5 months ago

University of Alabama highlights successful fundraising year

The University of Alabama (UA) announced Tuesday that it had raised $202.7 million during the recently concluded fiscal year, which ended September 30.

The $202.7 million came from a record-setting 63,277 donors for the University.

“Our alumni and donors continue to steadfastly support and advance UA’s growth and impact as a national leader in higher education,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell. “We will continue to be good stewards of our resources by intentionally investing in our students and their educational opportunities at Alabama.”A press release noted, “Highlighting the successful 2018-19 fiscal year was the $30 million Hewson Hall Building Campaign benefiting the Culverhouse College of Business. Initially announced in September 2018, the campaign now has the entire $30 million committed for the project. Named in recognition of a $15 million gift from two alumni, Marillyn and James Hewson, Hewson Hall is projected to cost $60 million, with half of that funded by the University and the other half from charitable contributions.”

“When we embarked upon the Hewson Hall campaign, there was no doubt in our minds that our base of alumni and friends of the College would see the positive impact that the building will have on our ability to teach students and foster college-wide collaboration,” said Dr. Kay M. Palan, dean of UA’s Culverhouse College of Business.

Palan added, “To see that we’ve easily met our fundraising goal by the fairly accelerated deadline is clear evidence that our network sees Hewson Hall as a component critical to the future growth of the College.”

Pending approval from The University of Alabama Board of Trustees, Hewson Hall, which is set to open in August 2021, will be constructed across the street from Mary Hewell Alston Hall on the western edge of UA’s campus. According to the press release, Hewson Hall will be “configured around a three-story atrium – a light-filled, dynamic space designed to connect faculty, staff, and students. Plans for the 108,000-square-foot building include 22 classrooms, 31 team collaboration rooms and several conference rooms and other gathering spaces.”

“Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Hewson Hall Building Campaign, including the campaign cabinet, for their generosity to and enthusiasm for The University of Alabama,” said C.T. Fitzpatrick, chair of the campaign cabinet. “As a result of their efforts, we were able to complete a successful campaign in record time, which will expedite the impact this facility will have on students and faculty.”

The press release also highlighted some of the generous gifts from the Holle Family Foundation, Alabama Power Foundation and Coca-Cola Foundation, as well as the successful completion of the Blackburn Institute Legacy Endowment Campaign:

— A $10 million gift commitment from the Holle Family Foundation, of Birmingham, will establish the Holle Center for Communication Arts, an interdisciplinary center in the College of Communication and Information Sciences. The generous gift, which represents the largest commitment to-date for C&IS, honors the life of Brig. Gen. Everett Hughes Holle and his dedication to his alma mater and the profound impact he made on the field of communication.

— A $1.4 million grant from the Alabama Power Foundation established the Alabama Power Endowed Innovation and Talent Retention Fund, which will develop and sustain resources dedicated to business innovation and entrepreneurship, creating a lasting positive economic impact on the state of Alabama and its citizens.

— The Coca-Cola Foundation is continuing its support for the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars program at UA with a new four-year grant award of $1 million. The program was first established at UA in 2006 with an initial $1 million gift. Since then, the Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded $4 million to support first generation students at Alabama.

— The Blackburn Institute Legacy Endowment Campaign was established with the goal of raising $2.1 million to double the size of the Institute’s endowment in celebration of its 25th anniversary. Thanks to the work of the volunteer committee, the campaign exceeded its goal, raising more than $2.2 million, half of which will be dedicated to the creation of a Statewide Fellows Support Fund, ensuring the financial and human resources necessary for the next phase of growth.

“Our donors have once again responded to the call for philanthropic support of the Capstone in a tremendous way. With their support, the University is positioning itself for even greater success,” said Bob Pierce, vice president for advancement.

“Hewson Hall is the crowning achievement of our fundraising year, and we look forward to that facility becoming a reality,” Pierce continued. “In addition, we have now averaged more than $200 million in new gifts and pledges the last two years, and those commitments are making an impact across campus in the form of new and enhanced scholarships, new chairs and professorships supporting our world-class faculty and new facilities to improve the student experience.”

He added, “The University is excelling in so many ways under Dr. Bell’s leadership, and we are fortunate to have him at the Capstone.”

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

3 hours ago

OK, it’s time to start talking about opening up Alabama’s economy

The irresponsibility of the media, national public health officials and China has effectively destroyed our economy, individual businesses and American lives.

It is time to look for the exit ramp.

On March 14, Ramsey Archibald, son of John Archibald, was responsible for a completely ridiculous piece of video that rightly scared the heck out of many Alabamians.

437

Archibald helped push the message that 2.5 million Alabamians would get the coronavirus, adding, “Let’s be conservative and say 50% get COVID-19.”

But wait, there’s more.

The video also makes the following claims:

  • 500,000 will need to be treated at a hospital.
  • 125,000 will need treatment at an intensive care unit.
  • 25,000 people could die

The Alabama Media Group “data reporter” painted this projection of millions getting sick and 25,000 dead as the best-case scenario.

He — and his publication — got it wrong. Big time.

But it worked. In concert with other lunatics, they declared that Alabama Governor Kay Ivey wanted people to die, or was at least cool with it, if she didn’t declare Alabama to be a “shelter-in-place” state.

After all, they just heard of such a thing and the smart states were doing it, so the dummies in Alabama should do it as well.

I, for my part, saw this for what it was and pointed out that at some point the governor’s office would cave and make the order, so she should just do it.

That’s exactly what happened.

The numbers began to change.

March 14 — 25,000
March 31 — 1,700
April 1 — 7,300+
April 2 — 5,500+
April 5 — 923
April 8 — 634

Now, this other info came from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projections.

Archibald’s info? A CBS News piece and a calculator. The projection went from 25,000 to 634 in less than a month.

The national line moved from 2.2 million to 60,000+ in that same time frame.

But the storyline didn’t reflect that change.

“People will die!” after all.

It won’t change now either.

It’s time to acknowledge that Alabama should be figuring out how to get back open for business.

Here is my suggestion how:

  1. Social distancing continues until August 1
  2. All businesses, outside of bars, restaurants and sporting events, can open on May 1
  3. Bars, restaurants and sporting events can open on May 15 with half occupancy
  4. Everything can fully open up on June 1
  5. Dates can change based on data

Why these dates?

Why not? Archibald based his on less.

The other steps we took were based on incorrect information and a guess.

Nations in Europe are doing similar things, and I thought people wanted us to be like Europe.

Give Alabamians some hope. Let them know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Be optimistic, but safe. Be smart, but understand that people are suffering here.

Jobs and businesses are already lost, unemployment is through the roof. It’s time to show the people of Alabama that there was a reason for that.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.

3 hours ago

Yellowhammer connects your business to Alabama consumers

After nine years, our mission remains the same: reflect our state, its people and their values. As the state’s second-largest media outlet, Yellowhammer connects your business to the people of Alabama.

Online, on the radio, podcasts, events and more. What can Yellowhammer do for you?

1
4 hours ago

Ainsworth encourages Alabamians to ‘Ring for the Resurrection’ on Easter

Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth is asking all Alabamians to join him in a “Ring for the Resurrection” campaign on Easter Sunday. The effort is intended to promote unity at this COVID-19 time of prolonged separation and to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ following his crucifixion.

Ring for the Resurrection, which was created by Ainsworth, calls for all churches and individuals across the Yellowhammer State to ring a bell at noon on Sunday, April 12, in joint celebration of the holiday.

“Social distancing guidelines require us to remain apart from our extended families, church members, and other individuals on a sacred religious holiday that normally encourages us to gather together,” Ainsworth said in a statement on Wednesday. “But I realized that the simple act of ringing a bell can allow us to remain physically distant while being united in spirit.”

193

“My wife, Kendall, our twin boys, Hunter and Hays, and our daughter, Addie, will be among those ringing a bell at noon on Sunday to celebrate the miracle of Easter,” he concluded. “While Gov. Ivey’s stay-at-home order, the public’s health and safety, and simple common sense prevent Christians from gathering in large groups even on the holiest of days, all of us can join together in spirit as we ring a bell to recognize that Christ has risen.”

This comes after Ainsworth earlier this week unveiled a new website designed to provide small business owners with a one-stop online information hub related to the ongoing pandemic.

RELATED: Ivey announces campaign encouraging Alabamians to pray for medical personnel, first responders

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 hours ago

COVID-19 restrictions unfairly choke small business

When Mark and Susan Anderson were required by a statewide mandate to close the doors of their Dothan clothing and outdoor gear store, Eagle Eye Outfitters, they felt like it was a necessary sacrifice for the good of public health. By limiting retail shopping to essential items such as groceries, prescriptions, and fuel, the governor’s order takes a great many people off the streets.

Hopefully, it slows the spread of the rampant COVID-19 virus. But the closure is incredibly painful for owners like them: it has forced them to furlough more than 150 employees, and the massive loss of revenue will leave a mark on their business for years.

What the Andersons don’t understand was how it is fair for one of their local competitors, the national chain Academy Sports and Outdoors, to continue selling the same types of apparel and outdoor gear.

503

In this case, the loophole for Academy is their small firearms counter. Guns and ammunition are considered essential under the current order. Therefore, Academy and others who carry firearms have been allowed to continue to do business — even if guns and ammunition are only a small percentage of their overall sales.

One of the unintended consequences of the mandate is that small businesses, which often specialize in a more narrow range of merchandise, are penalized more heavily than their national chain competitors.

You heard that right: businesses owned and operated by Alabamians are absorbing the crushing cost of total closure, while national chains based out of state continue to snatch up what little retail demand still exists in the downturn.

If all businesses operating in Alabama were restricted from selling non-essential goods, small businesses might at least expect to benefit from the pent-up economic demand that will exist once the mandate is lifted. As it is, demand for those goods and services is funneled immediately to the big chains, cutting small business owners out of the deal entirely.

Bob Couch of Couch’s Jewelers feels that his small business is paying a higher price than others, as well. While he is forced to shutter his 75-year-old family jewelry store in downtown Anniston, Wal-Mart is allowed to continue selling jewelry just a short distance away. Because they carry groceries and have a pharmacy, they are allowed to sell anything.

None of the small business owners I spoke with this week felt the retail sales restrictions were unnecessary, given the scope and seriousness of the pandemic. But they think the state government has picked winners and losers with a poorly-conceived order.

They are right. And the governor can correct it today if she chooses.

Vermont heard a similar outcry from its small business community. In response, it amended its closure order so that businesses that remain open to offer essentials are limited to just those sales. In a large department store that offers a variety of goods, selling non-essentials is temporarily prohibited. No more going to Wal-Mart for groceries, but then wandering the aisles looking for a pair of gold earrings or a sleeping bag.

These are trying times for businesses of every size. But there’s no good reason for our own state government to damage Alabama’s small business owners further.

None of us likes the loss of civil liberties, or the freedom to do business as we choose — not even for a day. But if our current public health concerns are so extraordinary as to require such restrictions, the least government can do is ensure that they be equally and fairly applied. Every business operating in this state — big box or main street — should bear its share of the burden.

Dana Hall McCain, a widely published writer on faith, culture, and politics, is Resident Fellow of the Alabama Policy Institute; reach her on Twitter at @dhmccain.

API is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to free markets, limited government, and strong families, learn more at alabamapolicy.org.

6 hours ago

Alabama community colleges donate medical supplies to those fighting COVID-19

Community colleges across Alabama, many of which house nursing programs, are donating their medical equipment to those on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus.

According to a release from the Alabama Community College System (ACCS), many campuses across Alabama have equipment for their “simulated healthcare settings” where students train for medical careers.

“We are grateful for the daily sacrifice of Alabama’s healthcare providers and are grateful we can do our part to help serve our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jimmy Baker, chancellor of the ACCS.

157

The equipment donated includes much sought-after ventilators that can help treat the most serious coronavirus cases.

The community colleges also handed out their supply of Personal Protective Equipment like masks to cover the face to local hospitals.

“Much like our efforts to meet the needs of every student that crosses our paths, our colleges work every day to help meet the needs of the communities they serve,” added Baker.

“On behalf of the Alabama Department of Public Health, I am grateful for the willingness of the Alabama Community College System to grant the urgent request for the loan of their available ventilators in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” commented State Health Officer Scott Harris.

“We are continually encouraged by the number of entities across the state that are rising to the occasion to meet the needs of the citizens of Alabama,” Harris concluded.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.