report conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research in the UA Culverhouse College of Business that examined a UA education from the perspective of private investment. A UA education provides real annual return on investments that range from 14.6% to 17% for the 2019-2020 graduating class when lifetime earnings from a degree are compared to the previous degree. The return on investment of a UA degree is better than if a high school graduate had, instead of going to college, invested the cost of earning a degree from UA and withdrawn that growth at age 67. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu. 

UA LEAVES NEARLY $2.8 BILLION MARK ON STATE ECONOMY — The University of Alabama’s economic impact on the state approached $2.8 billion during the 2019-2020 academic year, meaning each dollar in state appropriations for UA translated to more than $15 returned to the economy, according to the latest UA economic impact report conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research in the UA Culverhouse College of Business. The report also projects graduates of the 2019-2020 class will pay over $1 billion in additional state income and sales taxes than they would have without a degree from the University. Alabama will realize a nearly 12% annual rate of return on its investment in those graduates, according to the report. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu.  

UA FUELS TUSCALOOSA’S ECONOMY — The University of Alabama continues to be a driving force in the Tuscaloosa area’s economy, according to a recent economic analysis. During the 2019-2020 academic year, UA had a more than $2 billion economic impact in the three-county Tuscaloosa metro, according to the latest UA economic impact report conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research in the UA Culverhouse College of Business. With an enrollment of more than 38,000 and more than 7,100 employees, the University plays a significant role in Tuscaloosa’s economy. It’s the area’s largest employer and, when counting conservative estimates of family members of UA employees, accounts for about half of the city of Tuscaloosa’s near-100,000 population and about a quarter of Tuscaloosa County’s population. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu.  

UA CHOSEN FOR NEXT ROUND OF NATIONAL VEHICLE COMPETITION — Building on its success in the previous two competitions, The University of Alabama was selected as one of 15 North American institutions to participate in the upcoming EcoCAR EV Challenge. UA students from across campus will be challenged to engineer a next-generation battery electric vehicle that deploys connected and autonomous vehicle features to implement energy efficient and customer-pleasing features while meeting the decarbonization goals of the automotive industry. This is the third consecutive Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition for UA students after taking part in EcoCAR 3 and EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, which finishes in May. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu.  

EVENTS   

NEW EXHIBIT CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF SOFTBALL — A new exhibit at the Paul W. Bryant Museum honors the players and coaches of the first 25 years of softball at The University of Alabama. “Alabama Softball – The First 25 Years” opened May 6 and includes a mural with the names of every player and coach from 1997 to 2021. The exhibit highlights players who earned First Team All-American honors and includes trophies from the team’s Southeastern Conference titles and Women’s College World Series appearances. The Paul W. Bryant Museum, located on The University of Alabama campus, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information contact Olivia Arnold, director of the Paul W. Bryant Museum, at oarnold@ua.edu.

UA OFFERS VARIETY OF YOUTH SUMMER CAMPS — UA will offer a variety of youth camps on campus and beyond throughout the summer. From music to STEM activities, several colleges and departments will host camps. In addition, UA will offer reading, art and sports camps, among others. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu 

FLOW TUSCALOOSA TO HOST LANTERN PARADE Flow Tuscaloosa, an initiative led by UA faculty members to bring attention to environmental justice efforts in West Alabama and to protect the resources of the Black Warrior River Watershed, will hold a lantern parade Saturday, May 21, at the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk. Participants are asked to arrive at the Riverwalk at Greensboro Avenue, near the Bama Belle, at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to all ages. Lanterns are not required, but some lantern-making supplies will be available. Afterward, participants are encouraged to visit the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum on Jack Warner Parkway, see the old Queen City pool area illuminated with special lighting effects and dine from local food trucks. For more information, contact Jamey Grimes, assistant professor of art and art history, at grime009@ua.edu. 

CURRENT COMMENT 

PRIORITIZE SELF-CARE DURING MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH AND BEYOND — “To reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, acknowledge the importance of being mentally healthy and be open to discussing this topic at your comfort level,” said Dr. John Burkhardt, associate professor with UA’s department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine. “Do not wait to get help. People take years before seeking mental health treatment. So go see your family doctor if you are concerned. Reduce stress by engaging in weekly exercise or look into mindfulness-based stress reduction. If you are feeling down or sad, try cardiovascular exercise. When feeling anxious, weightlifting or yoga practice are more beneficial. Be kind to yourself. Individuals with mental health struggles tend to talk negatively to themselves and be more critical. At the end of your day, find three things to be grateful for that happened during your day.” To schedule an interview, contact Burkhardt at .

RISING INTEREST RATES SHOULD SLOW, NOT STOP, HOUSING MARKET — Interest rates for home loans are on the rise, which should cool off real estate bidding wars and rising home prices, but it won’t fully stop the momentum, said Stuart Norton, associate director for the Alabama Center for Real Estate. Still, housing inventory is low, so sale prices are likely to continue to rise, just at slower rates, he said. “The market has been in high gear for almost two years now. A slowdown will allow home price growth to readjust towards more sustainable rates, while also encouraging a gradual increase in supply,” Norton said. To schedule an interview, contact Stuart Norton at .

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The University of Alabama strives to remain neutral on public policy issues. Strategic Communications may facilitate interviews or share opinions expressed by faculty, staff, students, or other individuals regarding policy matters. However, those opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the University or its leadership, and do not constitute a statement on behalf of the University unless explicitly designated. 

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.