Football and our universities

By Staff
Rep. Ronald Grantland, Guest Columnist
Although it may not feel like it outside, autumn is coming - slowly but surely. And we Alabamians know that fall in Alabama means one thing: football season is upon us.
As I’m sure you already know, the college football season kicked off this past weekend. Whether your team won or lost, football season allows a unique opportunity to reflect on just how great Alabama's four-year colleges and universities are.
The fact is that Alabama’s public universities are as exceptional in the classroom as they are on the gridiron, and these great institutions yield millions in economic impact for the state.
Whether large or small, there’s something different, yet uniquely wonderful about all of Alabama's four year colleges and universities.
And what makes Alabama’s colleges and universities so great is the variety of excellence found in schools across the state.
While Auburn is renowned in the fields of agriculture and architecture, Alabama offers a world-class education in business and liberal arts, automobile engineering and communications, and also boasts one of the best law schools in the nation.
Excellence continues throughout the entire state well. For example: the state-of-the-art medical school at UAB, the highly advanced computer technology offered at UAH, the new cancer research center at the University of South Alabama, the model for long distance learning at Troy, the quality education school at Jacksonville State, and the world-class music school at UNA. All of these schools excel in different values and offer a great value to anyone looking to further their education. Plus, these academic successes translate into more money for our state as a whole, and that helps us all.
Finally, although certainly not last, are Alabama's historically black colleges and universities. ASU produces quality teachers that serve all over the state, A&M’s programs send students all over the world and bring international students to study here. There’s also Tuskegee, with it’s storied past and world-renowned veterinary school. Alabama’s historically black colleges and universities are bastions of excellence in higher learning and a model for the rest of the nation, and all contribute tremendously to the state.
While these academic successes are quite remarkable, it is imperative that we not rest on our laurels. We must continue to adequately fund higher education.
The future of our state depends on it because a quality public system of higher education today translates into better jobs for Alabamians tomorrow.
So as you tune in to watch our schools play each Saturday throughout the fall, remember that you’re not just seeing a great team, but also representatives of some of America’s finer public universities, on the field and off.

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