Collegiate Memories, Bright UA Future Inspire Scholarships
Bob McClellan of Williamsburg, Virginia, and W. Frank Cobb of Birmingham, Alabama, have never met, but their similar experiences through The University of Alabama have led them to a common goal that focuses on the Capstone’s future.
Both men have a long list of UA alumni in their families, which influenced their decisions to attend the University. McClellan, class of ’58, and Cobb, class of ’66, both studied in the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration, were active in their respective fraternities, served in the military and continue to be huge Crimson Tide football fans. It’s no surprise that both still feel particularly connected to the University.
“Going to The University of Alabama was like breathing,” McClellan said. “Socially and academically, it is one of the better things I’ve done in my life.”
Cobb met his wife, Barbara Taylor Cobb (class of ’69), when he had a work-study job registering freshman female students. “We both have fond memories of UA, particularly all the wonderful friends we met there and stay in touch with,” he said. And, according to Barbara, “there was nothing like going to a UA football game with Bear Bryant as the coach and Joe Namath as the quarterback!”
Looking back on their cherished college experiences, the Cobbs and McClellan knew they wanted to make a gift to the University that would impact students, and both chose to establish unrestricted scholarships.
The Cobbs created The Brian Bankhead Cobb Scholarship to honor the memory of their son who died as a child. They felt it would be a way to use his name in a positive manner and support the growth and education of an exceptional college student.
“We wanted to reflect Brian’s giving nature and outgoing personality and give back to another child in a way that was as inspiring as Brian,” Barbara explained. “It makes us feel so good that, through Brian and this scholarship, we can positively influence a student.”
Beyond helping a student excel academically, the Cobbs wanted the scholarship to benefit one who needed financial assistance. “We hope that we can continue this gift year after year so that it will affect many students,” Frank said, “but if it affects just one person, then that will be enough.”
Like the Cobbs, McClellan wanted to make a difference in a student’s academic career, and established The Robert B. McClellan Scholarship to help a student who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to attend the University.
“I’m pleased and excited about the direction the University is going with increased enrollment and attracting students from across the country,” McClellan said. “We have a lot of momentum now, and I want to see that continue. A scholarship determines whether or not many students can come to this first-rate school, and I hope my gift will help those students.”
McClellan, like so many others, has a love and affection for UA and wants to see it grow and improve. “The way I feel about UA isn’t unique,” he said. “I want to see it succeed the best that it can.”