It will be a sea of green and gold as about half of the 2,083 spring graduates take part in commencement at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), 2 p.m. May 3 in Bartow Arena, 617 13th St. S.

April 23, 2008

BIRMINGHAM, ALA - It will be a sea of green and gold as about half of the 2,083 spring graduates take part in commencement at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), 2 p.m. May 3 in Bartow Arena, 617 13th Street South.

"Our new green commencement robes are a new tradition at UAB," said Doug Rigney, Ph.D., vice president of student affairs. "Over the past few years we have seen the opening of the Campus Recreation Center, the Dining Commons, Blazer Hall, our freshman residence hall, and Heritage Hall, our new academic classroom building. School spirit has never been higher, and this new commencement tradition reflects that."

The commencement address will be given by technology entrepreneur Julie Hanna, who also will receive the UAB National Alumni Society's Distinguished Alumna of the Year. During the ceremonies, Herman D. Bolden, chairman and president of Southern Coach Parts Co., will receive the honorary degree Doctor of Humanities.

Julie Hanna earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Sciences in 1987 from the UAB School of Natural Science and Mathematics, where she was named among the 2007 Alumni of the Year by the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. She has been at the forefront of major technology trends, among them the Internet/World Wide Web, open source, electronic messaging and collaborative software. She has spent the past 15 years in various entrepreneurial, executive, board and advisory roles, helping build several successful Internet and software businesses in the Silicon Valley Hanna advises entrepreneurs and CEOs of emerging companies and non-profits.

She is the founder and former CEO of Scalix, the open source leader in corporate e-mail software with customers in more than 55 countries. Hanna is a member of the Board of Directors at SocialText, the leader in corporate social software, and is on the advisory boards of Actuate Corporation, a number of Web 2.0 consumer Internet start-ups and non-profits EARN and the Entrepreneur's Foundation.

Herman Bolden and his wife, Emmie, have partnered in many humanitarian endeavors, including establishing a scholarship in memory of her mother at Mrs. Bolden's alma mater, Huntingdon College. In 1990, the Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame recognized the couple with its prestigious Humanitarian Award. In 2007, they were recognized for their three decades of support to the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center by the Alabama chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professions, which presented them with its William M. & Virginia B. Spencer Outstanding Philanthropists award.

In 1976, the Boldens made their first gift to the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center in memory of Mr. Bolden's business mentor and friend, Stanley L. Green. In 1986, they provided generous funding to establish the Cancer Center's Laboratory of Human Molecular Genetics, which was named in their honor. Dedicated to understanding the cancer process, this lab is an enduring reminder of the couple's concern for the health of future generations. In 1988, their $1 million gift launched a successful $11.5 million capital campaign that resulted in the addition of three research floors to the Wallace Tumor Institute. The fifth floor is dedicated to expanded research in human genetics and named in honor of the Boldens. In 2007, they made a gift to the UAB Hospital North Pavilion for the Cancer Center Director's Office in the new facility. Support also has been forthcoming for UAB's Center for Palliative Care, Ophthalmology Chairman's Fund, Department of Neurology and the Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Facility now under construction at UAB.