University of Alabama announces massive donation as Shelby retires

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alabama board of trustees meeting

Thanks to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, the University of Alabama just got a lot more money it can spend on ensuring it can hire quality faculty and continue its goal of educating the next generation of leaders.

On Friday, UA announced the Shelby Endowment for Distinguished Faculty is getting $100 million in Congressionally directed funding that will create a permanent endowment supporting the recruitment and retention of exceptional faculty members in STEM fields.

That funding is the single largest contribution to the endowment in the history of the University of Alabama System.

UA also announced the creation of the Shelby Institute for Policy and Leadership, which will provide premier educational programs for students interested in policy. Shelby last year announced he’s also donating his official Senate papers, records and materials to the University of Alabama.

Both initiatives are named for Shelby and his wife, former UA Professor Annette Shelby, as they’ve long shared a desire to help UA grow and thrive.

“Education is key to unlocking opportunity, which is why I believe one of the most important investments we can make is in our classrooms and is why I dedicated several years to securing a permanent endowment that will allow the University of Alabama to multiply its impact in STEM,” Sen. Shelby said in a statement. “This will be critical to innovation that advances success and security across Alabama and the nation. My wife Annette and I are also honored by the University’s establishment of the Shelby Institute for Policy and Leadership, which will train generations of future leaders with a shared passion for policy and public service.”

These initiatives are among the latest in a long list of programs and facilities on the UA campus created or funded through Shelby’s distinguished service and support of the UA System.

“On behalf of the UA System Board of Trustees and the entire UA System, we are forever grateful for Sen. Shelby and Dr. Shelby’s selfless service and dedication to education,” said UA System Chancellor Finis St. John in a statement. “Sen. Shelby has already improved countless lives through his commitment to teaching, research and service, and through these two initiatives, his legacy will forever positively impact our students and our state.”

St. John praised Shelby’s vision for the endowment and expressed a firm commitment to carrying on that vision.

“These two initiatives will boost the experience of UA students in and out of the classroom, helping them prepare for careers of impact in their communities,” said UA President Stuart Bell in a statement. “Sen. Shelby’s long support and advocacy of the University and higher education will continue through these initiatives and in the lives of the faculty, staff and students impacted.”

Read more about the new initiatives right here.

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