Office of University Communications & Marketing

UNA Board of Trustees Approves Naming Opportunities

Mar. 10, 2020



Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at meubanks@una.edu, 256-606-2033 or 256-765-4392 

FLORENCE, AL – The University of North Alabama Board of Trustees on March 6 approved the naming of two entities on campus for alums of the University. The Honors College was approved to be the Delores and Weldon Cole Honors College, and the Culinary Arts Program has been renamed the Jeff Eubanks Culinary Arts Program. Both were made possible through gifts to the University. 

“We are often asked why we are so passionate about the Honors College when we both attended the business school,” said UNA alum Weldon Cole. “We are enormously proud and grateful for the business school, which prepared us to compete with anyone, anywhere. We have observed, however, that the Honors College attracts the best and brightest students, and many of whom will enroll in the business school. Moreover, the Honors College has the potential to enhance the university’s brand like no other initiative. Therefore, we know of no better way to support our beloved University.” 

The Culinary Arts Program, housed at UNA’s East Campus, was renamed the Jeff Eubanks Culinary Arts Program. Eubanks, a 1996 graduate, passed away in early February. The effort was spearheaded by those at the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa, where Eubanks was the executive chef, as well as his fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta. 

“Jeff has a passion for his family, UNA, brotherhood, and cooking,” said Macke Mauldin, a fellow member of the fraternity as well as Bank Independent President. “I’m proud that his fellow brothers at UNA’s Phi Gamma Delta chapter and others came together to honor his memory and passions in a way that benefits future generations of students. Their generosity adds to his legacy and demonstrates the admiration and love we all have for Jeff, his family, and UNA. 

Larry Bowser, the general manager of the Marriott, said the gift allows for the preservation of Eubanks’ legacy for future culinary students. 

“We were blessed to have Jeff as part of our Marriott Shoals family as our Executive Chef, where his contributions played a large role in the Hotel’s success,” Bowser said. “His passion for cooking was only exceeded by his passion for teaching others about the culinary arts. He always worked hard to help his staff learn and grow personally and professionally. Jeff’s leadership philosophy was built on a foundation of patience, love, and kindness, which enabled his team to build confidence and brought out their best qualities and talents. Jeff poured his heart and soul into the dished he prepared as well as the chef he trained.” 

Kevin Haslam, the Vice President of Advancement at UNA, said both gifts indicate a passion for the University and its programs. 

“We are truly honored by the generous gifts given to name these entities,” he said. “We genuinely value the commitment this shows to our great University and the Honors College and the Culinary Arts program. The Coles have been great friends and supporters of the University and the Honors College for years. Jeff Eubanks was a kind, caring man, well-known for his exceptional work as a chef, who selflessly served others and worked tirelessly to inspire the next generation of chefs. We’re so honored that his legacy will live in perpetuity through the naming of Culinary Arts for him.” 

Events for the naming of the Honors College and the Culinary Arts program will be scheduled later in the spring semester. 

About The University of North Alabama 

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 and Health Professions. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. UNA 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 Big 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. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/