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, on the second Thursday of October, that day 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 in 1989, the mission statement is incorporated into state statutes. The University also regularly adopts and publishes a statement of goals, which becomes the basis for evaluating all of the institution’s activities.
The University-wide assessment program measures progress toward educational outcome goals, 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 other aspects of institutional effectiveness are regularly conducted by and through academic and administrative departments.
The University of Montevallo is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools [1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097; (404) 697-4500] to award bachelors’ and masters’ degrees.
Additionally, the University is committed to attaining national accreditation in its undergraduate programs where such recognition is available and appropriate. The University of Montevallo and its programs have been accredited or approved by the following organizations:
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, contains a post office, bookstore, Jazzman’s Cafe (a New Orleans-style coffee house), TV lounge, and 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.
The science building, Harman Hall, contains seven laboratories, 14 laboratory-lecture rooms, and a computer room.
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.
University athletic facilities include Johnson Baseball Field, tennis courts, varsity and practice soccer fields, 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 swimming, aerobics, weight and circuit training, and racquetball. A 3,500-seat convocation center is the home of Falcon basketball and volleyball.
There are several computer labs, supported by the Computer Services Department, available for student use. The campus has access to the Internet through the Alabama Supercomputer Authority.
The eight 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 Conference Center and Lodge contains offices, conference rooms, and 40 overnight guest rooms. This facility has enabled the University to broaden its scope of activities in Continuing Education to include multi-day workshops, conferences, and weekend courses. The lodge is also available to overnight guests. Group facilities for up to 650 persons are available during the summer. A planner is available to coordinate conferences and workshops. Reservations and rate information may be obtained by calling (205) 665-6280.
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.
Malone Curriculum Center
Located in Wills Hall, the Malone Curriculum Center houses materials and equipment related to teaching. The center is available to College of Education students and to teachers already in service.
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. Approximately 340 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 58 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* (formerly UMail), the University-maintained e-mail program. Students are responsible for regularly checking their ForUM* accounts in a timely fashion.
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.
Montevallo is a town of 4,200 residents, near the geographic center of Alabama, about 35 miles south of Birmingham and 60 miles north of Montgomery. The town is seven miles from Interstate 65 and U.S. 31. State highways 25, 119, and 155 all intersect at Montevallo.
Montevallo is a public university and receives approximately one-half of its annual operating budget from state appropriations. About one-fourth 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. Jazzman’s Cafe, a New Orleans-style coffee house, is located in Farmer Hall, the Student Union Building. Jazzman’s Cafe features an extensive menu of hot and cold beverages, smoothies, and soft drinks, as well as gourmet sandwiches and salads.
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 Peck Hall, are closed during the Thanksgiving holiday and winter and spring vacations. Students are expected to leave campus by 5 p.m. the day classes conclude prior to winter and spring holidays, and by 3 p.m. the day classes conclude prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.
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 expected to obtain a mail box in the campus post office, located in Farmer Hall. Boxes are provided at no charge to all registered students. Students are responsible for checking their e-mail accounts and post office boxes in a timely fashion and on a regular basis.
The University telephone service is toll-free in the greater-Birmingham area. Students living on campus may place long-distance phone calls using a cellular phone or a pre-paid card with a toll-free number.
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, cost of attendance, 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 weekly newsletter of the University, is circulated among faculty, staff, residence-hall directors, and student-government leaders.
The alumni magazine, Montevallo Today, published in January, April, July, and October, is mailed to graduates, former students, and friends of the University.
*Updated November 21, 2008 (ForUM replaced UMail after the initial publication of this page. UMail was decommissioned October 30, 2008.)