The University of Alabama (UA), located in Tuscaloosa, is a public research university that began operations in 1831. Throughout much of its antebellum history, the University operated as a pro-slavery institution, and it enslaved and hired out the labor of dozens of enslaved people who are integral to the fabric of the University. In 1860, the institution shifted its focus from a classical academy to a military school, and many of its early cadets served in the Confederate army. On April 4, 1865 Union troops burned the school, destroying all of the major academic buildings. The University reopened in 1871 and operated under the military system until 1903. During that time, it became a center for Confederate sympathy. In 1963, UA became the last public university to desegregate when James Hood and Vivian Malone registered for classes.

The research on this site was compiled by students in ARH 376: American Architecture, taught by Dr. Rachel Stephens.