U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, who has announced plans to retire in 2022 at the end of his sixth term in the Senate, has agreed to donate his official Senate papers to the University of Alabama.
Shelby is a UA alumnus.
“I am honored to donate my official papers, records and materials to The University of Alabama once my season in Congress comes to an end,” said Sen. Shelby. “I have been extremely fortunate to serve the people of Alabama for more than forty years and cannot think of a more appropriate place to house my official papers than my Alma Mater. I hope that these materials will facilitate academic research for scholars and students of law, history, policy, political science and other fields, as I believe one of the most important investments we make is in our classrooms. Thank you to The University of Alabama for this gracious effort.”
With the receipt of the Shelby papers, the university will look into creating new programs to encourage discussion and research into public policy and political issues.
“Senator Shelby has long provided unparalleled support to entities across the University of Alabama System, and it is impossible to overstate the great historical significance and lasting impact this donation will have on The University of Alabama,” said Chancellor Finis St. John. “We are grateful for Senator Shelby’s service to our state and for his decision to entrust us with his official materials. His legacy will be felt for generations to come.”
And University President Stuart Bell added: “The University of Alabama has long attracted and educated leaders for our state and nation. With these materials, Senator Shelby will once again pave the way for the next generation of public servants. Provost Jim Dalton and I look forward to working with our faculty and students to develop the leading program of its kind, as the University continues its mission to drive the advancement of this state.”
Shelby is a fifth-generation Alabamian and a graduate of both UA and its law school. He was first elected to the senate in 1986. Earlier, he served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and eight years in the Alabama Legislature.
Shelby and his wife, Dr. Annette Shelby, who is a UA graduate and former UA professor, live in Tuscaloosa.