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The University of Alabama

Making Education Matter: New UA Scholarship Honors Rosa Dunning

Mrs. Rosa Dunning, Dr. Arthur Dunning, middle, and Dean Robert Olin.

Mrs. Rosa Dunning, Dr. Arthur Dunning, middle, and Dean Robert Olin.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Their history began at The University of Alabama, and now that history will become a legacy. Through a generous donation of $25,000 and a $500,000 estate pledge, Dr. and Mrs. Arthur N. Dunning have established the Rosa Moore Dunning Endowed Scholarship in Communicative Disorders.

As a loving tribute to his wife, the scholarship bears her name. “I had been thinking about it for a while, but the scholarship idea was a surprise to her,” said Arthur Dunning. “It was something I wanted to do to recognize her.”

To Mrs. Dunning, a graduate of the communicative disorders department, the naming of the scholarship was quite an honor. “The scholarship fits well into our way of thinking,” she said. “We have often tried to make choices in our lives that strengthen and give back to society.”

The scholarship will be one of only three designated for communicative disorders. “Our field is expected to experience significant growth in the next 20 years, and the Dunnings are helping prepare students to meet this growth,” said Dr. Karen F. Steckol, chair of the department of communicative disorders at UA.

Encouraging education and helping students is a responsibility the Dunnings don’t take lightly. “Learning at this level meets a lot of needs for people,” said Arthur Dunning. “The longer we’ve been around, the more we see the need and want to help fill it.”

They also hope that their actions will inspire others. Mrs. Dunning put it best when she said, “We hope to reinforce the notion that going to school matters.”

“The Dunnings’ gift will create a legacy for future students who deserve to see first-hand how college is meant to be,” said Dr. Robert F. Olin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “They are passing on the promise of an education and the possibility of a brighter future.”

The importance of education was instilled in both of them by their parents. Mrs. Dunning grew up in Montgomery and graduated from the University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in communicative disorders. She spent more than 30 years working with adults and children who have special needs and in regular public education.

Though he started out in the small community of Sweetwater near Linden, Arthur Dunning’s career path in university administration has led him around the world. At the Capstone, he earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, a master’s degree in education and a doctorate in educational administration, with an emphasis in higher education. He serves as vice president of public service and outreach at The University of Georgia.

In April 2006, The University of Alabama announced a $500 million capital campaign that focuses on student scholarships, faculty support, campus facilities and priority needs. The “Our Students. Our Future.” campaign has raised more than $299 million since 2002 and will conclude in June 2009.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.