University of Alabama in Huntsville

University of Alabama in Huntsville

name = The University of Alabama in Huntsville

established = 1969
type = Public University
president = Dr. David Williams
faculty = 445
students = 7,100
undergrad = 5,500
postgrad = 1,600
city = Huntsville
state = Alabama
country = USA
campus = Urban
website = []
mascot = Chargers

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (also known as UAH or UAHuntsville) is a state-supported, public, coeducational university, located in Huntsville, Alabama, United States. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. The university is organized in five colleges: business, engineering, liberal arts, nursing and science.

UAH is renowned for its engineering and science programs, such as astrophysics and atmospheric science. Scientists at UAH managed the first "commercial," non-government rocket programs (Consort and Joust) in the U.S. The first "high-temperature" superconductor was discovered at UAH and the first U.S. experiment flown aboard the Soviet Mir space station came from UAH.

UAH is a Space Grant university, and has a history of cooperation with both NASA at the nearby Marshall Space Flight Center, and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal. In conjunction with helping NASA reach its goals, UAH makes NASA's research and technology available to all of Alabama's colleges and universities. The National Space Science and Technology Center is on the UAH campus.

UAH is an independent member of the University of Alabama System, which also has campuses in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.

The university enrollment is approximately 7,100, and has a distributed ratio of 49:51, women to men. Incoming freshmen have an average score of 25 on the ACT, which is one of the best among Alabama's public universities.


The genesis for a publicly funded institution of higher education in Huntsville was many years in the making. 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. UAH's first undergraduate degrees were awarded in May 1968 as part of the spring commencement ceremony at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, (although 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, a graduate of the University of Mississippi in 1942, who was president of Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi was tapped as UAH's first president in 1970. He 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 United States Navy ensign assigned to NASA's Research Projects Division. The first official on-campus graduation ceremony at UAH was 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 West Virginia University and began his service in 1979. Wright's anti-student life and very anti-Greek term finally ended in 1988 and Dr. Louis Padulo became UAH's third president.

Huntsville leader Joseph Moquin took over the UAH presidency on an interim basis in 1990. Dr. Frank Franz, who was then provost at West Virginia University, was chosen as UAH's fourth president. 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. At the beginning of the 2006-2007 academic year, Franz announced his plan to step down as president after that year. [] . On July 1, 2007, Dr. David B. Williams, formerly a professor of materials science and engineering and the vice provost for research at Lehigh University, began serving as UAH's fifth president. [] .

UAHuntsville or UAH?

In August 2007, the University officially announced the creation of a new signature element to better tie together the concept of "UAH" with its location in Huntsville. Dr. Williams, the University President cited the reasoning as being a lack of understanding as to where UAH is located and what it does with people outside of the Southeast or tech and defense fields. The new signature element was not taken well by students, and within two weeks a petition was started and signed 600 times by students wishing to ban the concept. Dr. Williams has made it clear that the new signature element was simply a "marketing" thing and would not replace the schools unofficial name or logo. Because of the opinions voiced by the students it was determined that anything that was funded by student activities fees was not allowed to use UAHuntsville, but must use UAH instead.


UAH offers 58 degree-granting programs that meet the highest standards of excellence, including 28 bachelor's degree programs, 18 Masters' degree programs, and 12 Ph.D. programs through its five colleges: Administrative Science, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Nursing, and Science.

The UAH Propulsion Research Center (PRC) is a research center that promotes interdisciplinary research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. The PRC was founded by Dr. Clark W. Hawk in 1991 and has since provided support for NASA and the Department of Defense. Research topics explored include air breathing propulsion, solid, liquid & hybrid propellent combustion, magnetoinertial fusion, high temperature materials, and space and terrestrial power systems.

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


UAH is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and fields 13 varsity teams at the Division II level and one (ice hockey) in Division I.

Its ice 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. UAH houses the only NCAA ice hockey program south of the Mason-Dixon Line. In 2012, UAH will host the NCAA Hockey Frozen Four championship finals, which will play at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. UAH was selected as host of the "Frozen Four", as being the closest collegiate hockey program to Florida. In 2007, UAH won the College Hockey America Tournament in a win over Robert Morris University. The victory granted them an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Tournament as the 16th seed. They were pitted against first seed Notre Dame, losing 3-2 in a double overtime heartbreaker; it was one of the longest games in NCAA Tournament history.

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.

UAH also sponsors soccer (men's and women's), women's volleyball, cross country (men's and women's), basketball (men's and women's), tennis (men's and women's), men's baseball and women's softball at the Division II level as a member of the Gulf South Conference. UAH competes in track and field (men's and women's) as an independent member of Division II.

Pep Band

UAH also has an athletic Pep Band. A very vocal section of fans in their own right, the pep band has claimed to have the World's Longest Cheer. The leader of the cheer instructs the crowd to "Gimme a T!" (to which the crowd replies "T!"), "Gimme an H!" (to which the crowd replies "H!"), and so on until "The University of Alabama in Huntsville" has been spelled (with the crowd even instructed to "Gimme a space!"). After this, the cheer continues with "Now say it like an engineer! UAH!" (with UAH! repeated several times). In hockey games, it is common for this cheer to be interrupted by a goal, and in such an event, the pep band will resume where it left off after playing the fight song.

Student Life and Activities

Student Government

The UAH Student Government Association hosts Frosh Mosh, an annual event that welcomes incoming freshman the weekend they arrive on campus. Events have included a hypnotist, live music, and the highly anticipated foam party. The SGA also charters two buses to allow approximately 80 UAH students to make an annual trip to Niagara, New York to cheer for the UAH Ice Hockey team as they compete against Niagara University.

Residence Halls

UAH has four residence halls: Central Campus Residence Hall (CCRH), Frank Franz Residence Hall, North Campus Residence Hall and Southeast Campus Housing. CCRH is reserved for first-time freshman students whereas upper class students have option of living at the other residence halls.

Greek Life

UAH is home to the following fraternities and sororities. Each Greek organization rents a fraternity or sorority house from the University. Each of these houses were built in 2006. The construction of these houses were made possible thanks to the generous benefactors Mark and Linda Smith and Jim and Susie Hudson. Funds for another house were basically stopped when the University decided to sue Hudson-Alpha which was founded by Jim Hudson.

Campus Housing originated with the construction of South East Housing. These suites were originally built by the late Dr. Benjamin Graves, the first President of UAH, with the assistance of the late Alabama Senator John Sparkman. Both these men were Pikes.


* Delta Zeta
* Kappa Delta
* Chi Omega, (silent)


* Alpha Tau Omega
* Delta Chi
* Sigma Nu
* Pi Kappa Alpha
* Kappa Alpha Psi

At the 2008 International Convention in Memphis, the Pi Kappa Alpha Chapter at UAH won an award for Chapter Excellence, was recognized for 100% participation in the Phi Phi Kappa Alpha Club and won the coveted Harvey T. Newell Award for most improved Chapter in Pi Kappa Alpha.


The Association for Campus Entertainment (ACE) is a student run and operated organization that plans weekly events throughout the school year. Events include, but not limited to, comedians, musicians, movie nights. Seasonal events include a trip to [ The MAiZE] on Halloween and Springfest, when nightly events are scheduled during the first week of spring. Notable guests include Daniel Tosh and [ Recycled Percussion] .

Clubs and Organizations

[ Team UAH] is internationally renowned 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] is sponsored annually by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The UAH ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) also competes in the annual [ NASA Great Moonbuggy Race] hosted by Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The UAH ASME chapter currently holds two championship titles.

Notable alumni

* Jan Davis, astronaut
* John S. Hendricks, founder and chairman, Discovery Communications
* Jim Hudson, founder, Research Genetics, Hudson-Alpha Institute for Biotechnology
* Stephen Zelnak, CEO/chairman, Martin-Marietta Materials
* Patricia A. Stephens, PhD Biomedical Editor/Writer, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine
* Todd A. Welch, DMD, Periodontal surgery and Implant Dentistry, Memphis, Tennessee
* James Record, former chairman Madison County Commission and Alabama State Senator

External links

* [ University of Alabama in Huntsville]
* [ UAH Athletics]
* [ Brief history of UAH]
* [ UAH's business college]
* [ University of Alabama System]
* [ National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program]

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