Faith is key to a successful life, University of Mobile commencement speaker Frederick T. Stimpson III told the Class of 2012 during ceremonies May 12 at the Mobile Civic Center.
“In my opinion, if you learn to approach all instances of your life, including your career, through the eyes of faith, you will have a great shot at a successful life,” Stimpson told approximately 350 students receiving associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees during the Christian university’s 46th graduation ceremony.
The university’s top two student awards, the William K. Weaver Jr. Excellence Award and the Annie Boyd Parker Weaver Excellence Award, were presented to graduates Andrew Chandler Pouncey of Mobile and Kala Marc Holt of Millerville, Ala. Pouncey graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of science in music, and Holt graduated summa cum laude from the honors program with thesis, earning a bachelor of arts in English and a bachelor of arts in humanities, while receiving the area award in humanitieis.
Retiring Professor of Biology Dr. Thomas Bilbo carried the ceremonial mace and led the procession into the arena. The ceremony was dedicated in memory of Dr. Kenneth Bergdolt, professor emeritus, who died Dec. 23, 2011.
University of Mobile President Dr. Mark Foley announced the Shofar Award, which is awarded to an Alabama Baptist State Convention minister for service that may never otherwise be recognized, will be presented to the Rev. David L. Hudson of Mobile.
Stimpson, chief executive officer of Scotch Gulf Lumber, shared personal examples of how prayer and obedience to God was vital in bringing his company through tough economic times.
“My testimony to you this morning is that, regardless of how difficult circumstances are, the way forward is through faith in our Lord and obedience to Him,” Stimpson said.
Stimpson said it was “a great privilege to stand before a group that will take part in shaping the world.”
“We need you out there,” he said. “We need you in every aspect of our culture and our economy.”
He said the University of Mobile experience would give graduates a solid foundation for the rest of their lives.
“Of course you have received an education, but more importantly, you are graduating from a university where a Christian world view is integrated into all areas of study, where you are exposed to approaching all aspects of your life, including your career, through the eyes of faith,” he said.
“I want to tell you that the Lord is preparing you today for a great tomorrow,” he added.
Stimpson began employment at Gulf Lumber Co. in 1974, and currently serves as CEO of Scotch Gulf Lumber. He is a leader in many business and civic organizations, having served as president of the Alabama Wildlife Federation, founding chairman of the American Family Business Institute, founding board member of Coastal Land Trust, member of the board of directors and past chairman of Infirmary Health System, past member and chairman of the Salvation Army advisory board, past chairman of the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturing Association, on the current executive committee of the Alabama Forestry Association, and is a member of the Whitney Bank regional advisory board. He is a member of Ashland Place United Methodist Church in Mobile where he serves on the board of trustees.
Stimpson holds a bachelor of science in commerce and business administration from the University of Alabama and a bachelor of science in forestry resources from the University of Georgia.
A native of Mobile, he is married to the former Alicia Snyder and they have three daughters, two granddaughters and two grandsons.
Shofar Award recipient Rev. Hudson is a native of Chattanooga, Tenn. He attended Tennessee Temple College in Chattanooga, and served as a youth pastor for Clifton Hills Baptist Church in Chattanooga. He then served the following congregations in succession: Fairhaven Baptist, Cedar Bluff, Ala.; Ingelnook Baptist, Birmingham, Ala.; Pleasant Hill Baptist, Decatur, Ala.; Mt. Vernon Baptist, Sale Creek, Tenn.; Creola First Baptist, Mobile, Ala.; Berean Baptist, Mobile, Ala.; Daphne Baptist, Daphne, Ala.; and Mt. Vernon Baptist, Meridian, Miss.
Three months after assuming the pastorate at Mt. Vernon Baptist, Hudson suffered a stroke and had to retire from active ministry. After two years of recuperation, he became a mission volunteer under the North American Mission Board auspices, serving as evangelism coordinator for Mobile Baptist Association. In the last five years Hudson has served five churches in the Mobile area as a volunteer pastor. His aim is to restart churches that are dying and lead them back to fruitful ministry.
He and his wife, Delphia, have two daughters.
For more information on the University of Mobile, visit the website at www.umobile.edu
, or call Enrollment Services at 251.442.2222, or toll free at 1.800.WIN.RAMS.
Graduation Speaker Frederick T. Stimpson III
Dr. Fred Lackey, Mr. Gabi Constantine, Mr. Fred Stimpson, Dr. Mark Foley, Dr.
Retiring professor Dr. Thomas Bilbo carried in the
University of Mobile ceremonial mace at the 2012
University of Mobile Board of Trustees Chairman
Congratulations to approximately 350 members of the University of Mobile
Class of 2012!
Dr. Mark Foley, University of Mobile president, left, presents the 2012 Shofar
Award to the Rev. David Hudson, with his wife, Delphia, at his side. Hudson was
unable to attend the 2012 UMobile graduation ceremony and the award was
presented later at the University of Mobile.