UA In the News — Dec. 16-18

  • December 18th, 2017

UA launches campaign for new performing arts center
Birmingham Business Journal – Dec. 15
The performing arts scene in Alabama is getting a major boost. A $15 million fundraising campaign is underway for a new performing arts center on the former Bryce Hospital property at the University of Alabama. The Performing Arts Academic Center will include a black box theater, a proscenium style theater, a dance venue, and a studio dance theater, which will replace the Marian Gallaway Theater, Allen Bales Theatre and Morgan Auditorium.

More than 2,200 graduate Saturday from Alabama
Tuscaloosa News – Dec. 16
Holt native Debra Marshall left college in the 1980s for a career in entertainment including time as a professional wrestler. Anthony Reed spent years as a factory worker and welder. The two non-traditional students beginning new chapters were among more than 2,200 graduates who received degrees Saturday during commencement exercises in Coleman Coliseum at the University of Alabama. Debra Marshall, a former World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment star, completed her master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice.

After working hard for Senate seat, Jones may have to work harder to keep it
Decatur Daily – Dec. 18
Democrat Doug Jones’ honeymoon in the U.S. Senate will be a short one, with Alabama Republicans already gunning for the seat in 2020. Jones’ campaign is being credited with a massive get-out-the-vote campaign in his victory Tuesday over Republican Roy Moore. Now he faces a battle to keep the job and will have to play some smart politics in the next two years … “He sold himself on his ability to work across party lines, so he’s going to have to do that,” University of Alabama political science professor Richard Fording said. And he’ll have to vote with Republicans from time to time.
Florence Times Daily – Dec. 18

Democrats Should Follow the Doug Jones Playbook on Abortion Rights
Slate – Dec. 17
As the Democratic Party looks back on this year and concocts its formula for 2018, party leaders may clash on what lessons to extract from the improbable victory of Doug Jones, Alabama’s first Democratic senator-elect in a quarter-century … “When you look at the public opinion data, there aren’t that many hardcores who believe abortion should never be legal,” Richard Fording, a University of Alabama political science professor, told before the election.
Political News – Dec. 17
Boycott threats to positive press: How Alabama’s Senate election swung state tourism – Dec. 17
In the days leading to Tuesday’s special Senate election, Lee Sentell and his staff at the Alabama Tourism Department were inundated with snarky tweets from people threatening to boycott vacations in Alabama. “If Alabamians choose (Roy) Moore … Major Boycott of Alabama should ensue” one tweet said … Kimberly Severt, an associate professor and hospitality program director with the College of Human Environmental Sciences at the University of Alabama, said the post-election coverage is going to help Alabama’s overall image, which could spinoff with a tourism bump.
Greezoo – Dec. 17

Meet the intermediate musk turtle, Alabama’s newest turtle species
Bham Now – Dec. 16
Peter Scott, a post doctoral scholar at UCLA, who received his PhD at the University of Alabama was not trying to discover a new species of turtle. 

LEND A HAND: UA students donate $15K to SAFE Center
Tuscaloosa News – Dec. 16
The Student Government Association at the University of Alabama has donated $15,250 to help build a state-of-the-art facility designed specifically for sexual assault victims. In November, the SGA held a fundraising campaign for the Tuscaloosa SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner) Center. About 30 student organizations participated in the campaign, which was capped by a 12-team powder-puff football tournament at the University Recreation soccer field.

THE PORT RAIL: Extolling the virtues of wisdom
Tuscaloosa News – Dec. 17
Getting old is not a choice. I suspect all of us would chose to do so, rather than the obvious alternative. Youngsters (those under 50) really don’t think about it very much. Those in their 90s are grateful they can move, though some stay active until the end. Pablo Picasso, I once read, stayed active nearly until his death at 91, painting away his crazy doodles that passed for art several generations ago. (Larry Clayton is a retired University of Alabama history professor. Readers can email him at

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