UNA Pressroom

Una's Spring Commencement To Feature Renowned Cardiologist And Una Patron Dr. Donald Harrison

Apr. 15, 2016

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

Bryan Rachal, University Communications

FLORENCE, Ala. - Dr. Donald Harrison, professor of medicine and senior vice president and provost for health affairs emeritus at the University of Cincinnati, will be the featured commencement speaker at the University of North Alabama spring graduation ceremonies. UNA will host two commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 14, at 10 a.m., and 2 p.m., in Flowers Hall. Harrison will speak at both events.

Dr. Harrison and his wife, UNA alumna, Laura Harrison ('55), are currently serving as campaign co-chairs for UNA's "Build the Pride" capital campaign. The Harrisons recently announced that they have contributed a major gift to name the new nursing building, in addition to the many gifts they've already given the university, which include the famed Harrison fountain that graces UNA's main entrance.

Dr. Harrison has had a storied career; from 1986 to 2002, he was senior vice president and provost for Health Affairs and directed the University of Cincinnati's Medical Center. Prior to 1986, Dr. Harrison was professor of medicine and cardiology, chief of the Division of Cardiology, and co-director of the Falk Cardiovascular Research Center of Stanford University. He was also chief of cardiology at the Stanford University Hospital for 20 years.

His achievements are not related solely to higher education and academics; Dr. Harrison also served as president of the American Heart Association, as vice president and trustee of the American College of Cardiology, and as a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He has also authored eight books and more than 585 scientific articles and reviews. His most recent book, "Healing Broken Hearts," is the story of his life and cardiology development over 50 years.

Harrison received a B.S. in chemistry from Birmingham Southern College, an M.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and an honorary Doctor of Law from Birmingham Southern College. He received his training in medicine and cardiology at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital of the Harvard Medical School and the National Institutes of Health.

A full bio on Dr. Donald Harrison can be found here: https://www.una.edu/commencement/harrison.html


The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and Nursing. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Tuscumbia, Sheffield and Muscle Shoals. UNA also operates a renowned collegiate athletic program in NCAA Division II's Gulf South Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age or national origin.