University of North Alabama to Host Naming Ceremony for First African-American Student and Alumnus Gunn ‘65

Mar. 1, 2018

Bryan Rachal,

University Communications


FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama will honor alumnus Wendell W. Gunn ‘65, Wednesday, March 14, at 5 p.m., at a naming ceremony on campus.

The University Commons will now be known as the Wendell W. Gunn University Commons in honor of the alumnus, who was the first African-American student to enter Florence State College (now the University of North Alabama).

Gunn received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry & Mathematics from the University of North Alabama in 1965, an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago in 1971 and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from UNA in 2017.

After graduation, Gunn had a prestigious career with many personal and professional achievements in science, finance, politics and as an independent business owner.  In 1982, Mr. Gunn became an international trade adviser to President Ronald Reagan. He later founded Gunn Solutions, technology consultants to institutional investment managers.

In addition to the naming ceremony, Gunn will also be the guest of honor for UNA’s annual “Light the Fountain Ceremony.”  The University tradition welcomes the coming of spring by lighting the iconic Harrison Fountain on campus.   

“Light the Fountain” will take place March 14, from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in Harrison Plaza on UNA’s campus.

For more information on the Gunn naming ceremony:  Amanda Sherrod at

For more information on UNA’s “Light the Fountain:” UNA Student Affairs at 256-765-4223 or



The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Tuscumbia, Sheffield and Muscle Shoals. UNA also operates a renowned collegiate athletic program in NCAA Division II's Gulf South 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.