Mrs. Terry Saban, the queen of Alabama football, is joining other local leaders to raise funds for the immersive STEM hub her foundation is planning in downtown Tuscaloosa.

Most have already heard of the Saban Center, the massive undertaking being planned by the Nick's Kids Foundation, the city of Tuscaloosa and Tuscaloosa City Schools, backed by $25 million in state money pledged by Governor Kay Ivey. 

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Now, the new "Set the Foundation" capital campaign seeks to raise more funds to "directly support STEM-based educational programs, enhanced youth engagement initiatives and the construction of a first-of-its-kind STEM campus."

In a video launching the campaign and asking for support, Terry Saban said as a former educator, she has always been passionate about teaching.

"Teachers are on the front lines of our future, so Nick and I and the city of Tuscaloosa want to do everything we can to help kids and their teachers - that's why the Saban Center is so important," she said. "In just a few short years, the Saban Center will be a first-of-its-kind STEM Hub for Alabama - a place where teachers themselves will be taught how to better prepare our children for the challenges of the future, and that's quite an assignment. So we need your help - we're kicking off a campaign called Set the Foundation."

“Set The Foundation’ is not just a campaign; it’s a commitment to providing quality education and resources for students, educators and future generations of changemakers in Tuscaloosa and beyond," she said in a release.

Every dollar helps set up the Saban Center, said the Crimson Tide matriarch, and a brighter future at the Center will mean a brighter future for educators and the lives they touch.

"Education, along with innovation, curiosity and discovery, that's the future," Saban said. "We hope you'll join us in this effort - like teaching, it won't be easy, but it's going to be fun."

In a press release, Mayor Walt Maddox also expressed total support for the effort.

“Saban Center is a beacon of progress in our city, and the ‘Set The Foundation’ campaign is a testament to its dedication to the betterment of our community," Maddox said. "The City of Tuscaloosa is proud to be a partner in this endeavor, and we look forward to witnessing the positive changes it will bring, both to our city and to the state as a whole.”

To learn more and make a contribution, visit - for more on the project as it develops, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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