The Blackburn Institute is developing a network of leaders, the Blackburn Fellows, who have a clear understanding of the challenges that face the state of Alabama. The Institute provides the fellows opportunities to explore issues and identify strategic actions that will improve the quality of life for our state and nation. Each year approximately 25 students are selected to join the Institute after an extensive nomination, application, and interview process. Throughout the selection process, the Blackburn Institute focuses on identifying students who are most interested and best able to sacrifice individual gain for the sake of community improvement.
The Capstone Heroes award is designed to recognize UA students, faculty, staff, student organizations and members of the community whose contributions to life at the Capstone reflect the values within the Capstone Creed. The Capstone Heroes Award is given to individuals that embody the very best ideals of the University of Alabama and the Capstone Creed. A Capstone Hero exerts a positive influence over the University of Alabama community both academically and culturally. Past recipients of the Capstone Heroes award have demonstrated not only their commitment to improving the University community itself, but also to improving the lives of individual community members.
The Elliot Jackson Jones Scholarship is awarded to individuals who continuously find new ways to positively support the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer student population at the University of Alabama. Recipients of this award actively participate in changing the climate on campus in regards to the LGBTQ+ community, work to foster a LGBTQ+ friendly atmosphere, and connect with LGBTQ+ student life here at the University of Alabama. The Elliot Jackson Jones Award and Scholarship is named after the founder of the first gay-straight alliance group on campus in 1983, which brought gay rights to the Capstone for the first time. He passed away as a young man due to complications from HIV/AIDS and cancer. His memory and legacy live on in this award, as well as scores of queer youth activists who have graced this campus since his brave stand.
The Penny Allen Award recognizes one student and one non-student (faculty, staff or administrative personnel) who have made a significant contribution to student life at the University. Student nominees must also be incoming juniors or seniors and have a GPA of at least 3.0. The award is named in honor of Sara Bell Penrod “Penny” Allen. Ms. Allen was a social work educator, administrator and practitioner who contributed extensively to the social work profession throughout her adult life. Ms. Allen was the first social worker at Bryce Hospital. She was a founder of The University of Alabama School of Social Work and was among the first group of people to be inducted in the Social Work hall of fame.