On the way to Butler, Alabama a couple of weeks ago, I took a detour in Tuscaloosa to visit campus at the University of Alabama.
You may have heard of Bama, Crimson Tide, National Champions, and all that, but did you know that it is actually an institute of higher learning, founded in 1831?
According to the University’s site, “In 1818, the federal government authorized Alabama Territory to set aside a township for the establishment of a ‘seminary of learning.'” In 1819, Alabama became a state, per President Monroe’s pen. The seminary was dubbed “The University of Alabama” in 1820.
Initially, there were 52 male students and only seven buildings. Almost all of the buildings were burned by Union troops. The Gorgas House was saved by a spunky little lady named Louisa Frances Garland, who was the university president’s wife.
UA was the first university in the state to over a degree in engineering in the late 1800s, and was one of 5 engineering universities in the nation. It is “…one of the few [engineering schools] to have maintained accreditation continuously since national accreditation began in 1936.
In 1893, the first female students joined the UA assemblage. A lot of the credit goes to Julia S. Tutwiler, who lobbied to let us in. Much thanks, Ms. Tutwiler!
1914-1915: The University band was formed, with its precision military-style marching. It later became known as the Million Dollar Band.Dad, Mom, and her sisters attend UA, but my parents didn’t meet until they both had teaching jobs.
Later, I matriculated to UA. Yeah!
When I was there, UA had around 18,000 students. Enrollment is now over 35k, and UA is ranked in the top 50 of public universities by U.S. News and World Report.
We celebrate the 50th year of desegregation in 2013.
I first learned about Krispe Kreme Donuts when Mom had some conference at UA. She took my brother and I by there. Later, Krispy Kreme was the site of numerous Deadweek midnight donut runs when I attended UA.
Krispe Kreme got destroyed by a state-wide tornado in 2011, but they built it back near the original location, bigger and (well, they couldn’t make it any better).
Since the donuts are manufactured on-site, I don’t know of any better donuts on the face of this earth. I brought a box home to share with Lefty and Princess Buttercup who are died-in-the-wool Krispy Kreme lovers, as well.
Going back to UA is bittersweet. I miss it, but I don’t want to be 18 years old again!