The University of West Alabama was chartered in 1835 as a church-related female academy and admitted its first students in 1839. After difficult times during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, the school reopened in the late 1860s or early 1870s. Although it appears that a few male students were admitted following the reopening, a resolution by the Board of Trustees in 1876 excluded boys.
The mission of the University of West Alabama is "to provide opportunities for students to pursue a quality education and assist in developing the important qualities of independent thinking, respect for the ideas of others, personal integrity and character in order to realize their quests for a philosophy of life and self-fulfillment."
The Career Services Office is located in the Foust Hall # 7 Suite. Career Services offers students assistance with career planning and job preparation. Career services are also available for alumni. The Career Services office works with employers seeking candidates through resume or placement file referral services, on-campus interviews/career fairs and job postings. Additional services available: resume assistance, individual career counseling, and mock interviews.
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The campus is on the western border of Alabama. Larger cities close by include Meridian (30 minutes), Tuscaloosa (50 minutes), and Birmingham. The small population in the city of Livingston and Southern hospitality give UWA its small-town atmosphere that many students come to appreciate. The 600-acre (2.4 km2) UWA campus includes nature trails, a 54-acre (220,000 m2) lake, and sculptures. Recent campus beautification projects have enhanced the natural beauty that can be found on campus.
The University of West Alabama is a single-campus university located in the heart of downtown Livingston on U.S. Highway 11.
The University of West Alabama features 12 sports teams (13 beginning in 2011–2012 with the addition of women's soccer). Both the male and female athletic teams are called the West Alabama Tigers.
The University of West Alabama has multiple student organizations and honor societies on its campus for students to join. With over 50 of these on campus, students can choose from a variety to become a member of. There are athletic support groups, governing and programming organizations, musical, religious, and special interest organizations just to name a few. UWA also has quite a number of honor societies in addition to these social organizations.
The University of West Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelors, master’s and education specialist degrees.