University Archivist Volodymyr Chumachenko and Graduate Assistant Dixie Norwood shares Founders' Day materials with students, faculty, and staff at the 2022 Founders' Day celebration.

UNA to Commemorate Founders’ Day with Special Events, Purple Pride Day

Jan. 09, 2023

Michelle R. Eubanks , UNA, at, 256.765.4392

FLORENCE, AL – On Jan. 11, the University of North Alabama will commemorate its 193rd anniversary, a day dedicated to the institution’s founding in Colbert County on LaGrange Mountain and solidifying UNA’s place as Alabama’s oldest four-year, state-chartered university. In addition to campus events, Purple Pride Day is also set for that day.

“Founders’ Day has emerged as a beloved tradition as well as an important campus-wide commemoration of the institution’s rich and storied history that spans both Colbert and Lauderdale counties,” said UNA’s President Dr. Ken Kitts. “The addition of Purple Pride Day provides an opportunity for those in the broader Shoals community to support UNA by wearing purple and showing their support outwardly.”

As in years past, the campus community will have an opportunity to learn more about UNA’s founding as part of a brief welcome and historical reflection scheduled for 11 a.m. in the Guillot University Center. Students will also be able to stuff a lion as part of the event, which is coordinated through the Office of Student Affairs.

In addition to the on-campus commemoration, the Town and Gown Task Force, which is comprised of representatives from UNA and the City of Florence, has partnered with EMERGE Leadership Shoals through the Shoals Chamber of Commerce to have the first Purple Pride Day.

“As a former employee and soon-to-be graduate of the University of North Alabama, my commitment to the promotion and support of this institution is personal and passionate,” said Olivia Bradford, Director of Public Relations and Leadership Development for the Chamber. “Purple Pride Day affords an opportunity for a level of community support behind the UNA pride that the Shoals has never seen nor given before. I am humbled for the privilege to help connect our businesses, industries, schools, and residents to our University in a more meaningful capacity. UNA’s impact on the Shoals cannot be understated, and it is time that the Shoals come alongside UNA and roar louder than ever before.”

The University has achieved a number of significant benchmarks in its recent history, including the full transition to NCAA Division I athletics, surpassing 10,000-student enrollment, and setting new fundraising records for dollars received. The annual economic impact of UNA on the Shoals is approximately $340 million.

About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: and