News & Events

University of Mobile Names New Art Gallery

University of Mobile College of Arts & Sciences dean Dr. Dwight Steedley said it was easy to select a name for the university’s new art space. He thought of one person who has been a long-time supporter of the Christian university’s art department, as well as a participant in the program.

When Associate Professor of Art and Art Department chair Phil Counselman independently arrived at the same name, the professors knew they had the right person – Marilyn Foley, wife of UMobile President Dr. Mark Foley.

The professors unveiled the new name – the Marilyn Foley Art Gallery – at the gallery’s first reception Sept. 19. The new space is located in the newly renovated Ben May Building on the university’s 880-acre campus in north Mobile County.

The gallery is open to the public Mondays through Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Exhibits change frequently and include professional artists as well as works by students.

Steedley said the school’s Board of Trustees Development Committee approved their naming request, as well as the board chairman. When the paper covering the name was pulled off, Mrs. Foley was visibly surprised.

“I feel very honored and appreciated, and undeserving,” she said. “I’ve certainly enjoyed being part of the art program the last few years, and it has been a real privilege to take classes and get to know the students while feeding my interest and desire to get better.”

She works primarily in ceramics at a studio in her home, and paints as well.

“Sometimes I’m real brave and say I’m an artist, but (my interest in art) mostly has developed from being an art appreciator. You can learn so many skills from art and, as you work in different mediums, you learn to appreciate it a lot more as well,” she said.

She said having an art gallery on campus “says art is important, and it joins us with the art community throughout the Mobile area.”

Art is all around us, she said – sometimes you just have to look with eyes to see it. Having the opportunity to study art in college, whether as a major, minor or elective class, helps students open their eyes to the beauty around them.

“I want students to take advantage of this time, this exploring, learning time when they are in school. It’s a life-long interest they can enjoy,” Mrs. Foley said.

About the University of Mobile:
The University of Mobile is a Christian university located in Mobile, Ala., on an 880-acre campus near Gulf Coast beaches. More than 1,600 students are enrolled in more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Christian Leadership, School of Business, School of Christian Ministries, School of Education, School of Nursing, School of Worship Leadership, Center for Performing Arts/School of Music and Center for Adult Programs.

For more information about the University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.


From left: Dr. Dwight Steedley, Marilyn Foley, Dr. Mark Foley, Phil Counselman

Marilyn Foley pictured at the reception unveiling the new name for the university's

art gallery in the newly renovated Ben May Building.

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