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University of West Alabama

The University of West Alabama is a public university located in Livingston, Alabama, United States. Founded in 1835, the school began as a church-supported school for young women called Livingston Female Academy.



100 U.S. 11
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Luie The Tiger
White Red
Gulf South

College History


The University of West Alabama began as Livingston Female Academy in 1835.[6] As a church-related female academy, it admitted its first students in 1839. The school was established by ethnic Scots-Irish Presbyterians, who controlled the majority of seats on the first board of trustees selected in 1836. The purpose of the school was to educate future teachers, while also offering course work in art, music, languages, and home economics.[7] Tuition at this time was $20 annually with an additional $25 charged for piano lessons and $10 for French language and embroidery.[8] Jones Hall was the first building constructed on the campus in 1837, and was located near what is now Brock Hall. (The building was lost to fire in the 1890s). On January 15, 1840, state lawmakers incorporated Livingston Female Academy, granted it tax-exempt status, and gave the board the authority to establish rules and regulations.[9] Julia Tutwiler Livingston Female Academy awarded its first diploma in 1843 to Elizabeth Houston, the daughter of M. L. Houston, a prominent local businessman and a school trustee. The first principal of the school was A. A. Kimbrell, followed by Margaret McShan. In 1853, Dr. Robert Dickens Webb arrived in Sumter County and served as a trustee for more than 40 years. He led the school during the American Civil War and Reconstruction through the 1870s, helping to keep the institution open. The main administration building that sits in the middle of campus today is named in his honor. In 1878, the institution changed its name to Livingston Normal College. Education reformer Julia Strudwick Tutwiler joined the faculty in 1881 as co-principal with her uncle, Carlos G. Smith, former president of the University of Alabama.[10] In 1882�1883, state lawmakers provided $2,500 for tuition and supplies; Alabama was the first southern state to fund the education of women. Tutwiler and state legislator Addison Gillespie Smith helped secure this appropriation.[11] In 1883, the school was renamed the Alabama Normal College for Girls and Livingston Female Academy, to better reflect the new mission of the institution, providing students with choices of either two- or four-year programs.[12] "Normal training" was the term used at that time to describe teacher education that represented high school plus two years of college education. The Normal College presented its first diplomas at the 1886 commencement exercises. In 1890, Tutwiler was named president of the college.[13] She is the only woman to have been president. During her tenure, Tutwiler aided in establishing the Alabama Girls' Industrial Institute (now the University of Montevallo) and in having the first women admitted to the University of Alabama in 1893.[14] In the early 20th century new leadership brought a new name to the college as well. George William Brock was hired by the trustees in 1907 to oversee the institution's financial affairs. Following Tutwiler's retirement in 1910, Brock assumed the presidency.[15] Alumni began meeting in honor of Tutwiler in 1910 and formed the first alumni association. Men were admitted to the institution as regular students in 1915.[16] Foust Hall was built in 1922 as a lab school where college professors taught, and students observed and participated in classroom instruction. The building's open-air plan with a central courtyard became a building design familiar to many Alabamians. In 1928, both Bibb Graves Hall and Brock Hall were added to the physical plant under this plan.

College Specialty


The University of West Alabama is a state-supported, coeducational institution of higher learning governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor. As a regional institution, the University�s foremost commitment is to meeting the educational needs of the State and particularly of the West Alabama area. Valuing a diverse student enrollment, though, it also welcomes students from throughout the United States and from other countries.



The UWA National Alumni Association is the official alumni association of the University of West Alabama. Formed in 1910, the UWA National Alumni Association currently has 16 chapters. It is headquartered at the University of West Alabama's Webb Hall. The association works to assist the University of West Alabama in achieving its goals by serving as a catalyst for building alumni relationships, raising scholarship money for students, assisting with recruitment of potential students, and organizing programs and events such as homecoming.



Rural, 600 Acres (2.43�Km�)