MOBILE, Ala. – University of Mobile will break ground Thursday, Nov. 10 on the “Great Commission Globe,” a fountain sculpture that will be a focal point on campus and the centerpiece of a new graduation tradition starting in May 2017.
The overall project includes landscaping, lighting and sidewalks on the front lawn of Weaver Hall, the university’s first building and a signature landmark for the institution.
The public is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony at 4 p.m. on the front lawn.
Dr. Timothy L. Smith, president of University of Mobile, said the project will be completed in time for graduation ceremonies in May 2017, to be held on the front lawn for the first time in 41 years. The upcoming graduation will mark the 50th graduating class of the Christian 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.
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 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.
The first touch during freshman commencement symbolizes each student’s intention during his or her college career to prepare academically and spiritually to fulfill a professional calling.
The second touch upon graduation indicates their intention to use their academic preparation and spiritual growth to pursue their Great Commission calling. 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 Great Commission Globe symbolizes our commitment as a Christ-centered university to prepare students to fulfill their professional calling, and to collaborate, lead and transform the world,” Smith said.
The project is being funded through donations to the “Dr. and Mrs. Fred Lackey Great Commission Tradition” campaign. It honors the late Dr. Fred Lackey and his wife, Sue, of Athens, Ala.
Kevin Wilburn, vice president for advancement, said, “Dr. Lackey dedicated his life to serving the Lord and loving people. The Great Commission Globe offers an opportunity to honor his memory and passion for sharing God’s love as a pastor, University of Mobile trustee and regent, Alabama Baptist State Convention president, and leader in Southern Baptist life.”
For information about the Dr. and Mrs. Fred Lackey Great Commission Globe project, contact the Office for Advancement at 251.442.2223 or go to www.umobile.edu.