UNA to Discuss Continued Use of Band Nickname, “Pride of Dixie”

FLORENCE, Ala. – A study group at the University of North Alabama has been empaneled to discuss a nickname used for the UNA Marching Band.

“Pride of Dixie” is a nickname that was given to the UNA Marching Band by a former director of Bands in 1965, but officials feel like it’s something that needs to be studied more closely.

The 19-member study group includes faculty, staff, students and alumni—including several current and former band members–who will examine the issues surrounding the nickname, and then offer recommendations.

Even though the band has had that nickname for over 50 years, it has been used episodically, with the band even being referred to simply as “The Pride” for a period in the 1980s.

Most recently, UNA Director of Bands, Dr. Lloyd Jones, omitted reference to “Dixie” in his introduction of the Marching Band at the Alabama A&M football game out of respect for A&M’s mission and campus history.

“UNA has a reputation as a progressive institution, with a long history of successfully using collaborative leadership to address difficult social and cultural issues,” said Dr. Ross Alexander, UNA vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost. “The University is proud of its musical heritage and the musical heritage of the Shoals—both of which are built around values of inclusion and respect.”

Alexander said the University is committed to transparency and open communication as the process moves forward.

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