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University of Alabama in Huntsville

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The University of Alabama in Huntsville is a state-run, public, coeducational university, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the Baccalaureate, Master's and Doctoral degrees.

UAH is renown for its engineering and science programs such as optical physics, including its liberal arts programs, many which have award-winning professors of international stature. And UAH's College of Nursing is the only Master of Science in Nursing degree granting institution between Birmingham, Alabama, Nashville, Tennessee, Atlanta, Georgia, and Jackson, Mississippi. Though the College of Engineering has more enrollment because of the varieties of engineers, Nursing remains the single largest major on campus.

UAH is a Space Grant university, and has a history of cooperation with NASA at the nearby Marshall Space Flight Center located on the Redstone Arsenal. And in conjunction with NASA's goals, UAH makes NASA's research and technology available to all of Alabama's higher education institutions.

UAH is wholly independent and the youngest member of the three universities comprising the University of Alabama System, and has its own Board of Trustees and President.

The university enrollment is approximately 8,000, and has distributed ratio of 49:51, women to men. Incoming freshmen have an average score of 25 on the ACT, which is the best among Alabama's public universities.

Contents

History

The genesis for a publicly funded institution of higher education in Huntsville was many years in the making. Having begun in January 1950 as an extension of the University of Alabama and known as the University of Alabama Huntsville Center, classes were first taught at West Huntsville High School. And for many years of its development and at all levels, UAH was sponsored by and coordinated through the University of Alabama, also known as the Capstone. UAH's first baccalaureate graduating class in May 1968 official ceremony was in Tuscaloosa, though a "cap and gown" ceremony was held in Huntsville. One year later, the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees voted to make UAH an independent and autonomous campus. Dr. Benjamin Graves, then president of Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi was tapped as UAH's first president in 1970, returned to faculty status in 1979 and retired in 1989.The first degree awarded for work completed entirely on the UAH campus was awarded to Julian Palmore in 1964. Mr. Palmore was at the time a U.S. Navy ensign assigned to NASA's Research Projects Division. The first official on-campus graduations from UAH were in June 1970. The first woman to earn a Ph.D. from UAH was Virginia Kobler in 1979, in Industrial Engineering.

UAH's second president, Dr. John Wright was Vice Chancellor of the University of West Virginia and began his service in 1979.

Dr. Frank Rose succeeded Dr. Wright as university president, who was in turn succeeded by Dr. Louis Padulo who resigned August 1990 amidst a deficit fiscal crisis which reached nearly $5 million. A search ensued and Dr. Frank Franz, whom was Provost of the University of West Virginia was chosen. His wife Dr. Judy Franz, accompanied him and was granted full professorship in the physics faculty. Her renown in the scientific community was reaffirmed when she was elected president of the American Physical Society. Dr. Frank Franz is the current university president.

Academics

UAH offers 62 degree-granting programs that meet the highest standards of excellence, including 35 bachelor's degree programs, 17 Masters' degree programs, and 10 Ph.D. programs through its five colleges: Administrative Science, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Nursing, and Science.

UAH is especially well known for its aerospace engineering program and other engineering programs. Its proximity to Redstone Arsenal and Marshall Space Flight Center affords numerous opportunities for students to visit with people directly involved in space transportation and missile defence. Through its College of Nursing, UAH serves the nursing health care needs of one of the largest geographic areas in the United States. Nursing is also UAH's single largest major. Though the College of Engineering is more populated, it has fewer students per major than the College of Nursing.

At least eight departments or programs also hold accreditation from professional associations, including the American Chemical Society, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technolology, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board, the National Association of Schools of Music, and the American Assemby of Collegiate Schools of Business.

Sports

The UAH Chargers play numerous sports, though ice hockey is the most popular. It is a Division II school in the Gulf South Conference for most sports. Its hockey team, won the NCAA Division II national championship in 1996 and 1998, and now competes in Division I as a member of College Hockey America. Basketball and hockey games are regularly scheduled as part of alumni returning for homecoming, and carpets are rolled out on the rink between periods for the homecoming court walk.

Other activities

UAH is internationally renown for its award-winning concrete canoe construction competition team, and is the current recordholder with five national titles in 2001, 1998, 1996, 1994, and 1993. The National Concrete Canoe Competition (http://www.asce.org/inside/nccc2004/history.cfm) is sponsored annually by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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