The University of West Alabama will honor over 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.
The University will confer honorary degrees to Robert S. Gamble
and Wayne T. Smith.
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, Mr. 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, Mr.
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, Mr. Smith held
a wide variety of senior management positions with Humana. For the
last twelve years, Mr. 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 Mr. 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.