UA Taps New Leader for Innovation & Social Impact Center

University Of Alabama
The University of Alabama names its first director for the Center for Innovation and Social Impact. (Jacob Blankenship / The Bama Buzz)

The University of Alabama (UA) Honors College tapped the first-ever Director for its James C. Kennemer Center for Innovation and Social Impact. We’ll tell you about who’s now at the helm.

Gordon Martin, J.D.

Rotary Club Alabama, Tuscaloosa, University Of Alabama
Gordon Martin, President of the Rotary Club of Birmingham (L) + Gordon McInally, President of Rotary International (R). (Callie Puryear / The Bama Buzz)

Gordon Martin, J.D. is the Inaugural leader of the Kennemer Center at UA. He’s an alum, of course, having earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Alabama. He worked his way up at Alabama Power, where he retired from his role as Senior Vice President of Corporate and Administrative Services earlier this year.

But it’s a combination of Martin’s successful career and his extracurricular activities, so to speak, that makes him such a great fit for UA and the Kennemer Center. He’s currently the President of the Rotary Club of Birmingham and served as the Chairman of the Board of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and three times as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Leadership Alabama, to name a few.

“Students will learn what it takes to innovate, take an idea from conception to reality, and in some cases, start a business or program that serves the greater good.  Our goal is to be a hub for innovation in the state and expose students to the opportunities they have to stay and contribute to Alabama’s advancement.”

Gordon Martin, Director of James C. Kennemer Center for Innovation and Social Impact (via a press release)

About the James C. Kennemer Center for Innovation and Social Impact

Ua2 1 Alabama, Tuscaloosa, University Of Alabama
The Center helps support students at UA with research opportunities. (Jacob Blankenship/ The Bama Buzz)

The James C. Kennemer Center for Innovation and Social Impact was started in March of 2023 with a $2M gift from James “Jim” Kennemer and his wife, Nancy. The center’s main goal is to encourage unique learning experiences and provide more research opportunities for UA students. The Center also helps with the Bama Innovation Gateway program, which has hosted the “BIG Ideas” contest since 2022.

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Liv George
Liv George

A Georgia native soaking up the sun on the Gulf Coast. Lover of Mardi Gras, beach days, and historical sites.

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