In the summer of 2018, UA Provost Dr. Kevin Whitaker asked the National Alumni Association and its staff, “Why UA?” What made you decide to come to the Capstone? How did the campus help shape you into the person you are today? Who inspired you? What made this university special?
Since 1967, the National Alumni Association has strived to help as many incoming students, current students, transfer students and graduate students as possible to achieve their collegiate dreams. Through your generosity, the NAA has helped more than 2,800 students in the 2018–19 academic year, awarding more than $5 million in scholarship assistance.
For the annual Honor Rolls book, the NAA talked with more than a dozen scholarship recipients about why they picked The University of Alabama. Some had family ties to the Capstone; others said the scholarship assistance was their driving factor. But each student knew exactly why UA.
The University of Alabama is home to so many, whether on campus or off. At one point or another, as current students, alumni or affiliated staff, we have all found our “Why UA?” moments. Together, with your help, we can continue to recruit the best and brightest students across the country and help future students discover their love for The University of Alabama.
Marquis Hollingsworth says the alumni scholarship that he received during his sophomore year at UA helped motivate him to succeed in his education. “It was actually kind of a morale boost because I hit the definition of what you think a sophomore slump is, but receiving that in the second semester last year really pushed my spirits up that there are still people that cared that even nominated me for the award,” Hollingsworth said.
Hollingsworth, a junior studying business, received the Pollie Anne Myers-Pinkens AAAN endowed scholarship. He is a section leader of the drumline in the Million Dollar Band and a senator for the Culverhouse College of Business.
Although her mother was a passionate graduate of UA, Maytreecia Harriell, a Montgomery, Alabama native, majoring in creative media, wasn’t sure she would follow in her mother’s footsteps until she spoke with a recruiter at an interest meeting. “After that conversation, I decided that the best place for me was The University of Alabama because she showed me how dedicated and personalized my education would be,” Harriell said.
Harriell said that receiving the Alumni Scholar Award and Alumni Heritage Scholarship demonstrates the depth of legacy at the University. “Getting these scholarships is like receiving a thank you from the University for helping them grow their legacy,” she said.
Sam Faulkner, a freshman from Pace, Florida, is majoring in management and hopes to attend dental school. Although coming to UA was out of his comfort zone, he found confidence in his advisers, the faculty and staff and successful alumni. “Walking down the halls in the business school especially, just seeing these old buildings with these faces that have all had success stories ... the thought of knowing that I could be someone like them, looking up to them now,” Faulkner said of the alumni who inspire him. “I really love the tradition of excellence that Alabama carries.”
Faulkner, a recipient of the Alumni Heritage Scholarship and Pensacola, Florida, Alumni Chapter Endowed Scholarship, said the scholarships have covered some of his tuition costs, which allowed him to attend the college of his dreams. “The University has been everything I expected and more as to what it would do for me and my college experience,” he said.
Taylor Reeder discovered her love for UA in an unexpected way when her mother signed her up to attend sibling orientation during her brother’s Bama Bound freshman orientation three years ago. Although she never thought she would leave her home state of North Carolina for college, she fell in love with UA’s campus immediately. Reeder, a nursing major, began her own UA education this year, and serves as a member of the Student Alumni Association. “I have an autoimmune disease, so I was in the hospital as a child and it’s something I still struggle with today, so I definitely want to work with kids,” Reeder said.
Reeder, who received the Charlotte, North Carolina Alumni Chapter of UA scholarship, said her scholarship made the difference in reaching her educational goals. “It helps me be able to pursue my degree in nursing, and I probably wouldn’t have been able to without it,” said Reeder.