University of Mobile Breaks Ground on ‘Great Commission Globe’ and New Graduation Tradition

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Weaver Hall Front Lawn Project Honors Dr. Fred and Sue Lackey


MOBILE, Ala. – University of Mobile’s new Great Commission Globe will be a focal point on campus, the centerpiece of a new graduation tradition, and a reminder of the purpose of the Christ-centered academic community, university officials said during a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 10.

“This will be a reminder for each of us that our primary focus as a Christ-centered academic community is to point students to Christ in preparing their minds and hearts for service to our Holy God,” said University of Mobile President Timothy L. Smith.

The project honors the late Dr. Fred Lackey, who died July 2, 2016, and his wife, Sue, of Athens, Ala. Lackey was as a pastor, University of Mobile trustee and regent, Alabama Baptist State Convention president, and leader in Southern Baptist life.

The Great Commission Globe is a granite sphere engraved with a map of the world. Water emerging from the top will cascade over the globe into a pool at the base of the fountain. The overall project includes installation of landscaping, lighting, sod and sidewalks on the front lawn of Weaver Hall, the university’s first building and a signature landmark for the institution.

It will be completed in time for graduation ceremonies in May 2017, which will be held on campus for the first time in 41 years. The upcoming graduation will mark the 50th graduating class of the Baptist-affiliated university. Previously, graduation was held on the front lawn from 1967 to 1976, then commencement moved off campus. Most recently, graduations were held at the Mobile Civic Center arena.

Smith, who was named the fourth president of the 55-year-old university in April 2016, said the project “evolved out of the establishment of our new biblical worldview that serves as the educational framework for this institution, and appreciation for Dr. Lackey, for his many years of ministry and service to the church, community and university.”

The new tradition begins and ends with students placing their hands on the globe, first as they start their college journey and again as they graduate.

“When students arrive on campus, the student will touch this globe, signifying their commitment to God for the transformation of their head and heart in preparing for God’s calling on their personal and professional life,” Smith said.

Students will again touch the globe at graduation, “signifying to God that he or she is ready to be sent out in fulfilling the Great Commission,” Smith said.

The Great Commission refers to Scripture found in Matthew 28:18-20, where Jesus instructs his disciples to spread his teachings throughout the world.

The project is being funded through donations to the “Dr. and Mrs. Fred Lackey Great Commission Tradition” campaign.

Kevin Wilburn, vice president for advancement, said Lackey’s life was one of love for people and God.

“This project is an opportunity to create an atmosphere of love: love for Christ love for our mission, love for each other, and love for our neighbors and the nations,” Wilburn said.

For information about the Dr. and Mrs. Fred Lackey Great Commission Tradition project, contact the Office for Advancement at 251.442.2223 or go to

About the Author
Trey Taulbee

Trey Taulbee

Trey oversees all facets of the university’s creative process, including photo, video, design, print and digital media. He received his Bachelor of Science in Communication from UM and his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University. Prior to his current role, Trey worked in enrollment services and student life. Additionally, Trey co-owns a photography business with his wife, Michelle, specializing in wedding and portrait photography. He lives on Alabama’s eastern shore with Michelle, son, Jack and dogs Cammie & Malone.

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