An Alumna Visits the New and Improved University of Alabama at Birmingham
My Experience as a UAB Student in the late 80's
I attended UAB in the late 1980's and was less than impressed. The campus was oddly laid out and sprawled across downtown Birmingham. You had to take the location of the classes into account when signing up for a new semester. The building were old even then and not well maintained. There was a student center, but it was nothing to write home about. I found it hard to feel like I was in a community during my years at UAB, and of course, this is just my experience - perhaps others would not agree.
In April 2013, I visited my niece, who is first year student at UAB. She has been very enthusiastic about college life, her professors, the dorm, her new friends - all of it. I couldn't imagine that we were talking about the same university. She took me around the campus and showed me a few of the many things she loves about the campus. I was pleasantly surprised.
The University Honors Program
Actually the University Honors Program started in the early 80's but it has really blossomed into a great asset and must be a valuable recruiting tool. My niece attends her honors seminars there and can study or just hang out in the beautiful building. She has priority registration for her classes, which replace her core curriculum and lives in honors housing. This has been a great way for her to make friends and become part of the honors community at UAB, plus of course, it's going to look great on her transcript.
The Campus Green is a very large, beautifully kept area for students to study, play or nap outside. Movies are held there and it is a natural meeting place for clubs and other activities. It has hammock hooks in the trees so you can hang up your hammock for the afternoon. Electrical outlets are plentiful. Everyone looked so relaxed and I can only imagine that this area must be the heart of the school. I am completely positive that this was not at UAB when I was there!
Commons on the Green
The Commons on the Green is a very nice dining hall for the students. It is very large, nicely laid out, has free wifi and overlooks the beautiful Campus Green. The food was great when I had lunch with my niece.
UAB Recreation Center
I vaguely remember the rec center as a bland and uninteresting building when I was a student. In contrast, UAB's rec center was named as one of the 25 "most amazing campus student recreation centers in the country" by Best College Reviews, which you can read about here. The rec center has a lazy river in its aquatic center, a climbing wall, you name it and it's probably there.
And Last, But Not Least, The Academics
US News ranked UAB #151 in the nation in 2012 - not bad! With tuition approximately $7000 for in-state and an acceptance rating of 72%, this university is worth a look. After my visit, I have a new appreciation for UAB's commitment to the campus and more importantly, to the campus life of students.
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