University of South Alabama

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University of South Alabama
University of South Alabama seal.png
Type Public
Established 1963
Endowment $497 million[1]
President Tony Waldrop
Administrative staff
Students 16,699
Location Mobile, Alabama, U.S.
Campus Main Campus, 1,224 acres
Colors Blue, Red, and White[2]
Nickname Jaguars
Mascot South Paw
Affiliations NCAA Division ISun Belt Conference
University of South Alabama wordmark.svg

The University of South Alabama (USA), officially nicknamed "South" is a public, national research university in Mobile, Alabama, United States. It was created by the Alabama Legislature in May, 1963, and replaced existing extension programs operated in Mobile by the University of Alabama. USA is the only major public institution of higher learning on the upper Gulf Coast.[citation needed] With Alabama's two older universities more than 200 miles distant, the University is strategically located in the greater Mobile area, which has a population of more than a million within a 100-mile radius. Currently, USA is divided into ten colleges and schools and includes one of Alabama's two state-supported medical schools. As of the Fall semester of 2016, South Alabama has an enrollment of 16,699 students.[3] To date, the University has awarded over 80,000 degrees.

USA has an annual payroll of $404 million (US), with over 5,500 employees, and is the second largest employer in Mobile, Alabama.[4] The University South Alabama has an annual economic impact of US$2 billion.[5] In addition, the university owned hospitals treat over 250,000 patients annually.


The Covey College of Allied Health and College of Nursing
University rankings
Forbes[6] 628
U.S. News & World Report[7] 207–270
Washington Monthly[8] 234

The university offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in ten colleges and schools. Several programs offer masters level degrees in addition to undergraduate degrees. Doctoral level degrees are offered in several areas, including Business Administration, Nursing, Medicine, Basic Medical Sciences, Instructional Design, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Audiology, Marine Science, Psychology, Physical Therapy, and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree offered in collaboration with Auburn University.

The psychology doctoral program was initiated in 2009 and offers a Combined degree, emphasizing both Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology.

USA offers classes in nearby Baldwin County at its Fairhope campus, and recently opened its new Gulf Coast Campus in Gulf Shores.[9] In all, undergraduate students at South Alabama can choose from more than 50 bachelor’s degree and certificate programs while there are more than 40 master’s degree programs. As of 2011, USA ranks as the 22nd best public university in the southern United States, and 52nd overall (in the South). It has an acceptance rate of 86.5%.[3]

The student-faculty ratio at USA is 22:1, and the school has 41.5 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. USA students are 57% female and 43% male.[3] In 2014, the university had a graduation rate of 36%.[10]


Shelby Hall - Engineering Building

The University of South Alabama has ten colleges:

  • Pat Covey College of Allied Health Professions
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Mitchell College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Chemical Engineering and Assistants
  • College of Medicine
  • Doctor of Pharmacy Program (Collaborative program with Auburn University)
  • College of Nursing
  • School of Computing
  • School of Continuing Education and Special Programs


The University is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by and including the governor of Alabama. The Board appoints a president of the University. Since the founding of the University, there have been three presidents: Frederick Palmer Whiddon (served 1963–1998) and V. Gordon Moulton (served 1998–2013). John W. Smith, the current executive vice president, served as an interim president until the arrival of Tony G. Waldrop in 2014.

Athletics and traditions[edit]

Main article: South Alabama Jaguars
South Alabama Football at Ladd-Peebles Stadium

The Jaguars participate in 17 NCAA sanctioned sports (8 men 9 women), and are founding members of the Sun Belt Conference. Men's sports include Football, Basketball, Baseball, Tennis, Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, and Outdoor Track and Field. Women's sports include Basketball, Softball, Soccer, Tennis, Cross Country, Volleyball, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, and Golf. All sports participate in the Sun Belt Conference, a Division I/FBS conference. The school is often referred to as simply "South", "USA", or the "Jags", but the more formal South Alabama is often used as well.

The university announced the creation of a NCAA sanctioned football team on December 6, 2007, with the goal of fast tracking the program to full FBS status by the 2013 season. The school's first ever game was played on September 5, 2009 in front of 26,000+ fans. The Jaguars football team is led by head coach Joey Jones, former Alabama player under Paul "Bear" Bryant. The Jaguars lost at NC State 35-13 during the 2011 football season, the program's first game against a FBS opponent and its first loss after going a combined 19-0 during its first 2+ seasons.[11]

The Jaguars have future football contests scheduled with Mississippi St, NC State, Hawaii, Navy, Tennessee, LSU, Oklahoma St, Tulane, South Carolina, Nebraska, Louisiana Tech, and Southern Miss, including home contests with Mississippi State, NC State, Oklahoma State, Louisiana Tech, Tulane, and Navy.[12]

The baseball program enjoyed much success under Coach Eddie Stanky (for whom the baseball stadium and field on campus is now named after), and later Coach Steve Kittrell, coming one win away from the College World Series six different times. The Jaguars have produced a litany of Major League Baseball talent. The most notable current players are David Freese, who was both the 2011 National League Championship Series MVP and 2011 World Series MVP for the St. Louis Cardinals, and Juan Pierre, a World Series winner with the Florida Marlins in 2003. Coach Steve Kittrell retired at the end of the 2011 season and handed over the position to the coach in waiting, Mark Calvi, who had been on staff for that final year. Calvi was the pitching coach at the University of South Carolina when the Gamecocks won the College World Series in 2010.

The basketball program has reached the NCAA tournament eight times, with its only win coming against the University of Alabama in 1989. The Jaguars have been beaten by the eventual national champion 3 of those 8 times (Michigan, Arizona, & Florida), with the Michigan loss occurring in the second round.

Moulton Bell Tower and Alumni Plaza
Jaguar statue and Mitchell Center Arena

Campus life[edit]


  • Beta/Gamma Community consists of fifteen small buildings containing one-person, two-person, and four-person apartments.
  • Epsilon Community contains both traditional and non-traditional residence halls. Epsilon 1 and Epsilon 2 are traditional halls housing first-time freshmen Learning Communities (LCs). The non-traditional residence hall of Delta 6 has of a kitchenette in every room for freshmen and upperclassmen. A total of 471 residents live in this community with 156 in Delta 6 and the remaining 315 residents in Epsilon 1 & 2.
  • Delta Community is made up of four non-traditional residence halls that house 535 residents: Delta 3 – 5. Both freshmen and upperclassmen live in this community. Laundry Rooms are located at one end of Delta 3, Delta 4, and inside the Delta Commons.
  • Stokes Hall Community opened Fall of 2011 and features 330 suite-style rooms. Stokes Hall also has one classroom, eight ( study lounges, two (2) multipurpose rooms, interior hallways, and a large laundry room. Y
  • New Hall Community opened Fall 2013. This four-story traditional residence hall is home to 350 first-time freshmen, with two students per room. . The new building includes one classroom that seats 25, two large study lounges, two community lounges, a large laundry room, two Community Director offices, and one Faculty member office.
  • Fraternity & Sorority Housing Community consists of five sororities and four fraternities for a total of nine Greek chapter houses on-campus.

The Grove: is a privately owned apartment complex on campus that offers individual leases of 2br/3br apartments to only USA undergraduate and graduate students. (Not affiliated with USA Housing & Residence Life.)

Greek life[edit]


Panhellenic Council

Interfraternity Council

National Panhellenic Council

Professional Fraternities

Independent Social Fraternities

The following are Greek organizations that existed at the University of South Alabama that are no longer active sorted by the date they received their national charter

  • Delta Lambda Phi, (Beta Beta Chapter) founded in 2000 till 2005 was the first Gay, Bisexual, and progressive male fraternity at the University of South Alabama that did not discriminate on the bases of sexual orientation.
  • Sigma Nu, (IFC Fraternity), Theta Mu chapter founded in 1970.
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon, (IFC Fraternity), Alabama Chi chapter founded May 8, 1971.
  • Lambda Chi Alpha, (IFC Fraternity), Phi Gamma chapter founded in 1972.
  • Theta Xi, (IFC Fraternity), Gamma Gamma chapter founded February 16, 1974
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon, (IFC Fraternity), Alabama Eta Chapter founded 1987
  • Zeta Tau Alpha, (Panhellenic Sorority), chapter designation and founding date unknown.
  • Chi Sigma Omega, a fraternity that existed in 1975 for veterans. This was not a national fraternity.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni of the University of South Alabama include:


  • USA Vanguard [14]
  • The Lowdown
  • The Oracle
  • Due South


Campus safety[edit]

In 2012, Business Insider listed USA as the eighth most dangerous campus in the United States, due to numerous burglaries, two counts of rape, and one killing.[15] In 2014 there were three counts of rape, 19 counts of burglary, and one count of arson.[16]

Federal discrimination lawsuit[edit]

On April 4, 2014, a large group of students belonging to Students for Life USA, a pro-life student organization, has filed a complaint in federal court against numerous University of South Alabama officials, including Dean of Students Michael A. Mitchell alleging discrimination. The university later settles the lawsuit paying the students an undisclosed amount of money. According to a copy of the settlement document provided by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the university "denied all material allegations and Plaintiff's claims of constitutional infirmities." USA agreed to change a portion of its policy on use of its space and facilities, and to pay an unspecified sum settling "all of Plaintiff's remaining claims, including liability, damages, and attorney's fees."[17][18]

First Amendment violations[edit]

On April 15, 2016, campus police stopped several students who were handing out pro-concealed carry information in the student center. The students were unarmed and had not violated any laws, however police stated they would "come up with something" and cited the students for violating university policy. After an investigation, the citations were rescinded and one officer was placed on unpaid 3-day suspension.[19]


  1. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY2013 to FY 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  2. ^ USA Brand Guidelines (PDF). Retrieved 2016-03-28. 
  3. ^ a b c South Alabama | University of South Alabama | Best College | US News. Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
  4. ^ University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations, "Quick Facts.". (2011-01-25). Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
  5. ^ University of South Alabama Press Release. (PDF) . Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
  6. ^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. July 5, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Best Colleges 2017: National Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2016. 
  8. ^ "2016 Rankings - National Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  9. ^ "USA Opens Gulf Coast Campus in Gulf Shores". Retrieved 2015-07-15. 
  10. ^ "School - College Scorecard". Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  11. ^ University of South Alabama – 2011 Football Schedule. Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
  12. ^ South Alabama Jaguars Football Schedules and Future Schedules. Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
  13. ^ Hevesi, Dennis. "Rodger McFarlane, Who Led AIDS-Related Groups, Dies at 54", The New York Times, May 18, 2009. Accessed May 19, 2009.
  14. ^ "The Vanguard | South Alabama Student Newspaper". Retrieved 2015-07-15. 
  15. ^ "The Most Dangerous Colleges In America". Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  16. ^ "University of South Alabama - Campus Safety". Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  17. ^ Pro-life students file suit against University of South Alabama. Retrieved on 2014-05-27.
  18. ^ Big pro-life free speech win at the University of South Alabama!. Retrieved on 2014-05-27.
  19. ^ "Watch video of South Alabama student cited by campus police for wearing empty holster". Retrieved 9 February 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°41′48″N 88°10′43″W / 30.69671°N 88.17873°W / 30.69671; -88.17873