Building a Legacy, One Brick at a Time

Be part of The Legacy Fountain Courtyard Brick Campaign and help revitalize UM’s iconic fountain sculpture

Since its installation more than three decades ago, the fountain sculpture titled “The Gift” has become an iconic campus landmark and a meaningful part of the University of Mobile experience. The bricks lining the walkway are etched with the names of alumni, faculty, staff, trustees and community leaders who made contributions to install the fountain in 1992. Some of the local community’s most influential benefactors are included among the listing.

However, time has taken its toll and restoration has become imperative.

The Legacy Fountain Courtyard Brick Campaign is a new initiative to refurbish one of the university’s most cherished landmarks. This unique fundraising effort invites alumni and friends of the university to join those original donors by purchasing personalized bricks that not only will pave the way to restoring the brick patio around the fountain sculpture, but also create a new communal space known as The Legacy Fountain Courtyard.

When you join the effort by purchasing an engraved brick, you make your permanent mark in University of Mobile history. Each brick, engraved with a name or message, not only will contribute financially to the restoration project but also will symbolize the individual stories and connections that make the University of Mobile a remarkable place.

The Growth Project

In a partnership with Miss University of Mobile 2024 AnnaKatherine Bell and her initiative, “The Growth Project,” daylilies will be planted in the area surrounding the fountain to serve as a physical reminder to students to keep growing and blooming through all seasons of life.

“It is my hope that with the garden of daylilies – the world’s most resilient flower – students can be more easily reminded that they can grow strong in any circumstance,” Bell says.

A Lasting Legacy

A personalized engraved brick is a lasting legacy to celebrate a graduation, honor a loved one, pay tribute to a favorite professor or colleague, or remember one’s time as a student. When your brick is placed in The Legacy Fountain Courtyard, all who visit campus will be able to see the indelible mark left by alumni and others who support the mission of the university.

Members of the graduating Class of 2023 were the first to contribute to the renovation through their Senior Class Gift, and the Class of 2024 is doing its part as well. Each class will be honored with a large brick displayed at the fountain.

Order Your Brick Today

It’s easy to be part of The Legacy Fountain Courtyard Brick Campaign.

1. Visit umobile.edu/give.
2. Click on The Legacy Fountain Courtyard Brick Campaign. 
(You will see a variety of additional giving opportunities on this page that may interest you as well.)

3. Provide up to 4 lines of text that will be etched on a brick to be placed in The Legacy Fountain Courtyard.

4. Make your donation as follows:

– $150 standard cost
– $100 for Members of the UM Alumni Association – $50 for the Graduating Senior Gift Package
– $10 additional for clip art

The Legacy Fountain Courtyard Brick Campaign is more than just a fundraiser: it is a call to action for all who have been part of this great institution to play a role in preserving a piece of our history. To learn more or for more giving options, call the Office for Advancement at 251.442.2913 or email advancement@umobile.edu.

5 Things to Know About UM’s Fountain
By Sydney Snow ’22

How many times did you walked by the iconic fountain between William K. Weaver Hall and Thomas T. Martin Hall at the University of Mobile and wondered what it is? I have heard the sculpture referred to as “the clothespin” or “the fountain.” However, there is more than what meets the eye when it comes to the fountain.

1. It is titled “The Gift,” because it represents the gift of knowledge.
2. It portrays an abstract figure made of bonds holding up a stainless-steel offering dish.
3. It was donated to the University of Mobile in April of 1992 and created by Mobile artist Casey Downing Jr.
4. It is a part of Downing’s Sentinel series but is the only piece to represent “the gift.”
5. It is the central figure of one of the University of Mobile’s most ingenious pranks.

The prank was described in the 2013 TorchLight alumni magazine story titled “The Fountain Head.” Around 1999 or 2000, students Matt Wilson, Alan Castleberry and Josh Jones found a white porcelain toilet that was going to be thrown away. The three men took it and planned to put it on the roof of Martin Hall. When that did not work, they put it on the “leaking clothespin” – the fountain sculpture. The toilet stayed on top of the fountain for several days before the maintenance crew removed it.

About the Author

Haley Ikner Haney

Haley Ikner Haney is director of alumni relations and oversees the UM Ambassador program at the University of Mobile. Haley holds two degrees from the University of Mobile: a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Master of Science in Communication and Leadership. Prior to joining the university, Haley had a successful career in automotive marketing and public relations. She enjoys volunteering with Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership, where she serves as director of communication and fundraising for the Alabama State Seminar. Haley is married to UM Director of Sports Information and Media Relations David Haney, also a UM alumnus.

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