As a vision of Mrs. Susan Halliday for several years, funding for the famous red blazers was approved by Dean James D. Yarbrough in October of 1998. An application process was quickly developed and after interviews by a committee from the Dean’s Office, twenty-four Ambassadors were selected to represent the College of Arts & Sciences. Their first duty was to assist in the recruitment of the new students at Capstone Scholars Day in January of 1999. Thus, the tradition of excellence by example began.
Since the founding, Ambassadors have been selected from an elite group of applicants in the spring semester of each academic year. In the fall of 2001, Dean Robert Olin became the faculty advisor and with Mrs. Halliday’s support the Ambassadors were organized into an officially-recognized student organization by the University and the Executive Board was appointed. This first Executive Board, led by President Andrew Todd, worked to draw up a constitution for the organization, declared the intended functions and goals of the Ambassadors to the University, and worked to publicize the group on campus and in the community.
Beginning with the first appearance at Capstone Scholars Day, the Ambassadors have become involved in a number of recruitment and community service activities through the College. Regular activities of the group now include Blount Scholars Program special functions, Leadership Board meetings, faculty BBQs, pre-football game events, Homecoming, faculty receptions, holiday receptions, special dinners, the McCollough Pre-Medical Scholars Forum, Benefactors Dinner, Science Olympiad, Arty Party, Honors Week, and graduation events.
The Ambassadors work with Dean Joseph Messina and their advisor, Dr. Pamela Young, on many activities over the year. They participate in interest session for those exploring The University of Alabama and share what it is like to be a student at UA. They interact with alumni, faculty, and other donors at the many external events hosted by the College and participate in community service projects in and around Tuscaloosa.