FLORENCE, Ala. — Students, faculty, and staff filled the Guillot University Center atrium on UNA's campus Monday morning for an event worthy of a celebration—190 years of existence.

Founded on January 11, 1830, as LaGrange College, UNA is the oldest four-year university in Alabama. It's also the oldest state-chartered institution in Alabama.

University President Ken Kitts says because of those distinctions, the university needs to do more to celebrate the anniversary.

"After all, it's part of what makes UNA unique; it's like our live lion mascots, our beautiful homestead-designed campus, and that wonderful fountain at Harrison Plaza," said President Kitts at the university's inaugural Founders Day celebration.

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Tammy Jacques says the university's dedication to academics and helping students succeed is a major factor in its continued growth and lasting traditions. "We have a lot to celebrate here; the history has been amazing at this institution," said Jacques. "We keep evolving and there's more to come and we look forward to celebrating more in the future."

With Founders Day being a new tradition, the celebration of the university's success is sure to continue.

More events are scheduled throughout the year to celebrate the 190th anniversary. President Kitts announced that on February 24, a new historical marker will be unveiled on campus commemorating changes the university underwent to become more inclusive.