When Gayle Shaffer left the Midwest to attend college on the Gulf Coast, it didn’t take long for her to experience Southern hospitality at the University of South Alabama.
“I immediately felt at home,” she said. “You couldn’t walk across campus without everyone you meet saying ‘Hey’. I liked it. I made friends there and they taught me to talk about the South. I felt like I was part of a community. That’s what has always resonated with me.
Shaffer – now Rear Admiral Gayle Shaffer, Navy Deputy Surgeon General – had a scholarship in South. She also worked part-time in the marine biology lab of Dr. John Freeman, who studied the molting cycle of blue crabs.