Dec. 3, 1870
His name later memorialized in Tuscaloosa landmarks like Denny Chimes and Bryant-Denny Stadium, George Denny was born on this day in 1870. He assumed leadership of the University of Alabama campus in 1912. At the time, the school was in poor financial condition, with just 400 students and no reliable funding. By soliciting foundation grants and creative lease agreements, Denny was able to sell enough people on the future of the Capstone to grow student fees and out-of-state enrollment. His investments into athletics put the university on the map, highlighted in the 1920s with Alabama’s newfound prominence in football and Rose Bowl appearances. He was responsible for hiring legendary coaches Wallace Wade and Frank Thomas. Denny retired as university president in 1936 but returned in 1941 when his successor suddenly died. He served another five years before his final retirement, and died in 1955.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Portrait of University of Alabama President George Denny, c. 1919. (University of Alabama Corolla, Wikipedia)
Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, named for former University of Alabama President George Denny and legendary football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, is the home of the UA Crimson Tide football team. It was constructed in 1929 as Denny Stadium, and in 1975 the state legislature renamed it to honor Bryant. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Paul W. Bryant Museum, University of Alabama)
Denny Chimes is a bell tower on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa. It was named for former president George Hutcheson Denny, who oversaw a broad expansion of the university during the early 20th century, including its football team. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Photo courtesy of Jimmy Emerson)
Former University of Alabama president George Denny (left) sits in a booth in a local restaurant in 1938 with then-president of the university Richard Foster and former Crimson Tide football player and later film star Johnny Mack Brown, a native of Dothan. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, The University of Alabama Libraries)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.