Tutwiler Hall: The End of an Era – News from the University of Alabama

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The University of Alabama is ready to demolish old Tutwiler Hall on July 4, a date usually associated with the celebration. However, it will be a bittersweet day for many of the more than 50,000 women who called Tutwiler home at some point during her time at Capstone.

Looking back to move forward

Tutwiler Hall will always hold legendary status for former residents around the world because of the lasting memories it fostered. Since the first residents moved into this second iteration of the dormitory in 1968 (the first was built in 1914 where the Rose Administration Building now stands), its halls have been filled with stories of friendship and growth, first loves and first heartbreaks. , the energetic Crimson Game days of weather tides and storms, both literally and figuratively.

Through a Student Life questionnaire, former residents recently shared their memories of Tutwiler. They shared stories of how they found safety within their walls during Hurricane Katrina and the April 27, 2011 tornado; how they found acceptance among their female classmates who were just like them: young women far from home and hoping to find a fellow family at UA; and how they made lifelong connections.

If walls could talk, who knows what Tutwiler’s would reveal? Fortunately, when those walls come down, they won’t take all the stories with them. Below are some memories of Tutwiler shared by some of its former residents:

“I lived on the 14th floor with a bunch of wonderful girls from all over the United States. We learned to love, share, help, support, argue and forgive. I am now 68 years old… I STILL have contact with all these wonderful girls. It’s true… college friends are lifelong friends. What a fabulous time I had in this fantastic bedroom. All freshmen must begin their college time in a dorm. Good for the soul!”

Diana (Bruno) Mahan, resident from 1972-1973
Hometown: Gadsden, Alabama

“I met my four lifelong best friends on the fourth floor of Tutwiler during my freshman year at UA in 1976. The memories created within those walls are still fresh in my mind to this day. We still all go back to campus together and we always take pictures in front of the entrance. When my daughter and I were touring campus in 2016, during our tour of Tutwiler, I was able to show her my room and my friends’ rooms. One of the residents of my old room let us in. As I shared the memories I made in that room with her and my daughter, I cried. That year changed my life forever. Tutwiler symbolizes my starting point on my path at the UA. The place that made UA feel like home, even though it was hundreds of miles from my home in Indiana. Tutwiler holds a very precious place in my heart. It always will. I am heartbroken that the campus will soon lose the unique landmark that is Julia Tutwiler Hall. But, the memories I made there will never be lost.”

Carol Diegel (left), resident from 1976 to 1977
Hometown: Anderson, Indiana

“Good memories of Tutwiler as a freshman at UA. I loved the community aspect. Classes were within walking distance. The day of the soccer game was electric. Recreational vehicles filled our parking lots. The RAs kept us in line and the boys out. (Tutwiler was) a girls-only dormitory at the time. Grateful for the memories… a real stepping stone to four years in Bama. Rolling tide!”

Ciaren Bevelle, 1990-1991 resident
Hometown: San Francisco, California

“I painted huge banners for the stairs during football season because they were pretty drab to go up and down. I continued in the spring for the holidays while people were enjoying them. At the end of the year, one of the cleaning staff women came to my room and asked me to go down to the basement. She had worked all year to hand-sew a quilt for me because my signs made her job happier. I still have it and cherish it to this day. It was a precious gift. We never know how we can touch others we may never meet, or how they can reciprocate and leave a lasting mark on our lives as well.”

Leah Anne (Kaigler) Daughrity, 1992-1993
Hometown: Springfield, Virginia

“I was an RA at Tutwiler for five semesters from 2009 to 2012. Lots of fun. I loved living there. The girls I worked with were amazing and they were some of my best friends in college. I LOVED working for barbara green. So many good memories. Tutwiler made my college experience so wonderful.”

Emily (Wolfe) Daniel, Resident Assistant from 2009 to 2012
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

“My memories include going to the common room to watch The Cosby Show and hanging out with the big girls down the hall on the 11th floor.”

Amy Hammonds, resident from 1986 to 1988
Hometown: Hollman Air Force Base, New Mexico

“Tutwiler meant roommates and friends, decorating our door and making our room feel homey. Flying from France to Atlanta, then taking the Greyhound bus to Birmingham, I arrived at my first year by taxi with two large suitcases, which represented everything I owned at the time. The driver asked me about my story during our trip together. He not only helped me carry my bags, but he stayed with me to move. While other residents had family and friends for support, I was running through the building with a taxi driver. He made sure I was okay and had his number in case I needed anything else. What a great man he made sure he got off to a wonderful start to school.”

Florence Gum, 1992-1993 resident
Hometown: Blotzheim, France

a rendering of the facade of the new Tutwiler Hall

a new era begins

The opening of the new Tutwiler Hall in August 2022 will be reminiscent of its predecessor, but with some welcome improvements. Like the old Tutwiler, it will have common spaces with TVs, two twin beds in each bedroom, and, of course, Julia’s Market, a convenience store and resident favorite for take-out dining.

However, residents will be greeted by several new amenities including private baths in each bedroom, laundry rooms on each floor, outdoor social spaces, a fitness center, a craft room, and a large storm shelter/multipurpose room. .

When moving day comes this fall, a new group of women will find their dorm rooms and meet their new roommates for the first time. It’s a rite of passage that the old Tutwiler Hall witnessed for more than half a century. It’s a tradition now passed down to the new Tutwiler, whose first residents will be the next generation creating memories to last another 50 years.

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Learn more about the new Tutwiler Hall.


Jennifer Brady, UA Strategic Communications, [email protected]

The University of Alabama, part of the University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. The UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA offers a forward-thinking, inclusive environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, the UA promotes discovery, creative inquiry, and insight through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest institution of higher education, UA fuels economic growth in Alabama and beyond.

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