• UWA to graduate nearly 600 at May 10 commencement

    Posted: May 01, 2014

    Author: Public Relations

    The University of West Alabama will honor more than 550 graduates at the spring commencement exercises Saturday, May 10, during two ceremonies. Both ceremonies will be held in Pruitt Gymnasium on the UWA campus, with Presidential Receptions open to all graduates and their guests in the Bell Conference Center.

    The University will confer degrees in the Ira D. Pruitt Division of Nursing and in the colleges of Liberal Arts, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Business, and Education at a 10 a.m. ceremony. Students in the School of Graduate Studies will receive degrees in a 2 p.m. ceremony.

    The University will present the 2014 William E. Gilbert Award for Outstanding Teaching to a faculty member nominated by students. The graduating student(s) with the highest GPA will be awarded the 2014 Ralph M. Lyon Award.

    In addition, the University will confer honorary degrees to Robert S. Gamble and Wayne T. Smith.

    A native of Montgomery, Ala., Gamble, Senior Architectural Historian for the Alabama Historical Commission, is recognized both regionally and nationally for his work regarding the architectural history of Alabama. Through his lectures, publications, tours, and passion for preservation, Mr. Gamble has educated two generations of Alabamians about the significance of buildings to the state’s history.

    As a scholar and leading authority of 19th and early 20th century Alabama architecture, Gamble has identified and helped to preserve many of the state’s most important buildings–in particular its earliest and most vulnerable structures. An accomplished writer, Mr. Gamble has authored several publications, including Silent in the Land (1993) and Sully: The Biography of a House, which received the 1975 Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.

    Smith, a Franklin, Tenn., resident, is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Community Health Systems, Inc., which owns and operates 206 full-service, acute care hospitals in twenty-nine states. Prior to joining Community Health Systems, Smith was with Humana, Inc. for twenty-three years, where he served as President and COO and was also a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to his tenure as President and COO, Smith held a wide variety of senior management positions with Humana.

    For the last twelve years, Smith has been selected by the readers of Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare,” ranking #17 in 2013. Financial analysts and portfolio managers have voted Smith one of the top CEOs in the healthcare facilities sector in Institutional Investor magazine for eight consecutive years. In October 2007, he was named CEO of the Year by Business Tennessee magazine, and in July 2008, he was named a winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.

    Director of Choral Activities Willie Williams will lead the UWA Choir in a special performance honoring graduates. In addition, the UWA Band, directed by Glenn Smith, will perform.

    Guests must have tickets, which are available from the graduates, to attend the ceremonies in Pruitt Gym. Overflow seating to watch the commencement exercises will be available in Bibb Graves Auditorium. For more information, call 205-652-3833. 
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