In a year that has included the average ACT score of incoming freshmen rising to 23.7, continuing development of the Quality Enhancement Plan and the opening of a state-of-the-art freshman residence hall and a modern, full-service dining facility, it’s easy to see that UAB is a university on the move.

That was the message UAB President Carol Garrison delivered to faculty, staff, students and others in attendance at her State of the University address Thursday, Sept. 28, in the Hill University Center Auditorium.

In her comments, Garrison said it is an exciting and eventful time to be at UAB, with the school moving toward its goals in its focus areas: research and scholarship, graduate/professional education, service to community and state, community support, workplace environment, and undergraduate education and campus life.

“There’s been so much excitement over the things we’ve accomplished during the past year,” Garrison said, “and we accomplished all of these things together.”

UAB is working hard to make the undergraduate educational experience for students the best it can be, Garrison said. Part of that includes an improvement in campus life for students — an area of great progress in 2005-06 with more expected by the beginning of 2008.

Blazer Hall, the Commons on the Green and the Campus Recreation Center have made the Campus Green a hot spot for students, faculty and staff. Next comes the new Academic Building, a five-story, 95,000-square-foot building that should near completion by January 2008 on the northwest corner, followed by a new amphitheater next to the Campus Recreation Center.

“We’re well on our way to completing the Campus Green,” Garrison said. “Half of the Campus Green already is done, and in a year and a half you’re going to see continuous green space there.” 

Garrison acknowledged the accolades schools and programs have received from media and professional and educational associations plus the phenomenal success in research and scholarship that garnered national rankings.

“You’ve done great things at this institution,” Garrison said to faculty and staff. “I really and truly believe we’re making a difference — for the students, patients and people across the state.

“There is no doubt that UAB is on the march.”

A more comprehensive report on President Carol Garrison’s State of the University address can be found online.