Inaugural ''Purple Pride Day'' Set for January 2023

CONTACT: Olivia Bradford, Shoals Chamber,, 256-764-4661
                     Michelle Eubanks, University of North Alabama,, 256-765-4392
November 15, 2022
Inaugural “Purple Pride Day” Set for January 2023
THE SHOALS, ALA. – The Shoals Chamber’s EMERGE: Leadership Shoals class, in collaboration with the University of North Alabama and the Town and Gown Task Force, are proud to announce the inaugural “Purple Pride Day” to coincide with UNA’s Founders’ Day on January 11, 2023.
The inaugural day will coincide with the University’s Founders’ Day celebration, to amplify the nearly 200-year influence that UNA has had on North Alabama. Hannah Hayes, founder of Hayes Creative and member of the inaugural EMERGE class, shared, “I am a proud alumna of UNA, and it is sad to drive into any of our towns and not know that right around the corner is an incredible school. Purple Pride Day is more than just supporting athletics; it’s about supporting the faculty and staff, the administration, the students, everyone who is a part of the UNA family. I am so hopeful for what this day might become and excited for the opportunity through EMERGE to make an impact on the University that impacted me!”
“Founders’ Day provides a great opportunity for the campus as well as the Shoals to remember UNA’s long and storied history of serving the state and region as the oldest four-year public higher-education institution. It is fitting that we would embrace that outwardly by wearing the traditional color of purple on campus as well as in the community,” stated UNA President Dr. Ken Kitts.
The Town and Gown Task Force is a group of individuals who represent the University as well as the City of Florence as appointed by Dr. Kitts and Florence Mayor Andy Betterton. This 12-member group seeks to foster an intentional and robust partnership as well as to advocate on matters related to UNA and the City. Mayor Andrew Betterton emphasizes, “I encourage all residents and businesses to show our Purple Pride on January 11. The University of North Alabama is vital to our community, economic growth, and future. We look forward to showing our gratitude and support to the number one growing University in the state.”
Shoals Chamber President, Caitlin Holland, is thrilled for the opportunity to strengthen the ties between the business community and UNA. “The University of North Alabama’s impact on the entirety of the Shoals is truly remarkable,” stated Holland. “Its economic impact alone is in the hundreds of millions of dollars and there is simply no way to account for each of the athletic, artistic, architectural, and intellectual influences within our community. It is exciting to draw attention to UNA, its influence, its success, and the wonderful ways in which it shapes the Shoals by simply wearing our favorite shade of purple!”
“Purple Pride Day” is a movement birthed from the inaugural EMERGE class, a new program under the Leadership Shoals umbrella.  EMERGE seeks to develop tenacious, capable young professionals who will continue cultivating a region that supports entrepreneurship, business, and education. “This inaugural class has far exceeded its expectations already; they are engaged and ready to seize this opportunity to make a difference as the next generation of leaders in The Shoals. I could not be more proud of them or more confident that their future is bright here in The Shoals,” said Olivia Bradford, Leadership Shoals Coordinator for The Shoals Chamber.
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About The Shoals Chamber of Commerce
The Shoals Chamber of Commerce is member driven, united, and committed to providing leadership and vision to promote positive economic growth and to enhance the quality of life for all Shoals citizens. Serving two counties, four cities, and nine townships, the Shoals Chamber of Commerce observes all local, state, and federal laws which apply to a non-profit organization as defined in Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code. The mission of the Shoals Chamber of Commerce is to enhance the economic vitality of the Shoals through advocacy, connectivity, and education by acting as a bridge to an educated, productive workforce; an innovative, pro-business climate; and a connected diverse community. For more information, visit