MOBILE, Ala. – During his commencement address to over 330 members of the UM Class of 2023, University of Mobile President Emeritus Mark Foley challenged graduates to pursue their purpose and be active and effective influencers for Jesus Christ in the world.
When Foley prepared to take his seat and watch the May 6 graduates receive their diplomas, he was in for a surprise. As over 3,000 graduates and families watched the video screen on the Dr. Fred and Sue Lackey Great Commission Lawn, the university unveiled the name of the university’s newest residence hall: “Mark Foley Hall.”
University of Mobile President Lonnie Burnett made the surprise announcement on the 25th anniversary year of Foley’s selection as the 3rd president of the Christ-centered university.
“The highest honor a university can give an individual is to place their name on a building. Today, Dr. Mark Foley joins the illustrious names of Weaver, Bedsole, May and Martin in the history of this university,” said Burnett, who serves as the 5th president of UM.
After the ceremony, Foley said he was humbled by the honor.
The naming of Mark Foley Hall “is an incredibly humbling surprise, but the real story is in the lives of the men and women who built it and the men and women who lived in it. I just happened to be here to see it,” Foley said.
Formerly known as “The Timbers,” the three-story residence hall was built during Foley’s 18-year tenure as university president. The nearly 40,000-square foot building includes 24 apartments housing four students each.
It was part of a total $44.8 million investment in capital projects during Foley’s service as president. Other major projects were the Weaver Hall Enhancement Project that gave the university’s historic first building its iconic look with a pitched roof, portico and cupola; two more residence halls; a professional recording student; Ram Hall auditorium and more.
A time capsule is sealed in the lobby floor of the residence hall. Set to be opened in 2061 on the 100th anniversary of the university, the time capsule features memorabilia from the first 50 years of university life. Among the items to be revealed in 2061 are 60 photos featuring the groundbreaking of Mobile College, original faculty and staff, the first graduating class in 1967, the 50th anniversary faculty in 2011, the 2012 President’s Cabinet, Miss UM 2012, the 2012-2013 SGA president, and Dr. Mark Foley at the time capsule dedication in November 2012.
Also included are the first yearbook of Mobile College in 1964, an Urban Plunge t-shirt, a stuffed ram mascot, a UMobile class of 2015 ring, a tie chain worn by founding president Dr. William K. Weaver Jr., a cell phone used in the 1990s, a Dr. Mark Foley twelve23 Movement CD, an NAIA uniform patch, October 2012 Board of Trustees booklet, ‘It’s Time’ book by Dr. Mark Foley, a University of Mobile lapel pin, a Voices of Mobile flash drive, a UMobile shaker, Mobile College Homecoming 1987 mini megaphone, a Weaver Hall ornament, a Vision 2000 coaster, and various promotional brochures used throughout the history of the University of Mobile.
A list of 2023 graduates is here at https://umobile.edu/news/class-of-2023/.
The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered university with a vision of “Higher Education for a Higher Purpose,” founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions in an environment where they are known.
About the University of Mobile
The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered university offering on-campus and online associate’s, 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 information about the University of Mobile, areas of study, admissions and more, visit umobile.edu, connect with UM on social media @univofmobile, or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.