3.30.2010

Home of the Lions -Part One-

The weather was beautiful outside, so we decided to visit my Alma Mater, the University of North Alabama, which is here in Florence. UNA is steeped in history and tradition, and some say it is haunted. Wesleyan Hall, where many history and political science classes are held, where I actually spent most of my time on campus (I received my BS of Political Science in 2004), served as a Civil War Hospital for both Union and Confederate Soldiers in the 1860's. Wesleyan Hall is actually credited as the site where General William Tecumsah Sherman uttered the iconic phrase, "War is Hell". More than a few students have reported paranormal activity in Wesleyan, and other places on our historic campus. But aside from a rich history, one of the greatest things about my college is that it is the permanent home to two six year old African lions, Leo III and Una. The sibling lions live on campus, in a state of the art lion habitat. Leo III and Una came to the University after their birth in 2002. Before the siblings, UNA was the proud home to Leo I from 1974 until his death in 1988, and Leo II from 1988 until his death in February of 2000, which was my freshman year at college. One of my fondest memories of my freshman year was sitting in English class every afternoon, and hearing Leo II roar from his habitat right next door to where I was studying. He was loud, and he was amazingly beautiful! It was very sad for our community when he passed away. He was even voted the Nation's 2nd Best Mascot by Sports Illustrated in 1997.

We wanted to Hudson to see the lions, so we strolled through campus to pay them a visit. Can you believe that we just missed them? They can usually be seen in their habitat from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.
Unfortunately, because we went after Will arrived home from work, the lions had already gone in for the night....But we can't wait for the next pretty day. We'll be checking out the lions again soon, so stay tuned! In the meantime, here are some pictures of the beautiful UNA campus.

  

{Ampitheatre at the center of campus}


{At the George H. Carroll Lion Habitat}


{Frank Fleming Lion Sculpture}


{Sculptor Frank Fleming is a graduate of UNA}


{Looking for Leo III & Una}


{Bibb Graves Hall}



{Recognize anyone?}



{Harrison Plaza}



{"These aren't real lions are they, Dad?"}


{"Roar Lions! I love UNA!"}

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