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UMobile Celebrates 50th Anniversary as Fall Semester 2011 Begins

The University of Mobile will celebrate its 50th anniversary throughout the 2011-2012 academic year as students move into residence halls on Aug. 19 and classes begin Aug. 22.

It was 50 years ago – on Nov. 14, 1961 -- that the Alabama Baptist State Convention approved the establishment of the University of Mobile, then called Mobile College. A few weeks later, on Dec. 12, 1961, Alabama Gov. John Patterson signed the charter giving official state recognition to the school’s founding.

It was a dream and a hope for Alabama Baptists. At first, it was a school with no campus, no buildings, no faculty and no students, as founding president and now chancellor Dr. William K. Weaver Jr. recalled. But God’s hand was upon the college.

Today, with more than 10,000 alumni using their talents and influence throughout the world, more than 1,600 current students embracing the vision of “Changing Lives to Change the World,” and one of the most beautiful campuses in the South, the University of Mobile is a dream realized.

Alabama’s youngest Baptist university will celebrate its 50th year in a variety of ways.

Among the highlights is Project Serve, a university-wide day of service that celebrates the school’s culture of service. On Sept. 16 the entire student body, faculty and staff will volunteer throughout the Mobile area. The event will build on the university’s ongoing commitment to Christian service and be a visible reminder of the call upon each person’s life to be God’s hands and feet in a lost world.

The celebration continues with the 7th annual University of Mobile Leadership Banquet featuring former U.S. Secretary of State and Alabama native Dr. Condoleezza Rice. The Nov. 10 event, which last year featured former President George W. Bush, raises funds for UMobile’s scholarship fund and highlights themes of leadership, patriotism and faith. For information on tickets, visit www.umobile.edu/banquet or call 251-442-2212.

The annual Christmas Spectacular! musical extravaganza presented by the Center for Performing Arts will be held nightly Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at Dauphin Way Baptist Church. More than 20 performing ensembles will present concerts in a variety of musical styles. The new School of Worship Ministries will expand opportunities in the growing area of worship leadership, and student ensembles will lead worship locally and at churches and other locations throughout the region. The musical theatre program will present three shows: “1940s Radio Christmas,” “Mousetrap” and “Beauty and the Beast.” For more information on the CPA performing schedule, visit www.umobile.edu or call 251.442.2420.

The Center for Leadership and the twelve23 Movement continue to expand and exert influence as UMobile President Dr. Mark Foley shares the vision of America transformed – a nation where God is honored. New email newsletters with a Christian perspective on topics such as education and current events are among the many projects of the Center. For more, visit www.twelve23.org or call Dr. Joe Savage, director of the Center for Leadership, at 251.675.7551.

Recent improvements to campus include a five-acre Intramural Complex featuring a softball field and two football fields, with bleachers and lights. The complex will allow the growing intramural program to continue to expand, and provide a place for nighttime events including concerts and outdoor movies. A new field house for softball and batting cages for baseball are also additions to campus. The new Ram Plaza adjacent to Ram Hall provides a relaxed and beautifully landscaped outdoor area for students to gather.

UMobile is offering new concentration in graphic design, complete with a new computer lab with Apple iMac computers, Wacom tables and Xante graphics printers.

The university continues to take the lead in missions, both at home and abroad, with vibrant University Missions and campus ministry programs such as Urban Plunge 48-hour inner-city missions; The Bridge which assists church planters with the North American Mission Board; Youth Hostel Missions month-long immersion and relationship-building in Europe, the Philippines, Greece and Turkey; and University Missions which sends students as well as church groups and individuals on week-long mission trips. Among the many mission experiences still being planned for the coming year are trips to India, Czech Republic, Greece, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Chile, Uganda, Finland, Portugal, Wales and Angola. For information on how individuals or church groups may join a University of Mobile missions team, call the School of Christian Studies at 251.442.2255 or email ctaylor@umobile.edu.

New faculty include: Dr. Gail Shelly, professor of chemistry; Dr. Charise Lindsay, associate professor of music; Dr. Lila Finney, associate professor of education; Dr. Luke Brekke, assistant professor of history; Dr. Jeremiah Sullins, assistant professor of psychology; Stephanie Hulon, assistant professor of education; Dr. Joyce Woodburn, assistant professor of education; Rachel Counselman, instructor in English; Joanie Brittingham, instructor in music; Marla Lourdes Baumer, instructor in Spanish; and Jason Breland, artist-in-residence in worship leadership. Also joining UMobile is Dr. Roy Patton, men’s soccer coach.

With more than 40 areas of study, UMobile students have a varied and strong academic program that integrates learning, faith and leadership. Courses are offered through the College of Arts and Sciences; the schools of business, Christian studies, education, nursing and worship ministries; the Center for Performing Arts, the Center for Adult Programs and the Graduate School.

For information on admission, call Enrollment Services at 800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222, or email umadminfo@umobile.edu.




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