2022 Donor Impact Report

College of Fine Arts

Dean Steven Peters, Ph.D.

College of Fine Arts Dean Steve Peters“We are using our Foundation funds in three key areas. We are able to provide scholarships for students, complete facility and technology enhancement for all four departments and the Center for the Arts and provide professional development opportunities for our faculty. Our donors are making a tremendous difference and we’re thankful for the support.”


College of Fine Arts Report

  • One-hundred percent of visual arts, music and theatre programs in COFA are nationally accredited, meaning they meet and exceed national standards for arts in higher education. Only 4% of arts programs around the world hold such credentials.
  • The Department of Art has grown to become the University’s largest undergraduate major. To keep up with the growth, the department added new artist studios, a digital fabrication shop, expanded digital photography facilities and opened the Poole Art Gallery in the Center for the Arts.
  • A new feature of the Communication Studies Program, the Center for Collaborative Communication, will create collaborative opportunities for students, faculty, staff and community partners to improve their oral communication skills. The Center
    will follow the proven model of communication and writing centers across the country by offering peer consultations to students working on oral presentations. Trained peer consultants will record and offer feedback to students working on presentations for classes, conferences and other occasions.
  • The Department of Music in Davis Hall is scheduled to undergo an extensive renovation, one that will include development of new music technology and recording facilities and a modernization of LeBaron Recital Hall.
  • The Mass Communication Program has created a new emerging media course since emerging modes of communication have disrupted the modern media landscape. Understanding how new media works and how it impacts life is imperative. This 3-credit-hour course is designed to introduce students to all things digital and emerging media, from social media analytics and data journalism to virtual reality and chatbots. The course will focus on emerging trends in media and their effects on culture, politics, information and journalism, and will include hands-on projects to foster students’ passion for emerging technology.
  • The Communication Studies Program’s Falcon Facilitators (FF) is a new, public deliberation and civic engagement initiative that allows University students to engage with each other and the broader community in forums that focus on
    a variety of issues of shared concern. The initiative is funded by a 2022 Jean O’Conner Internship Program (JOIP) Grant from the David Mathews Center for Civic Life that enables the program to expand, teaching more participants civic leadership skills. Falcon Facilitators will be immersed in civic learning by leading efforts to identify and address genuine community issues on an on-going basis using deliberative practices that are fundamental to community problem solving.
  • A new works initiative in the Department of Theatre has linked with the Undergraduate Research Program to foster student-generated plays, original musicals, digital fabrication and 3-D printing projects for stage scenery. “Onstage Blog” named the program “Best Theatre Program in Alabama.”

Donor Impact

Sean Jones“I’m appreciative of donors funding scholarships that are making a massive difference in my life. There are a lot of students here who need just as much help as I’ve needed. Because of donors, I’ve been able to work with some of the best teachers and professors in my field, and I can move forward into the future of my career because of the education I’ve received here.”

– Sean Jones, a choral music major who brought back the first-place prize at the annual Alabama chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition.

Sean’s Story