UA Preview — May 1-7, 2023


UA TO HOLD SPRING COMMENCEMENT MAY 5-7 — The University of Alabama will hold spring commencement with eight ceremonies May 5-7 at Coleman Coliseum on the UA campus. More information, including live and recorded webcast details, an interactive campus map, parking information, graduate profile stories and fast facts about the 2023 spring class can be found on UA’s commencement website. Commencement information can be heard on UA’s radio station, 92.5 FM

16-YEAR-OLD UA GRAD: ‘I’VE ALWAYS BEEN TREATED LIKE A REGULAR STUDENT’ — At 16, many students are thinking about getting their driver’s license or taking the ACT. LeAnna Roberts, however, is thinking about her upcoming graduation from UA. Roberts, a biology major from Tuscaloosa, will graduate summa cum laude with her bachelor’s degree and continue studying at UA to earn her MBA through the STEM Path to the MBA program.  

UA GRAD, 77: IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO CHASE YOUR DREAM — Elaine Smith, an interdisciplinary studies major who has always been drawn to literature, started her college career when she was 71 after some encouragement from her family. On May 6 she will travel from her home in Foley to cross the stage and accept her bachelor’s degree from UA — a feat she never thought was meant for her. Yet here she is, at age 77, doing just that. 

UA EXPERIENCE PAYS DIVIDENDS FOR FINANCE GRAD — Danielle Spencer grew up around numbers. And soon the Madison native will graduate with her master’s degree from the Manderson Graduate School of Business in just a year after also earning her Bachelor of Science from UA. She already has a job lined up at Regions Bank in Birmingham as a corporate bank credit products analyst after graduation. She could’ve gone anywhere with her degree, but Alabama is where she believes she should be. 

UA’S ‘SPECIAL CULTURE’ INSPIRES CHAMPION BALLROOM DANCER, GRADUATE — Jayna Enguita, a native of Frankfort, Illinois, credits the welcoming atmosphere she experienced on her tour of UA as the driver for her attending UA. Enguita will graduate UA as a double major in chemical engineering and chemistry, and minors in French and mathematics. She is also a national champion ballroom dancer on the UA Collegiate Ballroom Competition Team. 

OVER 1,500 GIFTS BLAST BAMA BLITZ PAST $2 MILLION — UA raised more than $2 million in gifts during its sixth annual giving days, Bama Blitz. More than 1,564 gifts were made by 1,477 donors during the crowdfunded, social-media-driven campaign. Bama Blitz, which began at noon April 18 and ended at noon April 20, showcased passion projects from UA colleges and schools while tallying gifts made in real-time via online dashboards. The goal of Bama Blitz is to encourage giving at any level while highlighting unique and impactful projects that might otherwise go without funding. For more information, contact Stephanie Kirkland, UA Division of Advancement, at  

UA OFFERS INTERACTIVE, FUN YOUTH SUMMER CAMPS — UA is offering a variety of youth camps that will provide enriching learning opportunities throughout the summer. For a list of summer camps and registration information, visit the UA Youth Programs website

UA-CREATED DIGITAL EXHIBITION OF ALABAMA ARTIST PUBLICLY AVAILABLE — A project by researchers at UA to digitally display and preserve the work and stories of a well-regarded Birmingham artist has launched, drawing international attention. A website exhibiting the work of artist Joe Minter was recently published. It was created from the efforts from five disciplines across UA’s campus that included students from UA, historically black institutions and Shelton State Community College. The mapping and digital documentation of Minter’s work is the first large-scale application of this sophisticated technology to record and preserve an art installation. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at

CROSSINGPOINTS HOSTS COLLEGE PREP SUMMIT — UA’s CrossingPoints program will host its annual College Prep Summit May 3 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the ballroom of The University of Alabama Student Center. The summit will provide face-to-face opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities, their parents and educators to explore the possibility of postsecondary education. Featured speakers include Dr. Peter Hlebowitsh, dean of UA’s College of Education, and Ms. Cathryn Weir, director for ThinkCollege’s National Coordinating Center. Participants will also hear from current students, peer mentors, and parents of students with intellectual disabilities and their experiences in postsecondary education. Vanderbilt University, Clemson University, Auburn University, Mississippi State University, Alabama A&M University, the University of South Alabama and more will be present to engage with participants. This free event is open to the public. For more information contact Jeremy Reid at  


TWITTER CHANGES CAUSE ISSUES WITH WEATHER WARNINGS — After Twitter’s recent changes many of the National Weather Service’s accounts are unable to post automated watches and warnings. “It’s unfortunate that these updates to the Twitter platform have made vital weather information less accessible for some people,” said Mike Gremillion, director of the Global Water Security Center at UA who spent more than 25 years of his career as a meteorologist. “This affects all types of weather warnings and watches, from tsunamis to tornadoes.” Gremillion said the changes are a vital reminder that people should have multiple ways of receiving important weather information. “We’re in the heart of Alabama’s tornado season, so this definitely hits home. People need to be sure they have a way to hear warnings other than just listening for a siren — and now, other than depending on Twitter. You never want to take a step back in terms of weather information accessibility, but we managed before Twitter, and we’ll manage now.” To schedule an interview, contact Misty Mathews, UA Global Water Security Center, at  


CAMPUS ORCHESTRA SPRING CONCERT — The UA School of Music will host the Campus Orchestra Spring Concert May 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Moody Music Building Concert Hall. Admission is free. 

NEED A SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT ON TOPICS MAKING NEWS? — See our frequently updated experts directory here.  


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.