The Year of the UNA Woman: UNA celebrating 150 years of co-education

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 6:47 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - It’s a historic year for the University of North Alabama. Students and faculty are celebrating 150-years of co-education.

UNA was the first public college in the Southeast to admit women into the university according to campus leaders.

That was 50 years before women had the right to vote.

“It definitely helped us establish ourselves as trailblazers, not only in education but for women in particular,” said Michelle Eubanks.

For Michelle Eubanks, the Year of the UNA Woman is very special.

Not only is she an employee, but also an alum and now her daughter is attending the same University.

“I feel that we are a part of a very long, but storied and important line of women that came before and that history is absolutely vital for informing us about where we need to go for the next 150 years and beyond,” said Eubanks.

So let’s break down a little bit of history.

UNA graduated its first co-education class in 1877, with only four graduates, three of those were women.

Today, more than half of UNA students are women.

The university’s yearlong celebration of 150 years of co-education hopes to capture the history of women at UNA.

“You’re going to see that transpire as a half-time show of only female composers, a film festival with only female filmmakers have entered. You are going to see it come through in all a number of different ways but where the spotlight is on women and not necessarily just female alumni, but all women,” said Eubanks.

Campus leaders aren’t losing sight of the future either.

“We need to champion those things so that women see themselves in roles that they, maybe, traditionally did not but they see that women can do these things, and not only can they, they should. I believe that’s our obligation,” said Eubanks.

So whether they are on the field, in the classroom, or leading meetings, UNA is celebrating women blazing trails.

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