Dear UAB Community and Friends,
An exciting and successful spring semester is drawing to a close and culminates tomorrow at UAB’s commencement and doctoral hooding ceremonies. More than 2,000 undergraduates will receive their degrees this spring and 55 Ph.D. candidates — representing 14 states, seven countries and 26 disciplines — will receive their doctorates. We look forward to joining families and friends in applauding our graduates on all they have accomplished and wishing them well as they set out to make an even greater impact on their fields and on our local and global community. 

pres april news kasmanUAB senior Aleksandra Kasman, who graduates on April 29 with a major in music and minor in French, will attend the renowned Juilliard School after a summer concert tour. 

I could not be prouder of the outstanding achievements of our students across all disciplines — from music to business to the sciences and engineering. For the third consecutive academic year, UAB students have received a record number of national and international honors (31), including a record five Fulbright Scholarships. This continued growth in prestigious awards is a testament to the exceptional talent and drive of our students and to the quality of our academic programs. I congratulate all of these award recipients as well as the dedicated faculty who mentor and inspire them. 

student excellence

Building on the momentum of this academic year’s record-breaking enrollment, we are actively recruiting the best and brightest students from around the nation and the globe. In this inaugural year of INTO UAB, we recruited 177 international students representing 26 different nations, as part of our overall student population that represents 80 countries. We recently held the grand opening of the INTO UAB Center in Mervyn Sterne Library, which is an invaluable resource for our INTO UAB students and staff and our entire university, as we continue to promote cultural exchange and global citizenship campus-wide.

into uabCutting the ribbon at the INTO UAB Center Grand Opening on April 13 were (left to right) Catherine Crowe (Director, UAB International Student and Scholar Services), Amy McGowan (COO, INTO North America), Dr. Suzanne Austin (Senior Vice Provost), Dr. Ray Watts, John Sykes (CEO, INTO University Partnerships), David Hofmann (Executive Director, INTO UAB), Yasmin Sefer (Senior Director of Recruitment, INTO North America), Dana Keith (Vice Chancellor for Financial Affairs and Administration, UA System), Allen Bolton (VP, Financial Affairs and Administration), and Blaze. 

UAB’s success in education and all areas of our mission relies on continued partnership with our community, and we are deeply grateful that the partnership is stronger than ever. The $1 billion Campaign for UAB, the largest fundraising effort in our university’s history, is now over $791 million thanks to more than 93,700 donors. We continue partnering to grow a robust, technology and knowledge-based economy through the development of an urban innovation district, as addressed at the recent Economic Growth Summit sponsored by the Birmingham Business Alliance. The community is also providing unprecedented support to UAB Athletics, turning out in large numbers that contributed to record-breaking attendance at UAB Football’s Spring Game on April 1. 

Here on campus, we continue collaborating to shape the future of our university through our ongoing strategic planning, which has included in recent weeks 10 listening sessions with faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as discussions with every school and college. We will glean additional feedback on our strengths and ways of making UAB even better by way of our Campus Engagement Survey that concluded earlier this week. We are also making progress on our national search for a Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost through our campus-wide, inclusive process. Thank you all for your participation and input in these efforts. 

I also want to express my gratitude specifically to our staff members, in every area of our campus and in every important role you serve, for all you are doing daily for our university and academic medical center. Your dedication, skill and can-do attitude are integral to the smooth operation and success of this enterprise, and it has been a pleasure to officially honor your contributions during this inaugural Staff Appreciation Week. Thank you all very much.

My congratulations in advance to tomorrow’s graduates and I wish everyone an enjoyable and rewarding summer.