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 12 February 2020

January 6, 2020: Dr. Barry P. Sleckman of the Weill Cornell Medicine assumed duties as new director of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Sleckman had been selected the previous October.

January 13, 2020: Proton International at UAB, the state’s first proton therapy center, was opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The three-story facility is located on 20th Street South.

February 10, 2020: Jeffrey D. Graveline, a long-time member of the library faculty, became interim dean of UAB Libraries.

February 11, 2020: Dr. Gregg H. Gilbert presented the fifth-sixth annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture.

Chronology maintained by Tim L. Pennycuff and last updated 12 February 2020