J.L. Bedsole Foundation Awards Grant for Student Learning Commons at University of Mobile

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MOBILE, Ala. – The J.L. Bedsole Foundation has awarded a grant to University of Mobile for the J.L. Bedsole Student Learning Commons, a student learning and activities center in the heart of campus.

The new learning commons will be equipped with meeting areas, collaborative study rooms, a research center, library, game room and food services. The project includes renovation of the 12,341-square-foot second floor of the J.L. Bedsole Library building, constructed in 1971. Renovation is expected to start in 2019.

University of Mobile President Timothy Smith said the new learning commons will be a catalyst for student collaboration, providing the physical space that encourages academic growth and spiritual development.

“We are grateful for the partnership between the J.L. Bedsole Foundation and University of Mobile to provide opportunities for students to develop the knowledge, skills and character that will have a positive impact in our community as graduates enter the workforce,” Smith said.

Through the years, the J.L. Bedsole Foundation has been a vital partner to University of Mobile, providing more than $4.1 million in funding for scholarships and special projects.

Foundation Executive Director Chris Lee said the learning commons will enhance a significant building on campus named for UM trustee J.L. Bedsole, whose bequest created the philanthropic foundation.

“We are pleased to support a project that enhances and updates this historic building in a way that strengthens the campus community and builds community leaders,” Lee said.

Tonya Gollotte, executive director of the University of Mobile Foundation, said the new learning commons will “be the ‘place to be’ on campus, providing University of Mobile’s students a space for gathering and fellowship, and promote our vision of a campus community.”

For information about the University of Mobile Foundation, contact Gollotte at tgollotte@umobile.edu or 251.442.2917. 


About University of Mobile

University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in over 40 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at www.umobile.edu or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

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.

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