UNA Announces Progress Toward DI Transition

Oct. 13, 2011


FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama announced this week that its newly formed DI Advisory Council has met and verbally committed to securing gifts of $525,000 annually for a total of $3.15 million over the next six years.

The 26-member council includes five honorary members, including Bobby Bowden, retired head football coach for Florida State University. Other honorary members are Shirley Self, spouse of former UNA head football coach Hal Self; Joan Jones, spouse of former UNA men’s head basketball coach and AD Bill Jones; Brad Holmes, past president of the UNA Alumni Association; and Sarah Beth Vandiver Alexander, current president of the UNA Alumni Association.

UNA has also formed a new Circle of Champions. Its members have secured an additional $60,000 to date and pledged an additional $300,000 over the next five years for a total of $360,000.

While UNA officially has until June 1, 2012, to secure the first year of pledged gifts, the university’s goal is to secure the pledges by Dec. 1.

“A transition like the one UNA is making is one that is possible only through the support of many individuals on and off campus,” said Dr. William G. Cale Jr., UNA president. “We are very excited about where we are headed and grateful to those who, in the early stages of this move, have already stepped forward and pledged a significant commitment to help ensure our success.”

Throughout UNA’s transition into Division I, the DI Advisory Council and Circle of Champions will continue to recruit new members committed to supporting the successful transition in significant ways.

The UNA board of trustees, in June, approved a resolution of intent to pursue Division I status pending the successful completion of five benchmark goals, including at least $500,000 in private gifts pledged annually for six years.

“That is the minimum we intend to secure,” said Mark Linder, UNA athletics director. “The more people who step up and demonstrate that they want to be a part of this historic moment for UNA and this community, the greater our success will be, and that success will be shared by all who are a part.”

Alan Medders, UNA vice president for university advancement, said it has been exciting since June to visit individuals and organizations throughout the Shoals and surrounding regions to discuss the Division I transition. “It’s been important over the summer to communicate the full scope of what a positive impact this move will make for UNA and the community – economically, academically and otherwise. Seeing what that impact will be, many have gotten behind this move in significant ways, and we hope that many more will join them in the coming months.”

For information on joining the DI Advisory Council or Circle of Champions, contact Medders at 256-765-5018 or agmedders@una.edu or Linder at 256-765-4561 or mdlinder@una.edu.