UA Honors College could be renamed through Capital Campaign 

Sneha Subramani , Staff Reporter

Naming the University of Alabama Honors College is a priority that the University hopes to accomplish through a $20 million endowed gift. 

The Honors College announced this goal in its case statement for the Rising Tide Capital Campaign, which is the largest fundraising campaign in state history. The University launched the public phase of its $1.5 billion campaign on Sept. 10. 

“We have several priorities in the Capital Campaign,” said Tara Williams, dean of the Honors College. “Naming the Honors College is the top among those priorities because such an investment would allow us to enhance the Honors student experience while also bringing it national recognition.” 

The effort to rename Honors Hall, the building that houses the Honors College, is still underway by the UA System Board of Trustees. The building was known as Nott Hall until it was renamed in August 2020 as a systemwide effort to remove racist namesakes from campus buildings. 

This effort is separate from the renaming of the Honors College and is under the jurisdiction of the Board of Trustees. 

The Board of Trustees approved the gift amount required to rename the Honors College. Now, the fundraising staff will research and identify potential donors. The $20 million, if awarded by the time the Rising Tide Capital Campaign concludes in 2026, will be counted in the Honors College’s $8 million fundraising goal and the University’s overall $1.5 billion goal. 

Alli Swann, an Honors College recruitment intern, said it’s beneficial to rename the Honors College if students have a collective voice in the decision. 

“As both an Honors College recruitment intern and honors student, I interact with both prospective and current students on a daily basis. If the Honors College were to be renamed by a big donor, I can foresee potential students asking who that may be,” she said.

Once a donor has been identified, Honors College leadership and staff will work alongside the donor to determine suitable ways to use the $20 million. 

Williams said other priorities include new programs to serve first-generation students and students of color, an endowment for the University Fellows Experience, faculty support and student scholarships. 

“We’d be able to add and expand opportunities for students to grow as individuals, to develop as leaders, and to contribute as engaged citizens in addition to renaming the Honors College.”