University holds years of history

by Staff Photographer Amandalyn Dorner

The University of North Alabama, built in 1830, has seen more history than any four-year college in the state of Alabama.

UNA is home to historical buildings and memorials such as Wesleyan Hall, Keller Hall, Bibb Graves Hall, the Laura Harrison Plaza and the Memorial Amphitheater.

These buildings stand as classrooms, areas for students to hold events and performances and even as great photo-op locations. Each of them possesses a long history that brings pride to the Florence area.

Wesleyan Hall, now used for psychology, foreign languages and geography lectures, is said to have once housed Ulysses S. Grant’s troops during the Civil War. Since then, the building has supplied 10 university presidents with an administration building.

Keller Hall was constructed in 1947. The building later grew in 2002 to offer Raburn Wing, which holds new classrooms for UNA’s College of Business.

Bibb Graves Hall stands righteously, welcoming students, faculty and visitors to a beautiful campus. It offers the perfect place for many photo-ops including weddings and proms. The building was constructed in 1930 while Henry Willingham was administrating.

McAnally Harrison dedicated the Laura Harrison Plaza, also known as “the fountain,” to the campus in 1955. Laura Harrison Plaza is made of Italian limestone.

The Memorial Amphitheater is currently a place for student events. It was dedicated to UNA as recognition to the patriotism of the men who served in World War II.

During construction of the first stage, which began in 1919, the plans were for Memorial Amphitheater to be held up by six columns to represent a student who died in the Great War in Europe. However, that design proved too costly.

The buildings and memorials on campus stand tall and proud, full of history and stories. They are as much a part of this university as the students who interact with them each day, and they are just waiting for the campus community to explore them.