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UNA celebrates Year of the UNA Woman 150 years after admitting first female

The University of North Alabama is celebrating 150 years of admitting women on their campus with the Year of the UNA Woman, which kicked off on June 1 with a website and the launch of UNA Magazine, produced entirely by women.

Over the course of the next 14 months, the UNA Magazine will feature a large variety of articles detailing the history of women on campus, as well as highlight upcoming events celebrating the Year of the UNA Woman.

Women like Ann Berry, who graduated from UNA in 1978 and was appointed in March as the 34th Secretary of the United States Senate; the first African-American and the eighth woman to serve in that role.

“It is wonderful for UNA to celebrate 150 years of admitting women to the University,” Berry said. “Our successes as women represent a powerful array of accomplishments, and we must remain committed to opening doors for others. I’m proud to be a product of one of the best universities in the state of Alabama.”

The University of North Alabama was originally named the State Normal School at Florence when it opened its doors to women in 1872, making Alabama’s oldest four-year university the first state-supported co-educational institution in the southeast. The university is proud to
observe this sesquicentennial, 150 years later, with the Year of the UNA Woman.

A task force of over two dozen campus and community members are responsible for not only planning the many celebratory events in honor of the sesquicentennial, but they are also putting together a hardcover book and producing podcasts to commemorate the milestone anniversary.

“This is an exciting and important anniversary for the University of North Alabama,” said Dr. Jeffrey Bibbee and Michelle Eubanks, co-chairs of the Year of the UNA Woman Task Force appointed by Dr. Ken Kitts, UNA president. “Women have long been trailblazers at the institution, and we will celebrate their contributions throughout UNA’s history in the months ahead. This sesquicentennial is an opportunity for the University to firmly and unequivocally take its place in Alabama and the region for its progressive and inclusive history.”

Sara Watkins is a contributing writing for Yellowhammer Multimedia. You can follow her on Instagram at @saralwatkins

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