Escambia County’ s UA Alumni and Friends hold meeting

Published 8:49am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In the wake of a win over LSU, members of the Escambia County University of Alabama Alumni and Friends, were excited to be a part of the group’s meeting Monday night at the Brewton Country Club.
After having their original speaker — Dr. Guy Bailey, president of the University of Alabama — submit his resignation last week, the group was left to make decisions whether or not to have the meeting without a designated speaker.
Miriam McDaniel, Escambia County chapter member, said even with the uncertainty, the meeting was able to move forward.
“I thought the meeting was a great success and a lot of fun as well,” McDaniel said. “I am so grateful for the effort made by the UA National Alumni Association to insure we had a speaker in the wake of Dr. Bailey’s sudden resignation.”
McDaniel said speakers for the event proved to be very informative as they presented information about the university to alumni members.
“Sabrina Keating, Calvin Brown and Mark Roberts drove a lot of miles and a lot of hours to be with us, and their presentation certainly did not disappoint,” McDaniel said. “The presentation on the past, present and future of the University of Alabama was truly inspiring. The building facilities, the athletic program and the excellent quality of students attending the University are just a few of the things discussed, which evoked much pride, and appreciation among all who were present.”
Calvin Brown, director of alumni affairs at the University of Alabama, spoke about a bright future for the university in Tuscaloosa as he addressed those attending the event.
“I can tell you that no one loves the university more than I do and no one is more honored to be working at the university,” Brown said. “Everything at the University of Alabama is moving in such a positive way. The momentum was started under Dr. (Robert) Whitt and continues to under Judy Bonner (the new president of the University. Our future is as bright as it has ever been.”
The brightness that Brown talked about had to do with increased enrollment at the school, increased numbers of freshmen, applicants, National Merit Scholars, and success of the athletic teams and the athletic teams being champions on and off the field.
“From 2002 to now, we have seen a growth of 33,000 students,” Brown said. “That is just phenomenal. We have shown an increase of over 6,000 freshmen since 2002. When you see the statistics of these freshmen, it is going to make you glad when you went to the University when you did. Over 26,000 students apply each year to get into the University. We are getting high quality students from all over the country. Fifth-three percent of that 26,000 were accepted.”
While the numbers were high from out of state entries, Brown assured those in attendance that in-state students do not lose their spots to out of state students.
“No in-state student that qualifies for admission to the University of Alabama ever loses their spot to an out of state student,” he said. “We are not turning away instate kids to out of state kids. It is really a plus though to have our students be around such diverse students. It is really an education in itself.”
One key fact Brown pointed out was the National Merit Scholars coming to the University.
“We don’t have the averages yet, but we should be No. 1 or No. 2 in the country for National Merit Scholars,” Brown said. “I think that is phenomenal because these kids can go anywhere they want to go. We have a large number of freshmen coming in with an ACT score of 28 or higher. We had a 32 percent increase of scholars from the fall of 2011. Our average overall ACT score is 25.6.”
While the athletic teams have been racking up the national championships on the field lately, Brown said the teams also perform in the classroom.
“It is a testament to the coaches we have that we can have the caliber of athletes that we have and to see how bright they are,” he said. “We had 15 athletic teams score above the APR set by the NCAA. The football team’s GPA finished second in the top-10 behind Stanford and second in the SEC behind Vanderbilt. We are getting some really fine students who are also athletes.”
Brown finished his presentation by talking about the recent projects completed and projects that will be improved on the campus—such buildings like the Shelby Complex for engineering, the acquisition of the Bryce Hospital and other buildings.
McDaniel said the evening was a success and offered thanks to location officials.
“I think everyone enjoyed shopping with Bama Fever also,” McDaniel said. “Many thanks to the Country Club of Brewton for hosting us on a night the club is normally closed. Everyone enjoyed the delicious prime rib dinner and cherry cheesecake dessert.”

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