In 1997, the Randall Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award Program was created by the Randall Publishing Company and the H. Pettus Randall, III, family in memory of Henry Pettus Randall, Jr., a distinguished alumnus of The University of Alabama and the creator of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Award recipients are selected by a distinguished panel of UA research faculty and past winners of the Burnum Distinguished Faculty Award. The recipients and their nominators are recognized at a luncheon in their honor during The University of Alabama Honors Week.Past Award Recipients
August 23, 1911 – April 25, 1976
In 1934, as an undergraduate student at The University of Alabama soon to be entering law school, Pettus Randall, Jr. was invited to join various campus honor societies. An outstanding student, he valued these honors bestowed by his alma mater.
However, a poor farming community background hard hit by the Depression left him unable to accept these honors; membership dues and initiation fees would have been a financial burden.
He discussed this drawback to honors programs with Dr. George Denny, then president of the university. As a result, Randall conceived an honors program whereby outstanding students are recognized for their accomplishments without dues or fees.
While still a student, Randall created Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, a distinguished biographical volume honoring the nation’s most noteworthy students of higher learning.
As a law student, Randall struggled to gain acceptance of this new concept. For several years, he and his wife comprised the entire staff. As one prominent educator remarked, “If a bright young student had an idea like Who’s Who Among Students today, he would probably get a government grant to implement the idea. It must have been a monumental task during the Depression.”
After graduation from law school, Randall founded a number of successful businesses. One, Randall Publishing Company, is a major contributor to this scholarship. But his major interest remained the development and recognition of excellence in young people. He would be proud to recognize outstanding research by undergraduate students at The University of Alabama.