The University of North Alabama College of Education and Human Sciences announced today that the Human Environmental Sciences Department will now be known as the Connie D. McKinney Department of Human Sciences, Hospitality, and Design.
The new name was approved Thursday during a special executive committee meeting called by the UNA Board of Trustees. The naming was made possible by a $1 million gift from Chester McKinney, Jr. and Joe McKinney in their desire to honor their late mother, Connie. The McKinney’s gift will continue by matching future donations for many remaining naming opportunities in the department’s new location to inspire additional donors. Officials with the University say the name change was recommended in an effort to better represent the department and the areas it encompasses.
“We’re so thankful for the generosity of Chester McKinney, Jr. and Joe McKinney. Their gift in memoryof their mother, Connie, will provide countless benefits for years to come,” said Dr. Ken Kitts, UNA president. “This new name will help show prospective students and others exactly what this department is all about; and it will help provide the vehicle to bring this program into the forefront,” he said.
Mrs. McKinney studied Home Economics at Florence State Teachers College, now the University of North Alabama, graduating in 1950. Her passion for helping improve the quality of life for families in her community was exemplified by her work with the Franklin County Extension Service of Auburn University. In her role as a demonstration agent, McKinney made a positive impact on those she served by providing valuable, practical information on budgeting and meal planning, modeling new appliances and hosting a weekly radio program on similar topics. The Connie D. McKinney Department of Human Sciences, Hospitality, and Design is a fitting tribute to McKinney’s dedication to the community she loved and served.
The department houses two stand-alone degree programs: a B.S. in Culinary, Nutrition, and Hospitality Management (CNH) with concentrations in Culinary Arts, Therapeutic Nutrition, Food Service Management, and Hospitality Management; and a B.S. in Human Environmental Sciences (HES) with concentrations in Child Development, Interior Design, and Merchandising. Additionally, the department actively supports the Family and Consumer Sciences secondary education program and offers a total of nine academic minors.