UAB announces co-chairs, theme for its largest-ever fundraising campaign

UAB announces co-chairs and the theme of its ambitious five-year philanthropic campaign.

UAB President Ray WattsUAB President Ray WattsThe University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) today announced that Johnny Johns, Theresa Bruno and Mike Warren will serve as co-chairs for the university’s largest-ever and most comprehensive fundraising campaign that will launch publicly this October, themed “Give something. Change everything.”

“The theme reflects the fact that when you give to UAB, you help us change our community and our world for the better, whether by finding the cure for a disease, enabling a bright young person to attend college or lighting the spark for a new innovation,” UAB President Ray L. Watts said. “We are working hard to strengthen our position as one of the nation's most productive and dynamic universities. To accomplish this goal, we are going to set our priorities, invest resources carefully and invite partners to join with us.”

Johnny JohnsJohnny JohnsThree distinguished co-chairs, recognized for their outstanding civic and business leadership, as well as their service to and philanthropic support of UAB and the community, will guide the campaign that will run from 2013 through 2018. Johns, CEO, president and chair of Protective Life Corp., has been a staunch advocate for economic growth in the Birmingham region and Alabama — serving as chair of the Birmingham Business Alliance, the Business Council of Alabama and Innovation Depot — as well as improved education, arts and culture.

bruno_sTheresa Bruno

Bruno, president of THB Inc., is a strategic planning consultant, noted film producer, arts educator and Julliard-trained musician. She serves as chair of the corporate board of UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center (ASC) and is a leader in global and local efforts pertaining to poverty and arts outreach — most notably ArtPlay and ArtReach.

Warren, president and CEO of Children's of Alabama and former chair/CEO of Energen, has served as chairman of the Business Council of Alabama, the United Way, Children's Hospital, Leadership Birmingham and Leadership Alabama.

Mike WarrenMike Warren

“I am thrilled and deeply grateful that Johnny, Theresa and Mike will join us to help steer this effort and to work closely with our volunteer leadership in the schools and units and at the university and regional levels,” Watts said.

UAB’s previous philanthropic campaign took place between 1999 and 2003 and well-exceeded its goal of $350 million, which at the time was the largest ever undertaken by an Alabama university. UAB raised $388.7 million.

“The goal of this campaign will again be an unprecedented figure for UAB, and we will announce the goal in October when we kick-off the public phase of the campaign,” said UAB Vice President Shirley Salloway Kahn.

UAB Vice President Shirley Salloway KahnShirley Salloway Kahn

“We are fortunate to have three dynamic leaders working with us and with our volunteer boards across campus. UAB is poised for transformational growth, and the money that is raised will help our faculty and staff continue their efforts to find new cures for diseases, educate students and bring recognition to our city and state through their outstanding teaching, patient care, research and service.”

As an economic engine with an impact exceeding $5 billion in Alabama annually, the implications of a successful UAB fundraising campaign are broad and far-reaching.

“The scope and impact of this campaign will extend far beyond our campus,” Watts said. “A successful fundraising effort of this scale will reap vastly improved health care, educational opportunities and quality of life, as well as robust economic development, throughout our community, state, nation and beyond. This will be a campaign with truly a global impact.”

To follow the progress of the “Give something. Change everything.” campaign, or to give, visit