Building the Pride

Our Construction Timeline

Academic Year Construction Project Project Details
2013-14 Academic Center & Student Commons
  • Groundbreaking ceremony was held on August 31st, 2012
  • The center is expected to open by mid fall 2013
  • will offer a full-service Starbucks, Chick-fil-a, Frostbite ice cream & an expanded Follett Campus Bookstore
  • will house the UNA Center for Academic Advising and Retention Services, the Department of Criminal Justice, the Center for Financial Literacy and The Hill, a full-service, student-operated branch of Listerhill Credit Union
  • $7.67 million Academic Center and Student Commons is being funded in part through gifts from Listerhill, Sodexo Campus Services and Follett Corporation
  • The facility was designed by Hugo Dante, of Create Architects in Tuscumbia, and is being constructed by Consolidated Construction, of Huntsville
2014-15 Science & Technology
  • Groundbreaking ceremony was held on May 6th, 2013
  • project is estimated to be complete in 20 months.
  • will house the UNA biology, chemistry, physics and earth science programs
  • $39.7 million bid accepted from the Birmingham-based company B.L. Harbert International
  • designed to serve as a resource for researchers and scientists working in industries and institutions throughout the region

Check our Benchmark Progress

  • Academic Center & Student Commons 50%
  • Science & Technology10%

Building Scholarships

Thanks a Million Harvey Robbins!

Harvey and Joyce Ann Robbins Make $1 Million Scholarship Investment. SWEET!

It's easy to know when something is close to the heart of Harvey Robbins, because he lives by the principle of letting actions speak louder than words.

The Harvey and Joyce Ann Robbins Endowed Scholarship, which he created through a $1 million gift to UNA this year, is to provide a UNA education for students graduating from Deshler High School in Tuscumbia. "It does take you back," Harvey said of seeing The Palace full of teenagers about the age he was when it was his regular hangout. The only difference was that these were kids who had grown up playing at a park he had built and eating ice cream at a soda shop he had restored. Now they were going to college through a scholarship he had funded.

Harvey and Joyce Anne were married in 1952, the year after they graduated from Deshler. Harvey would later enroll at UNA and then go on to a career with National Floor Products, which he sold in the mid 1990s. In the years since, he has owned and operated Robbins Property Development Inc., which has given him the leverage for many of his charitable projects for Tuscumbia and surrounding areas.

"I get a kick out of helping," he said, "but I also get a kick out of giving back to the community in whatever way I can. I believe this scholarship donation will give more in the long term than anything else I could have done with the money."

Harvey said he also loves the idea that the new Robbins scholarship is "ongoing - it never quits, and that makes me feel good."

He was referring to how it is an endowed scholarship, which means his $1 million gift is a long-term investment issuing scholarship awards every year to students through investment growth. And the award amounts are double what they would have been through an average endowed scholarship program. While most endowed scholarships award about 5 percent of the total asset - in Harvey's case, about $50,000 - UNA is matching the 5 percent for an annual award total of $100,000 each year to students from Deshler.

From Zero To Infinity

John and Rosie Cole Create a Minority Scholarship Through the Investment of Land

Rosie Cole said she and her husband, John, a UNA trustee, "started out with zero." John said it was "minus zero." Even so, they made it a priority to send their four children to college.

"I always wanted my children to have an education," Rosie said, "and we worked hard for that. There were some things we could have enjoyed ourselves, but we put it back for those four kids, and we were blessed that we were able to send all four of them college."

Now that all four of the Coles' children are through college and leading successful lives, the Coles have turned their attention to other future college graduates. This summer, they created the John and Rosie Cole Endowed Scholarship for minority students. The scholarship is funded through a gift of land valued at $60,000.

John, retired from Ford Motor Company, manages several rental, commercial, and residential properties. He also owns and operates Bunyan's Bar-B-Que in Florence and Sheffield.

When asked if a factor in making their gift was the idea that an endowed scholarship is lasting - an investment that keeps giving to students every year - he said yes, but not the leading factor.

"The leading factor," he said, "was that I could take what I had and help somebody. You can have education and know-how, but if you haven't helped somebody in this world, what have you done?"

The Lion Match Program

The average endowed scholarship awards about 5 percent of the fund's assets. For the Coles, who created a scholarship of $60,000, that means $3,000 in scholarship awards to students each year. But UNA, through the Lion Match Program, matches the annual awards to students for every endowed scholarship that has received $25,000 or more in financial contributions. So, what would have been a $3,000 award from the Coles' scholarship is now a $6,000 annual award.

Financing A Dream

Mauldin Scholarship finances dream for Lauderdale County freshman

When she was informed she was one of 500 students that would be considered for a $10,000 Edward Fennel Mauldin Scholarship, the largest single endowed scholarship award in UNA's history, she hoped, but didn’t dare dream, that she might win the award.

After the competition dwindled down to 12 students, Peden was stunned when she was officially presented with the scholarship on Nov. 2 and given a 2009 Hyundai Accent by Mauldin's widow during the ceremony.

"My family couldn't stop crying when they found out about the award," she said. "It is a blessing. It's such a relief not to have to think about how many hours you are going to have to work to get the money saved up for next semester."

Peden, who graduated from Rogers High School in 2010 as one of the top 10 students of her class, was selected for the award based on her high academic record and because she is a first-generation college student from an area county.

Edward Mauldin was a farmer, banker and community leader from Town Creek who first organized the Bank of Florence in 1975 and merged it with First Colbert National Bank, which later became Bank Independent, where he served as chairman until his death last March.

"I'm the type of person that loves being able to help people and do for others," Peden said. "I know nursing is going to be tough, hard and expensive, so this scholarship is going to help me get the education I want."

Building Success

A brief look at some past students of UNA

  • Christy Jordan, Professional chef, SouthernPlate.com
  • John Paul White, musician and front man of the Civil Wars
  • Ronald McKinnon, NFL player, Harlon Hill trophy winner and recent inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame
  • Walt Aldridge, musician - composer of “There’s No Getting Over Me” and “Holding Her and Loving You”
  • Clay Bennett, Pulitzer prize-winning editorial cartoonist
  • David Hood, world-renowned bassist, member Alabama Music Hall of Fame
  • Patterson Hood, composer and front man, Drive-by Truckers
  • George "Goober" Lindsey, actor and narrator, founder of George Lindsey Film Festival
  • T.S. Stribling, Pulitzer prize-winning writer
  • Darryl Worley, country music singer-songwriter
  • Edward A. O'Neal, Confederate General and Alabama Governor, 1882 to 1886
  • Emmet O'Neal, Alabama Governor, 1911 to 1915
  • Lawrence Sullivan Ross (graduated 1859), Confederate General, Governor of Texas, president of Texas A&M University
  • Wimp Sanderson, former University of Alabama head basketball coach
  • Josh Willingham, Major League Baseball player

...and You! Apply Now!

Building Connections

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