Alabama Power Foundation boosts UWA Environmental Sciences endowment by $35,000

A rejuvenated Environmental Sciences program at the University of West Alabama has received another shot in the arm with a $35,000 increase to a scholarship endowment from the Alabama Power Foundation.

The Alabama Power College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Endowed Scholarship Fund, which had been established at $15,000, will now grow to $50,000. The announcement was made today during a news conference on the University of West Alabama campus.

The $50,000 endowment comes from the Alabama Power Foundation and is earmarked for undergraduate or graduate students in the school’s Environmental Sciences program. Earnings from the endowment are used to fund the scholarships.

“We’re delighted to see the Environmental Sciences Department of the University of West Alabama growing leaps and bounds,” Willard Bowers, vice president of Environmental Affairs at Alabama Power Company, said during the news conference. “There is a dire need for more professionals in environmental sciences, and we welcome the opportunity to help support fine programs that are training our young people in this career track.”

“Scholarship money in the impoverished Black Belt region is very important to the success of our students,” UWA President Richard Holland said. “This addition to the Environmental Sciences scholarship endowment will enable us to help more students meet the financial obligations of attending UWA.”

The Environmental Sciences Department is in a “rebuilding phase,” said program director Doug Wymer.

“Our program is poised for new heights because of several factors,” Wymer said. “We’ve made significant revisions to the program. We have a new dual degree program offered in conjunction with Auburn University. We also now have ongoing input from an active advisory board composed of individuals working in the field of environmental sciences.”

Supporting education in Alabama is one of the missions of the Alabama Power Foundation, which has provided nearly $100 million in grants to worthy projects across Alabama since 1990. The foundation works to improve the quality of life of Alabamians and strengthen the communities in which they live.

“This endowment is right down our alley,” said Bill Johnson, foundation president. “We want to promote education all we can.”

Current scholarship recipient Gregory Gibson said the financial support has been particularly meaningful for him.

“The Alabama Power Foundation scholarship was a tremendous help to my academic success, because the financial assistance allowed me to more easily balance the duties of being a husband, father and student," Gibson said.

More information about the foundation is available at

More information on the University of West Alabama’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics is available at

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO), provides reliable, affordable electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across the state. Learn more about Alabama Power at