Have you heard about the Blount Scholars Program? This unique first-year program offers University of Alabama students an incredible living-learning experience! Let our students and faculty tell you more.
The Blount Scholars Program (formerly the Blount Undergraduate Initiative) was established by the College in 1999 to provide the challenging and stimulating environment of a small, liberal arts college in the heart of a comprehensive research university. It is named for the late Winton Blount, an Alabama industrialist and former U.S. Postmaster General who, along with the Blount Foundation, established the program with a $7 million endowment. Winton Blount believed strongly in the importance of a liberal arts education to develop critical thinkers who will advance our communities and our nation. Blount graduates are known for being creative leaders and experts in their chosen endeavors. Twenty percent go on to law school, 15 percent to medical school, 5 percent earn MBA’s. Some 35 percent are inducted into Phi Beta Kappa each year and many have won coveted national awards. The Blount name is synonymous with accomplishment and holds the prestigious position as the University’s premier undergraduate program for developing scholars and leaders.
The courses and faculty come from the three main areas of the College of Arts & Sciences: humanities and fine arts, the social sciences, and sciences. The goal of the academic program is to help students learn to analyze, write, and speak effectively. In the process, students take seminars that expose them to great thinkers ranging from Plato and Homer to Shakespeare, Toni Morrison, E. O. Wilson, and Stephen Pinker.
A student completing the requirements for the Blount program (20 semester hours) receives a minor in Liberal Arts. But more than that, a successful Blount student receives the essential tools for a successful university career.
An important aspect of the Blount program is its first-year, residential college experience. All incoming students (as well as some upperclass Blount students) live in the Blount Living and Learning Center (LLC), a small dormitory which enables students to establish lasting friendships in a lively social and academic atmosphere. The freshman Foundation Seminars (one each semester) are offered in the dorm, as are special activities—some arranged, some spontaneous.
Two additional sites of the Blount program are Tuomey and Oliver-Barnard Halls, academic houses on the Main Quad, where upper-level seminars are held, where students can gather to study either alone or in groups and meet with Blount faculty, and where computer rooms just for Blount students are housed. Social events frequently take place in these halls.