1970s

  • Eighth Avenue South closed for construction, circa 1974

    University Boulevard closed for construction, circa 1974
    June 2022 Image of the Month

    As an urban university housed in the middle of the city of Birmingham, UAB construction projects and special events often necessitate the closure of portions of streets or of entire streets, for short or extended durations depending on the specific project.  This is a common occurrence today, with numerous ongoing construction projects on the campus.  But street closure is nothing new to UAB.  As is clearly visible in this photograph from circa 1974, Eighth Avenue South, one of the city's main thoroughfares, was closed to traffic to allow work on the streetscape and for continued construction of the optometry building (center background).  Eighth Avenue South would be renamed in 1981 as University Boulevard.

    Image ID: P7.3.1, #0233

  • Dedication of the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, October 19, 1971

    Lister Hill Library dedicated
    October 2021 Image of the Month
    The Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences was dedicated in formal ceremonies held on October 19, 1971, as the first building constructed for the university's health sciences library.  Prior to the opening of the new building, the campus library had been housed within the University Hospital complex since the four-year medical school was established in 1945.  When completed in 1971, the new facility was named in honor of Lister Hill, the former Senator and Congressman from Alabama who had spent over four decades in Washington as a proponent of, among others, medical libraries, medical education, and of healthcare for Americans.

    Image ID: P7.2.7, #1458

  • A new sign highlights the new University College, 1971

    University College students relax in front of new sign
    August 2021 Image of the Month
    On August 1, 1971, UAB's College of General Studies was reorganized and renamed as University College, an administrative entity initially consisting of four academic schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, and School of Engineering.  Dr. George W. Campbell, former dean of the College of General Studies and former director of the Birmingham Extension Center, became the inaugural Vice President for University College.  Students Judith Haney and Allen Barra, the editor of the Kaleidoscope student newspaper, helped the university promote the newly renamed entity.

    Image ID: P7.3.3, #0046

  • Bracie Watson elected SGA president, May 1971

    Bracie Watson, Jr., Student Government Association President
    May 2021 Image of the Month
    In May 1971 senior Bracie Watson, Jr. (Biology), became the first African American student elected as president of the UAB student government association.  Watson was most likely the first African American student in the state of Alabama elected as the president of a student government association outside of the state's historically black colleges and universities (HBCU).

    Image ID:Annual Report yearbook

  • University College Building No. 1 and Mervyn H. Sterne Library at dusk, circa 1973

    University College Building No. 1 and Mervyn H. Sterne Library
    February 2021 Image of the Month

    University College Building No. 1 and Mervyn H. Sterne Library were among the first four buildings constructed for the new University College campus. The four buildings were dedicated during ceremonies held on May 20, 1973. In September 1983 Building No. 1 was rededicated as the School of Education Building. The education school moved out of its long-time home in 2020, and the building is slated for demolition in order to make way for a new Science and Engineering Complex.

    Image ID: P1, #0675

  • UAB Exhibit at the Alabama State Fair, 1970

    UAB booth at the Alabama State Fair
    October 2020 Image of the Month
    In 1970 UAB provided those attending the Alabama State Fair with an informational booth to highlight the new university's health science and academic components.  Within the booth, large stacked acrylic blocks spelled out U.A.B.

    The Alabama State Fair was held annually at the state fairground in the Central Park neighborhood in western Birmingham.  The old fairground site is currently the location of the Birmingham CrossPlex, the indoor home facility for UAB Blazer track and field.

    Image ID: P7.2.7, #0860

  • Computer Assisted Instruction at UAB, 1978

    Computer Assisted Instruction at UAB
    August 2020 Image of the Month
    At the start of the new term, six computer terminals were designated to provide tutorial assistance for classes in algebra and in genetics in a pilot project believed to have been the first such program offered in the southeastern US.  The terminals were located in the Instructional Resource Center, housed in University College Building No. 1 (today's School of Education Building), and the program was overseen by UAB Special Studies.

    Image ID: P7.4.1, #0653

  • Mowing the median along Eighth Avenue South, 1979

    Mowing the median along Eighth Avenue South, 1979
    July 2020 Image of the Month
    A member of the UAB grounds staff keeps the grass cut along one of Birmingham's busiest thoroughfares in this image looking east along Eighth Avenue South.  Like then, UAB staff in grounds, as well as maintenance and housekeeping, continue working at the university even during the current period of limited business operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  With an east-west pathway through the middle of the UAB campus, Eighth Avenue South was renamed as University Boulevard in 1981.

    Image ID: P7.3.1, #0220

  • UAB’s First Commencement Ceremony, June 7, 1970

    UAB’s First Commencement Ceremony, June 7, 1970
    June 2020 Image of the Month
    President Joseph F. Volker (left) presents a diploma to one of UAB's first graduates.  The new university awarded diplomas to 478 graduates during an evening ceremony held in the city auditorium on Sunday, June seventh.  Ronald T. Acton received a PhD in Microbiology, becoming the first person to receive a degree from UAB, and President Volker received the university's first honorary degree.

    Image ID: P7.2.11, #0022

  • Tree decorating at the Friendship House, December 1976

    Tree decorating at the Friendship House, 1976
    December 2019 Image of the Month
    Members of UAB's international community decorate a holiday tree with ornaments representing their native lands, including Columbia, Denmark, Guatemala, Japan, and Wales.  The Friendship House was located on the side of Red Mountain on 28th Street South and was adjacent to UAB's Smolian House.  The Friendship House served as a hospitality center for UAB from 1965 until 1988.  The garden located between the Smolian and Friendship houses was dedicated in 1977 as UAB's International Friendship and Peace Garden.

    Image ID: P7.4.1, #0086

  • College of General Studies Senate, circa 1971

    College of General Studies Senate, circa 1971
    February 2019 Image of the Month

    In January 1970 UAB employees and students approved by campus vote a referendum to create a Senate that would be comprised of faculty, staff, and student representatives.  The first meeting of the new College of General Studies Senate was held February 11, 1970.  The 39-member Senate included elected faculty, staff, and students and administrators appointed by the dean of the College of General Studies.  During the fall term of 1971, the Senate was renamed as the University College Senate following the creation of the new administrative entity University College.  In 1980 the Senate was reconstituted as a faculty-only body to serve as an advisory voice for the faculty in the various units within University College.  After a multi-year process, in 1995 President J. Claude Bennett approved a campus-wide UAB Faculty Senate and this Senate first met on June 30, 1995.


    Image ID: Annual Report yearbook

  • Homecoming Bonfire, 1979

    Homecoming Bonfire, 1979
    January 2019 Image of the Month

    UAB instituted a homecoming celebration to coincide with its new NCAA-level basketball program, which had debuted in the fall of 1978.  The festivities in January of 1979 included basketball games for the new men's and women's teams, an on-campus bonfire, and a homecoming dance for students.  Homecoming would remain a part of the basketball season until 1994 when the celebration was moved to the fall to coincide with football season.


    Image ID: Phoenix yearbook

  • UAB Basketball Game, November 24, 1978

    UAB Basketball Game, November 1978
    November 2018 Image of the Month

    UAB began NCAA-level basketball play on November 24, 1978, with an inaugural game against the University of Nebraska before a crowd of over 14,800 in the arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center.  Coach Gene Bartow's Blazers lost 64-55.  Five days later, Coach Fran Merrell and the Women's Basketball team competed in their first game at the BJCC; the Blazers lost to the University of North Alabama 82-77.

    This month we celebrate the 40th anniversary of an intercollegiate athletics program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Today, UAB provides eleven sports teams for female students and seven for male students.  There are also three spirit and two band programs that support the athletic program and entertain event attendees.  Go Blazers!

    Image ID: MC67, #0002

  • Engineering students assemble a mechanical arm, June 1978.

    Engineering students assemble a mechanical arm, June 1978
    June 2018 Image of the Month

    Engineering students assemble a mechanical arm, June 1978.  UAB students work on improving the prototype of the device for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) student competition.

    Image ID:  P7.4.1, #0699

  • Dr. King Commemoration at UAB, 1978

    Martin Luther King Commemoration at UAB
    February 2018 Image of the Month

    In a ceremony in the auditorium of the Engineering Building [Cudworth Hall], UAB commemorated the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The event was held during the ten-year anniversary of King’s assassination.  The keynote speaker, Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker (seated third from left), was the chief-of-staff for Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  Funding for the event was provided by the UAB student government and graduate student associations.



    UAB celebrated Black History Week as early as 1975 with a series of lectures, dances, and art shows.  Following national trends, UAB changed to a month-long celebration in 1977.

    ID: P23.3

  • Kaleidoscope staff at work, 1970

    Two members of the Kaleidoscope staff work at their desks
    October 2017 Image of the Month

    The Kaleidoscope, was first issued at the Birmingham campus on October 26, 1967. Patrick Cather was the founding editor and Melinda Hidle was co-editor. The newspaper first appeared as a monthly; currently the Kaleidoscope is a weekly paper available in print and online.

    For more information, and for current issues of UAB's student paper, see the website of the Kaleidoscope at http://www.uab.edu/studentmedia/kaleidoscope.

    Image ID: P7.2.7, #1919

  • Fran Sharp Merrell, August 1977

    Fran Sharp Merrell poses with a basketball above the court
    August 2017 Image of the Month

    Merrell, a former UAB student, became the first head coach of the Lady Blazer's basketball team in August 1977. Prior to the establishment of an NCAA-approved athletics program, UAB had offered intramural and intercollegiate teams for its students. The new Lady Blazers basketball team took the court for the first time on November 29, 1978. Merrell coached at UAB until 1981.

    Image ID: P23.3

  • UAB’s new process camera, 1977

    A woman adjusts a large process camera
    June 2017 Image of the Month

    Paula Dennis demonstrates the largest camera on the UAB campus, the Print Plant’s new room-sized process camera. The camera used 32 x 32 inch film and a 40 x 50 inch copy board. The Print Plant was moved into a leased building on the 2100 block of 5th Avenue South in 1976 and the university acquired several new pieces of equipment to meet the production needs of the UAB community.

    Image ID: P7.4.1, #0165

  • Patricia Livingston on the air at WBHM, December 5, 1976

    A female dj in the studio
    December 2016 Image of the Month

    UAB was granted a license for a public radio station early in 1976, and the station went live on Sunday the fifth of December. WBHM originally broadcast seven-days a week between 6:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. and was housed in the old mathematics building at 11th Street South; it remains in the same location today. UAB and the Birmingham community are currently celebrating the 40th anniversary of listener-supported WBHM 90.3 FM Radio.

    Image ID: P46.1

    On this anniversary of the station, the UAB Archives is pleased to announce the opening of a WBHM archival collection that contains photographs, scrapbooks, publications, etc.  Click here to contact the UAB Archives for information on Record Group 46, WBHM 90.3 FM Radio.

  • Aaron L. Lamar, Jr., (center) welcomes two new UAB Ambassadors, 1978

    Aaron L. Lamar, Jr. shakes hands with a student while another student looks on
    February 2016 Image of the Month

    Dr. Lamar joined the UAB faculty in 1973 and in 1978 was named as associate vice president and dean of Student Affairs, the first African American named to a senior administrative position at UAB. Dr. Lamar received the 1994 President’s Medal and remained at UAB until his retirement in 1998. UAB established a student scholarship in his name.

    Image ID: P7.4.1, #0694