A Chronological History of
the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
and its Predecessor Institutions and Organizations, 1831-

(Please contact the UAB Archives for additional information.)

Copyright: The University of Alabama Board of Trustees.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) traces its roots to the 1859 founding of the Medical College of Alabama and the 1936 opening of the Birmingham Extension Center of the University of Alabama. In 1945 the Medical College of Alabama was moved from Tuscaloosa and the University's Medical Center was founded in Birmingham. In 1954 the Extension Center was moved to a newly constructed facility adjacent to the Medical Center, bringing together for the first time the University's two academic components in Birmingham.  Later, in November of 1966, the Extension Center and the Medical Center were administratively merged to form the "University of Alabama in Birmingham," an organizational component of the University of Alabama (in Tuscaloosa). In 1969 UAB became an independent institution, one of the autonomous universities within the newly created three-campus University of Alabama System.

Today, UAB is a comprehensive urban university with a nationally recognized academic health center. UAB is the only public, four-year degree granting university in the state's largest metropolitan area. UAB is the largest research institution in the state of Alabama and is the largest single employer in the state.

A comprehensive chronology of the history of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and its predecessor entities is found below.  Underlined and bolded items in this list may be selected to see portraits or photographs about the specific person or event.

Chronology last updated 1 April 2020

January 1, 2010: Dr. Rodney W. Nowakowski became interim dean of the School of Optometry.

January 1, 2010: The College of Arts and Sciences replaced the separate Schools of Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Jean Ann Linney became interim dean of the new College.

January 13, 2010: On a flight to carry a survivor of the earthquake in Haiti to a Miami hospital, UAB Hospital’s Critical Care Transport (CCT) jet became the first US aircraft in five decades to make an official flight through Cuban airspace.

February 21, 2010: UAB opened the new Women and Infants Center and five babies were born in the new facility its first day. In a random drawing, one of the five was selected to receive a full, undergraduate tuition scholarship to the university from the UAB Health System.

March 4, 2010: The UAB Ethics Bowl Team won the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl held in Cincinnati, Ohio, in only the team’s second year in existence.

June 12, 2010: UAB student Ashley Davis was crowned Miss Alabama. Davis, of Dothan, was a double major in Political Science and Public Relations.

July 1, 2010: Dr. Thomas M. DiLorenzo became the first dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, an appointment that had been announced in June.

August 2010: For the fall term, total enrollment at UAB increased by almost 4 percent over last year up to 17,543. Undergraduate and freshman enrollment both rose about 3.6 percent and graduate and advanced professional student enrollment grew 4.6 percent.

September 2010: Dr. Sergio B. Stagno, chair of the Department of Pediatrics, became seventh president of the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation.

October 1, 2010: Dr. Ray L. Watts became Senior Vice President for Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine. Dr. Watts, who was then chair of the UAB Department of Neurology and president of the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, had been selected for the position in July.

November 9, 2010: UAB’s economic impact on the Alabama economy was reported at $4.6 billion annually. UAB supports 61,025 jobs and generates $302.2 million in tax revenue to state and local governments. Further, $1 in every $25 in the state's budget is generated by UAB, and every $1 invested by the state in UAB generates $16.23 in the total state economy.

November 11, 2010: UAB announced plans to add two more sports for women. Women’s bowling will begin in the fall of 2011 and women’s sand volleyball will begin in the spring of 2012

December 1, 2010: Dr. Arthur M. Boudreaux became interim chief-of-staff of University Hospital.

December 8, 2010: Dr. Edward E. Partridge delivered the forty-seventh annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture, “Civil War, Civil Rights and the New Moral Imperative: Leadership of a Different Color.”

2010: Logan Todd Talbot became the eighth UAB student named as a Truman Scholar.

2010: UAB became one of the first two civilian hospitals in the US to host a US Air Force Special Operations Surgical Team (SOST). The team was stationed at University Hospital, the state’s only adult Level-1 Trauma Center, in order to develop their medical and teamwork skills.

January 1, 2011: Dr. Deborah L. Voltz became fifth dean of the School of Education.

January 20, 2011: UAB National Alumni Society House was officially dedicated.

March 2011: Dr. Rodney W. Nowakowski was named as the fifth dean of the School of Optometry.

March 2011: The UAB Bioethics Team was named champions of the 2011 National Bioethics Undergraduate Conference held in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Gregory Pence was the faculty sponsor of the team.

March 2011: UAB announced the establishment of the first two endowed deanships at the university, the James C. Lee, Jr., Endowed Chair for the Dean of the School of Medicine and the Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair for the Dean of the School of Nursing.

May 18, 2011: Dr. Linda C. Lucas, dean of the Engineering school, became interim Provost.

May 20, 2011: Dr. Michael S. Reddy was named as interim dean of the School of Dentistry, to be effective on June 6, 2011.

May 2011: Dr. Melinda M. Lalor was named as interim dean of the School of Engineering.

July 1, 2011: Dr. Donna K. Arnett became the sixth UAB faculty member elected as president of the American Heart Association. Arnett, chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health, became president in July 2012, the first epidemiologist selected for the presidency of the AHA.

August 2011: For the third consecutive year, enrollment at UAB reached a record high, with a combined enrollment of 17,575 students in the undergraduate through graduate levels. A record 67 percent of incoming freshmen lived in on-campus housing.

October 1, 2011: Kristi Lamont Ellis became interim General Manager of WBHM-FM Radio upon the retirement of Mike Morgan.

October 10, 2011: Dr. David B. Allison presented the forty-eighth annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture, “The Fire of Life.”

November 2011: UAB alumnus Joshua Carpenter became the university’s second recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship award. Carpenter graduated from UAB in 2010 with a double major in accounting and economics.

December 5, 2011: Garrick McGee was introduced as the fourth head coach of the UAB football team. Formerly the offensive coordinator at the University of Arkansas, the Oklahoma native had been a quarterback at the University of Oklahoma. His hiring had been announced the day before.

December 2011: John Fields, adjunct instructor in the Department of Art and Art History and a UAB alumnus, became interim director of the UAB Visual Arts Gallery.

2011: Kimberley Michelle Everett became the ninth UAB student named as a Truman Scholar.

2011: Dr. Wendy Gunther Canada became the third chair of the UAB Commission on the Status of Women.

March 5, 2012: The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama System selected Dr. Robert E. Witt as the sixth chancellor of the three-campus university system. Dr. Witt had previously served as president of The University of Alabama since 2003.

March 15, 2012: Dr. Michael S. Reddy became the eighth dean of the School of Dentistry.

March 27, 2012: Jerod Haase was introduced as the fifth head coach of the Men’s Basketball team. Haase played at Kansas and had served as an assistant coach at Kansas and at North Carolina prior to coming to UAB.

April 30, 2012: Dr. Linda C. Lucas, who had served as Interim Provost since May of 2011, was named Provost of UAB.

May 2012: Dr. Louise T. Chow, a professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics, was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, only the second UAB faculty member to be so honored.

July 1, 2012: Dr. Donna K. Arnett became the sixth UAB faculty member to serve as president of the American Heart Association. Arnett, chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health, was the first epidemiologist selected for the presidency of the AHA.

August 20, 2012: Dr. Eric P. Jack, associate dean, was named as interim dean of the School of Business, to be effective October first.

August 21, 2012: Dr. Richard B. Marchase, vice president for Research and Economic Development, was named as interim President of UAB following the departure of President Carol Z. Garrison.

August 27, 2012: Scott E. Hanley became the fourth General Manager of WBHM-FM Radio.

September 2012: For the fourth consecutive year, UAB had a record student enrollment with 17,999 students entering the fall term. Enrollment of incoming freshmen increased 4.4 percent and a record number of students lived in UAB’s on-campus housing.

October 1, 2012: Dr. Robert E. Palazzo became interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

October 1, 2012: Dr. James A. Bonner became the president of the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation.

October 10, 2012: Dr. Stephen Barnes presented the forty-ninth annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture, “Science, Collaborations, Alternatives, and the Future.”

November 11, 2012: The Office of Veteran Recruitment and Student Services hosted UAB’s first Wreath Laying Ceremony on Veterans Day.

February 8, 2013:The University of Alabama Board of Trustees selected Dr. Ray L. Watts as the seventh president of UAB. Dr. Watts, who holds an undergraduate degree from the UAB School of Engineering, had joined the UAB faculty in 2003. He later served as chair of the Department of Neurology and at his selection as president was UAB's Senior Vice President and dean of the School of Medicine.

February 8, 2013: Dr. Anupam Agarwal, director of the Division of Nephrology, was named as interim Senior Vice President for Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine following the appointment of Dean Ray L. Watts as the seventh president of UAB.

March 18, 2013: The UAB Marching Blazers won the International Band Competition in Limerick, Ireland, beating out 17 other bands from the US and Europe one day after performing in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin.

April 2, 2013: Dr. Eric P. Jack became the sixth dean of the School of Business.

April 2013: UAB created an area at 850 8th Court South, near the university’s soccer field, where associates could grow their own vegetables in a program coordinated by the office of Sustainability. Initially, 65 plots were made available to students, faculty and staff and the program had a 75-person waiting list.

June 1, 2013: Dr. Robert E. Palazzo became the second dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, after having served as interim since October 2012.

July 1, 2013: Dr. Arthur J. Tipton became chief executive officer of the UAB affiliated Southern Research Institute.

2013: UAB announced plans for a campus-wide in-house bus transportation system to begin operation in 2014. The 24-hour weekday system will operate a fleet of buses on six discrete lines with an aim to have all campus locations within a five-minute walk from a scheduled bus stop. In June of 2013 the system was named Blazer Express after a campus-wide "Name the Bus" contest.

August 1, 2013: Dr. J. Iwan D. Alexander became the sixth dean of the School of Engineering. Dr. Alexander, whose selection had been announced in February, came to UAB from Case Western Reserve University.

September 13, 2013: The University of Alabama Board of Trustees approved the renaming of the UAB School of Business as the Collat School of Business in recognition of a $25 million gift of longtime supporters Charles and Patsy Collat.

September 13, 2013: For the fifth consecutive year, fall enrollment at UAB set a record. Total enrollment increased 3.6 percent, up to 18,568 students. Enrollment of freshmen also reached a record for the fifth consecutive year, and more than 69 percent of freshmen lived in on-campus housing.

September 21, 2013: The Alys Stephens Performing Arts center hosted the world premiere of A More Convenient Season, a multi-media orchestral work composed by Yotam Haber and commissioned by Tom Blount to commemorate the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham and the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church on September 15, 1963.

October 15, 2013: Dr. Selwyn M. Vickers became Senior Vice President for Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine.  Dr. Vickers, a native of Demopolis, Alabama, and a former member of the UAB surgery faculty, was chair of surgery at the University of Minnesota when his appointment was announced in August.

October 25, 2013: UAB announced the largest philanthropic campaign in university history, The Campaign for UAB: Give Something, Change Everything, with a goal of raising $1 billion by the end of 2018.

November 13, 2013: Dr. John F. Kearney presented the fiftieth annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture, "How One Year Turned Into Forty Years at UAB."

January 3, 2014: UAB Campus Ride and Campus Escort services were discontinued.

January 6, 2014: The Blazer Express Transit System, UAB's new campus-wide bus and shuttle system, launched with six routes available at no cost to UAB students, staff, and authorized campus visitors.

January 15, 2014: The Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (AEIVA) was formally dedicated.  Named for UAB benefactors Hal and Judy Abroms and Marvin and Ruth Engel, the striking new facility houses the university's art galleries, administrative and faculty offices, and the Department of Art and Art History.  AEIVA was opened to the public on the following day.

January 22, 2014: In a press conference in Bartow Arena, Bill Clark was introduced as the fifth head coach of the Blazer Football team. Clark was hired away from Jacksonville State University, where he led the team to a record season of 11-4 and the NCAA Division I playoffs for the first time in school history.

April 2014: John M. Meador, Jr., was named as the inaugural dean of UAB Libraries. Meador, who was the dean of the library at SUNY Binghamton, became the university's first library dean in August.

May 22, 2014: UAB Medicine Urgent Care was opened at 125 South 20th Street, on the street level of the Cityville apartment complex adjacent to Birmingham's Railroad Park. The walk-in clinic will be open seven days a week for non-life-threatening illnesses.

June 1, 2014: Dr. Kelly K. Nichols, from the University of Houston, became the sixth dean of the School of Optometry. Her appointment had been announced in February.

June 1, 2014: Dr. J. Fred Olive, a long time member of the library faculty, became interim director of the Mervyn Sterne Library upon the retirement of Dr. Jerry W. Stephens.

June 3, 2014: Dr. Shannon Blanton was named as the inaugural dean of the UAB Honors College. Dr. Blanton comes to UAB from the University of Memphis.

July 2014: The UAB Concert Choir won three medals out of three entered competitions at the Interkultur World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia. UAB received a gold medal in the Mixed Youth Choir category and silver medals in the Sacred Music with Accompaniment and Spiritual categories. UAB competed with 450 choirs from 60 countries.

August 5, 2014: John M. Meador, Jr., became the inaugural dean of UAB Libraries upon the administrative merger of UAB's two libraries, the Mervyn H. Sterne Library and the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences.

August 25, 2014: For the sixth consecutive year, fall enrollment at UAB set a record. Total enrollment increased to 18,698 students. Over 68 percent of the freshmen class lived in on-campus housing.

September 1, 2014: Lisa Tamiris Becker became the first director of the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (AEIVA).

September 5, 2014: A new statue of Blaze the Dragon was installed in front of Bartow Arena. The multi-color fiberglass sculpture was created by local artist Ira Chaffin.

October 2014: Dr. Murali Venugopalan became the director of UAB's English Language Institute (ELI). He came to UAB from Virginia Commonwealth University.

November 12, 2014: Dr. Kirby I. Bland presented the fifty-first annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture, "Evolution of Evidence-Based Science and Education at UAB."

November 22, 2014: Ameen Barghi, a double-major in the undergraduate neuroscience program, became the third UAB student to be named as a Rhodes Scholar. Barghi, who was also a member of the UAB Science and Technology Honors Program, had received a Goldwater Scholarship during his sophomore year.

November 2014: In the newly renovated Comprehensive Cancer Center, two new rooms were dedicated in honor of the first two directors of the Center, the John R. Durant, MD, Educational Facility and the Albert and Rita LoBuglio Board Room.

December 2, 2014: UAB President Ray L. Watts formally announced that at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year the university would eliminate three athletics programs, football, women’s rifle, and women’s bowling. Dr. Watts also announced the appointment of Shannon Ealy as the interim Director of Athletics.

December 2014: With over $225 million in research funds for the fiscal year, UAB ranked 10th in the nation in funding provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The medical school had more than $156.3 million and moved up from 31st to 26th in NIH funding.

2014: An area on the planet Mars was named for Dr. Thomas Wdowiak, a former professor of physics at UAB. Wdowiak, who died in 2013, was a member of the NASA Mars Exploration Rover Project and operated the Mossbauer spectrometers onboard the Spirit and Opportunity rover missions. The 500-foot-long Wdowiak Ridge rises 40 feet above the western rim of the Endeavour Crater. More than 20 rocks on the ridge were given names for places related to Wdowiak’s life and career, including Birmingham, Red Mountain, Bessemer, and Hoover.

2014: A gift from the Hugh Kaul Foundation established the Hugh Kaul Personalized Medicine Institute. Dr. Nita A. Limdi was named as interim director.

January 15, 2015: Dr. Jeffrey A. Engler, associate dean, was named as interim dean of the UAB Graduate School following the retirement of Dean Bryan D. Noe.

January 22, 2015: Dr. James J. Cimino was named as inaugural director of the Informatics Institute within the School of Medicine. The Institute had been approved by the University of Alabama Board of Trustees in June 2014. Dr. Cimino, a national leader in the field of biomedical informatics, came to UAB from the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine.

March 14, 2015: The UAB Blazers defeated the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 73-60 to win the C-USA men's basketball championship, UAB's first Conference USA basketball title. The C-USA tournament was co-hosted by UAB and the City of Birmingham and games were held in UAB's Bartow Arena and in Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center. The Blazers received an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, the program's 15th appearance.

March 19, 2015: In a game held in Louisville, Kentucky, as part of the South Region of the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament, the 14-seeded UAB Blazers upset the third-seeded Big 12 champion Iowa State by the score of 60 to 59. This was the Blazer's 15th overall appearance in the tournament and was Jerod Haase's first tournament win as a Head Coach.

March 30, 2015: “Complex Vision,” artist Yaacov Agam’s towering kinetic sculpture, was returned to the façade of the Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital after it had been restored by Agam and by Art Creations and Renovations, a business located in Florida. Reinstallation of the work began on March 26.

April 25, 2015: UAB awarded 2,724 degrees in several commencement ceremonies. Sixty students from 14 states and five countries received doctoral degrees from the UAB Graduate School. UAB’s first Bachelor of Science degree in public health was awarded and, for the first time the program’s history, UAB honored newly commissioned officers from the Air Force and Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).

May 5, 2015: UAB officially introduced Mark Ingram as the university's fifth Director of Athletics. Ingram, who played football for the Tennessee Volunteers, came to UAB from Temple University.

May 11, 2015: UAB was named as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, the first hospital in the state to receive such certification.

June 1, 2015: Six months after announcing the elimination of the UAB bowling, rifle, and football teams, UAB President Ray L. Watts announced that his decision was being reversed and the three teams would be reinstated. No timetable was announced, but football was expected to return in time for the 2016 season.

June 13, 2015: A crowd of 9,347 attended a World Heavyweight Championship match in Birmingham as world-title holder and Alabama native Deontay Wilder knocked out No. 7 Eric Molina in the ninth round in Bartow Arena at UAB. This was the first time a championship bout had ever been held in the State of Alabama and it was the largest crowd to ever attend an event at Bartow.

July 6, 2015: In a non-scientific online poll, UAB affiliates voted overwhelmingly to reinstate the name of “Gang Green” for the Official Student Fan Club of UAB Athletics. Gang Green, which had been the name used for decades before being replaced in the fall of 2014 by “The Inferno,” received 73.75% of the votes.

July 15, 2015: Dr. John R. Jones, III, became vice president for Student Affairs. Dr. Jones, whose selection had been announced in June, came to UAB from the University of North Carolina-Pembroke.

July 20, 2015: UAB opened a mental health and wellness clinic for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning individuals. Under the direction of the UAB Department of Psychiatry, members of the LGBTQ community will be seen in the clinic located on the third floor of the Callahan Eye Hospital Building.

July 2015: UAB acquired the Paula Building at 728 Richard J. Arrington, Jr., Boulevard.

August 24, 2015: Dr. Lori L. McMahon was named as dean of the UAB Graduate School. Dr. McMahon, a professor of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology and the Jarman F. Lowder Professor of Neuroscience at UAB, became dean on the first of October.

October 1, 2015: Anna M. Thompson became executive director of the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Thompson came to UAB from the University of Notre Dame.

November 2015: Dr. Sarah Parcak, an associate professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences, was announced as the recipient of the 2016 TED Prize for her pioneering work using satellite imaging to make archaeological discoveries on earth. Parcak received the $1 million prize during the TED Conference in Vancouver, Canada, in February 2016.

December 2, 2015: Dr. Sergio B. Stagno presented the fifty-second annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture, "Building the Department of Pediatrics: A Team Effort, 1988-2014."

2015: For the fall term, the largest-ever number of students lived on the UAB campus, a total of 2,486 students representing 21 countries.

2015: Dr. Martin J. Heslin became chief of the medical staff at University Hospital.

2015: Alesia Jones became the fourth chair of the UAB Commission on the Status of Women.

2015: The School of Medicine established the Alabama chapter of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship following the Medical Education Committee’s decision to incorporate service learning as a standard part of the medical school curriculum. The Alabama chapter is open to students in UAB’s schools of Dentistry, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Public Health, as well as graduate students from other schools within the state.

2015: For the fiscal year of 2015, UAB received $219 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, ranking 10th in NIH funding among public universities. The total extramural research grant awards received at UAB for the fiscal year was over $430 million.

2015: Anne L. Buckley was recruited to UAB from Virginia Commonwealth University to serve as the university's Chief Communications Officer and Associate Vice President.

January 6, 2016: Several hundred staff attended an open forum about the proposed UAB Staff Council. When formally established later in 2016, the UAB Staff Council will be comprised by two employees from each administrative unit reporting to the president, the vice presidents and deans, and the athletic director.

January 15, 2016: Dr. Paulette Patterson Dilworth became vice president for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the first African American female named as a vice president at UAB.

January 20, 2016: The Hill Student Center was officially dedicated. The new facility, which had opened to the campus community in December 2015, replaced UAB's former student services building. Both student centers were named in honor of Dr. S. Richardson Hill, Jr., UAB's second president.

January 23, 2016: The Men's Basketball team defeated North Texas 78-57 in Bartow Arena to set a UAB school record of consecutive wins (at 14). With a conference record of 7-0, the Blazers were also in first place in C-USA. When SMU lost the following day, UAB became the school with the nation's longest active winning streak at 14 games.

January 29, 2016: Dr. Tina Kempin Reuter was announced as director of the new UAB Institute for Human Rights. Dr. Reuter came to UAB in February from Christopher Newport University in Virginia.

February 1, 2016: UAB President Ray L. Watts announced the increase in the minimum wage to $11.00 per hour for all UAB and UAB Medicine employees, above the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour.

February 16, 2016: UAB space archaeologist Dr. Sarah Parcak announced at the TED conference in Vancouver, Canada, that her $1 million TED prize would be used to build an online, crowd-sourced citizen science platform to allow anyone across the globe to help discover and protect new historical sites.

March 11-12, 2016: UAB served as the host institution for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships held at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

March 25, 2016: Jerod Haase left UAB when he was hired as the head basketball coach of the Stanford Cardinal. Haase left with a record of 80-53 during his four seasons coaching the Blazers.

April 6, 2016: Robert "Rob" Ehsan was announced as the sixth Head Coach of men's basketball just nine days after being named as interim. Ehsan was formerly an assistant coach for the Blazers.

April 2016 It was announced that UAB anthropology professor Sarah Parcak, a space archaeologist, had likely discovered a Viking settlement located on the southern point of Newfoundland, Canada. This find could rewrite the history of the discovery of North America as it would prove that the Vikings had traveled further into the new continent than had previously been known.

May 25, 2016: An orientation meeting was held for the new UAB Staff Council, comprised of 39 staff members from 21 departments across the units of the university.

June 11, 2016: UAB student Hayley Barber of Pelham, a senior marketing major, was selected as the new Miss Alabama. Barber competed as Miss Shelby County.

July 2016: Gene Fambrough became the interim director of bands, including the UAB Marching Blazers.

August 29, 2016: A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the UAB Football Operations Center and Legacy Pavilion. Later that day, the UAB Green and Gold game was held at the university’s BBVA Compass Field.

August 2016: A record 19,535 students enrolled at UAB for the fall semester, an increase of 6.56 percent. The freshman class, the largest in school history, grew to 2,021 students, an increase of 24.7 percent from the previous year.

August 2016: UAB became the first institution in the State of Alabama to be recognized with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. UAB was selected because of its exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives and its broad concept of diversity.

September 1, 2016: C. Ray Hayes became the seventh chancellor of the three-campus University of Alabama System.

September 1, 2016: Dr. Michelle Fanucchi, associate professor of Environmental Health Sciences, became UAB’s inaugural ombuds, an independent, confidential and impartial resource for faculty.

September 7, 2016: An open house served as the formal opening of the UAB Institute for Human Rights. The IHR is housed on the fifth floor of Heritage Hall.

November 1, 2016: The UAB Callahan Eye Hospital Clinic – Cahaba River opened in the Altadena community along the Highway 280 and Interstate 459 corridor. The clinic offered full ophthalmological and optometric services and housed a full-service, in-house optical store.

2016: Anita Clemon became the fifth chair of the UAB Commission on the Status of Women.

2016: The State of Alabama became the first state in the country to host institutions receiving five EPSCoR Track II grants, four of which were awarded to UAB. EPSCoR stands for Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

2016: University Hospital at UAB is licensed for 1,157 beds, making it the 16th largest hospital in the country.

2016: For the 2016 fiscal year, UAB had $538 million in research funding, ranking No. 15 nationally among public universities, No. 31 overall in federal funding, and No. 6 among Southeastern universities. UAB received over $281 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, and was the recipient of 85 percent of the NIH-funding granted to the State of Alabama.

2016: UAB was ranked as the third largest US public academic medical center.

2016: UAB installed the largest solar-energy system in Birmingham atop the Campus Recreation Center. The 100-panel system will generate power for the university and will be used for coursework and research by faculty and students. Weather sensors on the system will also be used by the emergency management staff.

2016: At the end of the calendar year, the UAB Capital Campaign had raised more than $771.8 million towards the goal of $1 billion.

January 2017: Jessica Angel, an artist living in New York, became the first artist-in-residence for the UAB AEIVA. Angel’s installation, titled “Facing the Hyperstructure,” was unveiled to the public March 31 after a 14-week residency at UAB.

February 15, 2017: Dr. Karen M. Meneses presented the fifty-third annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture, "From Bataan to Birmingham: Stories of Survivors."

March 8-11, 2017: For the third consecutive year, UAB and the City of Birmingham hosted the Conference USA championship tournament for men's and women's basketball. Men's games were held at the Legacy Arena at the BJCC and women's games started in UAB's Bartow Arena before moving to Legacy Arena for the semifinals and finals.

March 9, 2017: UAB announced the establishment of the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative in partnership with the private HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama. The Initiative will begin a statewide effort to “harness the power of genomic analysis to help identify those at high risk for genetic disease.”

April 1, 2017: Dr. John R. Jones, III, vice president for Student Affairs, became UAB's interim provost.

April 13, 2017: The new INTO UAB Center, housed on the second floor of the Mervyn H. Sterne Library, was officially dedicated. INTO UAB seeks to increase the global diversity of the UAB student body and increase the international opportunities for domestic students. David Hoffman was the center’s executive director.

May 5, 2017 The first 18 students graduated from the Innovate Birmingham Workforce program, a coalition of business leaders in Birmingham led by UAB. In 2016 the workforce program received a $6 million grant to train un- or under-employed young adults for high-demand information technology careers.

May 9, 2017: A record crowd of 5,344 saw the UAB Blazers Baseball team defeat number fourteen ranked Auburn Tigers 8-2 in a game at Regions Field.

May 2017: Dr. Sean Murray became director of bands, including the UAB Marching Blazers.

June 14, 2017: UAB unveiled a partially completed two bedroom, two bathroom solar house, complete with a tornado safe room, designed and being built by students as part of the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s 2017 Solar Decathlon in Denver, Colorado. Approximately 60 undergraduate and graduate students participated in the project with faculty advisor Dr. Hessam Taherian, assistant professor in the School of Engineering. The UAB team finished in fifth place.

June 2017: The Campus Recreation Center at UAB hosted the racquetball competition during the 30th National Senior Games. The games were held at venues around the City of Birmingham and in surrounding municipalities between June 2 and June 15.

July 1, 2017: Dr. Pam Benoit became Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Benoit came to UAB from Ohio University.

July 1, 2017: Dr. Lynn Kirkland, chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, became interim dean of the School of Education.

July 1, 2017: Dr. Matthew Might became the inaugural director of the Hugh Kaul Personalized Medicine Institute. UAB had announced his recruitment in February.

July 2017: Dr. Keith A. “Tony” Jones became the ninth president of the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation. Dr. Jones was also named as the inaugural Chief Physician Executive for UAB Medicine.

August 1, 2017: Dr. Michael J. Birrer became the fourth director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Birrer, a specialist in gynecologic cancers, came to UAB from Harvard and the Massachusetts General Hospital.

August 12, 2017: Kevin Wang of Taiwan became the first international student to graduate through the INTO UAB program. Wang completed a master’s degree program in biotechnology (School of Health Professions) in three semesters.

August 18, 2017: A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to dedicate the UAB Football Operations Center and the Legacy Pavilion.

September 2017: UAB announced a record enrollment with 20,902 students, an increase of seven percent from 2016. The university’s freshman class increased 14 percent to a record total of 2,299 students. Enrollment increases were seen at the undergraduate (6.18 percent), masters (10.51 percent), and doctoral (4.36 percent) levels.

September 1, 2017: Over 25,000 attended the UAB House Party in Birmingham's Uptown Entertainment District to hear a concert by recording star Sam Hunt. The UAB House Party was held to celebrate the return of the Blazers football program. Sam Hunt was the quarterback of the Blazers in 2006 and 2007.

September 2, 2017: The UAB Blazers football team returned to the field after a two-season absence, defeating the Bulldogs of Alabama A&M by a score of 38-7. A record crowd of 45,212 attended the return game at Legion Field.

September 19, 2017: An official groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new classroom building for the College of Arts and Sciences that will be located on the southwest corner of the Campus Green.

September 25, 2017: A ribbon-cutting ceremony opened the new UAB Meadow Classroom in a 1,500 acre wooded area within Birmingham’s Red Mountain Park. Over 600 UAB volunteer students, staff, and faculty spent more than 2,400 work hours to clean and prepare the meadow as an outdoor classroom.

October 2017: UAB announced the expansion of its campus supercomputer to 450 teraflops, making the university’s supercomputer the fastest in the state of Alabama and one of the five fastest at an academic institution in the Southeast. UAB IT named the supercomputer “Cheaha” in honor of the highest peak in Alabama.

November 1, 2017: Dr. Peter M. Ginter became interim dean of the School of Public Health.

November 3, 2017: The University of Alabama Board of Trustees approved the Magic City LGBT Health Studies Endowed Faculty Scholar Fund for the UAB School of Public Health.

2017: UAB’s economic impact on the Alabama economy was reported at $7.15 billion annually, with the university supporting 64,292 jobs throughout the state. It was also reported that UAB generated $25 for every $1 received in state funding. The University remained the largest single employer in the State of Alabama with over 23,000 employees.

January 30, 2018: UAB broke ground for Proton International at UAB. Planned for completion in 2020, UAB's new proton therapy center is a collaborative effort between UAB and Proton International.

February 13, 2018: The six members of the Gold Team of the US Air Force Special Operations Surgical Team (SOST), based out of University Hospital at UAB, were awarded Bronze Star Medals for their actions during the unit’s four-month 2016 deployment in the Middle East. The awarding ceremony was held in UAB hospital. In 2010 UAB became one of the first two civilian hospitals in the US to host a SOST.

March 3, 2018: The Women's Basketball team defeated UT-San Antonio 74-66 to win their first Conference-USA regular season championship. The Blazers record of 24-5 matched their best season record, and the 13-3 conference record was the best in the team's history.

March 5, 2018: Dr. Victor Darley-Usmar presented the fifty-fourth annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture, "Who Moved My Electron?"

March 2018: UAB named LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. UAB was one of 418 institutions to score the maximum in the areas of: LGBTQ patient-centered care; LGBTQ patient services and support, employee benefits, and policies; and LGBTQ patient and community engagement.

April 28, 2018: The first six students to complete their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre graduated from UAB.

April 2018: A renovation project began on the BBVA Compass Field to expand the facility to 4,000 seats and to add a new video board and permanent ticket booths, concession stands, and restrooms. The project, which is due to be completed by the end of the year, was initiated because UAB and the United Soccer League (USL) have agreed for the Birmingham Legion, the city’s new professional soccer team, to begin play at the UAB facility starting in March 2019.

May 1, 2018: Dr. Michelle A. Robinson became interim dean of the School of Dentistry. Dr. Robinson joined the UAB faculty in 2005 and had been serving as associate dean at the time of her appointment.

May 27, 2018: The UAB Concert Choir, under the direction of Brian Kittredge, made its Carnegie Hall debut when the choir performed at the New York City venue as part of the 2018 Gotham SINGS! Collegiate Choir Showcase.

June 16, 2018: At the 2018 Southeast Regional Emmy Awards the office of University Relations won UAB's first Emmy award, winning in the "Outstanding Sports-Feature Segment" category for "More than a Game." The video showcased the UAB Football team's 2017 game when Blazer players wore the names of patients from Children's Harbor on their team jerseys.

June 2018: UAB was ranked the top young university in the US and No. 10 worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2018 Young University Rankings.

July 1, 2018: Dr. Autumn Tooms Cypres became the sixth dean of the School of Education.

August 1, 2018: Finis E. St. John, IV, a member of the Board of Trustees since 2002, became the interim chancellor of the three-campus University of Alabama System.

August 1, 2018: Dr. Paul Campbell Erwin became the sixth dean of the School of Public Health. Dr. Erwin is a graduate of the medical school at UAB.

August 9, 2018: A new building for the UAB Police Department was opened on South 14th Street. The new headquarters is a two-story, 28,000 square-foot facility.

August 17, 2018: Dr. Michael Saag, director of the UAB Center for AIDS Research, received the inaugural Marchase Award. The award honors a UAB investigator who leads/promotes interdisciplinary research and is named in honor of Dr. Richard B. Marchase, former vice president for Research and Economic Development and former interim president of UAB.

August 24, 2018: The Collat School of Business Building was formally opened along the north side of University Boulevard. The 108,000 square-foot facility houses the business school, the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the UAB Regions Institute for Financial Education, and the UAB Healthcare Leadership Academy.

August 29, 2018: A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the new Intramural and Club Sport Field Complex at 1101 5th Avenue South, directly across the street from the Football Operations Center. The new fields are home to all of UAB’s outdoor intramural and club sports. The complex may also be reserved for official UAB groups and organizations.

September 6, 2018: A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the expanded School of Nursing Building. The recently completed expansion project added over 72,000 square-feet of space and drastically changed the front of the building along University Boulevard.

September 2018: UAB enrollment for the fall semester was 21,923, a record for the third consecutive year. Enrollment increased 4.88 percent from the previous year. The UAB student body is one of the most diverse in the nation, with 39.7 percent minority for the total student enrollment and 40.5 percent minority for the freshman class. The students are 21.9 percent African American and 61.9 percent female. Over 1,049 international students from over 100 countries are enrolled at UAB.

November 15, 2018: UAB broke ground for a new student residence hall, to be located on 10th Avenue South on the site of the demolished Smolian International House and Sorority Square Building. The building will house 730 students and will become the university's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver building.

November 2018: Birmingham's Energen Company donated its "Wonders of America" art collection to UAB upon the energy company's merger with an out-of-state company. The "Wonders of Alabama" collection contains over 265 oil, watercolor, and mixed media artworks collected by Energen between 1999 and 2015 as part of its juried art competition showcasing Alabama artists. The collection will be displayed and used by the university's Arts in Medicine (AIM) program and the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.

November 2018: UAB reported a record $527 million in research grants and awards for the fiscal year ending October 2018. This was the first time UAB had passed $500 million in funding for a 12-month reporting period. The $527 million was a $48 million (10 percent) increase from fiscal year 2017.

November 2018: UAB announced its Capital Campaign had reached the campaign target of $1 billion and had surpassed the goal by over $2 million. The campaign was the largest in school history.

December 1, 2018: In the Conference USA Championship held in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the UAB Blazers defeated Middle Tennessee (MTSU) 27-25 to win the university's first conference football championship. The Blazers ended the regular season with an overall record 10-3 and conference 7-1; the best year ever for UAB football. Sophomore running back Spencer Brown was named MVP of the championship game.

December 4, 2018: UAB announced a $30 million gift from O'Neal Industries that will transform the university cancer center and rename it as the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB. This $30 million is the largest single gift in the history of UAB.

December 13, 2018: Coach Bill Clark selected as the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America. That same week, Coach Clark was also selected as Coach of the Year by Sporting News and as the National Coach of the Year by CBS Sports, the first time CBS Sports had selected the same coach in consecutive seasons.

December 18, 2018: The UAB Blazers defeated Northern Illinois 37-13 in the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl before more than 22,600 fans in Boca Raton, Florida. The Blazers ended with a program record 11-3 season, its first conference championship, and its first bowl victory. The bowl's co-MVPs were wide receiver Xavier Ubosi (offense) and Anthony Rush (defense).

January 5, 2019: At a ceremony in San Jose, California, UAB Coach Bill Clark accepted the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award from the Football Writers Association of America.

March 10, 2019: The Birmingham Legion competed in its first soccer match at UAB's BBVA Compass Field. The Legion lost 2-0 to the Bethlehem Steel before a standing-room only crowd of 5,807. Twenty home games for the USL team's inaugural season were scheduled for BBVA Compass Field, the Legion's home field.

March 15, 2019: Lili Anderson became the first executive director of Visual and Performing Arts upon the administrative merger of the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center and the Abroms-Engels Institute for Visual Arts (AEIVA).

March 18, 2019: Dr. Mona N. Fouad presented the fifty-fifth annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture, "When Health Disparities Became Science."

April 1, 2019: Dr. Donna Slovensky, a long-time member of the school faculty, became interim dean of the School of Health Professions.

April 6, 2019: The UAB Bioethics Team won its third national championship at the National Bioethics Bowl held in Mobile, Alabama. Dr. Gregory Pence was the team’s coach.

April 12, 2019: Finis E. St. John, IV, a member of the Board of Trustees since 2002, became the eighth chancellor of the three-campus University of Alabama System. St. John had served as interim chancellor since August 2018.

April 17, 2019: Dr. Ravi Bhatia became the interim director of the UAB O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center.

May 2019: Best Colleges named UAB as the best college for LGBTQ students in the state of Alabama.

May 2019: Dr. Virginia Lolley became chief-of-staff for the UAB Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital, the first female named to the position. Dr. Lolley, a member of the faculty of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, had previously served as hospital president from 2013 until 2015.

June 2019: For the second consecutive year, Times Higher Education ranked UAB as the top Young University (50 years or under) in the United States.

July 1, 2019: Dr. Andrew J. Butler became the fourth dean of the School of Health Professions. Dr. Butler came to UAB from Georgia State University.

July 2019: Dr. Russell S. Taichman became the ninth dean of the School of Dentistry. Dr. Taichman came to UAB from the University of Michigan.

July 2019: Conference USA announced its new athletics Conference Hall of Fame. UAB had three honorees in the inaugural class of 25, Coach Gene Bartow; student-athlete Deanna Jackson (Women's Basketball); and student-athlete Graeme McDowell (Men's Golf).

August 15, 2019: Dr. Timothy Wick, of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, became the interim dean of the School of Engineering.

September 2019: For the fourth consecutive year, UAB set an enrollment record for the fall term with 22,080 students. This was the first time UAB had more than 22,000 students. The entering first-time freshman class rose 2 percent to 2,346 students.

November 12, 2019: The Jefferson County Commission voted to approve UAB's University Healthcare Authority plan, allowing the UAB Health System to assume the daily management of the county-operated Cooper Green Mercy Health Services. The management transition for the Cooper Green hospital will take place in 2020.