Judy Culbreth, a 1972 alumna of the University of South Alabama’s College of Arts and Sciences, has created an annual award that will fund projects highlighting local history, archaeology and culture.
The Mobile Bay Heritage Award was established with Culbreth’s gift of $25,000, which will be matched by the University to create a $50,000 endowed fund. This endowment is a significant new resource for the College of Arts and Sciences and will benefit students, faculty, and area residents.
Culbreth has an impressive background that began during her USA student days, when she was named one of America’s top 10 college women by Glamour magazine. This award became the catalyst for a move to New York and a career in publishing with magazines such as Seventeen, Working Mother, and Parent & Child. She also served as executive editor at Redbook and was one of the founders of “Take Our Daughters to Work” Day. Culbreth has appeared on hundreds of national television news programs,ncluding “Today” on NBC. She currently serves as editor-in-chief of Mobile Bay Monthly, a lifestyle magazine covering the Bay area.
“I don’t know how I would have gone to college without the University of South Alabama,” Culbreth said. “From deep in my heart, I wanted to acknowledge what the University had done for me. I also wanted to challenge the University to continue its commitment to the community and to preserve its history and culture.”
Culbreth said she felt a deep affiliation with USA’s history department, since it helped to raise money for her first trip to Europe as a college student. She also felt a pull to do something to enhance local history and culture since her mother’s family has been in the Mobile area since colonial times.
“I owed it to my own roots,” she said.
Dr. G. David Johnson, dean of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, said, “It is always gratifying when a distinguished graduate makes a gift to acknowledge the quality of the education he or she received at USA. It is especially rewarding to receive this gift from such a great person and friend of the College of Arts and Sciences. Judy Culbreth demonstrates the very best qualities we love to see in our graduates - she is talented, hard working, gracious and public spirited. We are very proud of her accomplishments and very grateful for her generosity and continued support of USA.”
Kristy Caradori, associate director of University development, said, “Judy’s gift creates a unique award program that will encourage new academic projects with a local focus. We are thankful to Judy for her gift and for her leadership as a successful graduate, making a positive impact for the University.”
The endowment gifts are part of Campaign USA, the University’s first comprehensive fund-raising campaign that seeks to raise $75 million for USA programs, faculty, students and construction over three years. Campaign USA was launched in March 2006 and, to date, has raised $51.6 million. The Campaign USA Leadership team is comprised of local civic, business and national leaders, many of whom are alumni.
Campaign USA will enrich all aspects of USA, from its academic colleges and schools to its hospitals, athletic programs, libraries and campuses. The money raised will be used to fund such items as undergraduate and graduate scholarships, professorships, classroom and laboratory equipment, and health care innovations. Funds will also be used for capital enhancements to USA’s track and soccer programs, a University archives building and campus bell tower.
For information on Campaign USA, visit www.campaignusaleadership.com or call (251) 460-7032.
The University of South Alabama
Since its founding in 1963, the University of South Alabama has been one of Alabama’s fastest growing universities, currently enrolling more than 13,300 students in a wide range of academic programs in Allied Health Professions, Arts and Sciences, Mitchell College of Business, Computer and Information Sciences, Continuing Education and Special Programs, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The University has awarded 60,000 degrees.
In addition to teaching and research, USA is one of the largest health care providers in the Mobile region, with its faculty physicians and two hospitals – Children’s & Women’s and USA Medical Center – involved in more than a quarter million patient encounters annually.