Retrospect

Kathy Dean Features, Winter 2018

Drive on the University of Mobile campus, and the first building you see beyond the flagpoles is William K. Weaver Hall. If there is one place on campus that alumni of all generations would have memory of, this is it. Anyone who has taken a class on campus has walked these halls at some point. 

A publicity photo promoting the opening of then-Mobile College shows construction of the university’s first building, eventually named William K. Weaver Hall in honor of the college’s founding president. Completed in 1963, Weaver Hall initially housed administrative offices, classrooms, library and snack shop.  

The first student assembly was held in Weaver Auditorium in the fall of 1963. The university was chartered in 1961 with Dr. William K. Weaver Jr. as president of what, in later years, he humorously described as “a college with no campus, no buildings, no faculty, no staff, no students – and no problems!”  

During the 1970s, the college family held a Thanksgiving feast at dining tables that stretched the length of the first-floor main hall. 

In the mid-1980s, the snack shop on the first floor of Weaver Hall was a central gathering place for students. Today, the south end of Weaver Hall includes Sub Zone deli, the Office for Advancement, and the Alabama College for Professional & Continuing Studies.

The turn of the century turned the page on a new look for Weaver Hall, with the addition of a pitched roof, cupola, and a covered portico that expanded the lobby entrance.

With a $4.6 million renovation completed in October 2018, Weaver Hall’s second and third floors feature state-of-the-art classrooms and labs for the College of Health Professions and the College of Arts & Sciences Department of Natural Sciences. The original 1960s-era “spaceship” lights across campus have been replaced by lampposts with speakers that play recordings from the university’s 8Eighty Records and Fisher-Brewer Recording Studio.

About the Author
Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean

Kathy is an award-winning media relations director and former journalist whose expertise has enabled the University of Mobile to gain national and regional attention. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Auburn University and worked as a journalist for 12 years, including 10 years at the Mobile Press-Register, earning regional and national awards for coverage of education, deadline reporting and feature writing. She joined the University of Mobile staff in 1993, earning awards for writing and public relations including the Baptist Communicators Association grand prize for feature writing in 2015 and 2012. She is a charter member of Providence United Methodist Church, serves on the board of the John Will Scholarship Foundation, and is a member of the Public Relations Council of Alabama, Baptist Communicators Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. Kathy lives in Daphne with her husband, Chuck, who earned his M.B.A. from the University of Mobile. They have two children and two grandchildren.