Founders' Day


Join us and our more than 60,000 alumni as we observe the 193rd-anniversary Founders' Day.



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  • The University of North Alabama was founded as LaGrange College.
    1830 image of LaGrange College
  • A grammar school was added to LaGrange College. (Today, UNA's Kilby Laboratory School is the only university-owned and operated elementary laboratory school in Alabama.)
  • The school was re-incorporated as Florence Wesleyan University.
    1854 Wesleyan University
  • The Methodist Church deeded Florence Wesleyan to the State of Alabama and the institution became the State Normal School at Florence, the first state-supported teachers’ college south of the Ohio River.
    Florence Normal College
  • 31 women enrolled and the school became one of the first co-educational institutions in the nation.
  • The first woman joined the faculty.
  • The institution functioned as a normal school for more than 50 years until 1929, when it became a state teachers college offering a four-year curriculum in elementary education.
    Kilby School
  • The Alabama Legislature voted to change the institution's name to Florence State College to reflect its expanding academic mission.
  • Wendell Wilkie Gunn became the first African-American student to enroll at the college.
    Wendell Gunn
  • The Alabama Legislature removed jurisdiction for the college from the State Board of Education and vested it in a Board of Trustees. A year later, the new board voted for another name change to Florence State University, once again symbolizing the steady expansion of the institution's academic offerings and mission.
  • The university underwent another change of name to the University of North Alabama, symbolizing its coming of age as a comprehensive, regional university.
  • 194 years since our founding. Give today at