University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH)
The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is a public research university in Huntsville, Alabama. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees, and comprises nine colleges: arts, humanities & social sciences; business; education; engineering; honors; nursing; professional & continuing studies; science; and graduate. The university’s enrollment is approximately 10,000. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities: Very High Research Activity”.
UAH is one of three members of the University of Alabama System, which includes the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. All three institutions operate independently, with only the president of each university reporting to the Board of Trustees of the system.
The genesis for a publicly funded institution of higher education in Huntsville was years in the making. Beginning 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.
However, the university’s direction changed in 1961, when Wernher von Braun, a German rocket scientist brought to the United States under Operation Paperclip after working for the Nazi regime, helped create a research institute to provide advanced engineering and science curricula to NASA scientists and engineers. This institute was built right off of US 72 which was renamed to University Drive quickly after. Throughout the years, the campus expanded south along Sparkman Drive to reach Interstate 565.
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 1942 graduate of the University of Mississippi and 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.
University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Admission
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