November 18, 2008

UA Receives Challenge Grant from The Kresge Foundation

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama has received a $200,000 challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation that will be used to help renovate and expand the Jones Archaeological Museum at Moundville Archaeological Park.

To receive the grant, UA must raise $1.2 million by the conclusion of the “Our Students. Our Future.” capital campaign in June 2009.

“We sincerely appreciate the wonderful opportunity that The Kresge Foundation grant represents,” said UA President Robert E. Witt. “Working together, we will meet the challenge, and continue to preserve this remarkable piece of Alabama history.”

According to Bill Bomar, director of Moundville Archaeological Park, Moundville was America’s largest city north of Mexico in the 13th century. “This grant will enable Moundville Archaeological Park to use state-of-the-art exhibition techniques to bring the rich and vibrant culture of the ancient Moundville people to life,” he said.

The museum houses artifacts and interpretive exhibits providing information on more than 60 years of archaeological investigations. “Visiting this prehistoric site and exploring the ancient mounds is already a truly unique experience,” said Bomar. “We are genuinely excited about being able to present the extraordinary collection of Moundville art and the story of Native American cultures in engaging and highly visual ways.”

The Kresge Foundation is a national, private foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations by creating access and opportunity in underserved communities, improving the health of low-income people, supporting artistic expression, assisting in the revitalization of Detroit and advancing methods for dealing with global climate change. In 2007, the foundation awarded 283 grants totaling $178.5 million. The majority of awards were made to nonprofit organizations in the United States, with 10 grants going to institutions in Canada, Mexico, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

“We are pleased to support The University of Alabama’s efforts to renovate the Jones Archaeological Museum,” said Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation. “We also appreciate UA’s commitment to the community and preserving the important history found at Moundville Archaeological Park.

Every new private gift and pledge to the Jones Museum will count toward meeting the Kresge challenge. For additional information, contact Kelli Harris at 205/348-9826.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is in the midst of a planned, steady enrollment growth with a goal of reaching 28,000 students by 2010. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state’s economy, is in keeping with UA’s vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state’s flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

The “Our Students. Our Future.” campaign’s $500 million goal includes $250 million for student scholarships. The campaign, which will conclude in June 2009, has raised more than $537 million since 2002. Additional funds raised will be allocated to scholarship support.

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