DSC 1312Harold Jones, Ph.D., and William Ferniany, Ph.D.UAB School of Health Professions Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D., is the winner of the 2016 UAB Honorary Alumni Award. Jones, who is the longest tenured dean at UAB, received the award given to “a member of the UAB family who has made exceptional contributions to UAB and its programs” at a ceremony at the UAB National Alumni Society House on Friday, September 30, 2016.

"This is a great institution with great alumni who have accomplished great things," said Jones, who has worked at UAB and lived in Birmingham longer than any other location in his career. "So to be considered an alumni, even from an honorary standpoint, of this institution is truly a great honor and with that it allows me to say confidently - Ever faithful. Ever loyal. Go Blazers!"

Since coming to UAB in 2001, Jones has served on 18 UAB committees and was named chair or co-chair of eight committees. He has shown dedication to UAB leadership having chaired searches for other School’s deans, dedication to UAB philanthropy having chaired the Benevolent Fund campaign and dedication to the future of UAB having co-founded and co-directed the BLAZE Leadership Academy.

“In terms of dedication to UAB campus-wide you will not find someone more willing to stand up than Dr. Jones,” said Jones’ nomination letter. “When asked to serve on the UAB Task Force to Reassess Closure of Football, Rifle and Bowling there was no hesitation in saying yes by Dr. Jones. When asked to chair the Search Committee for Athletic Director there was no hesitation in saying yes by Dr. Jones. It is easy to say no. And too many do that. It is easy to do nothing. And too many do that. Dr. Jones does not say no and he does not do nothing – especially when it comes to UAB.”

Under Jones’ guidance the School of Health Professions has grown to a record 2,000+ students; grown research funding to more than $14 million; grown the number of academic programs ranked nationally to five – including the highest ranked program at UAB (MSHA is ranked #2 in U.S.); and witnessed a dramatic increase in the amount of scholarships to help students attend UAB.

SEE MORE: NAS event photos on Flickr


DSC 1310In terms of UAB spirit there is no other like Jones. The School won the UAB Homecoming Spirit Award every year from 2004 – 2009; won the majority of Building Decoration contests the past 15 years; and won a staggering 12 homecoming awards during the last football homecoming.

The School’s faculty and staff credit the School’s UAB spirit to the tone set by Jones – the only dean to dress up every year (you might not recognize him as Gene Simmons from KISS or Elphaba from Wicked) for the homecoming parade – who is arguably UAB’s biggest cheerleader and most deserved of the 2016 UAB Honorary Alumni Award.

Also honored at the event was William Ferniany, Ph.D., CEO of the UAB Health System and double alumnus of the UAB School of Health Professions. Ferniany, who is a graduate of our #2 in the nation Master of Science in Health Administration (1975) program and our Doctor of Philosophy, Administration-Health Services (1984) program, received the 2016 UAB National Alumni Society’s Distinguished Alumni Award.