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University of Alabama officially opens state-of-the-art Randall Welcome Center

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Tuscaloosa, President Stuart R. Bell declared the new Catherine and Pettus Randall Welcome Center officially open at the University of Alabnma.

The center is dedicated to undergraduate admissions and will offer a place for prospective students to embark on campus tours.

“The Randall Welcome Center illustrates the rich history of The University of Alabama, our unwavering commitment to student success and the unmatched student experience at the Capstone,” Bell said. “Our mission to bring the best and brightest students to our campus has been strengthened.”

Catherine Randall, who attended the ceremony, said that the new welcome center bearing her late husband’s name means the world to the Randall family.

RELATED: Bell: University of Alabama’s ‘fundamental’ mission is student success

“To have Pettus’ name and legacy preserved in this way means the world to this family,” Randall said. “At his death at age 57, he had so much left to give on this Earth and so many plans to do so. Our family’s hope is that his legacy honored in this way by his alma mater will inspire others to grow into the person of generosity and vision that he was.”

“As a history major at UA, Pettus would love that the University has saved the historic Bryce building not only for the campus but for his beloved hometown of Tuscaloosa,” Randall continued. “Years ago, the University welcomed Pettus and me as students into a wonderful community that has given us countless blessings and charted the course of our lives.”

“What a joy to be a part of supporting the University’s efforts to enhance that welcoming experience for incoming students.”

The new facility, school officials say, will be the standard that all other admissions offices throughout the country will be compared to.

“The Randall Welcome Center will have an enormous impact on our recruitment and admission efforts,” said Dr. Matthew McClendon, associate vice president and executive director of enrollment at UA. “By having the country’s premier welcome center, prospective students and their families will enjoy a campus visit experience that is unmatched.”

The 15,000-square-foot Randall Welcome Center features a gathering area for tours, a lounge, theater, and UA admissions offices. It is part of nearly 118,000 square feet of renovation and additions at Bryce Main, which also includes the Smith Family Center for the Performing Arts.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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