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May 3, 2012
To: Faculty And Staff
From: V. Gordon Moulton

Fifty years ago, the Mobile region was at a crossroads. The area’s largest employer, Brookley Air Force Base, was on a short list for closure, ultimately putting 10 percent of Mobile’s civilian workforce -- 16,000 -- people out of work.   Community leaders realized that the region’s future depended on a more diversified economy and a more highly educated workforce that could only be possible through greater access to public higher education.

From this perfect storm of crisis and need, combined with the determination of community visionaries, came an act of the Alabama Legislature on May 3, 1963, that created the University of South Alabama.  The Mobile region would never be the same.

Throughout the coming academic year we will commemorate USA’s accomplishments and the many lives touched since its founding 50 years ago. Amid today’s global economic challenges, our constituents have never depended more on USA’s contributions in teaching, research, service, health care, and economic enhancement.  

Thanks to your personal commitment and dedication, USA  has expanded its contribution in every benchmark by which higher education is measured.

Thanks to your efforts, USA is truly living up to the vision of our founders 50 years ago who placed so much hope in higher education’s ability to transform the Mobile region. 

As the nation’s erratic economic recovery continues, public education in Alabama is especially challenged by the fact that it is funded by recession-sensitive sales and income taxes.  Thus, USA’s near-term state funding outlook remains cloudy.  Even as we work to overcome five years of draconian cuts in state funding, we will continue to seek every possible way to reward and retain our faculty and staff, for it is only through your dedication amid difficult circumstances that we have been able to keep the University moving forward. 

I thank you again for working every day to live up to the hopes and dreams invested in this University more than a half century ago, and I’m convinced that our best days are ahead.  I congratulate you on another successful year, and wish you a safe and productive summer.

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