The University of Mobile begins its 51st year with a new residence hall, The Timbers – one of three built during the past eight years to meet the continuing demand for campus housing at one of "America's Best Christian Colleges" and "America's 100 Best College Buys." The UMobile apartments brings on-campus housing to 655, more than doubling the number of residential students since 2004.
It is part of the overall growth of the university, where approximately 1,700 students are drawn to the quality academic program, emphasis in all majors on Christian service and ministry, and the opportunity to be part of the university’s goal to revitalize Christian faith and character in America through graduates who are “Changing Lives to Change the World.”
When students move to campus Aug. 17 and classes begin Aug. 20, about half of the new residence hall will be completed and filled to capacity with upperclassmen. The remaining apartments of The Timbers will be completed a few months later during fall semester.
Located across from Karlene Farmer Faulkner Hall, the three-story, 39,918-square-foot building includes 24 apartments, plus a central lobby and laundry rooms at each end of each hall. Apartments will house four students with their own private bedroom, two shared bathrooms, and a common living area and kitchenette.
UMobile’s campus housing has been filled to capacity for several years, and school officials anticipate more residence halls will soon be needed to accommodate the demand for on-campus housing.
Also, renovation on the first floor of J.L. Bedsole Library plus an outdoor patio has added more gathering areas for students and faculty. Bedsole Commons includes a coffee shop, UMobile Spirit Shop selling items such as Rams t-shirts and coffee mugs, a study area with iMac computers and color printers, a small stage and snack items.
Other campus areas that have recently been enhanced include a lighted intramural field with moveable bleachers, a renovated science lab, and replacement of the original HVAC system in Weaver Hall, the first building on campus.
A new outdoor clock, a gift of the Class of 2012, has been placed along the path students take from Ram Hall, The Caf, and residence halls. The clock joins previous class gifts that add to campus life, including outdoor swings and benches, a Ram statue, and outdoor patios.
The new College of Christian Leadership (CCL) serves as the umbrella overseeing UMobile’s three schools aimed specifically at preparing graduates for Christian ministry – the new School of Worship Leadership, School of Christian Ministries, and Center for Performing Arts/School of Music.
The organizational move expands opportunities for students, with more emphasis on internships, innovation and entrepreneurship in music, Christian ministries and worship leadership, plus new concentrations in areas such as film and theatre, music business, church ministry, and technology. Dr. John Roger Breland has been appointed CCL executive director and continues as vice president for project development. Dr. Joe Savage is executive dean of the School of Christian Ministries (formerly named the School of Christian Studies) and Dr. Douglas Wilson is dean. Dr. Cecil Taylor is director of University Missions. Dr. Al Miller is dean of both CPA/School of Music and the School of Worship Leadership, and Bruce Earnest is assistant dean of both schools.
A new 5-year integrated degree program allows students to earn both a bachelor’s degree on Computer Information Systems and a Master’s in Business Administration in five years. This program joins other 5-year integrated degree programs in Accounting/MBA, Business Administration/MBA, and B.A. in Theology/Master of Arts in Christian Ministries.
Among other leadership positions: Dr. Jan Wood has been named dean of the School of Nursing and Dr. Kathy Sheppard is associate dean. Dr. Lonnie Burnett is assistant vice president for Academic Affairs for planning and evaluation.
New faculty include:
College of Arts & Sciences:
Dr. Bethany Bear, assistant professor of English; Dr. Matthew Downs, assistant professor of history; Alison Henry, instructor in biology; Dr. Gyromas Newman, assistant professor of communication; Jacob Woodruff, instructor in physics; Dr. Andrew Whitehead, assistant professor of sociology.
School of Education:
Dr. Carolyn Corliss, associate professor of education and certification officer; Dr. Enrico Esposito, associate professor of human performance and exercise science.
Center for Performing Arts/School of Music:
Steven Dunn, assistant professor of music; Dr. Kathryn Hedlund, assistant professor of music.
School of Nursing
: Rebecca Ward, assistant professor of nursing; Darlene Hazard, assistant professor of nursing; Shelley Brown, instructor in nursing.
School of Christian Ministries:
Dr. Joe Savage, executive dean and assistant professor of Christian ministries.
New courses this year include an upper-level class in Forensic Science, Business Analytics, Accounting Ethics, Social Media in Business, Exercise Testing and Prescription, and Macintosh Literacy for music majors.
Several new programs will help students succeed in college and be prepared for success in the work world.
The new "Freshman Year to Dream Career" is a four-year plan that will guide students through the process of career and professional development. The UMobile Career Development Office has designed the program, which will work much like an academic degree plan but with the focus of understanding all the components a student needs for a successful future in the career field of choice. Events, seminars and individual attention on skill development is mapped out from freshman through senior year.
The Peer Leader Program is a new addition to the support network already in place for freshmen transitioning to college. Peer Leaders are upperclassmen who will assist Freshman Seminar faculty and staff provide information and resources to incoming freshmen as they learn how to be successful in college.
UMobile’s new student orientation, Ram Rush,
will be held Aug. 17-25 and includes concerts, athletic events, picnic with UMobile President Dr. Mark Foley, free food and give-aways, concerts, a voter registration drive, and activities aimed at helping students get involved in campus life.
Major upcoming events include:
• First Wednesday: Chapel with Dr. Foley, Aug. 22
• Ben Rector in Concert: Aug. 17
• Kari Jobe in Concert: Aug. 21
• Project Serve: Campus-wide day of service, Sept. 21
• Christmas Spectacular: CPA/School of Music free concert, Nov. 29, 30 & Dec. 1, 2
• UMobile Leadership Banquet: April 18
or call UMobile at 251.442.2222 to learn about more events as they are scheduled.
Missions & Ministry
In addition to canceling classes Sept. 21 and spending the day volunteering in the community, UMobile students have extensive opportunities for Christian service and ministry locally, nationally and internationally. Just a few of the opportunities available for spiritual growth include the weekly True Spin Bible study, weekend inner-city missions trips, and week-long trips to work with church planters from the North American Mission Board. Students volunteer weekly with various local organizations, and respond quickly to serve those touched by disasters.
Also, students may earn course credit through Youth Hostel Missions
backpacking across Europe and sharing their faith, and on University Missions
trips to places such as Brazil, Thailand, Hungary, Guatemala, Portugal and the Czech Republic.