A&S in the News: April 20-26

Alabama Alumni couple donates $5 million to fund pre-med, arts initiatives

Tuscaloosa News – April 22

A player on coach Paul W. Bryant’s 1964 national championship football team and his wife have donated more than $5 million to the University of Alabama. The donation will be used to establish a premedical scholars program and art exhibition for current students and alumni. “This is a very exciting day for the University of Alabama and the College of Arts and Sciences,” Dean Robert Olin said. “This gift has a broad purpose.”

Hunting down runaway slaves: The cruel ads of Andrew Jackson and ‘the master class’

MSN – April 23

Stop the Runaway,” Andrew Jackson urged in an ad placed in the Tennessee Gazette in October 1804. The future president gave a detailed description: A “Mulatto Man Slave, about thirty years old, six feet and an inch high, stout made and active, talks sensible, stoops in his walk, and has a remarkable large foot, broad across the root of the toes — will pass for a free man …” … “Our goal is to ultimately collect all the runaway ads that have survived,” said Edward E. Baptist, a Cornell history professor who is collaborating on the project with Joshua D. Rothman, at the University of Alabama, and Molly Mitchell, at the University of New Orleans.

Oyster shells show evidence of early human pollution of Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay Program – April 24

Researchers studying historic pollution levels in the Chesapeake Bay found their answers in a somewhat out-of-the-ordinary subject: oyster shells. A recent study from the University of Alabama looked at nutrient levels in Bay oyster shells dating back over three thousand years, finding that humans have been polluting the Chesapeake Bay since the early 19th century.

What role will God play in Alabama’s elections for senator, governor?

AL.com – April 26

Disgraced former Gov. Robert Bentley ladled out the religious juices in his resignation speech, invoking God and pleading for forgiveness. And it caused plenty of chagrin for church and social conservative political leaders in a state long described as one of the most Bible-believing in the U.S. . . . Michael Altman, a religious studies professor at the University of Alabama, said, “All the Republican candidates will have the same basic positions on the issues important to evangelical voters. But which one can sound, act and communicate in a way that makes evangelicals feel that they are ‘one of us’?” In the short term, the spotlight falls on Moore and his decision coming Wednesday. William Stewart, a professor emeritus of political sciences at the University of Alabama, said that Moore’s authentic approach toward his religious convictions – not matter who may view them as over-the-top – stands him in good stead with his base. “Whatever one may think of Roy Moore, to the best of my knowledge he has practiced what he has preached.” Stewart said, pointing to the contrast with Bentley, who had been a church deacon and even an opponent of Sunday alcohol sales in Tuscaloosa.

Also making headlines

Town Council hears update on civic history partnership – April 24 – Michelle Robinson