Thursday, February 7, 2008

Standing Up to be Counted: GLBTQ student group archives come to Hoole Library

Memo dated April 13, (1983) soliciting support of UA faculty to "stand up
and be counted"
as a co-advisor and supportor to the soon-to-be
established GLBTQ student group,
the Gay Student Union.

2008 marks the 25th anniversary of the first GLBTQ student group on campus, then called the Gay Student Union. In celebration of this 25th anniversary year, and in recognition of those who stood up to be counted, these materials were gathered by Joshua Burford and donated to the Hoole Library by several former student group advisors including the first, David Lee Miller, and the longest-serving, Annabel Stephens.

The collection will be known as The Miller-Stephens GLBTQ UA Student Organization Collection and will be housed permanently at the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library. Upon processing the collection it will be made available to researchers on campus and around the world. This collection builds upon our holdings that help to document GLBTQ history in Alabama and the South and the history and culture of The University of Alabama.

We are celebrating twenty-five years of GLBTQ Student Groups at UA and the donation of GLBTQ student materials to the Hoole Library with a brief ceremony, awards presentation, press opportunity and reception. Josh Burford, Coordinator of Freshman Community Outreach at UA, facilitated the gathering of these materials from several sources. The oldest materials came from the first faculty member who served as the faculty advisor of the first GLBTQ student group, then called the Gay Student Union, which was established in 1983. David Lee Miller, a former professor in the department of English, took up this task despite his status as a new and untenured professor at UA, and helped to establish and secure this organization and its legacy.

These materials help to document the history of GLBT activism and support on college campuses, and will be a valuable resource for researchers. The collection also supports other materials in the Hoole Library that help to document GLBTQ organizations and activities in Alabama and the South. This is a growing area of collecting for the Hoole Special Collections Library and is a great addition to our materials that document UA history.

The Miller-Stephens LGBTQ UA Student Organization Collection is to be named for David Miller, the first faculty advisor, and Annabel Stephens, the faculty advisor for many, many years and one of the major contributors to the collections.

A celebration will take place on Monday, February 11, 2008 from 4-5 pm in the lobby of the Hoole Special Collections Library. It will feature a handing off of materials to the University Libraries representing 25 years of GLBTQ student history on the UA campus. David Miller, along with several other faculty advisors and others will be on hand for the event. They include Annabel Stephens, who served as the faculty advisor for several years.

We will also have a brief awards ceremony honoring the faculty members who supported and stood up for GLBTQ students 25 year ago on the UA campus. Members of the GLBTQ student group on campus, Spectrum will present those faculty members with certificates of appreciation. A small exhibit of materials from this new collection will be on display in the lobby of the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library. A reception will follow the ceremony. All are welcome!

The press release for this event is available at

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