UAB has long been a whale of a good time

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whale insideIn 1979, a group supporting a moratorium against whaling brought a 100-foot hot-air balloon to Birmingham’s Mortimer Jordan Park, known before that as Behrens’ Park, in an attempt to call attention to the plight of nautical mammals. 

In preceding years, marine mammals such as whales and dolphins had found their place in pop culture with things such as the 1960s television series “Flipper” and the 1967 novel “The Day of the Dolphin,” as well as the 1973 film inspired by that novel. The mammals’ rise in popularity caused an uptick in information about threats to whales and dolphins, leading to the forming of organizations such as Greenpeace, which launched its first anti-whaling campaign in 1975, and direct action from Russia, Iceland, South Africa and other countries beginning in the 1970s.

UAB’s campus is still home to inflatable items from time to time, such as the 16-foot inflatable colon that graces the Campus Green each March for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, courtesy of UAB Employee Wellness. And even if no inflatables are involved, UAB students today have many opportunities to get involved with causes that interest them, from local organizations such as the Birmingham Education Foundation and the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama to global initiatives such as Room to Read Sri Lanka.

And they aren’t the only ones. UAB employees stay busy volunteering as well, whether through giving their time to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society or at the Blazer Kitchen. Let the UAB Reporter know how people in your unit give back — submit a publicity request with the details and send a group selfie to reporter@uab.edu for a chance to be featured in Behind the Scenes.

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  • Legion Field once hosted Olympic soccer matches

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  • Continuing the commitment to eye health

    retro art streamIn 1974, two optometry students screened two young children for vision issues. The school’s tradition of community engagement continues to this day as remain involved in the community, whether through providing vision screenings and eye exams in senior centers, elementary schools, Black Belt communities and more or teaching cow eye dissections at Ramsey High School.

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  • Registration changes with the tech of the times

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  • Updating the footprint of campus

    retro art streamThe intersection of 20th Street South and Seventh Avenue looked a bit different in 1971, and this section of campus will undergo even more changes this summer as the Kracke Building and Pittman Center for Advanced Medical Studies will be razed to make way for the new Altec Styslinger Genomic Medicine and Data Sciences Building.

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  • Seeing sculptures and getting steps since the 1970s

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  • Continuing the changemaking tradition

    retro art streamIn May 1971, Bracie Watson, a senior majoring in biology, became the first Black student elected president of the UAB Undergraduate Student Government Association. And UAB USGA presidents continue to be changemakers — hear 2020-21 President Tyler Huang tell his story in a UAB United video and UAB News.

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  • Forging a commitment to diversity

    retro art streamFrom the appoint of Aaron L. Lamar Jr. to associate vice president and dean of Student Affairs in 1978 to being named America’s No. 4 Best Employer for Diversity by Forbes, UAB has demonstrated a long commitment to its shared value of diversity and inclusiveness.

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  • Celebrating commencement together again

    retro art streamIn June 1970, UAB awarded its first degrees to 478 students. During this year’s commencement ceremonies — the first ones in person since fall 2019 — more than 8,550 will be awarded.

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  • WBHM is always at your service

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