University of West Alabama Celebrates Major Milestone

By: Stephen Bowers Email
By: Stephen Bowers Email

It opened in 1835 on land that was ceded to the United States by the Choctaw nation and was known as Livingston Female Academy. It has been known by five different names since then including Livingston University, and now it is known as the University of West Alabama.

This year, the University is celebrating its 175th birthday... UWA is older than the City of Meridian, and the state of Alabama was only 16 years old when the University was founded.

"It's quite an achievement for any institution to be that old. It's also been an opportunity for us to kind of stop and think about what have we done, who are we, and where are we going. It's for the entire University community, even our alumni and all beyond here and certainly for the Livingston community, and they've been very supportive of this," says Richard Holland.

UWA's President is Dr. Richard Holland. He is the only UWA graduate to serve as the University's President.

"When I became President I was retiring. I'm very very proud of what we have and what we've done."

This weekend, anniversary activities included a musical celebration featuring the UWA Reed Organ which was purchased in 1896 by Livingston Presbyterian Church and donated to UWA in 1954.

The celebration will continue into the fall... with a University birthday party on Monday.

"It is a campus-wide anniversary party with cake and punch for the Livingston community and our own campus. Throughout the rest of this year there are activities."

Dr. Holland says the future of UWA holds changes.

"I know there are a lot of things changing. A lot of us senior administrators will be leaving. We are taking efforts right now to provide leadership training for the new leaders. Things will change..."


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