Grammy winner and University of North Alabama alumnus John Paul White to join university faculty this fall


John Paul White performs at UNA’s Norton Auditorium with Shoals Symphony Orchestra (Photo: Hayden Wilson Porter)

FLORENCE, Ala. — Local musician John Paul White is “fulfilling another dream,” announcing his return to the University of North Alabama to teach.

The university said Thursday the Grammy-winning artist will be joining the Department of Entertainment Industry as a “Visiting Artist of Practice” in the fall of 2021. White will teach classes and host seminars on various topics surrounding the entertainment industry.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to give back to my alma mater and to share my experiences with students eager to tackle this vocation,” White said in a news release.

White was born in Muscle Shoals, but he grew up in Loretto, Tenn. Then, he moved to Florence to attend UNA.

During his 20-year career, he has worked as a songwriter and major publisher, then as half of The Civil Wars — a pair that won four Grammy Awards before splitting in 2012.

White has toured as a solo artist, and collaborated with other artists in the industry, including Shoals native Jason Isbell. His most recent album, The Hurting Kind, was released in 2020.

His new colleagues are excited for White to start.

“Getting to add a multiple Grammy winner to your team is a rare occurrence in higher education,” said Dr. Bob Garfrerick, the Chair of the Department of Entertainment Industry. “We are beyond excited to have our alum John working with us, and our students will get incredible value from this.”

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