Known for Impact

Dr. Bruce Earnest Fall 2020, Giving Leave a Comment

There are as many reasons to support the University of Mobile as there are ways to do so. 

Maybe a faculty member or coach saw something in you that you didn’t see in yourself, and it made a difference in who you are. 

Or you understand that the excellent reputation your university has today increases the value of the degree you earned years ago. 

It may be a desire to support a particular academic or athletic program. A realization that the institutional scholarship you received as a student was the result of a donation made by someone you never met. The memory of a special place on campus that you want to refurbish so it can remain just as special for generations to come. 

You may know that a university’s place in national rankings depends in part on its percentage of alumni giving. That, by creating or adding to an endowed scholarship, you can make a Christian higher education accessible to students long after you are gone. 

It might be the pride you feel when you come on campus and know your senior class gift had a part in putting the ram statue in front of Ram Hall, making bells ring from Lyon Chapel, installing a clock on the walkway to Weaver Hall, or giving today’s students swings to sit on beneath huge oak trees that someone donated when the college was new. 

So many reasons. So many ways to make an impact. Here are a few of the most recent ones. 

George & Pat Dorsett Auditorium 

The sloped floor and rows of folding wooden seats are gone. Weaver Auditorium has a new look and a new name, thanks to a $100,000 life insurance policy bequest from University of Mobile alumna Patricia H. Dorsett and her husband, George. 

The donation also provided extensive technology upgrades that were ready just as the COVID-19 pandemic was escalating. Since then, the university has used Dorsett Auditorium and its state-of-the-art technology to hold Zoom faculty and staff meetings, and classes are having the advantage of 21st-century technology. 

Previously, the Dorsetts created an endowed scholarship, and Pat was recognized at a 2014 Board of Trustee meeting as the single largest lifetime alumni donor. 

The Dorsetts also invested their lives in the university. Pat served three terms for a total of 12 years on the Board of Trustees. A son and two grandchildren are UM graduates, and another son followed in her footsteps to serve on the Board of Trustees. 

Lyon Chapel Renovation 

Students in the University of Mobile praise and worship ensemble Ignite Worship say it’s not just the new sound system made possible by a donation from The Lenoir Charitable Trust that means so much to them. It’s what that donation says about them personally as students, and about their mission. 

“Somebody who has seen what we do firsthand contributed so we can continue to spread the gospel. It’s so encouraging,” said sophomore worship leadership major Mason Moak. 

Butler, Alabama, Mayor Mike Williams and his sister, Patricia Williams Harris, are trustees of the foundation that focuses on the education of young people. The $100,000 gift provided for structural renovations and restored the floor of Lyon Chapel, the former St. Stephens Baptist Church building constructed in 1883 and moved to campus in 1988. The renovation created a beautiful space that will be used for receptions and small gatherings.

This isn’t the first time Williams and Harris have been generous to the university. The Lenoir Trust previously established the Joan K. Williams Scholarship Fund for nursing students, named in honor of their mother. 

J.L. Bedsole Strength and Conditioning Complex 

The J.L. Bedsole Foundation awarded a substantial grant to UM for a campus weight training and athletic facility. The new J.L. Bedsole Strength and Conditioning Complex will provide space for weight and cardiovascular training and offices. 

Students in the university’s School of Health and Sports Science will use the facility to gain practical experience and earn professional credentials in the areas of kinesiology, exercise science, athletic training and sports administration. The center will be the site for a partnership with local schools to host community workshops, camps and college preparation initiatives to assist underserved student athletes. 

The facility will support the university’s NAIA athletic programs that have outgrown the 35-year-old weight room and training facility in Pharr Gymnasium. 

The university is seeking additional partners for the project, with a goal of raising $150,000. Donations can be made at umobile.edu/givenow

Roger and Linda Breland Endowed Scholarship 

A new music scholarship at the University of Mobile continues what Gospel Music Hall of Fame’s Roger Breland has done over a nearly 50-year career in Christian music – launch generations of successful artists, church and music industry leaders, and educators serving around the world. 

The Roger and Linda Breland Endowed Music Scholarship will provide financial assistance to music students in the Alabama School of the Arts, where Breland has served in various leadership roles since 2002. 

The goal is to raise a minimum of $100,000 to fund the scholarship. 

“We are asking our family, friends, alumni and others impacted by this ministry to invest in the lives and future of our students,” Breland said. “Our desire is this scholarship will be a legacy of what God has done and is continuing to do through the amazing students at the University of Mobile.” 

Breland and his wife, Linda, founded TRUTH in 1971, one of the early contemporary Christian touring ensembles. TRUTH went on to produce 61 albums and perform before millions of people in over 9,000 concerts. Breland’s 31 years with TRUTH helped launch the careers of artists such as 4Him, Veritas and numerous other touring Christian artists. 

Contribute to the Roger and Linda Breland Endowed Music Scholarship at umobile.edu/givenow

Your gift in any amount can make a difference at the University of Mobile. Visit giving.umobile.edu or contact Dr. Bruce Earnest, vice president for advancement, at advancement@umobile.edu or 251.442.2587.

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Dr. Bruce Earnest

Dr. Bruce Earnest

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