“As far as the chronology of the proto-UAB is concerned, that story starts in the 1930s when the University of Alabama won a federal grant to open an extension center in downtown Birmingham; the center was located in a two-story house situated where the newer section of the Birmingham Public Library stands today. There was a library in the dining room, and there were classrooms in the bedrooms, all with working coal-burning fireplaces—a very nice touch, kind of like Oxford or the University of Virginia. The extension center eventually outgrew its space downtown and was moved to its current location in the Five Points South area, where in 1969 it became an independent campus of the University of Alabama system.”

Dr. Tennant McWilliams, retired UAB professor of history and former dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences