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September 28, 2015

UM Social Work Program Celebrates 90th Anniversary This Year in Coordination with ‘Advocacy Day’

The University of Montevallo Social Work Program is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

Originally founded in 1925 at ‘Alabama College’ the social work program began during a time when social work was an underdeveloped profession and only taught in urban universities. Miss Myrtle Brooke, Chairperson of the Sociology Department at the time, organized summer training in social work as early as 1924 by employing faculty from the University of Chicago and Simmons College to teach professional training programs in social casework and community organization in Alabama. Later, in 1925, the University of Montevallo established the first social work major in the State of Alabama and one of the oldest in the southern United States.

In 1974, the social work major became the first accredited undergraduate professional social work education program in Alabama, where it has remained accredited ever since.

“Many of the graduates of the social work program have been instrumental in the development of child welfare, mental health, public health, and aging services across the United States and abroad, but particularly in the State of Alabama, where myriad issues such as rural poverty continue to burden many families,” said Dr. Jason Newell, Associate Professor and Director of the Social Work Program at the University of Montevallo. “Given the rich and full history of social work education at The University of Montevallo, we are pleased to celebrate the Program’s 90th anniversary this year in many special ways.”

In coordination with the anniversary, the Program hosted ‘Advocacy Day’ on Tuesday, Sept. 22 alongside the University of Montevallo Counseling Program. The Advocacy Day Conference took place at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens with approximately 150 participants.