TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s newest student residence hall has been named for one of the University’s and state’s greatest civic leaders, the Honorable John H. England Jr., a member of the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama System and circuit judge in Tuscaloosa.
UA President Stuart R. Bell made the surprise announcement at the Board of Trustees meeting in Birmingham Friday, Feb. 8.
“It is a privilege to announce the naming of our newest freshman residence hall in tribute to the Honorable Judge John England Jr., whose life of influence has made a lasting impact on this community, The University of Alabama and citizens of the entire state,” said Bell. “Judge England serves as a wonderful example to others, and his insights, experience and untiring compassion for UA students, faculty, staff and the citizens of Alabama reflect the mission of the UA System to impact others through excellence in teaching, research and service.”
The freshman residence hall, with more than 490 beds, is located near the Ferguson Student Center and Lakeside Dining facility and opened last fall. It features modern amenities in the middle of campus, including a convenience store.
“Alabama has no finer citizen or public servant than John England,” said interim UA System Chancellor Finis St. John IV. “He leads by example with integrity, wisdom and vision. This is a great day in the history of our system. I join with Judge England’s friends and family in congratulating him on this well-deserved honor.”
“John England Jr. Hall will be a campus landmark signifying the enormous contributions of one of Alabama’s most distinguished leaders,” Board President pro tempore Ron Gray said Friday. “It is a great honor to serve with Judge England on the Board of Trustees and witness first-hand the strength of his character and the depth of his commitment to our students and their success.
“On behalf of our Board, I want to express our deep appreciation to Trustee John England for all he has done and continues to do for our campuses and the Health System. We look forward to celebrating the dedication of the freshman residence hall with his family and friends. It will be a historic occasion for The University of Alabama.”
England’s life and career have been marked by distinguished leadership, including his tenure as a member of The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees since 1998. A native of Uniontown, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee Institute before serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
He later became one of the first African Americans to graduate from what is now the Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law at The University of Alabama, where he also earned the 2018 Sam W. Pipes Distinguished Alumnus Award.
England has served the Tuscaloosa city and county government in various roles. Elected to the Tuscaloosa City Council in 1985, he was first appointed to the Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court bench in 1993 and earned distinction as a member of the Alabama State Supreme Court (1999-2001). He is past state president of the Alabama Circuit Judges Association, the Alabama Lawyers Association and the Alabama Judicial Council. England volunteers his time with civic and professional organizations, including, among others, the Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, Salvation Army, Easter Seals of West Alabama and the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation.
“It is impossible to commemorate the full impact of Judge England’s dedication to our University, our communities and our state,” said Bell. “We hope those who see his name on this hall will aspire to his legendary commitment to service and leadership.”
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.