University of Mobile

University of Mobile
Former name
Mobile College (1961–93)
Motto The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom
Type Private
Established 1961
Affiliation Alabama Baptist Convention
Endowment $14,000,000
Chancellor William K. Weaver
President Timothy L. Smith
Vice-president Audrey C. Eubanks
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 1,577
Location Prichard, Alabama, United States
30°47′36″N 88°07′44″W / 30.793325°N 88.128789°W / 30.793325; -88.128789Coordinates: 30°47′36″N 88°07′44″W / 30.793325°N 88.128789°W / 30.793325; -88.128789
Campus Suburban
Colors Garnet, Black and Gray         
Sports Track, soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, golf, softball, volleyball, cheerleading, cross country
Nickname The Rams
Mascot Mac the Ram
Affiliations NAIA, SSAC

The University of Mobile is an American four-year, private, Baptist-affiliated university in Prichard, Alabama.[1] The master's-level university has an enrollment of 1,577.


University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located on over 880 wooded acres approximately 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama.

The story of the university began in 1952, when the Mobile Baptist Association appointed a committee to study the feasibility of starting a Baptist-affiliated college in Mobile. In 1959, the Alabama Baptist State Convention agreed to build and operate a college if the Mobile community would raise $1.5 million within two years. Only one year later, area churches, businesses, and industries pledged more than $2 million to the effort.

Dr. William K. Weaver, Jr., was appointed president of Mobile College on April 1, 1961, a position he would hold until his retirement in 1984. When Alabama Governor John Patterson signed the college’s charter on December 12, 1961, Mobile College became the first senior college to be chartered in the state in 57 years. Reflecting the institution’s Christian foundation, the college seal includes the phrase from Proverbs 9:10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

The first administration and classroom building, now named Weaver Hall in honor of the institution’s first president, was completed in 1963, and the first class of freshmen enrolled in the fall of that year. The charter class selected the school colors and mascot. Four years later, on May 12, 1967, Mobile College graduated 66 students from its charter class during a ceremony on what was then a 400-acre campus with classroom/administration building, residence halls and cafeteria. The college gained accreditation in 1968 from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The second President, Dr. Michael A. Magnoli, was inaugurated in 1984. He was a member of the university’s first graduating class of 1967. During his tenure as President, Dr. Magnoli initiated a campus expansion that added acreage, athletic facilities and classroom buildings. Academic programs were added, including the graduate program offering master's degrees in education, business administration, nursing and theology. In 1985, the intercollegiate athletic program started with two sports, men’s tennis and golf, and quickly expanded. On July 1, 1993, the institution celebrated its growth by adopting a new name that reflected its continuing development: University of Mobile.

On February 13, 1998, the University of Mobile Board of Trustees unanimously elected Dr. Mark R. Foley as the third president. Under Dr. Foley’s leadership, University of Mobile entered the new millennium with the express purpose of preparing students academically, socially, and spiritually to impact the world. Renovation of Weaver Hall, including a hipped roof with cupola and portico, provided a new focal point for the campus. Samford Hall, a 101-bed residence hall, was completed in 2004. In 2006, the 151-bed Karlene Farmer Faulkner Hall opened. In 2009, Ram Hall expanded the cafeteria and provided a state-of-the-art auditorium for student events and concerts. The Timbers, a 96-bed apartment-style residence, was added in 2012. In 2013 the university completed an extensive $7 million campus-wide enhancement project. The university’s Center for Performing Arts was established, a professional recording studio built, and online academic programs were launched. Dr. Foley retired in 2016 after more than 18 years as president.

The university entered a new era on April 11, 2016, with the unanimous selection of the institution’s fourth president, Timothy L. Smith, Ph.D., Ph.D., CRNA, APRN. A tireless worker and a great visionary with a broad range of experience, Smith brings to University of Mobile a commitment to academic excellence and a passion to collaborate and partner. Under his leadership, the university is building upon its heritage of faith while working toward even stronger academics and continued growth in the spiritual formation of students. Innovative academic programs are being added and the campus continues to expand.

Throughout the decades, the University of Mobile has maintained a highly dedicated faculty providing quality Christian higher education. Faculty and staff partner to develop students as the imago Dei or image bearers of God (Gen 1:27) while engaging in academic learning processes that support the renewing of their minds and assisting students to find the good and perfect will of God for their professional lives (Rom 12:2).


The University of Mobile is governed by a board of trustees. Members are recommended by the president of the university, reviewed by the Committee on Boards at the Alabama Baptist State Convention, and appointed by the Alabama Baptist State Convention. Elected trustees serve 4-year terms with reelection possible up to a maximum of 12 continuous years, after which an individual must be off the board for at least one year before becoming eligible to return. Life trustees must have held an elected position on the board for 20 years and may then be presented by the president for election to the life position. As of April 2008, the university had 33 elected trustees and four life trustees.[2]


College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Lonnie Burnett is the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences with Dr. Ted Mashburn currently holding the title of Associate Dean. The college offers degrees in arts, history, political science, psychology, sociology, social science, biology, environmental management, marine science, mathematics, English, humanities, and communication.[3] The University of Mobile has also established engineering partnership programs with Auburn University and the University of South Alabama by which students may receive a bachelor's degree from the University of Mobile and a bachelor's degree in engineering from the participating university.[4]

School of Business

Dr. Jane Finley is the Dean of the School of Business which offers fields of study in accounting, business administration (with concentrations in finance, global business, management, and marketing), and computer information systems. The school also offers a master's degree in business administration.[5]

School of Christian Studies

A Bachelor of Arts or Science in Theology is available from the School of Christian Studies. Dr. Doug Wilson is the current Dean.[6]

School of Education

Dr. Joyce Woodburn is the current Dean for the school of education which offers degrees in early childhood education and elementary education as well as secondary certification for biology, history, mathematics, language arts, social sciences, and human performance and exercise science. A degree in athletic training is also available.[7]

School of Nursing

The school of nursing offers associates and bachelor's degrees in nursing. The school also offers a Master of Science in nursing. Dr. Jan Wood is the current dean.[8]

Center of Performing Arts

The Performing Arts division is chaired by Al Miller and offers fields of study in music, theater,and worship leadership.[9]

Faulkner Residence Hall


The University of Mobile has 1,577 students from thirty states and twenty-four nations.[10] Overall, sixty-five percent of the students enrolled are from the Mobile area or surrounding counties while seventeen percent are from other areas in Alabama. Forty percent of the student body reside on campus. Sixty-five percent of the students are Southern Baptist.[2]

Residential life

At its inception, Mobile College was entirely a commuter school until the first residence halls, Arendall and Bedsole Hall, were completed. Along with Arendall and Bedsole, President William Weaver also oversaw the addition of housing cottages named Avery Woods. President Magnoli organized the addition of the university's fourth student housing unit, the 3-storied Ingram Hall. Under President Foley the university has expanded to include Samford Hall, Faulkner Hall, and the Timbers.[11]


U. of Mobile teams, nicknamed athletically as the Rams, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC). The Rams formerly competed in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and track and field ; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field and volleyball.

The university colors are garnet, black and gray, and a ram is the mascot. The school's intercollegiate program began in 1985 as one of the first acts of the newly appointed President Magnoli. The university has won championships in men's tennis in 1993; women's tennis (1994); men's golf, men's tennis, and women's soccer in 1997; women's golf (1998); men's soccer (2002); and women's softball (2006).[2]

Notable alumni

See also


  1. "Prichard, Alabama :: Boundary Map of Prichard, Alabama". Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  2. 1 2 3 "Encyclopedia of Alabama: University of Mobile". Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  3. Archived June 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. "Mathematics Program at the University of Mobile". Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  5. "School of Business at the University of Mobile". Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  6. "School of Christian Ministries at the University of Mobile". Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  7. "School of Education at the University of Mobile". Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  8. "School of Nursing at the University of Mobile". Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  9. "Center for Performing Arts at the University of Mobile". Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  10. Archived June 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. Archived May 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
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