The Advocates

Kathy Dean Fall 2019, Giving

Dr. and Mrs. Phillip L. Shouppe Scholarship Fund

Phillip Shouppe was always supportive of anything his wife, Sally, did. So when Sally joined the University of Mobile athletic department as administrative assistant 12 years ago, the university gained more than a dedicated employee. The Rams also gained one of their most faithful, enthusiastic supporters.

“From Day 1, these two invested in our university and its student athletes. Together, they were some of the strongest advocates for our student athletes and two of the most giving people I have ever met,” said Dr. Melissa Thomas ’97 & ’01, associate professor of kinesiology in the School of Health and Sports Science, College of Health Professions.

A much-loved chiropractor in Mobile for over 30 years, Phillip served as the Rams team chiropractor and “he adopted those kids,” Sally said. While she coordinated game management for athletic events, Phillip was in the stands to cheer on student athletes he knew by name. He was a regular speaker in Thomas’s kinesiology class where he taught athletic training students about reading X-rays and the benefits of chiropractic care for athletes.

On weekends, when the Shouppes traveled and went hiking, biking or paddleboarding, Phillip always wore a University of Mobile t-shirt. He told Sally it was so people would stop and talk with him about the university – Phillip loved people and he loved to talk about UM.

“We were in Animal Kingdom a few years ago, and Phil had on a UM t-shirt,” Sally recalled. “A girl came running up to us and about knocked us down to tell us she had gone to UM.”

In September 2018, the Shouppes took their support a step further. They met with UM’s advancement office to set up the Dr. and Mrs. Phillip L. Shouppe Scholarship Fund,an endowed scholarship that would benefit student athletes.

“Through my job, I’ve seen so many kids come through the university where athletics gave them a chance for life, a chance to make something of themselves. Athletics is their opportunity to get a college degree,” Sally said.

On June 20, 2019, Phillip died at the age of 64. His death was sudden and unexpected, the result of a heart attack followed by sudden cardiac arrest.

“Losing your spouse – losing Phil – is like losing half of you. Your spouse is who you tell everything to and share everything with,” Sally said.

The family requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Dr. and Mrs. Phillip L. Shouppe Scholarship Fund.

Sally said she is glad they established the scholarship fund together, and she hopes the fund will grow to provide even more support for student athletes.

“This is a permanent thing that will always honor Phil,” she said. “For me, it’s that something he cared deeply about is going to continue. His whole profession was helping people. And this is a way we can continue to help people.”

Contributions may be made to the Dr. and Mrs. Phillip L. Shouppe Scholarship Fund at the University of Mobile, 5735 College Pkwy., Mobile, AL 36613 or online at giving.umobile.edu. For more information or to create an endowed scholarship, call the Office for Advancement at 251.442.2587.

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.