In 1896, the community of Montevallo was selected as the site for a new state educational institution for women. Several factors recommended the town over larger rivals. Located near the center of the state, Montevallo had pure water, scenic beauty, and a relaxed, small-town atmosphere, not to mention a generous offer of support from enthusiastic local citizens.
The school opened on October 12 in Reynolds Hall, an 1851 building that still houses classrooms and offices. Each year, the second Thursday of October is still celebrated on campus as Founders’ Day. As Alabama College, the school served as the state college for women until 1956, when the first full-time male students were admitted.
As enrollment grew and programs expanded, Alabama College was reorganized and, in 1969, was renamed the University of Montevallo. Now, in its second century, the University remains committed to the vision and high standards established by its founders.
Mission and Goals
The University’s mission, unique in higher education in Alabama, is “to provide to students from throughout the state an affordable, geographically accessible, ‘small college’ public higher educational experience of high quality, with a strong emphasis on undergraduate liberal studies and with professional programs supported by a broad base of arts and sciences, designed for their intellectual and personal growth in the pursuit of meaningful employment and responsible, informed citizenship.” Affirmed by the Board of Trustees in 1978 and again as recently as 2008, the mission statement is incorporated into state statutes. The University also regularly adopts and publishes a strategic plan, which becomes the basis for developing and evaluating all of the institution’s activities.
For undergraduates, our vision is to offer academically capable students from all sociodemographic backgrounds an affordable, life-enriching, “honors college” experience stressing community service and global awareness, all within an atmosphere of national historic beauty and a tradition of innovative cultural expression. Our vision for graduate students builds on this undergraduate foundation, using traditional and innovative instructional methods to foster growth in specialized skills and knowledge required by practicing educators, counselors, speech-language clinicians,
scholars in the humanities, and other professional leaders, within a nurturing environment steeped in the unique “Montevallo experience.”
The University-wide assessment program measures progress toward established goals and student learning outcomes, promotes improvements in teaching and learning, evaluates the accomplishment of educational and administrative goals, and facilitates continuing review of institutional effectiveness. Students participate in a variety of evaluative activities, beginning during the freshman year and continuing beyond graduation. Students may be required to take nationally and locally developed tests and surveys, contribute to portfolios, share ideas in focus groups, respond to interviews, or participate in other ways to improve the education and services provided by the University. Assessments of aspects of institutional effectiveness are regularly conducted by and through academic and administrative departments.
The University of Montevallo is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Educational Specialist degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia, 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of Montevallo.
Additionally, the University is committed to attaining national accreditation in its programs where such recognition is available and appropriate. The University of Montevallo and its programs have been accredited or approved by the following organizations:
- Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
- American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS)
- The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
- Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)/Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
- Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
- National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
All education programs that result in state licensure are also approved by the Alabama State Board of Education.
The University is also a member of the prestigious Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) and the Birmingham Area Consortium for Higher Education (BACHE).
Famous for its red brick streets and paths, the 160-acre main campus has more than 40 buildings surrounded by lawns, groves, and flower beds. The central portion of the campus is a National Historic District with two antebellum structures, including the 1823 Edmund King House. The Olmsted Brothers-of the landscape architecture firm famous for designing New York’s Central Park, Atlanta’s Ponce de Leon Avenue parks, and the grounds of Biltmore Estate near Asheville, North Carolina-also developed the first plan for the Montevallo campus. Their basic design ideas are still followed.
Farmer Hall, the Student Union Building, is home to the James R. Wilkinson Student Life Center at Farmer Hall. The Center includes dining options, a game room, an indoor lounge area, an outdoor patio and a spirit store filled with school memorabilia available for purchase. Farmer Hall also houses a student post office and the Student Life and SGA offices.
The Stewart Student Retreat Center is available for informal gatherings of up to 150 people. The Center was constructed in 1991.
The 1,200-seat Palmer Auditorium, with a large stage and orchestra pit, opened in 1930 and was renovated and rededicated in 1980. The acoustically advanced, 250- seat LeBaron Recital Hall was completed in 1972. The Merchants and Planters Bank Auditorium at Comer Hall contains technologically advanced multi-media equipment and is used extensively for lectures and films. Reynolds Studio Theatre, housed in the historic Reynolds Hall, is a flexible performance space of approximately 160 seats. The theatre contains state-of-the art lighting and sound equipment and serves as the venue for most UM Theatre Department productions.
The science building, Harman Hall, contains seven laboratories, 14 laboratory-lecture rooms, and a computer room.
The University’s James Wylie Shepherd Observatory (JWSO) is located roughly three miles from the main campus, at UM’s Gentry Springs property. The facility is capable of world-class astronomical telescopic observation and astrophotography, has a dedicated telescope for solar viewing, and is one of very few observatories in the country that is designed specifically to be completely accessible to people of all disabilities. The JWSO’s auxiliary telescopes for solar and planetary observing can be set up at various locations outside the main dome, which is surrounded by solar-powered low-level lighting. A newly installed 1.4 kW solar generator produces more electricity than the Observatory consumes, and the new Command Center features self-composting toilets and a rainwater collection and purification system. These green initiatives provide another step forward in a massive environmental turnaround at the site, a former university construction-debris landfill.
The University’s Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve is located on Spring Creek, approximately six miles northeast of the campus. It consists of 120 acres of wooded wetlands and is home to numerous species of fungi, plants, and animals. The Preserve is used for teaching and research purposes. Ongoing research projects include water-quality testing and surveys of vegetation and macroinvertebrate diversity.
Bloch Hall, built in 1915, was the first separate permanent classroom building on campus. It houses the Departments of Family and Consumer Sciences and Art. Art students display their work in The Gallery at Bloch Hall, which is located on the lower level of the building.
Wills Hall, the home of the College of Education, houses classrooms, faculty offices, The Malone Center for Excellence in Teaching and an up-to-date microcomputer laboratory. Most Wills Hall classrooms provide state-of-the- art, multimedia-enhanced instruction.
The University offers excellent facilities for the practice and performance of music. There is a Holtkamp organ in Palmer Auditorium and a Flentrop organ in LeBaron Recital Hall. At Davis Hall, home of the Music Department, are LeBaron Recital Hall, soundproof practice rooms, and the Long Music Technology Laboratory.
The Mass Communication Center contains a fully equipped television studio, editing suites, and other radio and television broadcasting equipment.
The Wallace Speech and Hearing Center houses the offices and classrooms of the Department of Communication Science and Disorders. Expanded in 1991, it includes a diagnostic center for the treatment of speech and hearing disorders.
The Van Tuyll House, located at 744 Oak Street next to Napier Hall, is home to Graduate Admissions and Records. This historic house was renovated during the summer of 2009. Built during the late-19th century by Henry Lyman, it was once the home of Dr. Hendrik Van Tuyll, former UM professor of philosophy and religion.
University athletic facilities include Johnson Baseball Field, tennis courts, varsity and practice soccer fields, a softball field, a track and field complex, and the Robert M. McChesney Student Activity Center, which opened in 2004. The 97,000 square-foot Center provides for a variety of recreational activities including aerobics, weight and circuit training, and racquetball. A 3,500-seat convocation center is the home of Falcon basketball and volleyball. University facilities coordinated through the McChesney Center include two gymnasiums, an indoor swimming pool, several athletic fields, tennis courts, a sand volleyball facility, a lake and camping area, an 18-hole golf course, and a driving range.
There are several computer labs, supported by the Technology Services Department, available for student use. The campus has access to the Internet through the Alabama Supercomputer Authority.
The nine air-conditioned student residence halls provide telephone and cable-television access in each room, as well as connections to the campus electronic network and the Internet. A network of television and fiber-optic cable also connects all classroom buildings.
Ramsay Hall, which is the residential hall for UM Honors students, contains conference rooms, as well as the offices of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment; Central Calendar; and University Events. An event planner is available to coordinate campus conferences and workshops. Reservations and rate information may be obtained by calling (205) 665-6280.
Adjacent to campus, the Alabama Traffic Safety Center offers traffic safety teacher preparation coursework, as well as corporate- and public-sector driver training programs. The Center houses classrooms, a driving range, and skid pad training facilities. Center personnel deliver motorcycle rider training at sites in Dothan, Huntsville, and Montgomery, as well as on campus.
The University library is housed in Oliver Cromwell Carmichael Hall and includes a collection of more than 250,000 books, 800 current journal subscriptions, and microforms, DVDs, videos, and multimedia resources. The library provides access to more than 115 electronic databases, including more than 5,000 electronic journals, and the library’s EBSCO Electronic Classroom provides space for 25-30 students to receive hands-on instruction in the use of electronic information resources. Study areas, group study rooms, and photocopiers are located throughout the library’s three floors. The library’s lobby area is used for displays of faculty and student art works, costumes for theatrical productions, and other exhibits. Materials not owned by Carmichael Library can be obtained through interlibrary loan at no cost to students. Library faculty provide instruction in the use of print and electronic library resources, and all library staff members are available to assist patrons with research and information needs.
Luis Benejam Music Library
The Luis Benejam Music Library, part of the Carmichael Library collection, was named for Luis Benejam, violinist and composer-in-residence at the University for many years. The Benejam Music Library includes audio equipment, sound recordings, and music scores, including manuscripts of Benejam’s works. Many of Benejam’s original manuscripts are housed in the University’s archives.
The Malone Center for Excellence in Teaching
The Malone Center for Excellence in Teaching models and promotes the use of innovative ideas and practices that will enhance teaching, learning, and instructional technology use. It offers a wide range of resources and services that support and guide UM faculty and students in striving to continually improve teaching and learning experiences. The Malone Center for Excellence in Teaching offers services and support under four divisions: Curriculum and Learning Resources, Computing Labs, Videoconferencing, and Technology-Enhanced Learning Spaces.
The Curriculum and Learning Resource Center houses approximately 12,000 print and non-print instructional resources and supplies. The collection supports professional education programs in particular and consists of state-approved textbooks, state courses of study, national education standards, periodicals, student-produced teaching units, children’s literature, big books, professional and reference books, and expanding multicultural and special education collections.
The Computing Labs division consists of two computer labs within Wills Hall. The labs predominately serve the instructional needs of the College of Education. These facilities are also available to the campus community to support student, faculty, and staff training; proctored testing for online courses; and in other ways necessary to support campus-wide improvements in teaching and learning.
The Videoconferencing division supports the College of Education’s expanding utilization of videoconferencing technology for teacher education. Additionally, The Malone Center for Excellence in Teaching promotes the use of videoconferencing by proactively modeling, demonstrating, and showcasing the capabilities and potential of this instructional tool to other colleges and units on campus.
The Technology-Enhanced Learning Spaces division consists of multimedia classrooms and carts within the College of Education and the Digital Café located in The Malone Center for Excellence in Teaching. The Digital Café is a state-of-the-art learning space that includes easily reconfigurable furniture, a laptop bar (to support student laptop use), small-group work areas (with 32” LCD monitors and laptop ports), mobile white boards, 56” LCD monitor for large-group multimedia presentations, and an open student lounge. In addition to serving as a more traditional classroom when necessary, this flexible facility is primarily intended to serve as an “incubator” space to promote experimental, non-traditional, and highly innovative models for teaching and learning.
The University recognizes the value of technology, both as an instructional medium and in fostering essential skills that will benefit students after graduation. Students are encouraged to use computers whenever possible in their class preparation and study. Computers are available across campus for student use either in general-purpose or discipline-specific laboratories, or in multimedia classrooms. The general-purpose lab, located in Carmichael Library, has computers in either Macintosh® or PC formats.
Students also have access through the Internet to a variety of information about the University and outside educational resources. From the University’s home page students may link to administrative services such as application to the University and class registration, and may obtain grades, billings, class schedules, and department-specific information. E-mail is an official method of communication between the University and students. Student e-mail accounts are provided free of charge through forUM, the University-maintained e-mail program. Students are responsible for regularly checking their forUM accounts in a timely fashion. For more information on forUM usage, refer to the “Communications with Students” section in this chapter.
Students are encouraged to use their own computers both from campus sites and from off campus via the Internet to communicate with other students, professors or administrative offices. A local area network connects all academic buildings and each residence hall room.
Gentle ridges crisscross the heavily wooded countryside around Montevallo. Nearby Oak Mountain State Park offers 10,000 acres of hiking, boating, swimming, golf, tennis and fishing, plus a 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater. Historic Brierfield Ironworks Park features a pool and facilities for picnicking or camping.
The town of approximately 4,200 residents is seven miles from Interstate 65 and U.S. 31. Near the geographic center of Alabama, Montevallo is about 35 miles south of Birmingham and 60 miles north of Montgomery. State highways 25, 119 and 155 intersect at Montevallo. Several major airlines serve the Birmingham airport, and there is a small municipal airport at Alabaster, within 10 miles of campus.
The American Village Citizenship Trust is located on Highway 119, just a few miles north of the city of Montevallo. Created by legislative act in 1995 and dedicated in November 1999, the American Village is the first civic education campus in the country built to provide experience-based learning for young people. In addition, the Alabama National Cemetery, a 479-acre facility owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is also located in Montevallo on Hwy. 119.
An industrial center since the 19th century, the nearby “Magic City” is now a world leader in health-care technology. The city’s Kirklin Clinic is a masterpiece of renowned architect I. M. Pei, and the Birmingham Museum of Art is a cultural resource.
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute commemorates the city’s recent history as a center of the struggle for racial justice. The Institute’s museum makes innovative use of video, artifacts and interactive displays, and its facilities regularly house programs and exhibits concerning human rights. Other Birmingham-area attractions include a zoo, botanical gardens, the Five Points South district and Sloss Furnaces, an historic landmark that also serves as a unique gathering place for concerts and festivals. The Riverchase Galleria is the largest mixed-use center in the Southeast, and the 26th largest retail center in the nation.
Birmingham’s hands-on science and technology center, the McWane Science Center, offers ScienceQuest, Just Mice Size, World of Water, Science of Sports, the Challenger Learning Center: Alabama, and the IMAX® Dome Theatre.
Montevallo is a public university and receives slightly less than 38 percent of its annual operating budget from state appropriations. Thirty-three percent of the budget is derived from tuition and fees. Other income and gifts provide the balance for annual operations. Private charitable gifts and bequests are an increasingly important source of funds. Through the Annual Fund and other giving programs, alumni, parents, students, and friends provide additional support for scholarships, academic and athletic programs, research, equipment, and special recognitions. Tax-deductible gifts for University programs, scholarships, and other uses are received by the University of Montevallo Foundation. The Foundation is an autonomous, private, non-profit corporation, governed by a Board of Directors.
Organized in 1902, the Alumni Association helps maintain ties between the University and its alumni. Everyone who has matriculated at Montevallo is eligible for active membership in the Association. Students can also participate through the Student Alumni Association of Montevallo. The Mary Lee Garrett Brown Alumni Center is located in Reynolds Hall. Alumni chapters meet in all parts of Alabama and in other states. An elected Board of Directors manages the affairs of the association. In addition to planning special events and educational opportunities for alumni, the association awards the prestigious Alumni Honors Scholarships.
Food service for students is provided in Anna Irvin Hall, a central dining facility. Faculty, staff, and visitors may use the dining hall on a per-meal basis. A food-service firm operates the dining services under contract on a seven-day schedule when classes are in session. Students with special dietary needs may present a copy of the diet to the Food Services Manager; such diets are prepared in the cafeteria. Additional food options are located in Farmer Hall, the Student Union Building, and Carmichael Library.
University holidays, which are listed in the University Calendar , are winter and spring vacations, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving. There are no classes during University holidays. The cafeteria and residence halls, except Brooke, Lund, and Peck Halls, are closed during the Thanksgiving holiday and winter and spring vacations.
Communications with Students
The University uses an e-mail system (forUM), as well as post office boxes, to officially communicate with students. Each undergraduate student is assigned a forUM e-mail address, and resident undergraduate students are assigned a mail box in the campus post office, which is located in Farmer Hall. Both are provided at no charge to registered students. Students are responsible for checking their e-mail accounts and post office boxes in a timely fashion and on a regular basis.
ForUM e-mail is the official means of communication among students, faculty, and administrators at the University of Montevallo - and may be the official means of communication between students and their instructors. Students may receive a variety of very important forUM e-mail messages from various offices on campus for which some timely response will be required. The official e-mail system for students is identified by userID@forum.montevallo.edu and can be accessed via the forUM link on the University’s website.
Students should remember that:
- They are responsible for monitoring and managing their account regularly, even during breaks.
- They are responsible for all announcements, requests, and/or sensitive information delivered to their forUM e-mail account, including information provided by the instructors of courses in which they are enrolled.
- They may electronically forward their forUM e-mail to another e-mail address (e.g., @hotmail.com, @gmail.com), but at their own risk. The University is not responsible for the handling of forwarded e-mail. Having e-mail forwarded does not absolve students from the responsibilities associated with communication sent to their official forUM e-mail address.
- Questions regarding forUM e-mail accounts should be directed to Technology Services at 665-6520. The Help Desk is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Any problems related to forUM e-mail should be reported to Technology Services at 665-6520.
UMAlert Emergency Contact System
The University of Montevallo utilizes a state-of-the-art, rapid-alert system called UMAlert. This system provides members of the UM community with the most-advanced rapid communication program currently available for schools.
UMAlert enhances the timeliness of UM’s emergency communications and provides the University with a convenient and effective tool for informing students, faculty, and staff of human or natural threats. Through UMAlert, members of the University community, whether on campus or not, can be notified within moments of an urgent event. Emergency messages are sent via telephone (land line and cell), voice mail, text messaging, and e-mail.
The University telephone service is toll-free in the greater-Birmingham area. Students living on campus may arrange for telephone service through the local provider.
This Bulletin should be retained by students throughout their enrollment at the University. It contains essential information for prospective and enrolled students and the general public regarding admission requirements, course listings, curricula, academic standards, and general regulations.
The Fledgling, published on the University’s website by the Student Government Association, contains the traditions and regulations of the University.
Wednesday Memo, the official bi-weekly newsletter of the University, is circulated among faculty, staff, residence-hall directors, and student-government leaders.
The alumni magazine, Montevallo Today, is published three times per year and is mailed to graduates, former students, and friends of the University.