FLORENCE – The University of North Alabama Board of Trustees on March 6 approved the naming of two entities on campus for alums of the University. The Honors College was approved to be the Delores and Weldon Cole Honors College, and the Culinary Arts Program has been renamed the Jeff Eubanks Culinary Arts Program. Both were made possible through gifts to the university.

“We are often asked why we are so passionate about the Honors College when we both attended the business school,” said UNA alum Weldon Cole. “We are enormously proud and grateful for the business school, which prepared us to compete with anyone, anywhere. However, we have observed that the Honors College attracts the best and brightest students. Many of these students will enroll in the business school. Moreover, the Honors College has the potential to enhance the university’s brand like no other initiative. Therefore, we know of no better way to support our beloved University.”

The Culinary Arts Program is housed at UNA’s East Campus and was renamed the Jeff Eubanks Culinary Arts Program. Eubanks was a 1996 graduate who passed away in early February. The effort was spearheaded by those at the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa where Eubanks was the executive chef, as well as his fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta.

“Jeff had a passion for his family, UNA, brotherhood, and cooking,” said Macke Mauldin, a fellow member of the fraternity and Bank Independent President. “I’m proud that so many came together to honor his memory and passions in a way that benefits future generations of students.

According to Larry Bowser, the general manager of the Marriott, the gift allows for the preservation of Eubanks’ legacy for future culinary students.

“We were blessed to have Jeff as part of our Marriott Shoals family as our Executive Chef, where his contributions played a large role in the Hotel’s success,” said Bowser. “Jeff poured his heart and soul into the dishes he prepared and the chef he trained.”

Events for the naming of the Honors College and the Culinary Arts program will likely be scheduled in the fall semester.