Top 10 stories of 2011-2012

1. Tornado outbreak across Alabama

The April 27, 2011 tornadoes that ravaged north Alabama have forever impacted the people living in the Shoals and throughout the state.

Many UNA students, faculty and staff members were affected by the storms that killed 246 state residents, according to recent data by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley.

The destruction of the tornadoes forced many residents to work to rebuild their lives and homes after the devastation that occurred last year.

UNA officials established the Caring for the Pride fund last year in response to the April tornadoes. The university also secured a $15,000 grant to provide relief to UNA students impacted by the storms.

The Flor-Ala editorial staff has ranked the tornadoes as the top UNA story of the last year. Read more about the April 27 anniversary on page 2A.

2. Trustees vote yes to Division I

The UNA board of trustees voted in a 6-3 decision June 13 in favor of the transition to Division I athletics, despite opposition from students and faculty.

3. Campus mourns student deaths

UNA students Daniel Smith, Chad Silcox and Haley Mauldin passed away during the past year. Many paid tribute to the students with different events.

4. Bowden leaves, Wallace returns

Former coach Terry Bowden left the Lions for Akron during the holidays. Bobby Wallace returned in January, sparking excitement in many UNA football fans.

5. Police see more campus robberies

Officials saw an uptick in the number of armed robberies on campus. In the past year, three armed robberies have taken place at UNA.

6. New construction on rise

The new George S. Lindsey theater was built, and officials are now looking to start construction on the science building and academic commons later this year.

7. Chinese partnership at UNA

An international agreement was signed by President Bill Cale to form a partnership with Shenqi Ethnic Medicine College. UNA will offer a new master’s program in integrative health.

8. QEP & SACS reaccreditation

UNA received a perfect outcome for its SACS review this semester. Only 2 percent of universities receive such reviews. Officials have also worked to create a quality QEP at the university.

9. Lions travel to Texas

The Lions football team traveled to Dallas last fall to play against Abilene Christian in the Lone Star Football Fesival. Lions fans and players were excited to get the opportunity to visit and play in Texas.

10. New freshman parking rules

To help relieve parking issues, UNA Police required all freshmen students who live off campus to use the Lion Express transportation system to and from designated stops in Florence instead of parking at UNA.