It is a testament to the faithfulness of the Lord and the generosity of the Christian university’s first Board of Trustees Chairman, J.L. Bedsole, said UM’s current Board of Trustees Chairman Fred Wilson at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 9. The facility was funded by gifts and grants, including a major gift from the J.L. Bedsole Foundation.
As student athletes, coaches, donors, faculty and staff gathered to dedicate the center, Board Chairman Wilson prayed, saying the Lord “blessed Mr. J.L. Bedsole with a keen sense of business and blessed him with success. May we all take his example to heart of giving back to not just one generation, but to future generations.”
Nearly 450 student athletes will use the 4,000-square-foot sports performance center which includes iPads with TeamBuildr online strength and conditioning software. TeamBuildr allows athletes and coaches to program workouts and track progress.
Maddie Bergeron, a senior volleyball player from Mandeville, Louisiana, demonstrated a medicine ball side toss as visitors toured the facility.
“I love that our school cares enough about student athletes to provide this incredible facility, so we can work out together and build team chemistry,” Bergeron said. Teammate Melea Meadows, a senior from Jacksonville, Florida, added, “They are helping us in achieving our goals of championships.”
University of Mobile President Lonnie Burnett noted the impact Bedsole had on the university during his lifetime and, after his death, through the foundation established to carry on his lifelong emphasis on education and economic development. The Bedsole name is on buildings across campus, and Bedsole scholarships support students as they pursue God’s calling for their lives.
“We are so grateful for that partnership,” Burnett said.
J.L. Bedsole Foundation Chairman Bestor Ward said he was a child when he accompanied his great uncle on a visit in 1965 to the new Christian college campus in north Mobile County. He recalled the new college founded in 1961 was “mostly a field” at that time. Today, the campus encompasses over 880 acres and offers over 75 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs.
“I know he was especially proud to be a benefactor to this school,” Ward said. “We’ve been watching the university grow, and I know that my great uncle is in heaven looking down and is very proud of what he was able to accomplish.”
Strength and Conditioning Coach Taylor Lee Ledbetter said the center provides enough space for athletes to work out as a team, with an area over three times larger than the original weight training room in Pharr Gym.
“This is a classroom and a place for athletes to train, prevent injury and increase athleticism. We are super thankful to the J.L. Bedsole Foundation and donors,” Ledbetter said.
Vice President for Advancement Bruce Earnest said, “We are grateful for the support of our donors and the J.L. Bedsole Foundation for their continued support of the University of Mobile.”
About the University of Mobile
The 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, master’s and doctoral degrees in over 75 academic programs. Founded in 1961, the 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.