Richard Shelby

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Posted by pompos 03/24/2009 @ 13:12

Tags : richard shelby, alabama, states, us

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Sen. Richard Shelby takes non-committal stance on Obama Supreme ... - al.com
Jeff Sessions, R-Mobile, and Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, were among 29 lawmakers voting against Sonia Sotomayor's nomination for a seat on the New York-based 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals. This morning, however, Shelby took a non-committal stance...
Sen. Richard Shelby critcizes Obama White House on NASA budget - al.com
Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa - has concerns about the White House's NASA budget proposal for next year, Shelby told members of Congress this morning. Robin Conn/The TimesSen. Richard Shelby is concerned over NASA's budget request from the White House....
Faith 'n Values Quotient for Congress -- Sen. Richard Shelby - Politics Daily
Richard Shelby, Republican, elected in 1986. Like many of his peers, his site lists many more positions than it offers explanations for how he arrives at those positions. His bio says the Christian Coalition gave him a "Friend of the Family" award,...
• Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, Sen. Jeff Sessions join GOP ... - The Birmingham News - al.com
Richard Shelby, Sen. Jeff Sessions join GOP challenge to Obama on detainee issues WASHINGTON - Alabama's two US senators are taking part in an emerging Republican strategy to question the Obama administration's policies on terrorist detainees,...
14 Alabama airports to share $6.2M in federal grants - USA Today
Richard Shelby, R-Ala., announced the Federal Aviation Administration grants in a statement Saturday. Huntsville International will receive about $2.6 million to expand its terminal building, improve an access road, and rehabilitate its apron....
Richard Shelby: Treasury 'repeatedly stumbled' on TARP - Politico
By VICTORIA MCGRANE | 5/20/09 10:58 AM EDT FREE-MARKET CAPITALISM IS THE ONLY ECONOMIC SYSTEM 'NOT' REQUIRING THE SUPRESSION OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS. As an economic system ---- FASCISM is SOCIALISM with a CAPITALIST veneer....
Did Dems err on Arlen Specter's switch? - Politico
Richard Shelby made a dramatic announcement that he would leave the Democratic Party to become a Republican. Photo: John Shinkle The day after the GOP seized control of the Senate in 1994, Sen. Richard Shelby made a dramatic announcement that he would...
• Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby backs credit card reforms - The Birmingham News - al.com
Richard Shelby of Alabama and Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, was debated Tuesday and is headed for a vote later this week. Shelby had complained that Dodd's original version wrongly prevented credit card companies from setting terms based on a...
Sen. Richard Shelby protests Missile Defense Agency plan to end ... - al.com
Richard Shelby protests Missile Defense Agency plan to end Huntsville's Kinetic Energy Interceptor program HUNTSVILLE, AL -- US Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, sent a letter today to US Army Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly, Missile Defense Agency director...
Union accuses Shelby Township official of unfair practices - The Detroit News
Shelby Township --Township Supervisor Richard Stathakis will appear before the state's Employment Relations Commission Wednesday on a five-charge complaint alleging unfair labor practices, including undermining the township union and threatening the...

Richard Shelby

Richard Shelby

Richard Craig Shelby (born May 6, 1934), sometimes known as Dick Shelby, is the senior U.S. Senator from Alabama. Originally elected to the Senate as a Democrat, Shelby switched to the Republican Party in 1994 when it gained the majority in Congress.

Shelby was born in Birmingham, Alabama to Alice L. Skinner and Ozie Houston Shelby. He attended the University of Alabama, receiving both an undergraduate degree and a Juris Doctor degree from the institution in 1957 and 1963, respectively.

After graduating, Shelby practiced law in Tuscaloosa from 1963 to 1978. He is a member of the American Bar Association and Alabama State Bar, as well as the American Judicature Society, Alabama Law Institute, Delta Chi Fraternity, and Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity.

Shelby currently lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Annette Nevin Shelby. They have two sons — Richard Jr., and Claude Nevin. Claude and his wife Lisa have two children: a daughter, Anna Elizabeth Shelby, and a son, William Nevin Shelby.

He entered politics while serving as city prosecutor from 1963 to 1971. From 1966 to 1970, he was a U.S. Magistrate for the Northern District of Alabama; from 1969 to 1971, Shelby was a Special Assistant State Attorney General.

Shelby began his legislative career as a member of the Alabama Senate in 1970, serving until 1978, when he was elected to the House of Representatives from the Tuscaloosa-based 7th District. He was reelected three times.

In 1986, he won the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat held by Republican Jeremiah Denton, the first Republican elected to the Senate from Alabama since Reconstruction. He won a very close race as the Democrats regained control of the Senate. He was easily re-elected in 1992 even as Bill Clinton lost Alabama's electoral votes.

Shelby spent most of his first 15 years in Washington as one of the more conservative Democrats in Congress. In the House, he was a member of the boll weevils, a group of moderate to conservative leaning Democrats who often worked with Republican President Ronald Reagan on defense issues.

Shelby publicly feuded with Bill Clinton during the first half of his first term. At a meeting with Vice President Al Gore, he turned to 19 Alabama TV cameras and denounced the Clinton program as "high on taxes, low on spending cuts". However, as Clinton's approval ratings began to decline, Shelby's popularity ratings became some of the highest in the state. He voted with Senate Republicans against the administration on almost every partisan issue. On November 9, 1994, Shelby switched his party affiliation to Republican one day after the Republicans won control of both houses in the midterm elections, giving the Republicans a 53-47 majority in the Senate. He won his first full term as a Republican in 1998 by a large margin, and faced no significant opposition in 2004.

Shelby served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 1995 to 2003, stepping down because of a Senate rule limiting committee terms to eight years. Shelby took an adversarial stance towards the intelligence community during both Clinton and Bush administrations. He helped sink Anthony Lake's nomination as CIA director in 1997 and promised to investigate the use of American-made satellites by the Chinese to gather intelligence. He was also highly critical of CIA Director George Tenet in the aftermath of September 11. When Tenet resigned in July 2004, Shelby commented "This is not a surprise to me at all. What was a surprise was that he held onto the job as long as he did".

From 2003 until 2007, he chaired the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. He is also a member of the Appropriations Committee (where he chaired its subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science) and Special Committee on Aging. He lost his chairmanships in 2007 when the Democrats regained control of the Senate.

Shelby is currently co-chair of the Congressional Privacy Caucus and Zero Capital Gains Tax Caucus. He is also the Senate co-chair of the National Security Caucus. In addition, he is a member of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Senate Centrist Coalition.

In the Metroplex of Dallas–Fort Worth, Shelby is known for the Shelby Amendment, a law he sponsored that eased some of the restrictions placed on Dallas' secondary airport by the contentious Wright Amendment.

Shelby remains relatively popular in Alabama. As a December 2007 poll shows, he has a 54% approval rating, with 36% disapproving.

Senator Shelby took a leading role in the resistance to bailing out the banks and other corporations (such as AIG), both under the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration. Shelby opposes gun control and abortion, and supports the Federal Marriage Amendment. He has also been a staunch advocate of a flat tax and of the Bush Administration's tax cuts. He cites disagreements with the Democrats on tax policy as one of the main reasons he became a Republican; he feels the Democrats are too willing to enact tax increases. Among the bills sponsored by Shelby over the years have been bills to make English the sole language of the federal government, to limit federal government spending by statute, and to provide a moratorium on certain forms of immigration.

However, he is considered to be much more independent-minded than his Senate colleague, Jeff Sessions. For instance, shortly after becoming a Republican he voted against two major tort reform bills, the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act and the Common Sense Product Liability and Legal Reform Act. Both bills were vetoed by President Clinton, though the first bill was successfully passed over his veto. In 1999 he was the only Senate Republican to vote against the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Shelby also voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement and opposes most free trade agreements, most recently the Central America Free Trade Agreement. He also opposed the confirmation of Robert Bork to the United States Supreme Court in 1987 (when Shelby was still a Democrat). He supported the confirmation of Samuel Alito almost two decades later. He was one of ten Republican senators to vote for the acquittal of President Bill Clinton on the charge of perjury when Clinton was tried in the Senate in 1999, although he voted for Clinton's conviction on the charge of obstruction of justice. He opposes the initial bailout proposal to extend billions of dollars in loan money to the Big Three US Auto Manufacturers. He is often seen as a front man for the GOP senate opposition and is given some credit for efforts to modify the emergency funding to ensure responsible reform by the manufacturers in order to benefit the companies, the government and the consumer.

In late 2008 he opposed a Federal government bridge loan for US-owned auto companies, saying: "We don't need government - governmental subsidies for manufacturing in this country. It's the French model, it's the wrong road. We will pay for it. The average American taxpayer is going to pay dearly for this, if I'm not wrong." However, foreign-owned auto manufacturers Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai received approximately $788 million in government subsidies in the cities of Vance, Lincoln, Huntsville, and Montgomery in Shelby's home state of Alabama, according to analysis by Good Jobs First. Good Jobs First executive Director Greg LeRoy pointed out that "while proposed federal aid to the Big 3 would take the form of a loan, the vast majority of subsidies to foreign auto plants were taxpayer gifts such as property and sales tax exemptions, income tax credits, infrastructure aid, land discounts, and training grants." All of these things have also been offered to the unionized American auto manufacturers.

In 2005, Richard Shelby received a 0 percent on the Republicans for Environmental Protection's ("REP") environmental scorecard. He voted in a manner inconsistent with what the REP considers pro-environment on all 15 issues considered environmentally critical by the REP. Issues in which Senator Shelby voted anti-environment were: all amendments to the Energy Policy Act proposed in 2005, the issue of authorizing drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, and reducing fuel economy standards for vehicles.

Senator Shelby received a 5 percent from the League of Conservation Voters ("LCV") scorecard for his pro-environment vote on the issue of the Central America Free Trade Agreement. CAFTA is criticized by the LCV for its low environmental standards involving trade with Central American countries. This pro-environment vote, however, was outweighed by his supposed "anti-environment" votes on the energy conference report, renewable energy, farm conservation programs, global warming, natural gas facilities, fuel economy requirements, and various other issues.

In 2006, Senator Shelby received a 0 percent from the REP and a 0 percent from the LCV. According to these organizations, he voted "anti-environment" on the issue of energy and weatherization assistance, on drilling, environmental funding, peer review, renewable resources, and The Gulf of Mexico Security Act.

Both the U.S. attorney's office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated the case, and a grand jury empaneled. In July 2004, the Department of Justice declined to file criminal charges against Shelby and transferred the case to the Senate Ethics Committee.

On August 11, 2004, media sources confirmed that Shelby had hired Washington-based attorney Gregory Craig to represent him in investigations by the Ethics Committee. In November 2005, the Senate Ethics Committee dismissed its probe into the alleged leak of classified information regarding National Security Agency intercepts the day before the attacks, administering no punishment to Shelby.

Shelby, in his role as chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs, opposed proposed legislation that would have permitted additional competition in the title insurance industry.

Shelby and his wife own between $1 million and $5 million of stock in Tuscaloosa Title Co. His staff stated that his opposition to the bills is unrelated to his relationship with Tuscaloosa Title.

Named for Senator Shelby and his wife (a professor emerita at the University of Alabama), the 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2) square foot new center opened at University of Alabama in 2004 and combines engineering, science (chemistry and materials research) and transportation research in one building.

The $90 million, 12-story Richard C. and Annette N. Shelby Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building at the University of Alabama at Birmingham opened in April 2006. The 323,000 square feet (30,000 m2)square foot building is located at University Blvd and 19th Street South on the UAB campus. Senator Shelby was instrumental in securing federal funds for the building, which increases UAB's available research space by 25%.

On April 18, 2008, the Auburn University Ginn College of Engineering dedicated the new Sen. Richard C. and Dr. Annette N. Shelby Center for Engineering Technology. Shelby helped secure $30 million of the $54 million cost of Phase I of the project.

Phase I of the massive building project is a 185,000 square feet (17,200 m2) complex that opened in 2008. Including modern classrooms, quality lab space, numerous administrative offices, and various student programs, the Shelby center has already begun to benefit Auburn University in recruiting students and increasing the quality of life for the students already there.

The second phase of the Shelby Center will include an Advanced Research Laboratory Building and also a new Mechanical Engineering Building.

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Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Tuscaloosa County Alabama Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Tuscaloosa Highlighted.svg

Tuscaloosa is a city in west central Alabama in the southern United States. Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the seat of Tuscaloosa County and the fifth-largest city in Alabama with a population of 83,052 (2006 U.S. Census Bureau Estimate). Tuscaloosa is named after the Choctaw chieftain Tuskaloosa (which means Black Warrior in that language), who battled and was defeated by Hernando de Soto in 1540 in the Battle of Mauvila.

Best known as the home of The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa is also the center of industry, commerce, healthcare, and education for the region commonly known as West Alabama. Tuscaloosa attracted international attention when Mercedes-Benz announced it would build its first automotive assembly plant in North America in Tuscaloosa County. Nevertheless, the University remains the dominant economic and cultural engine in the city.

Tuscaloosa, its neighbor Northport, and the surrounding suburban communities form the core of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Tuscaloosa, Greene, and Hale counties.

The area at the Fall Line shoals of what would later be known as the Black Warrior River had long been well known to the various Indian tribes whose shifting fortunes brought them to West Alabama. The river shoals at Tuscaloosa represented the southernmost site on the river which could be forded under most conditions. Inevitably, a network of Indian trails converged upon the place, the same network which, in the first years of the 19th century began to lead a few intrepid white frontiersmen to the area.

The pace of white settlement increased greatly after the War of 1812, and a small assortment of log cabins soon arose near the large Creek village at the fall line of the river, which the settlers named in honor of the legendary Chief Tuskaloosa of a Muskogean-speaking tribe. In 1817, Alabama became a territory, and on December 13, 1819, the territorial legislature incorporated the town of Tuscaloosa, exactly one day before Congress admitted Alabama to the Union as a state.

From 1826 to 1846 Tuscaloosa was the capital of Alabama. During this period, in 1831, The University of Alabama was established. The town's population and economy grew rapidly until the departure of the capital to Montgomery caused a rapid decline in population. Establishment of the Bryce State Hospital for the Insane in Tuscaloosa in the 1850s helped restore the city's fortunes. During the Civil War following Alabama's secession from the Union, several thousand men from Tuscaloosa fought in the Confederate armies. During the last weeks of the War, a brigade of Union troops raiding the city burned the campus of The University of Alabama. Tuscaloosa, too, suffered much damage from the battle and shared fully in the South's economic sufferings which followed the defeat.

The construction of a system of locks and dams on the Black Warrior River by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1890s opened up an inexpensive link to the Gulf seaport of Mobile, stimulating especially the mining and metallurgical industries of the region. By the advent of the 20th Century, the growth of the University of Alabama and the mental health-care facilities in the city, along with strong national economy fueled a steady growth in Tuscaloosa which continued unabated for 100 years. Manufacturing plants of large firms such as Michelin and JVC located in town during the latter half of the 20th Century. However, it was the announcement of the addition of the Mercedes facility in 1993 that best personified the new era of economic prosperity for Tuscaloosa.

Tuscaloosa is known as the "Druid City" because of the numerous Water oaks planted in its downtown streets since the 1840s.

Tuscaloosa is located at 33°12′24″N 87°32′5″W / 33.20667°N 87.53472°W / 33.20667; -87.53472 (33.206540, -87.534607).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Tuscaloosa has a total area of 66.7 square miles (172.8 km²), of which, 56.2 square miles (145.7 km²) of it is land and 10.5 square miles (27.1 km²) of it (15.68%) is water. Most of water within the city limits is in Lake Tuscaloosa, which is entirely in the city limits, and the Black Warrior River.

Tuscaloosa is situated on the Black Warrior River approximately 60 miles southwest of Birmingham. The city occupies a unique location of fall line of the Black Warrior River on the boundary between the Appalachian Highland and the Gulf Coastal Plain approximately 311 km (120 mi.) upriver from the river's confluence with the Tombigbee River in Demopolis. Consequently, the geography of the area around Tuscaloosa is quite diverse, being hilly and forested to the northeast and low-lying and marshy to the southwest.

The area experiences a typical Southern subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. The Gulf of Mexico heavily influences the climate by supplying the region with warm, moist air. During the fall, winter, and spring seasons, the interaction of this warm, moist air with cooler, drier air from the North along fronts create precipitation. These fronts usually move from west to east as they track along the jet stream. Notable exceptions occur during hurricane season where storms may move from due south to due north or even from east to west during land-falling hurricanes. The interaction between low- and high-pressure air masses is most pronounced during the severe weather seasons in the spring and fall. During the summer, the jet streams flows well to the north of the southeastern U.S., and most precipitation is consequently convectional, that is, caused by the warm surface heating the air above. Severe thunderstorms can bring damaging winds, large hail and occasionally tornadoes. A violent F4 tornado struck Tuscaloosa County in December 2000, killing eleven people. Tuscaloosa City was struck by an F2 Tornado in January 1997 which resulted in the death of one person.

Winter lasts from mid-December to late-February; temperatures range from the mid-20s to the mid-50s. On average, the low temperature falls at freezing or below about 50 days a year. While rain is abundant (an average 5.09 in. per month from Dec.-Feb.), measurable snowfall is rare; the average annual snowfall is about 0.6 inches. Spring usually lasts from late-February to mid-May; temperatures range from the mid-50s to the low-80s and monthly rainfall amounts average about 5.05 in. (128 mm) per month. Summers last from mid-May to mid-September; temperatures range from the upper-60s to the mid-90s, with temperatures above 100°F (37.8°C) not uncommon, and average rainfall dip slightly to 3.97 in. (101 mm) per month. Autumn, which spans from mid-September to early-December, tends to be similar to Spring terms of temperature and precipitation.

The highest temperature to have been recorded at the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport was 107.0°F (41.7°C) on July 29, 1952 & August 10, 2007, while the lowest recorded temperature was -1.0°F (-18.3°C) on January 21, 1985.

As of the census of 2000 there were 77,906 people, 31,381 households, and 16,945 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,385.2 people per square mile (534.8/km²). There were 34,857 housing units at an average density of 619.8/sq mi (239.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 54.09% White, 42.73% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 1.49% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. 1.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 31,381 households out of which 23.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.0% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.0% were non-families. 35.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.8% under the age of 18, 24.5% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,731, and the median income for a family was $41,753. Males had a median income of $31,614 versus $24,507 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,129. About 14.2% of families and 23.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.3% of those under age 18 and 13.4% of those age 65 or over.

Tuscaloosa has a strong-mayor variant mayor-council form of government, led by a mayor and a seven-member city council. The mayor is elected by the city at-large and serves four-year terms. Council members are elected to single-member districts every four years as well. Neither the mayor nor the members of the city council is term-limited. All elected offices are nonpartisan.

The mayor administers the day-to-day operations of the city, including overseeing the various city departments, over whom he has hiring and firing power. The mayor also acts as ambassador of the city. The mayor sits in city council meetings and has a tie-breaking vote. The current Mayor of Tuscaloosa is Walter Maddox, who was elected to office in September 2005. Prior to Maddox, Alvin A. DuPont had served as mayor for 24 years.

The city council is a legislative body that considers policy and passes law. The council also passes the budget for mayoral approval. Any resolution passed by the council is binding law. The majority of work in the council is done by committee, a usually consisting of a chairman, two other council members, and relevant non-voting city employees.

Tuscaloosa, as the largest county seat in western Alabama, serves a hub of state and federal government agencies. In addition to the customary offices associated with the county courthouse, namely two District Court Judges, six Circuit Court Judges, the District Attorney and the Public Defender, several Alabama state government agencies have regional offices in Tuscaloosa, such as the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Alabama State Troopers (the state police). Also, several federal agencies operate bureaus out of the Federal Courthouse in Tuscaloosa.

Tuscaloosa is located partially in both the 6th and 7th Congressional Districts, which are represented by Spencer Bachus (R) and Artur Davis (D), respectively. In addition, Alabama's senior senator, Richard Shelby (R), is a resident of Tuscaloosa.

On the state level, the city is split among the 5th, 21st, and 24th Senate districts and 62nd, 63rd, and 70th House districts in the Alabama State Legislature.

Despite its image as a college town, Tuscaloosa boasts a diversified economy based on all sectors of manufacturing and service. Twenty-five percent of the labor force in the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area is employed by the federal, state, and local government agencies. 16.7% is employed in manufacturing; 16.4% in retail trade and transportation; 11.6% in finance, information, and private enterprise; 10.3% in mining and construction; and 9.2% in hospitality. Education and healthcare account for only 7.2% of the area workforce with the remainder employed in other services.

The city's industrial base includes Elk Corporation of Alabama (Asphalt Shingles), Nucor Steel Tuscaloosa, BF Goodrich Tire Manufacturing (a division of Michelin), JVC America, Phifer Incorporated, and the Gulf States Paper Corporation. Another significant contributor to Tuscaloosa's economy is the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc., assembly plant located on a site in Tuscaloosa County located near Vance. The plant began assembling the Mercedes-Benz M-Class in 1997 and the R-Class Grand Sport Tourer in 2005 and just recently began production with the GL-Class. Plants that supply components to Mercedes-Benz also make their home in Tuscaloosa and add to the economic strength of the city.

Health-care and education serve as the cornerstone of Tuscaloosa's service sector, which includes the University of Alabama, DCH Regional Medical Center, Bryce State Mental Hospital, the William D. Partlow Developmental Center, and the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center.

The city is home to the region's two largest malls, University Mall and McFarland Mall, as a well as a large array of retail outlets and a 16-screen movie theater.

Education is a vital component of the city as Tuscaloosa is home to several colleges and schools. The University of Alabama is the dominant institution of higher learning. Enrolling approximately 27,000 students, UA has been a part of Tuscaloosa's identity since it opened its doors in 1831. Stillman College, which opened in 1875, is a historically Black liberal arts college that has approximately 1,200 students. Well known internet star Jamarcus Sanders attended Central High School there.

Additionally, Shelton State Community College, one of the largest in Alabama, is located in the city. The school enrolls 8,000 students from all backgrounds and income levels. The majority of Shelton State students are "traditional" students. They are usually either first-time college students earning associate degrees for transfer to four-year institutions after graduation, or UA and Stillman students enrolled in entry-level classes that they cannot or do not want to take at their home institutions.

The Tuscaloosa City School System serves the city. It is overseen by the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education, which is composed of eight members elected by district and a chairman elected by a citywide vote. The Board appoints a Superintendent to manage the day-to-day operations of the system. Operating with a $100 million budget, the system enrolls approximately 10,300 students. The system consists of 19 schools: 12 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, 3 high schools (Paul W. Bryant High School, Central High School and Northridge High School), and 2 specialty schools (the Tuscaloosa Center for Technology, a vocational school, and Oak Hill School for special needs students). In 2002, the system spent $6,313 per pupil, the 19th highest amount of the 120 school systems in the state.

Tuscaloosa is also served by several private schools, both secular and religious, including Tuscaloosa Academy, American Christian Academy, Holy Spirit Catholic High School, Open Door Christian School, the Capitol School, and Tuscaloosa Christian School (in neighboring Cottondale).

Since 1923, the state-run William D. Partlow Developmental Center has served the mentally retarded, offering these citizens a public education as well as seeing to their other needs.

Tuscaloosa is home to a variety of cultural sites and events reflective of its historical and modern role in Alabama and the Southeast in general. Many of these cultural events are sponsored by The University of Alabama. Numerous performing arts groups and facilities, historical sites, and museums dedicated to subjects as varying as American art and collegiate football dot the city. The nightlife is one of the highlights of the city with popular venues such as The Houndstooth, Egans, Gallette's, 4th and 23rd, and Innisfree Irish Pub being classic staples of social life. During football season the area known as "the strip" pulsates with students, alumni, locals and visitors.

Eateries in Tuscaloosa range from the classy Cypress Inn to a wonderfully shabby steak house, Nick's in the Sticks. Downtown offers Italian cuisine at Cafe Venice or Depalma's; those seeking biscuits and grits can have their fill at the Waysider, a landmark filled with Crimson Tide paraphernalia, or across the river at Northport's City Cafe or Northport Diner. Slabs of ribs are available at various locations, including the Dreamland Drive-Inn Bar-B-Que. This world-famous icon has been featured in many magazines, newspapers and on ESPN. Their slogan proclaims, "There ain't nothing like 'em nowhere." There are numerous other less-famous BBQ locations — including Archibald's, Woodrow's, Bottomfeeders, Big Bad Wolves, and Foxfire.

The Tuscaloosa Public Library is a city/county agency with nearly 200,000 items on catalog. A total of 46,857 registered patrons use the library on a regular basis — roughly 28 % of the population of the county. There are currently three branches: the Main Branch on Jack Warner Parkway, the Weaver-Bolden Branch, and the Brown Branch in Taylorville.

Most of the museums in Tuscaloosa are found downtown or on the campus of the University. Downtown is the home of Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa and the Murphy African-American Museum. The Alabama Museum of Natural History and the Paul Bryant Museum are located on The University campus. The Westervelt-Warner Museum of American Art is located in northern Tuscaloosa at Jack Warner's NorthRiver Yacht Club. Moundville Archaeological Park and the Jones Archaeological Museum are located 15 miles south of Tuscaloosa in Moundville.

The Bama Theatre was one of the last movie palaces built in the South. At the time of its construction in 1938, it was the only air-conditioned building in Tuscaloosa. The theater was renovated as a performing arts center in 1976 and housed the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and Theatre Tuscaloosa troupe until those groups moved into their own facilities. Today, the Bama is home to the Tuscaloosa Children's Theatre Company in addition to showing foreign and independent films in its Cinema Nouveau series. It also hosts a Jewish Film Festival in the spring.

The Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra currently resides at the Moody Music Building on The University of Alabama campus while Theatre Tuscaloosa makes its home at the Bean-Brown Theater at Shelton State Community College.

The Tuscaloosa Winds is a community and campus concert band composed of over 100 community members, university professors, university students, and other interested musicians. The band is sponsored by The University of Alabama and resides at the Moody Music Building.

Other performance facilities in Tuscaloosa include the Marian Gallaway Theatre (305-seat, proscenium theater), the Allen Bales Theatre (170-seat, studio theater), and Morgan Auditorium on the campus of The University of Alabama.

Prior to each football game is a massive gathering at the UA Quad, where people gather starting on Friday for tailgating and the University of Alabama holds pep rallies on the Gorgas library steps. The Quad has hosted ESPN's Gameday several times and also is a place to meet Alabama football legends on game day and perform the "Elephant Stomp" to Bryant-Denny Stadium with the Alabama mascot "Big Al" and the Million Dollar Band.

Tuscaloosa is known for its collegiate athletics - particularly the University of Alabama football team. The Crimson Tide is one of the most storied programs in the history of college football. In the 1925 football season, an underrated University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team played in the first of many Rose Bowls, defeating Washington 20 - 19 and giving the Tide the first of 12 national championships. The Tide's 12 national titles are the most recognized by any university in college football history. The Crimson Tide also has the most SEC championships, the most bowl appearances and the most bowl wins of any team in college football.

The University of Alabama also currently fields championship–caliber teams in baseball, men's basketball, women's gymnastics, and women's softball. These teams play in athletics facilities on the University campus, including Bryant-Denny Stadium (capacity of 92,000+), Coleman Coliseum (formerly Memorial Coliseum), Sewell-Thomas Baseball Stadium, Alabama Softball Complex, and the Ol' Colony Golf Complex.

Stillman College fields teams in football, basketball, and other sports. In the past decade, Stillman has gone through a renaissance of renovations, including a new football stadium.

Shelton State fields men's and women's basketball, baseball, and softball teams, each with on-campus facilities.

Tuscaloosa is also the birthplace of Otis Davis, 400-meter track world record holder and gold medalist at the Rome 1960 Summer Olympics.

In 2006, a World Basketball Association team, the Druid City Dragons, was unveiled but eventually folded after one season.

Tuscaloosa is the 234th largest radio market in the nation. In January 2007, of the top-ten-rated radio stations, two were urban, three were country, two were contemporary, and one each was gospel, oldies, and talk radio.

Tuscaloosa serves as home base to Alabama Public Radio, the state's largest public radio network. APR's main studios are housed at the University of Alabama, and the flagship signal, WUAL-FM, originates from a transmitter south of town. WUAL serves Tuscaloosa, portions of the Birmingham metro area and several counties of west-central Alabama.

The Tuscaloosa News is the major daily newspaper serving the city. The Tuscaloosa News also publishes Tuscaloosa Magazine. Its offices are located west of downtown on a bluff overlooking the Black Warrior River. The Planet Weekly is an alternative weekly newspapers while The Crimson White is the independent, student-run newspaper of the University of Alabama. The prestigious literary magazine "The Black Warrior Review" was founded by graduate students of the University's Creative Writing program in 1974, and is still published out of Tuscaloosa. Several other smaller magazines and newsletters are published and distributed locally, such as Destination Tuscaloosa magazine.

DCH Regional Medical Center is the main medical facility in Tuscaloosa. Operated by the publicly-controlled DCH Healthcare Authority, the 610-bed hospital opened in 1916 as the Druid City Infirmary. The emergency department at DCH operates a trauma center (it is not certified as an official trauma center by the American College of Surgeons, however) that serves all of west central Alabama and is one of the busiest in the state. The DCH Healthcare authority also operates Northport Medical Center in neighboring Northport.

Other major medical centers in Tuscaloosa include the 702-bed Veterans Affairs Medical Center-Tuscaloosa and the 422-bed Bryce State Mental Hospital.

Tuscaloosa is connected to other parts of the country and the world via air, rail, road and sea. The city lies at the intersection of several highway-grade roadways, including three federal highways (US 11, US 43, and US 82), three Alabama state highways (AL 69, AL 215, and AL 216) and two duplexed (conjoined) Interstates (I-20 and I-59). Interstate 359 spurs off from I-20/I-59 and heads northward, ending just shy of the Black Warrior River in downtown Tuscaloosa.

Greyhound Bus Lines provides passenger bus service to Tuscaloosa. It's station in located at 2520 Stillman Blvd in downtown Tuscaloosa. The Tuscaloosa Transit Authority operates the Tuscaloosa Trolley System. The Tuscaloosa Trolley provides local public bus transportation with four fixed routes that operate Monday through Friday from 5:00AM to 6:00PM. The trolley's paint job is an illusion; it is a El Dorado Transmark RE bus, painted to look like a trolley.

The Tuscaloosa Regional Airport, on the north side of the Black Warrior River west of downtown Northport, is equipped with two lighted runways (6499' and 4001') and provides full facilities for the general aviation which the airport mainly serves. The airport also supports private jetcraft, but passengers of commercial aircraft from Tuscaloosa embark at either the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, located 53 miles away on the east side of downtown Birmingham, or the much larger and busier Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, located 210 miles away in Atlanta, Georgia.

Amtrak provides passenger rail service to Tuscaloosa though the Crescent line, which connects the area to major cities along the east coast from New York to New Orleans. The Amtrak station is situated at 2105 Greensboro Avenue, one mile south of downtown. Norfolk Southern Railway and Alabama Southern Railroad provide freight services to the area. KCS previously provided service to the area before leasing its lines to to Watco in July 2005.

The Army Corps of Engineers has maintained a system of locks and dams along the Black Warrior River for over a century to allow navigability all the way up to Birmingham. Barge traffic thus routinely runs through Tuscaloosa to the Alabama State Docks at Mobile, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Via the Tenn-Tom Waterway, the city is connected to the Ohio River valley and beyond.

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University of Alabama

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The University of Alabama (also known as Alabama, UA, or colloquially as 'Bama) is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. Founded in 1831, UA is the flagship university of the University of Alabama System. Within Alabama, it is often called "the Capstone". UA is the senior and the largest in terms of enrollment of the state's major research universities, the others being academic and athletic rival Auburn University and fellow UA System institutions the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAHuntsville) and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

The University of Alabama offers programs of study in 12 academic divisions leading to bachelor's, master's, Education Specialist, and doctoral degrees. The only publicly-supported law school in Alabama is at UA. Other academic programs unavailable elsewhere in Alabama include doctoral programs in anthropology, library and information studies, metallurgical engineering, music, Romance languages, and social work.

As of fall 2008, Alabama has an enrollment of 27,052 students and its president is Dr. Robert Witt. Under his leadership, the University has experienced significant growth, despite lower admission acceptance rates, and higher academic standards. The UA Honors Program has grown rapidly as well, with one in five freshmen now enrolled in UA’s Honors College. In fall 2007, these 1,066 scored in the top 2 percent nationally on the ACT.

In 1818, Congress authorized the newly created Alabama Territory to set aside a township for the establishment of a "seminary of learning". When Alabama was admitted to the Union on December 14, 1819, a second township was added to the land grant, bringing it to a total of 46,000 acres (186 km²). The General Assembly of Alabama established the seminary on December 18, 1820, named it "The University of the State of Alabama", and created a Board of Trustees to manage the construction and operation of the university. The board chose as the site of the campus a place which was then just outside the city limits of Tuscaloosa, the state capital at the time. The University's charter was presented to the first University president in the nave of Christ Episcopal Church in Tuscaloosa. Alabama opened its doors to students on April 18, 1831, with the Reverend Alva Woods as President.

An academy-style institution during the Antebellum period, the university emphasized the classics and the social and natural sciences. There were around 100 students per year at the University in the 1830s. However, as Alabama was a frontier state and a sizable amount of its territory was still in the hand of various Native American tribes until the 1840s, it lacked the infrastructure to adequately prepare students for the rigors of university education. Consequently, only a fraction of students who enrolled were adequately prepared for a university education and few students graduated, especially in the early years. Those who did graduate often had distinguished careers in Alabama and national politics. Early graduates included Benjamin Porter and Alexander Meek.

There was an active literary culture on campus and in Tuscaloosa. The University had one of the largest libraries in the country on the eve of the Civil War at more than 5000 volumes. There were several thriving literary societies, including the Erosophic and the Phi Beta Kappa societies, which frequently had lectures by distinguished politicians and literary figures, including United States Supreme Court Justice John A. Campbell, novelist William Gilmore Simms, and Professor F.A.P. Barnard (later president of Columbia University).

Discipline and student behavior was a major issue at The University almost from the day it opened. Early presidents attempted to enforce strict rules regarding conduct. Students were prohibited from drinking, swearing, making unauthorized visits off-campus, or playing musical instruments outside of a one-hour time frame. Yet riots and gunfights were not an uncommon occurrence. To combat the severe discipline problem, president Landon Garland lobbied and received approval from the legislature in 1860 to transform the university into a military school. As such, many of the cadets who graduated from the school went on to serve as officers in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. As a consequence of that role, Union troops burned down the campus in April 1865, which was unrelated to Sherman's March to the Sea several months earlier and farther east, in Georgia. Only four buildings survived the burning, including the President's Mansion built in 1841 and the Gorgas House built in 1829 (the oldest building on campus).

The University reopened in 1871 and in 1880, Congress granted The University 40,000 acres (162 km²) of coal land in partial compensation for $250,000 in war damages. The military structure was dropped approximately a decade after the school was officially opened to women in 1892 after much lobbying by Julia Tutwiler to the Board of Trustees. Tutwiler Hall is now the largest female-only dorm on campus.

On June 11, 1963, contrary to the wishes of University administrators, Governor George Wallace made his infamous "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door". He stood in the front entrance of Foster Auditorium in a symbolic attempt to stop the enrollment of two African Americans: Vivian Malone and James Hood. When confronted by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach and federal marshals sent in by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Wallace stepped aside. President John F. Kennedy had called for the integration of the University of Alabama as well. Although Hood dropped out of school after two months, he subsequently returned and, in 1997, received his Ph.D. in philosophy. Malone persisted in her studies and became the first African American to graduate from The University. In 2000, The University granted her a doctorate of humane letters. Later in his life, Wallace apologized for his opposition at that time to racial integration.

Degrees in those eight divisions at the master's, specialist, and doctoral level are awarded through the Graduate School.

The School of Law offers J.D. and LL.M. degree programs. The College of Community Health Sciences provides advanced studies in medicine and related disciplines and operates a family practice residency program. Medical students are also trained in association with the University of Alabama School of Medicine. Finally, the College of Continuing Studies provides correspondence courses and other types of distance education opportunities for non-traditional students. It operates a distance education facility in Gadsden.

Founded in 1971 and merged into the College of Arts and Sciences in 1996, the New College program allows undergraduate students more flexibility in choosing their curriculum while completing a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences degree. The program allows students to create a "depth study" in a particular field chosen by the student. The student completes approved independent studies alongside their normal coursework. The objective of New College is to inspire interdisciplinary learning at the undergraduate level.

UA is composed of a singular campus of approximately 1,000 acres (4 km²). The campus is notable for its abundance of buildings built in the Greek Revival style. Four University of Alabama buildings survived the Civil War: Gorgas House, Maxwell Hall (the Old Observatory), the Little Round House (Civil War lookout post), and the President's Mansion. All are still used today.

Landmarks include the President's Mansion, the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, and Denny Chimes, a campanile equipped with a 25-bell carillon, all of which are located on or near the Quad, the central green on campus. The Quad lies roughly at the geographic center of the campus.

On-campus cultural facilities include the Paul Bryant Museum, the Alabama Museum of Natural History, the Allen Bales Theater, the Marion Gallaway Theater, the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, Morgan Auditorium, and the Frank M. Moody Music Building, which houses the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and the UA Opera Theatre, as well as three resident choirs.

The University also maintains The University of Alabama Arboretum in eastern Tuscaloosa and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab on Dauphin Island.

The Quad anchors the campus. To the east lie buildings housing most of the science and math departments, as well as the College of Nursing. Engineering Row, home of the departments of the College of Engineering, is located to the northeast, and the fine arts and humanities departments of the College of Arts and Sciences are oriented to the north and northwest of the Quad. To the west lie the buildings of the colleges of Commerce and Education. Finally, the College of Communication and Information Sciences, the College of Human Environmental Sciences, and the School of Social Work flank the Quad to the south.

Additionally, the facilities of the School of Law, the School of Music (a division of the College of Arts and Sciences), and the College of Community Health Sciences are located in the far eastern edge of campus. The College of Continuing Education is located in Parham Hall further south of the Quad.

Athletic facilities generally flank the far south edge of campus. Bryant-Denny Stadium is in the southwestern edge of the campus and Coleman Coliseum is in the southeastern edge of campus, near the law school.

The entire campus is served by the CrimsonRide shuttle bus system, which officially started serving campus on August 11, 2007.

As of the fall semester of 2006, The University has a total enrollment of 23,878 undergraduate, professional, and graduate students. Of which, 76% are residents of Alabama and 24% are out-of-state students. 81% of students are white, 11% are African-American and 2% are Hispanic.

In figures from 2005, the most recent available, The University had a faculty of 1,148. 829 held the rank of assistant professor or higher. 922 faculty members were full time. 527 were tenured with 244 on tenure track. 13.8% (114) were minorities and 34.7% (287) were women.

In April 2006, the university announced a capital campaign with a goal of $500 million called "Our Students. Our Future." The "quiet phase" of the campaign, which started in 2002, raised $299 million. The focus of the campaign, to end in 2009, was stated to be "student scholarships, faculty support, campus facilities and priority needs." In November 2007, the university announced that it had raised $428 million.

This campaign will add approximately $250 million to the endowment, currently valued at over $700 million, to bring the university's total endowment to an estimated $1 billion.

Half of the money raised in the capital campaign will go toward student financial aid to recruit and retain students. So far more than $170 million has been allocated to student financial aid. Endowed scholarships account for $75 million.

An additional $77 million has been donated to buildings and facilities. The athletics department and the UA School of Law have raised substantial amounts of money for building purposes.

A ranking of colleges and universities, published in the May 19, 2008 edition of Forbes magazine, ranks the University of Alabama second in the nation among public universities. The ranking also places UA 42nd among all national universities, both public and private. According to both the 2008 and the 2009 US News and World Report America's Best Colleges Edition college rankings, UA had the highest ranking of any university in the state of Alabama. In fact, among all public universities in the US, the University of Alabama is ranked #37, according to the 2009 USNWR America's Best Colleges Edition, up from its national ranking of #41 the previous year. The University of Alabama School of Law is ranked 11th among public law schools and 32nd among all law schools in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report's 2009 edition of its annual "Best Graduate Schools" publication.

The University of Alabama has consistently ranked as a top 50 public university in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and has a selectivity rating of "more selective.". The University of Alabama ranked 12th in the nation among public universities in the enrollment of National Merit Scholars in 2007. Seven University of Alabama students were named to the 2008 USA Today All-USA College Academic Team, the most of any school. This year’s team brings UA’s total for the last six years to 31, a figure that tops all other colleges and universities. In addition to this year, UA had the most students on the list in 2006 with six and in 2005 and 2003, both with five. In 2007, UA tied with Washington University-St. Louis for the most team members with four. In 2004, with four students on the team, UA came in second only to Harvard.

THES - QS World University Rankings puts the University of Alabama 5th in the world (in front of both Princeton and Harvard in terms of citations per staff member.

UA’s undergraduate business program ranked 29th among public undergraduate business schools in U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings, fall 2007 and 48th when private universities are included.

The University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences’ doctoral program in mass communication is ranked seventh nationally by the National Communication Association. The most recent U.S. News rankings for communication graduate programs placed UA’s advertising program 12th and telecommunication 14th in the nation.

The doctoral program in health education, a joint program of The University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, ranks seventh in the nation according to a recent study published in the Journal of Health Education.

UA graduates include 15 Rhodes Scholars, 15 Goldwater Scholars, nine Truman Scholars, one Gates Scholar, one Portz Scholar, and one Udall Scholar.

The law school, ranked the 11th best public law school in the nation by US News and World Report 2009 Graduate Programs Edition, boasts prestigious alumni such as United States Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, long time Alabama senator Howell Heflin, and both current U.S. Senators from Alabama (Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions).

UA is one of the 113 members of the Association of Research Libraries, which yearly compiles internal rankings. In 2004-2005, the last year for which statistics are available, among 113 members, the University of Alabama ranked 94th (where 113 is the bottom) in support staff; 98th in total expenditures; 83rd in total volumes; 73rd in current serials; and 103rd in total items loaned, a measurement of the library's use. This is one of the lowest rankings for a state university in the country.

Published reports have ranked UA among the top four flagship universities in the Southeast and among the nation's top 25 public flagship universities in terms of minority enrollment.

The University continues to hire additional faculty, qualified staff and build additional classrooms, dining facilities, and residence halls to accommodate its planned, but controlled, growth.

Greek letter organizations first appeared at The University in 1847 when two men visiting from Yale University installed a chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon. When DKE members began holding secret meetings in the old state capitol building that year, the administration strongly voiced its disapproval. Over the two decades, four other fraternities appeared at Alabama: Phi Gamma Delta in 1855, Sigma Alpha Epsilon in 1856 (this was the founding chapter), and Kappa Sigma in 1867. Anti-fraternity laws were imposed in that year, but were lifted in 1890s. Women at the University founded the Zeta Chapter of Kappa Delta sorority in 1903. Alpha Delta Pi soon followed.

The University today recognizes 48 social Greek letter organizations. An unknown number of unofficial fraternities and sororities also exist. Three governing boards oversee the operations of the Greek organizations: the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the Panhellenic Association, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). There is also a newly established UGC, or Unified Greek Council, which includes those organizations with multicultural membership who are not national members of the latter three Greek boards. Over one quarter of undergraduates at Alabama are now members of a social Greek letter organization. The number of Greek men has more than doubled since 2002 to almost 2,500 for the fall of 2008 with fifteen fraternities now recording memberships of more than one hundred (within recent years there were none recorded with that number). For the fall 2008 over 3,500 females or 30% of undergraduate females were in a social sorority at UA. Following 2008 fall recruitment, almost all Panhellenic sororities participating through all rounds had potential new member class sizes of 80 or more; nearly all Panhellenic sororities also now have more than 200 total members. In March 2008, the University gained two new sororities to accommodate the growing Greek system interest. Alpha Phi, which had a chapter at the University from 1932 to 1963, colonized in the fall of 2008.

Numerous media outlets are operated by or in conjunction with The University. Student-produced media outlets are all managed by the Office of Student Media, itself controlled by The University-sanctioned Media Planning Board. However, all student publications are editorially independent of The University. The OSM oversees the production of one newspaper, one yearbook, three scholarly publications, and the student-run radio station.

Alabama's athletic teams are known as the Crimson Tide. Alabama competes in the Southeastern Conference (Western Division) of the NCAA's Division I. The Athletic facilities on campus include the 92,138-seat Bryant-Denny Stadium, named after legendary football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and former UA President George Denny, and the 14,619-seat Coleman Coliseum.

Alabama maintains athletic rivalries with Auburn University and the University of Tennessee. The rivalry with Auburn is especially heated as it encompasses all sports. The annual Alabama-Auburn football game is nicknamed the Iron Bowl.

While the rivalry with Tennessee is centered around football for the most part, there is no shortage of acrimony here, especially given the recent history between then-UT Coach Phillip Fulmer and his relationship to the Tide's most recent NCAA probation. There are also rivalries with Louisiana State University (football and baseball), University of Mississippi (football and men's basketball), Mississippi State University (men's basketball), and the University of Georgia (women's gymnastics).

The University of Alabama football program is the most nationally-known of all Alabama's intercollegiate athletics programs. Started in 1892, it is one of the oldest and most tradition-rich football programs in the country. The team has won 21 SEC titles and 12 national championships in polls (including 6 awarded by the Associated Press and 5 by the Coaches Poll). Additionally, the team has compiled 31 10-win seasons and 55 bowl appearances, winning 32 of them – all NCAA records. Alabama has produced 18 hall-of-famers (Paul "Bear" Bryant, Harry Gilmer,Bart Starr, Johnny Mack Brown, Johnny Cain, John Hannah, Frank Howard, Pooley Hubert, Lee Roy Jordan, Dixie Howell, Don Hutson, Vaughn Mancha, Johnny Musso, Joe Namath, Ozzie Newsome, Billy Neighbors, Fred Sington, Wallace Wade, Don Whitmire) and 96 All-Americans honored 105 times.

The Crimson Tide's current home venue, Bryant-Denny Stadium, opened in 1929 with a capacity of around 12,000. The stadium has since grown to an official capacity of 92,138 via several additions, the latest being an upper deck in the north end zone (completed August 2006). This addition includes a premium club level, an official stadium entrance, and a promenade that is prominently featured in pre-game activities. Bryant-Denny Stadium's all-time attendance record is 92,138, set on September 2, 2006 vs. the University of Hawaii. The Tide has also played many rivalry games, among others, at Legion Field in Birmingham.

Nearly synonymous with Alabama football is legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant whose record at The University of Alabama was 232-46-9. He led the Crimson Tide to a national title in 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, and 1979, which is tied with Notre Dame's legendary coach Knute Rockne. Additionally, the 1966 team was the only one in the country to finish undefeated and untied, but poll voters denied the 12-0 Alabama team the three-peat as Michigan State and Notre Dame tied each other 10-10 in what was considered the "Game of the Century" and subsequently split the national championship.

On January 3, 2007, Alabama signed former LSU and Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban to a reported 8 year, $32 million contract, making him the highest paid college football coach at the time.

On April 21, 2007, Alabama fans attended the spring scrimmage ("A-Day") game in record numbers. All 92,138 seats, as well as standing room only areas were filled. Over 20,000 fans were turned away by the Tuscaloosa fire marshal.

Alabama's men's basketball program has been overshadowed for most of its history by football even though it trails only Kentucky in SEC basketball wins, SEC tournament titles and regular season titles. In recent years, the men's basketball program has again risen in stature nationally under head coach Mark Gottfried, achieving a No. 1 national ranking briefly in 2003. Further, UA has once again become a regular conference basketball contender, much as it was in the 80s and early 90s under the direction of Wimp Sanderson and the 70s under C. M. Newton. Alabama has 7 NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. In the 2003-04 season, The University of Alabama's men's basketball team reached the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament. It ended up losing in a tight game to the national champion of that year, the University of Connecticut. Alabama has the second most NCAA tournament wins without reaching the final four. In January 25, 2005, Street & Smith magazine included Alabama in a list of the 100 greatest college basketball programs of all time. The magazine used 15 categories to determine the top 100, including NCAA and NIT appearances and wins, conference championships and tournament championships, graduation rates, all-time winning percentages, and NBA first-round draft picks. Alabama was ranked fourth in the SEC behind only Arkansas, LSU and Kentucky. Some of the notable non-SEC programs that Alabama was ranked ahead of included: Pittsburgh, UMass, Depaul, Providence, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Univ of Southern California, Boston College and Seton Hall. Final proof of the caliber of the programs lies in the many Alabama alumni in the NBA. One notable star, Robert Horry has earned more NBA Championship rings than Michael Jordan.

The women's gymnastics squad at The University of Alabama first competed in 1975. The squad did not have a winning season until the arrival of Sarah Patterson in 1979. In the intervening 26 years under Patterson and her husband David, the squad has won four national championships, five SEC championships, 19 regional titles, and 198 All-American honors. It has placed in the top 5 at the NCAA Championships 19 of the past 21 years and won the championships four times: in 1988, 1991, 1996, and most recently in 2002. The gymnastics squad also hosts an annual fundraiser for breast cancer, where the crowd is encouraged to "Think Pink" and support the cause by turning out in pink clothing.

Gymnastics meets have an average attendance of 9,000 at Coleman Coliseum. Meets against the team's arch-rival, the University of Georgia Gymdogs, often sell out. Alabama holds two of the five NCAA records for the largest gymnastics crowds of all time, including an attendance of 15,043 fans on Feb. 1, 1997.

In October 2005, Mal Moore announced the addition of Alabama's 21st varsity sport. The women's rowing team became the newest varsity sport at The University of Alabama in Fall 2006. The team was added due to the NCAA's Title IX and allows for 20 full scholarships.

Taking only girls who had previously rowed for the Alabama Crew Club(est. 1987) and other walk-ons, Head Coach Larry Davis built the program from the ground up. In the first year of competition (2006-2007), the Tide defeated the University of Cincinnati, Creighton University, and Murray State University and also won medals at the Chattanooga Head Race and the Head of the South.

The second year (2007-2008) of competition surprised many as the Varsity 8 went on to win silver medals at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA and also the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships in Oakridge, TN. The Tide again medaled at the Chattanooga Head Race and the Head of the South and recorded several match race victories against Southern Methodist University, Creighton, Murray State, Drake University, and the University of North Carolina. The team also landed three boats in the top 10 of their categories at the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, PA.

Within two years, the team has had 25 athletes earn SEC Academic Honor Roll honors and 16 earn Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete awards. For the 2007-2008 school year, Women's Rowing won the team service award by posting the most number of community service hours (over 1500) out of all women's sports at Alabama.

The most distinctive of Alabama's traditions are almost always associated with football. The nickname "Crimson Tide" originated with the 1907 Iron Bowl. Auburn, heavily favored to win, was forced to accept a tie with Alabama after a hard-fought game. Describing the game, one sportswriter described the offensive line as a "Crimson Tide", in reference to their crimson jerseys.

Yea Alabama Yea, Alabama! Drown 'em Tide! Every 'Bama man's behind you, Hit your stride. Go teach the Bulldogs to behave, Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave. And if a man starts to weaken, That’s a shame! For Bama's pluck and grit have Writ her name in Crimson Flame. Fight on, fight on, fight on men! Remember the Rose Bowl, we’ll win then. So roll on to victory, Hit your stride, You're Dixie’s football pride, Crimson Tide, Roll Tide, Roll Tide!!

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Ryan DeGraffenried

William Ryan deGraffenried, Jr. (1950 – December 7, 2006) was an American politician who served as President Pro Tempore of the Alabama State Senate from 1987 to 1995.

DeGraffenried was a graduate of the University of Alabama and the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He represented Tuscaloosa in the Alabama State Senate from 1978 until 1994 and served as the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, from 1987 until 1994. He was elected to the Senate in a special election when then- State Sen. Richard Shelby was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to fill the vacancy of Walter Flowers.

After Governor H. Guy Hunt was removed from office due to criminal conviction, the Lieutenant Governor, Jim Folsom, Jr. became the new governor. DeGraffenried, as the President Pro Tempore of the state Senate, became next in line for the governorship for the remainder of the quadrennium.

DeGraffenried ran unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor in 1994, losing the Democratic primary to future Governor Don Siegelman. He then returned to practicing law in Tuscaloosa and later became a contract lobbyist.

His father, Ryan DeGraffenried, Sr., was also a notable Alabama politician.

He died in 2006 at Hoover, Alabama, aged 56.

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Source : Wikipedia