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Welcome back to campus! I hope you had a wonderful holiday break and enjoyed spending time with your family and friends. The beginning of the Spring semester is always a good time to build on all the positive things that began in the Fall.
We closed 2015 with a successful United Way campaign. The University of Alabama pledged nearly $398,000. Many thanks to the School of Social Work and the campus coordinating committee for leading our efforts to support United Way of West Alabama’s 26 partner service agencies. These agencies provide a variety of education, income-related, health and emergency response programs to citizens throughout West Alabama.
I know you join me in congratulating the football team for winning its 16th national championship earlier this week. Their victory serves as a great reminder of what teamwork, focus, determination and hard work can accomplish. We’ll be announcing the details of a campus celebration very soon. And, since fan support is a big part of every team’s success, please take some time to support all our athletic teams who are playing this Spring.
As we look toward events and activities in February, the 2016 Alabama legislative session will kick off in early February. Alabama Unites is one of the critical ways that all Alabamians can work together to create future success through new jobs and sustained economic growth. Sign up today and find out how you can get involved in making sure Alabama provides a first-class education system for all students. Please visit www.ALUnites.org to let our elected officials know the importance of adequate funding for education at all levels in our state.
UA has been a founding member of the Realizing the Dream initiative since it began in 1989, and this year’s event promises to be spectacular. Activities include the Legacy Banquet on Friday, Jan. 15, and a concert by award-winning South African artist Jonathan Butler on Sunday, Jan. 17. Tickets for both events are on sale through the Moody Music Building box office. Activities on Unity Day begin with breakfast at 7 a.m., followed by the march at noon and conclude with a rally at 5 p.m. at the First African Baptist Church. For more information about Realizing the Dream activities, visit http://uanews.ua.edu/2015/12/south-african-artist-headlines-2016-realizing-the-dream-events-at-ua/
We have much to celebrate and much to look forward to this Spring!
Stuart R. Bell