University of Alabama
The U.S. Congress allowed Alabama Territory to have a portion of land to use as a “seminary of learning.” After Alabama became part of the Union on December 1819, another township was added to the land grant. After a year, they founded the seminary, which they called the University of the State of Alabama. The Board of Trustees oversaw the construction of the university as well as run its operations. The board of trustees chose an architect to work on the design of the campus after they decided on the construction site. The location that the committee chose was outside the city territory. They entrusted the architectural design to William Nichols, who designed the Christ Episcopal Church in Tuscaloosa and the Alabama State Capitol building. He developed a 70-foot wide and 70-foot high structure. The University of Alabama started to accept enrollees in 1831 and officially opened on April 18, 1831. The first president of UA was Reverend Alva Woods.
The University of Alabama was heavy on the social and natural sciences programs. It followed academy-style teaching in the Antebellum era. Roughly 100 students are enrolled in the university every school year in the 1830s. The trouble was, as a border state, most of Alabama’s territory was still under the dominion of various Native American tribes through the 1840s. It means that the city wasn’t ready to cater to a more extensive university education due to a lack of infrastructures. Also, not all students who initially enrolled remained in the latter years. Also, only a few of them graduated. Most of the graduates had careers in the city and entered politics. Alexander Meek and Benjamin Porter were some of the notable graduates from the university.
The University of Alabama has grown to a large campus from a humble campus with seven buildings. It has now become a 1970-acre campus in the center of the city. From seven buildings, it has now 297 buildings on campus. It recently acquired the Bryce Hospital and added more than 160 acres to its land. Due to its continuing growth, the university plans to purchase more land to build more buildings that will cater to the growing number of students.
The university is big on research. It is a four-year educational institution, mainly on residential research. A large percentage of the university is comprised of undergraduates. Their undergraduate programs focus on liberal arts and professional programs. The university is known for its comprehensive doctoral programs in a variety of fields including liberal arts and STEM fields. However, it lacks programs in the field of health and veterinary studies.
The University of Alabama is known for being one of the first universities to have engineering programs. It continued to expand its programs in the engineering and science field. The number of students grew, more faculty were hired, and the school facilities, mainly for research, improved. The College of Engineering of the university accepts more enrollees than other states in the country. For the last years, engineering students of the University of Alabama have the highest ACT score in the entire state.