MOBILE, Ala. – Students in the University of Mobile praise and worship ensemble Ignite Worship say it’s not just the new sound system made possible by a donation from The Lenoir Charitable Trust that means so much to them.
It’s what that donation says about them personally as students, and about their mission through the Christian university’s Alabama School of the Arts.
“Somebody who has seen what we do firsthand contributed so we can continue to spread the gospel. It’s so encouraging,” said Mason Moak, a freshman majoring in worship leadership.
Students, faculty and administrators gathered in Lyon Chapel March 3 as Butler, Alabama, Mayor Mike Williams presented a check to UM President Lonnie Burnett.
The $100,000 donation from The Ernestine L. Lenoir Charitable Trust will provide a new professional sound system for the traveling ensemble, one of over 20 performing groups in the Alabama School of the Arts. In addition, the university’s historic Lyon Chapel will have needed repairs and renovations.
Williams and his sister, Patricia Williams Harris, are trustees of the foundation. Focusing on the education of young people is one of The Lenoir Trust’s main goals.
Williams said he was impressed with the university’s students when he invited Voices of Mobile to perform at a community concert at Butler’s annual fall festival, Butler Fest.
“Not only was I in awe of the group’s talent level and their amazing performance, but I was also very impressed with the University of Mobile students’ character and attitude during their first encounter. They were polite, respectful, and made a point to express their gratitude. They are great ambassadors for UM,” Williams said.
UM President Burnett said this isn’t the first time Williams and his sister have been generous to the university. The Lenoir Trust recently established the Joan K. Williams Scholarship Fund, named in honor of their mother, for nursing students. Subsequently, they created a second endowment, the “Sis” Lenoir Fund, named in honor of Ernestine Lenoir.
“Mayor Williams didn’t just see a need and move on. He saw a need and acted. Students will benefit from this gift for years to come,” said Burnett.
Vice President for Advancement Bruce Earnest said Williams and Harris exemplify 2 Corinthians 9:7, a passage that refers to a cheerful giver.
“Mayor Williams is someone who is generous with what he has, who provides and who cares,” Earnest said.
“It makes me feel good,” Mayor Williams said as he presented the check. “I want to help the students keep preaching and singing.”
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.
For more information about the University of Mobile, visit the website at www.umobile.edu or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.