Huntsville, Alabama, the newest location of the UA Culverhouse College of Commerce EMBA Program, is packed with unique history, culture, and industry. The oldest English-speaking settlement in the state, Huntsville is constantly featured on lists such as NerdWallet’s “Top 10 Cities on the Rise,” Forbes Magazine’s “Top 20 Leading Metros for Business,” or the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.” Expansive greenery, a diverse population, and modern technology make Huntsville the perfect location for EMBAs to study as well as relax and unwind.
Huntsville’s location near the geographic center of the Southeast makes the Rocket City an easy destination. Sitting within half an hour from the Alabama-Tennessee state line, the drive to Huntsville is less than two hours from Chattanooga and Nashville and around four hours from Knoxville, Memphis, and Atlanta. With the Huntsville program’s new one weekend a month format, an MBA is just a few short commutes away for Executive MBA students from Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee alike. For those outside of the tri-state area, the Huntsville International Airport has nonstop service to nine nationwide destinations such as Denver, Charlotte, Dallas or Washington, D.C.
Huntsville’s history is sprinkled with stories of warfare, innovation, and pride. When Huntsville was founded in 1805, the city was named after the London suburb of Twickenham. After the growth of anti-British sentiment and the War of 1812, the city took its current name after its founder John Hunt. By 1819, Huntsville had transformed into the largest Alabama Territory. The city quickly became a hub for cotton trading in the Tennessee Valley. In the middle of the twentieth century, Huntsville was still a small cotton town with a population under 20,000. Since the addition of the aerospace and defense industries after WWII, the city’s vast metropolitan area has grown to include nearly 420,000 residents.
While the defense industry is still the city’s overwhelming leader in employment, the technology, engineering, and education industries also have a strong presence in Huntsville. Schools and universities such as the University of Alabama at Huntsville, where UA EMBAs attend class, help make the Rocket City Alabama’s best-educated metropolitan area. Huntsville’s metro also houses the highest per capita concentration of engineers and the third-highest per capita concentration of computer, science, and technology workers in the country. Forty-seven Fortune 500 companies call Huntsville home, while sixty foreign companies from seventeen countries also populate the city. Huntsville’s entertainment industry is also thriving; the city embraces live music and performing arts at venues such as Theatre Huntsville and the Von Braun Center.
Huntsville and the surrounding areas have plenty of destinations and activities perfect for an excursion from EMBA coursework. With an average temperature of 71.5 and over a hundred sunny days each year, Huntsville’s climate makes enjoying the outdoors easy. If you love golf as much as our Associate Dean Dr. Gray, Huntsville’s many golf courses are waiting – including the expansive Hampton Cove Golf Course, the first of the 21-course statewide Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Another kind of green, Huntsville is surrounded by mountains, rivers, and lakes on the Cumberland Plateau of the Appalachian Mountains. The Rocket City also has over 3,200 acres of public parks brimming with natural beauty.
If you prefer culture to recreation, pay a visit to one of Huntsville’s several museums such as the Alabama Constitution Village or the US Space & Rocket Center. The historic districts of Twickenham, Old Town, and Five Points each flaunt their own unique sophistication and antiquity, splendidly preserved alongside the city’s more modern structures. Featuring Alabama’s largest collection of pre-Civil War homes, walking tours of Huntsville’s historic districts are popular year-round.
The next Huntsville Executive MBA class begins on August 7. For more information or to start your application, please contact Cheryl Altemara at 205.348.4501 or submit an interest form here.