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History of UMobile

When the final brick was set into place, a massive three-story building stood on a red dirt mound surrounded by hundreds of acres of dogwoods, oaks, and azaleas. That building - the University of Mobile's first classroom and administration facility - represented a dream come true. For thousands of Alabama Baptists, as well as other church and civic leaders in Alabama, the opening of the liberal arts college was the result of a decade of hopes, hard work, and prayer. The first building represented the great things that could be accomplished when a community and denomination joined hands for a common goal - higher education in the Christian tradition.

Chartered in 1961 as Mobile College, the institution celebrated decades of growth and success in 1993 by changing its name to the University of Mobile. The story of the university began in 1952, when the Mobile Baptist Association appointed a committee to study the feasibility of starting a Baptist-affliated 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 in 1961, Mobile College became the first senior college to be chartered in the state in 57 years. The college's first administration and classroom building, now named Weaver Hall in honor of the institution's first president, was completed in 1963. The college gained accreditation in 1968 from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The second president, Dr. Michael A. Magnoli, was inaugurated in 1984 and oversaw a period of continued growth.

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, the University of Mobile entered the new millennium with the express purpose of preparing students academically, socially, and spiritually to impact the world. New academic majors have been added as the university anticipates and responds to changing needs. 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. A master plan for the campus guides the ongoing renovation of classrooms and laboratories to accommodate additional academic programs.

Throughout the decades, the university has maintained a highly dedicated faculty providing quality Christian higher education. From its rich past to a future bright with promise, the University of Mobile continues to be a thriving institution dedicated to helping students grow academically, socially, and spiritually. 


Philosophy Statement

The University of Mobile exists to change the world through its students who are prepared academically, responsible socially, and developing spiritually. Thus, the intent of the university is reflected in the following phrase "changing lives to change the world."

Mission Statement

The University of Mobile is a Christian institution of liberal arts and sciences affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is committed to providing educational programs of the highest quality to its students. Its primary emphasis is establishing and maintaining a tradition of excellence in undergraduate studies as well as in professional, graduate, continuing education, and specialized degree-granting programs.

Whereas research is encouraged, all educational programs of the university are student-oriented, designed for the intellectual, spiritual, cultural, and personal growth of students in their search for meaningful careers and in their future lives as responsible, informed members of a global society. As a Christian institution, the University of Mobile explicitly seeks to combine critical pursuit of knowledge with cultivation of religious awareness and to unite academic excellence with dedication to service at the local, state, national, and international levels.

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