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UA Shelby Institute for Policy and Leadership officially opens, leadership team completed

The much-anticipated Shelby Institute for Policy and Leadership at the University of Alabama has officially opened its doors with an inaugural leadership team fully assembled.

Last week, former U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, along with UA President Stuart Bell, and stakeholders across government, academia and business, joined together on campus to cut the ribbon.

Housed in newly renovated Tuomey Hall, the institute will provide a premier, immersive learning community for students committed to shaping public policy and focus on nurturing and equipping the next generation of leaders through the Shelby Scholars program, according to the University of Alabama.

The inaugural cohort of the Shelby Scholars program will begin in fall 2024. Students will pursue a minor in public policy through a comprehensive curriculum designed to nurture intellectual curiosity and foster exploration through teaching and mentorship in research and service endeavors.

University of Alabama System Chancellor Emeritus Finis E. St. John IV is the first executive director of the Shelby Institute.

“Senator and Dr. Shelby, the University, and the Board of Trustees have shown great vision in creating the Shelby Institute for Policy and Leadership,” St. John said. “Through our mission to educate and train the next generation of leaders, the Institute will impact the future of the University, the state and the nation.”

RELATED: UA System Chancellor Finis St. John IV to lead Shelby Institute for Policy and Leadership

Former UA School of Law Dean Mark Brandon has been appointed as the Institute’s academic director.

“The vision for the Shelby Institute — offering students training in policy and governance, preparation for effective leadership and models for civic engagement across ideological lines — has the potential to make meaningful contributions to our state and nation,” Brandon said.

“I am honored to play a part in building this program and I look forward to serving alongside the excellent leader we have in Finis St. John.”

RELATED: UA System approves initiatives honoring Richard Shelby

Additionally, the recent hiring of Dr. Daniela Susnara as program director and Caroline Carpenter as director of operations has rounded out the new leadership team.

The Shelby Scholars program will begin in fall 2024. Students enrolled will pursue a minor in public policy through a comprehensive curriculum created to foster intellectual curiosity and foster exploration through teaching and mentorship in research and service endeavors.

The Institute will also house the official Senate papers, records, and materials donated by its namesake, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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