50 Years of Dreams and Discoveries

In 1969, the University of Alabama at Birmingham was born—an independent institution rooted in the Magic City, created from the union of a university extension center and a pioneering academic medical center. Since then, UAB has saved lives, solved problems, expanded knowledge, and opened doors. Our ideas and innovations have energized our community and transformed Alabama into a destination for anyone ready to change the world.  

Join us as we celebrate our successes and share new visions that could shape the next 50 years.

UAB Memories

Your story is part of UAB’s story, whether you’re a student, alumnus, employee, patient, Blazer fan, or friend. Click a picture below to start strolling through decades of funny, moving, surprising, and life-changing memories. Then submit your own in our recording studio or by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Share Your Story

Did you cross the stage with the original group of UAB graduates in 1969? Receive a lifesaving surgery at UAB Hospital? Cheer on the Blazers to another Bartow-era basketball victory? Form a lasting friendship over lunch at the Hill Student Center food court? Every person whose life has intersected with UAB has a story to tell. Share yours in our recording studio or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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50th Memories Podcast

Check out amazing tales from our first 50 years on the UAB Memories Podcast, available anywhere you find podcasts.

“We would do Birmingham a great disservice if we dreamed too little dreams.”
- Joseph F. Volker, D.D.S., UAB's First President

Then and Now

Change has always been in the air at UAB. See how our campus has changed over the years.

Campus Growth

Views from the 13th Street South pedestrian bridge illustrate the evolution of University Boulevard, UAB's main thoroughfare, between the late 1970s and 2018.
old view of university boulevard present-day view of university boulevard
Photo (circa 1979) and historical information courtesy of UAB Archives

Reliable Resource

Though its facade has changed and footprint expanded since opening in 1973, the Mervyn H. Sterne Library remains a campus landmark on 13th Street South.
old view of sterne library current view of sterne library
Photo (circa 1977) and historical information courtesy of UAB Archives

City Transformation

Parts of campus have changed in big ways. Homes stood in what today is the heart of campus along University Boulevard.
old view of lister hill library current view of lister hill library
Photo (circa 1957) and historical information courtesy of UAB Archives

“Our innovative spirit is central to the history, character, and continued success of UAB.”
- Ray L. Watts, M.D., UAB President


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UAB has experienced many memorable moments over the decades. Relive some key highlights and milestones from our journey.