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Berte speaks…


Enjoy this video of Dr. Neal Berte speaking at the 40th Anniversary reception of New College at the University of Alabama…

Neal Berte Speaks at the 40th Anniversary of New College from UA College of Arts & Sciences on Vimeo.

Photos from the 40th!


We gathered.  We hugged.  We remembered.  We met new.  We embraced.  We reflected.

The weekend's festivities brought together young and old, celebrating New College's past, present and future.

The New College 40th Anniversary celebration was a huge success, and there will be much more posts to come over the next few weeks.

Anne LeBaron recital

We’ll start with a few photos from events that took place throughout the weekend. 

Dr. Ed Passerini enjoys a bit of storytelling at Sunday's pancake breakfast

For those of you that could not be with us, know that each one of you were present in spirit.

Current NC students enjoy Saturday evening's barbecue

The following pictures were captured by NC Associate Professor Marysia Galbraith.  To see lots more, jump here.

*If you have photos, video or stories to share from the weekend, please email

Anniversary Updates!!


From the desk of our fearless leader…

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Here’s a picture of our upcoming weekend.   Do know that we understand the complexity of everyone’s lives and that you may not be able to be with us. . . We should have other opportunities this upcoming year for you to celebrate with us.

  • Important news!   Dean Bernie Sloan will be with us on the 20th and 21st !
  • No need to register in advance. . . but we would love a general RSVP to Margaret D’Souza to help us plan for
  • You can check in at any event.

Saturday, August 20th

2:00  Anne LeBaron,  composer and harpist of international acclaim,  and NC75, will perform with New College faculty member, Andrew Dewar, and famous Birmingham improviser LaDonna Smith, at Moody School of Music Recital Hall 

4:30  BBQ at Lloyd Hall, covered outdoor dining area, at the north end of the building 

7:30-10:30,  Wine and Dessert,  at the home of Jim Hall and Rebecca Johnson, 2628 Yorktown Dr., Tuscaloosa,  OR we have a limited number of tickets for Steely Dan* at the new Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre.

*Please RSVP ASAP if you are interested in a Steely Dan Ticket.   Tickets for those who reserve will be distributed at the Lloyd BBQ.

Sunday, August 21st

11:00  Pancake Breakfast in the New College Student Lounge, 216 Lloyd Hall, with storytelling and reminiscing.    A chance to poke through scrapbooks, New College Reviews, meet current students, and to check out our new digs.

1:00-3:00 “Seminars” with current and past New College faculty – including Jerry Rosenberg, Bing Blewitt, and Ed Passerini

Hotel Rooms close to campus are disappearing quickly as this is move-in weekend.  . . . but should be plenty of space closer to the interstate.      Parking on campus should be open during the weekend, although spaces near Lloyd Hall are sometimes limited.

Please let us know if disability assistance is required for any event.

Questions?  Give Margaret a shout at   205-348-4600 

James C. Hall

Director, New College

University of Alabama


NC Anniversary featured in A & S “Desktop News”


Great feature in the current UA College of Arts and Sciences “Desktop News”.  Jump here to see for yourself!

New College Celebrates 40 Years of Transformational Learning

In 1971, The University of Alabama joined many other institutions of higher education in opening an exploratory learning program that allowed students to design their own courses of study, free from the traditional constraints of pre-planned academics. The program, known as New College, has continued its mission of transformational learning and will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year. Plans are underway for a year full of anniversary events.

Dr. James Hall became director of New College in 2002 and could immediately see its value for students.

“One of the things that was clear to me when I came here was the value of a program like this for highly motivated students,” Hall said. “But one of the remarkable things I’ve encountered is the different ways in which students who have not always had educational success feel empowered by being invited in on the decision-making process.”

In Hall’s view, many of these students have been searching for an opportunity to think. Often students are so bombarded with having to complete requirements that they do not get the chance to simply learn.

With this central idea of fostering learning as the cornerstone of the program, New College has developed over the years to now include 11 faculty members, 210 students in self-designed majors, 50 students in self-designed minors, 50 students in minors in civic engagement and interdisciplinary environmental studies and nearly 400 students in New College Life Track, the adult education program formerly known as the External Degree program.

Another hallmark of the New College student is how they often are able to see trends before anyone else. This has been true at UA. UA’s recent sustainability and “Go Green” efforts follow recycling programs initiated by New College students decades ago. In fact, New College was ranked in The Princeton Review’s “Guide to 311 Green Colleges” as one of the country’s top institutions for environmental initiatives.

But what is more important, Hall said, is not what New College students do while they are at UA, but rather what they bring to the greater community when they leave. New College has produced more than its fair share of doctors, lawyers, educators, entrepreneurs and civic leaders. As Hall noted, there are too many success stories to name. But with its 40th anniversary year, they hope to bring some of those success stories back to the Capstone to speak to current New College students.

This month, New College will host an anniversary weekend beginning with a concert at 2 p.m. on August 20 in the Recital Hall of the Moody Music Building with internationally acclaimed harpist and composer, Anne LeBaron, a New College alumna, and current New College faculty member Andrew Dewar. Following the concert, there will be a reception in front of Lloyd Hall, New College’s home since 2009. On August 21, there will be a pancake breakfast in the New College lounge at 11 a.m. and seminars with New College faculty members throughout the afternoon. Also in the month of August, the Ferguson Center Gallery will hold an exhibit of New College photographers including Wayne Sides, Mary Rachel Fanning, and Barbara Lee Black.

WATCH: Forever Humbled


Over the last few months, NC-er Adam Booher has been piecing together a documentary depicting the days following the April 27 tornadoes that devastated communities throughout the South.  The film shows the work of a family and other volunteers in Holt, Alabama, beginning one week after the storm.

“It captures the unified spirit of the town and an ever-present roll tide attitude.”

Important Updates!


Dear New College Friends and Family,

Please allow me to update you on at some length on a number of fronts.    It has been a challenging three months.    Many folks in our community were hit hard by the April tornadoes which brought a complex end to our academic year.     After the death of her mother, Lori Pittman retired after serving New College with kindness, generosity, and the utmost professionalism for over 23 years.   And just last week, Zoe Bromberg, a May graduate, was killed in a tragic accident in Spain.


Dr. Jerry Rosenberg will be retiring in January of 2012, and we are losing a fine faculty member, Dr. Joe Brown, to an exciting opportunity at the London School of Tropical Medicine.


We are determined – and, perhaps, even much more so, in need – of some celebration of our 40th anniversary this August 20th and 21st although our ambitions have been tempered by the tragedies that have befallen our community.    So please join us if you can for commemoration of this wonderful part of UA’s and the state of Alabama’s history.   We know that Professors Passerini, Blewitt, and Rosenberg will be with us. . . and hopeful of visits by Alice Parker, Bob McKenzie and others.


Anniversary Weekend:  The Plan


August 20th

2:00, Moody Recital Hall, concert by internationally acclaimed harpist and composer, Anne LeBaron, and current New College faculty member Andrew Dewar.

5:00, BBQ in front of Lloyd Hall, our new digs

7:30 – your choice – we have a block of Steely Dan tickets for you to enjoy, or you can join an improvisational crew of us at local bar for open mic activity and New College storytelling

August 21st

11:00, pancake breakfast in the New College lounge

1:00-3:00, “seminars” with New College faculty members


The Ferguson Center Gallery will hold an exhibit of New College photographers throughout August and feature work by Wayne Sides, Mary Rachel Fanning, and Barbara Lee Black.


If you would like a hotel room you can call the Hotel Capstone at (205) 752-3200 and for a reduced rate say you are attending the New College anniversary:    Room availability is first come, first serve.    It is a non-football weekend, so there should be little trouble finding room in Tuscaloosa.


If you could rsvp at  it would great help in our planning efforts.  If you would like a Steely Dan Ticket please let us know.   No registration fee is required, but donations will be gratefully accepted and put towards New College scholarship funds.


More Anniversary Events:

August 26 – Lori Pittman Retirement Celebration

September 29th – With American Studies – Rose Gladney Lecture Series, Dr. Cheryl Fish, Borough of Manhattan Community College, on Buckminster Fuller and June Jordan

October 22nd-23rd “Living Your Best Life Sustainably”—A Visit with Amanda and Lee Borden, at their Alabama farm-home.

November 17th – With College of Nursing – Health Care Reform Summit #1

                Ed O’Neil, NC74, Director of the Center for the Study of the Health Professions, University of

                California at San Francisco

February 29th Health Care Reform Summit #2, with T.R. Reid, Washington Post

April 5th – An evening with Dr. Neal Berte and Dr. Bernie Sloan

TBA – New College and Department of Psychology, Holocaust Symposium, in Honor of Dr. Jerry Rosenberg

And – we hope – many other events. . .


Please feel free to contact Margaret D’Souza for information on any of these events.


New College is thriving.   We are now 11 faculty members, 210 students in self-designed majors, 50 students in self-designed minors, 50 students in minors in Civic Engagement and Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies. . . and close to 400 students in our adult education New College Life Track (formerly EXD).   As always, we’re involved in range of community, research, teaching, and service activities to make you proud.    Please be part of our future.


All best, Jim

James C. Hall

Director, New College

Watch: NEW 473 Globalization and Folk Craft Production