The University of Alabama Department of History is proud of its many alumni—over 6,000 in all. They can be found around the country and around the world, but many are close to campus, especially in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, and the department has been actively working with young alumni to grow its “Friends of History” program, a network of alumni and supporters who gather to build relationships and enrich their understanding of the past.
In addition to a faculty steering committee, the group has involved alumni and supporters from outside the University. One of the leaders is Ryan Stallings, a recent graduate of the UA business school who is passionate about (among many other things) British history.
Another is Christina McClellan, a 2007 History alumna who went on to earn advanced degrees in both History and Museum Studies from the University of Colorado. After serving for several years as the collections manager and coordinator of exhibitions and programs at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts in Birmingham, she is now Associate Professor and Curator of the Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences at UAB.
“Over the last few months it has been great to reconnect with the UA History Department,” McClellan said. “I’ve enjoyed learning how the department has evolved with new faculty, ideas, and classes, while really enjoying the chance to reconnect with my professors and mentors. One of my favorite events thus far was the Birmingham Alumni meet up. I got to catch up with both the faculty and other alumni I have not seen in a few years.” McClellan was a valued member of the team that helped organize the recent alumni meeting in Birmingham. “I look forward to future events,” she says, “where we can not only meet up to have fun and reconnect, but get that chance to explore our favorite subject matters again – without the pressures of a pending exam of course!”
Dr. Lesley Gordon, chair of the department’s Development Committee, looks forward to an exciting future for the group. A series of talks, outings, gatherings, and other events will help “build new and sustaining connections with our alumni and opportunities for all to support our department.”
In recent years, generous donations to the department, large and small, have made an enormously positive impact for our students and faculty, from funding for undergraduate scholarships and support for our Peer Mentor program, to enhanced graduate student fellowships. Visit our Supporting the Department page for more information on how you can support the department’s programs and initiatives.