Chapter 1

Mission, History, and Symbols

1.1 The Mission of the University of Alabama in Huntsville

1.2 History

1.3 Symbols of the University

1.3.1 University Name

1.3.2 Institutional Seal

1.3.3 Institutional Colors

1.3.4 Institutional Emblems


1.1 The Mission of the University of Alabama in Huntsville

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is an autonomous campus within The University of Alabama System dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, and service. UAH is a key participant in one of the nation's major international centers for advanced technological research and utilizes its position in this environment to provide unique opportunities and creative programs for students, faculty, and the community. UAH is committed to maintaining a diverse academic community of highest quality, and to providing an environment that facilitates intellectual, cultural, personal, and professional growth. UAH fosters leadership, creative and critical thinking, clear communication, a respect for knowledge and the pursuit of truth, and an engagement in the challenge and pleasure of a lifetime of learning. UAH, through its graduates and its programs, contributes to economic advancement, health care, cultural enrichment, and the quality of life of the region, state, and nation.

1.2 History

The University of Alabama originated in a grant of 46,080 acres of land by the Congress of the United States while Alabama was still a territory. The provision for a "seminary of learning" was confirmed by the Alabama constitutional convention which assembled in Huntsville, to write the constitution for the new state that was admitted to the Union by congressional resolution on December 14, 1819. A Board of Trustees was created three years later, but the determination that Tuscaloosa would be the site of the university was not made until 1827. The first students entered the University of Alabama in 1831.

Although the University Extension Service was organized in 1919, it was not until after World War II that a successful extension program was established in North Alabama. On January 6, 1950, the Huntsville Center opened with 137 students and five part-time instructors. The curriculum consisted of undergraduate courses in the liberal arts, sciences, business, and engineering. Beginning in 1955 graduate courses were provided under contract to the Army and later to NASA.

Population growth and a rapidly expanding technical community centered on Redstone Arsenal contributed to enrollment increases at the center throughout the 1950s. With the arrival of Wernher von Braun and the German rocket team from Ft. Bliss in April 1950, the Army Ordinance Guided Missile Center commenced operations. NASA was created in 1958 leading to the opening of the Marshall Space Flight Center in 1960.

The decade of the 1960s opened with the construction of Morton Hall, the first building on a new campus site donated by the City of Huntsville. Named for an extension program dean, Morton Hall provided classrooms and laboratories for 2,000 students, a library, and faculty and administrative offices. In 1961 von Braun, now director of the Marshall Space Flight Center, appealed successfully to the Alabama legislature to pass a bill providing for a three-million dollar revenue bond issue to house the recently established Research Institute. Huntsville and Madison County pledged money for the purchase of the land for the new building that opened in 1964. The Research Institute, by acquiring contracts and grants suitable for academic research, provided the means to support faculty engaged in research activities. Funds from NASA's Sustaining Universities Program and annual supplemental grants offered stability and security for research programs into the 1970s.

In 1963 the University announced degree opportunities in Huntsville at the master's level in mathematics, physics and engineering, and in 1964 initiated degree programs at the baccalaureate level in English, history, mathematics, physics and engineering. The first master's degree based on work begun and completed in Huntsville was awarded in 1964. The first undergraduate degrees were awarded in 1968. Full-time faculty grew from seven in 1960 to 103 in 1968. The following year, the Board of Trustees established the University of Alabama System with three independent, autonomous campuses in Huntsville, Birmingham, and Tuscaloosa. Like the other two campuses, the University of Alabama in Huntsville acquired its own president who reported directly to the chancellor and through the chancellor to the Board of Trustees.

Doctoral programs were initiated in physics and engineering in 1971, and the School of Nursing was established the same year. In 1974, in a component of the Alabama School of Medicine, the first full-time medical students began their core clinical experience in Huntsville. (These programs were transferred to direct UAB management in 1995.) In the two decades of the 1970s and 1980s, UAH implemented a broad range of undergraduate degree programs; established master's programs in the liberal arts, nursing, and administrative science; initiated professional degree programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels; and inaugurated selected Ph.D. programs in high-technology fields in the sciences and engineering.

1.3 Symbols of the University

1.3.1 University Name

The university's official name, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, is protected by copyright and may be used only for official business of the university. Anyone wishing to use the university's name, or such popular names as "UAH," "Chargers," or the seal, or any other materials implying an official endorsement by the university for commercial purposes or for any non-official business, must receive prior permission from the Office of University Relations. Use of university stationery for non-university correspondence or consulting work is prohibited, except when such use is permitted by law and is a normal part of the individual's professional activities.

1.3.2 Institutional Seal

The three campuses of the University of Alabama System share an institutional seal that shows the Roman Goddess of Wisdom, Minerva, standing within a rope-like band. To her left is an open scroll. The goddess holds an olive branch in her left hand. Her right hand rests on the globe. The sun is depicted in the background to her right. For UAH, the words within the band are "The University of Alabama" and "Huntsville".

1.3.3 Institutional Colors

Blue and white are the colors of The University of Alabama in Huntsville. For printing purposes the blue is PMS 293.

1.3.4 Institutional Emblems

The university seal should be used for formal representations, including diplomas, notary seals, and certificates.

The most graphically distinctive university emblem is the bold "UAH" in Times type, with "The University of Alabama in Huntsville" beneath it in bold, condensed Helvetica type. This emblem is available through the Office of University Relations. All university entities are encouraged to use this "UAH" symbol on stationery, business cards, or other official materials.