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The University of Alabama

Student-led Effort Seeks to Establish Scholarship for UA Students in Need

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Dr. Robert Olin with two Arts and Sciences Ambassadors

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Dr. Robert Olin and two Arts and Sciences Ambassadors drop their dollars into an elephant bank that will be used to raise funds for a new scholarship for students in need.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — What would you do if you could be dean of The University of Alabama’s College of Arts and Sciences for a day?

Marcita Cole, one of more than 8,000 students who were asked the question via social media earlier this year, said she would provide critical financial assistance to successful students in need. The College’s student Ambassadors were struck by her response and are seeking to make her vision a reality.

Beginning Aug. 25, UA’s College of Arts and Sciences Ambassadors will conduct a two-week-long campaign to promote The Rising Tide Scholarship, which will provide a helping hand to students facing a variety of obstacles or challenges. The campaign will include on-campus events and donation centers, including kick-off events at the Ferguson Center Plaza Aug. 25 and 28 from 9-11 a.m., promotions on social media, and spirit nights at participating Tuscaloosa restaurants.

The Ambassadors’ co-president Will Menas said the goal of the campaign is to have all 8,500 students in the College of Arts and Sciences donate $1 to the scholarship fund and to build shared community support for the scholarship.

“This is such a worthy cause, and every little bit helps,” Menas said. “We hope to make this scholarship a reality in honor of all the students we know who are facing hardships, including students who are veterans, students who are also parents, students who hold down three jobs to make ends meet, students who have lost parents, students whose parents have lost jobs, and students in other difficult situations.”

Serving as the face of the campaign is a nearly 6-foot-wide, 4-foot-tall “elephant bank” made of wood and Plexiglas that the Ambassadors will use to solicit donations. Students on campus are encouraged to look for the elephant and drop their $1 inside. Students can also make donations by swiping their ACTion cards at the donation centers set up near the elephant or by donating to The Rising Tide Endowed Scholarship online.

Tuscaloosa restaurants have also joined the cause. The following restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds to the scholarship fund on the following days and times:

Monday, Aug. 25 | Glory Bound Gyro Co.

4 p.m.-close

Tuesday, Aug. 26 | Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

11 a.m.-2 p.m. Midtown Village location only.

Wednesday, Aug. 27 | Jason’s Deli

5-9 p.m. Ask your server for details.

Thursday, Aug. 28 | McAllister’s Deli

5-9 p.m. 15th Street Location only.

Monday, Sept.1 | Bob’s Victory Grille

5-9 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 2 | Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q

5-9 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 3 | Buffalo Wild Wings

11 a.m.-9 p.m. Bring in digital or hard copy flier, available at  (

Thursday, Sept. 4 | Panda Express

11 a.m.-10 p.m. 15th Street location only.  Bring in flier, available at  (

To encourage student participation and collaboration with the College’s faculty and alumni, the Ambassadors have asked the College’s faculty to consider matching a student or class’s contribution to the Rising Tide campaign and have asked alumni to match their respective honor society’s contributions. The Ambassadors’ goal is to raise $25,000 in order to endow the scholarship.

Donations can also be made online by visiting the College of Arts and Sciences website at, clicking “Give to A&S” and “Give Now,” and selecting the “Rising Tide Endowed Scholarship” account.

For more information, including fliers for Buffalo Wild Wings and Panda Express, visit A&S Student Services on Facebook ( and Twitter (@AS_StuServices).

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.

  • CONTACT: Stephanie Kirkland, communications specialist, College of Arts and Sciences, 205/348-8539,
  • SOURCE: Allison Verhine, director of college honors and endowment accounts, College of Arts and Sciences, 205/348-7009,