UAH establishes Engineering Chair in honor of Sen. Richard Shelby

Shelby Tribute 2022
Sen. Richard Shelby is welcomed by UAH President Charles L. Karr as he is honored with the establishment of the Senator Richard Shelby Endowed Chair in Engineering. (UAH)

Sen. Richard Shelby will end his tenure in Congress after more than three decades of service when Senator-elect Katie Britt takes office in January, and the state has bestowed an array of honors upon Shelby since his announcement that he was retiring from politics. These honors include the University of Alabama in Huntsville establishing the Senator Richard Shelby Endowed Chair in Engineering.

The announcement was made last week. Here are the details:

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The Senator Richard Shelby Endowed Chair in Engineering

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Richard Shelby will have his name forever honored by the UAH College of Engineering. (UAH via Facebook)

UAH, along with Huntsville and North Alabama community and business leaders, announced on Nov. 21 the establishment of the Senator Richard Shelby Endowed Chair in Engineering in the UAH College of Engineering.

Pending approval from the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees, this endowment will honor retiring Senator Richard Shelby, the senior United States senator from the state of Alabama. An endowed chair is one of the highest academic accolades a scholarly expert can receive and promotes the highest standard of excellence.

“This is very special for UAH. Certainly, Senator Shelby has been a great champion for North Alabama, UAH, the University of Alabama System and higher education throughout his tenure. His support has had a tremendous impact at UAH, and in our state and the nation. It will be an honor for us to have an endowed chair in his name, and it will allow us to bring outstanding faculty members to UAH – the type of faculty member that will make Senator Shelby proud. In addition, we are extremely grateful to everyone who contributed, making this possible.”

UAH president Charles L. Karr

Shelby’s impact on UAH + North Alabama

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Sen. Shelby has secured millions of dollars in funding for UAH while in the U.S. Senate. (Sen. Richard Shelby via Facebook)

Shelby has had a major impact on Huntsville and North Alabama during his tenure. His efforts have helped significantly expand Redstone Arsenal units, missions and tenants, including the Army Material Command, Army Aviation and Missile Command, the Missile Defense Agency, NASA’s Marshal Space Flight Center, DIA’s Missile and Space Intelligence Center and the expanding presence of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

He has been a vital supporter of the relocation of Space Command to this region as well, which will complement the existing command at Redstone Arsenal. In addition, he was instrumental in securing funds for a new $86 million federal courthouse to support the judicial needs of North Alabama.

Shelby’s impact on these programs and companies that support them range from $23 billion in NASA SLS appropriations over the past 10 years, to $2.5 billion in support of the FBI since FY19, as well $17 billion as Department of Defense programmatic additions in support of small- and medium-sized defense companies since FY18.

Shelby has also played a key role in bringing important facility and infrastructure enhancements to UAH, including:

  • The Shelby Center for Science and Technology
  • The Intermodal Facility
  • The Invention to Innovation Center
  • The first phase of the Altenkirch Lawn greenway

“Throughout my career, I have worked hard to prioritize higher education in Alabama. Our universities are of supreme importance when it comes to the future of our state. I am deeply honored that UAH and community leaders have created this Chair in Engineering in my name. This endowment will undoubtedly be of benefit long after my service in the United States Senate. I look forward to the talent that is procured by this fund and the impact it will have on UAH’s students, the Huntsville community and the state as a whole.”

Sen. Richard Shelby

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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