MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R- Mobile, made visits to two universities in the capital city Wednesday.
He stopped by Alabama State University Wednesday afternoon to visit with new ASU President Quinton Ross. Byrne and Ross previously worked together in the Alabama Senate from 2003-2007.
Ross believes it is important to note that Byrne serves on committees and caucuses in the nation's capitol that have an important and influential role and impact on ASU. Those include Byrne's duties as co-chairman of the Historically Black College and University's (HBCU) Congressional Caucus, as well as on the House Education & Workforce Committee, and the U.S. House Rules Committee.
"This visit is significant for Alabama State University. Congressman Byrne was my colleague in the Alabama State Senate, and we have maintained our connection over the years," Dr. Ross said. "Now, that he is in Congress, he plays a very important role as part of the White House Initiative on HBCUs. This visit will allow him to see up close and personal, the many wonderful things that we do here at Alabama State University. I'm really excited that his office reached out to coordinate this visit," Ross added.
Byrne also visited Auburn University Montgomery to get a look at the school's Virtual Avatar Lab. He got a demonstration on how the lab will help students in the College of Education.
Lawmakers are anxiously awaiting word on whether Montgomery will become home to the new F-35 fighter jet and Byrne took some time to answer questions about it.
The congressman said all of Alabama's congressional delegation have come together to try and get this program.
"You've had everybody in the Alabama delegation pushing and pushing hard," he said, "and so I am very hopeful about it. I don 't want to get people over-optimistic, but I am very hopeful that we're going to get it here in Montgomery which would be good for everybody here in Alabama."
If Montgomery is named the winner, the jets would be based at the Air National Guard's 187th Fighter Wing which currently flies the F-16 fighter jet.