Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, will donate his official Senate papers, records and materials to The University of Alabama at the conclusion of his sixth U.S. Senate term, UA System Chancellor Finis St. John announced today at the UA Institutional meeting of the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees. This donation will provide the University with the opportunity to house one-of-a-kind historical records.
“I am honored to donate my official papers, records, and materials to The University of Alabama once my season in Congress comes to an end,” Shelby said. “I have been extremely fortunate to serve the people of Alabama for more than forty years and cannot think of a more appropriate place to house my official papers than my Alma Mater. I hope that these materials will facilitate academic research for scholars and students of law, history, policy, political science, and other fields, as I believe one of the most important investments we make is in our classrooms. Thank you to The University of Alabama for this gracious effort.”
Upon receipt, the university will organize and archive the materials gathered over Shelby’s decades of tenure for research and academic purposes and for the benefit of future leaders.
“Senator Shelby has long provided unparalleled support to entities across the University of Alabama System, and it is impossible to overstate the great historical significance and lasting impact this donation will have on The University of Alabama,” St. John said. “We are grateful for Senator Shelby’s service to our state and for his decision to entrust us with his official materials. His legacy will be felt for generations to come.”
The receipt of Shelby’s papers will be a catalyst for The University of Alabama to consider the creation of a new institute and new academic, leadership and scholarly research programs that would provide students, faculty, and staff with opportunities to engage with prominent politicians and policy professionals, pending approval of the UA System Board of Trustees.
“The University of Alabama has long attracted and educated leaders for our state and nation,” said UA President Stuart Bell. “With these materials, Senator Shelby will once again pave the way for the next generation of public servants. Provost Jim Dalton and I look forward to working with our faculty and students to develop the leading program of its kind, as the University continues its mission to drive the advancement of this state.”
A fifth-generation Alabamian and a graduate of The University of Alabama’s undergraduate and law programs, Shelby was first elected to the United States Senate in 1986 and is currently in his sixth and final term. He is Alabama’s longest-serving U.S. senator and has chaired four Senate committees: Appropriations, Rules, Banking, and Intelligence. Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Shelby served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and eight years in the Alabama legislature.
“As a longtime champion for research and education, it’s hard to imagine anyone who has made more of an impact on Alabama’s higher-ed landscape than Senator Shelby,” said UA System Board of Trustees President Pro Tempore W. Stancil Starnes. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we express our deepest gratitude to this true public servant for his generous gesture, which will greatly benefit countless scholars at The University of Alabama.”
Shelby lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Dr. Annette N. Shelby. Dr. Shelby, a former UA professor who has dedicated her distinguished career to academics and public service, holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from The University of Alabama.