MOBILE, Ala. – The University of Mobile announces six exceptional alumni chosen as alumni of their decade as part of the university’s 60th Diamond Anniversary. Alumni from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, ’00s and ’10s are recognized with the award.
Formerly known as Mobile College, the University of Mobile officially changed its name in 1993 and celebrates its 60th anniversary on Dec. 12, 1961. Alumni of both eras were invited to nominate their peers to be voted on for Alumni of the Decade. Nominations were reviewed by a committee from the UM Alumni Board, and recipients were chosen by a panel representing alumni, faculty and staff.
Recipients will be honored at a luncheon at the university on Nov. 19 and featured in the upcoming issue of the TorchLight alumni magazine.
Alumni of the Decade honorees are:
Tom Holmes, Class of 1967. Holmes retired as CEO/executive director of The Arc of Alabama. He is an award-winning human rights advocate, having served Alabama citizens with intellectual disabilities on the local, state, and national levels. Today, he serves as board president of The Arc of Mobile County.
Holmes earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a minor in history at Mobile College and was a member of the first graduating class in 1967. He said attending the university has given him many opportunities to develop and improve his writing, leadership and service skills.
At Mobile College, he was business manager of The Rampage yearbook, Chief Justice in the Student Court, and a charter member and president of the Phi Mu chapter of the Alpha Pi Omega National Service Fraternity. He also chaired a committee to organize and establish an alumni association.
In 1986, Holmes and his brothers funded the Bethune-Holmes Memorial Scholarship in honor of their parents, Annie Jo Bethune Holmes and Fred Boyles Holmes Sr. This scholarship benefits students from Baldwin and Conecuh counties.
Holmes is currently involved in Alpha Phi Omega National Fraternity, Arise Citizens Policy Project, Troop 3 Committee of the Boy Scouts of America, Cottage Hill Civitan Club, Mobile County Democratic Executive Committee, The Arc of Alabama Board of Directors and Public Policy Committee, The Arc of the United States Policy and Positions Committee, and Trinity Episcopal Church.
John Bruns, Class of 1978. Bruns became a registered nurse after completing his associate degree in nursing at UM. He continued his education and is now a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist with Southern Anesthesia Management in Mobile. He had decided to move to Mobile and pursue a degree in health care after serving four years in the army. He earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from The Citadel in 1972.
The University of Mobile’s Christian environment and quality academic program set the stage for the Bruns family legacy. His children followed in his footsteps, each graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UM. The family includes five nurse anesthetists.
John Bruns has been a great supporter of the University of Mobile and the tennis court renovations. He not only graduated from UM, but also helped recruit many others to the school over the years.
Suzanne Cobb, Class of 1987. Cobb retired as a Registered Nurse in 2008. She worked at Providence Hospital for 15 years as a Maternal/Child RN and became the first lactation consultant. She also worked in the nursing division of Computer Programs Systems Incorporated for seven years. She currently serves on the UM Alumni Board.
After teaching piano and music for many years, Cobb enrolled in the Associate Degree of Nursing program at Mobile College. She graduated with an associate’s degree in 1987 and a bachelor’s in organizational management in 1994. She says working full-time and raising four children while being enrolled in school was one of her greatest accomplishments
Cobb says she has always been proud of obtaining her degree from UM because of the recognized quality and high standards in the School of Nursing. She says instructors invested their time and knowledge to help her achieve her dream. In all her accomplishments, she gives God all the praise, honor, and glory because nothing she has done has been without Him, Cobb says.
Julie Clow, Class of 1995. Clow is head of Global People Development at Chanel and is based in London, England. She builds the strategy and principles that guide people development practices along the employee life cycle. She previously worked at Google and authored a book entitled: The Work Revolution: Freedom and Excellence for All.
She attended UM on a Board of Trustees’ Academic Scholarship. She started her academic career as a music major, but later majored in psychology. The young mom finished her degree in half the normal time, earning the highest GPA in her class and the University of Mobile Alumni Award.
She says her experience at UM was grounding, but also empowering. She said UM professors inspired her to pursue her PhD in Psychology, which she did at Auburn University, where she found her true calling in organizational psychology. Clow encourages everyone to forge their own unique path by trusting God to open the right doors, which inevitably happens through nurturing your talent.
Tracey Henry, Class of 2002. Henry is an associate professor of medicine at Emory University, clinical educator and attending physician. She is also the assistant health director of the Grady Primary Care Center and the co-director of Health Equity Advocacy Policy track for Emory’s graduate medical education programs. Henry also holds an appointment at Georgia State University School of Public Health.
She was the first recipient of UM’s Samuel Boykin Medal of Excellence in 2021. This award recognizes outstanding African American graduates of the Christian university who reflect the ideals of virtuosity, faith, and charity that Boykin exemplified throughout his career, family and community. Boykin was the first African American student to graduate from UM.
Henry is an American Medical Association Health Systems Science Scholar, chair of the Public Policy Committee for the Mental Health America of Georgia, and chair of the Young Physicians Section of the Medical Association of Georgia. She also serves on American College of Physician’s National Medical Practice and Quality Committee, and is the chair-elect of ACP’s Council of Early Career Physicians.
Henry graduated from the University of Mobile with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. She attended medical school at Georgetown University and earned her Master of Public Health from John Hopkins University.
Henry says attending UM taught her how to integrate family, work and academics while keeping God first. She says it has also equipped her with a strong spiritual and academic foundation for success.
Charles “Cody” Waters, Class of 2018. Waters is a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the U.S. Navy. He is a student naval aviator, training to become an F/A-18 pilot. In August of 2018, he became a commissioned officer. He is hoping to receive his Wings of Gold this November.
Waters earned his Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of Mobile. He was known as an exemplary student, athlete, friend and community member.
He is family-oriented and says marrying his wife, Madyson Waters, is one of his biggest accomplishments. The pair have a little boy with another on the way.
Waters says going to UM was one of the best decisions he ever made. He played baseball for five years under Coach Mike Jacobs and Coach Jon Seymour. He says the two men made it a point to make sure each of the players were introduced to the gospel and helped prepare them to face life’s challenges.
He also had the opportunity to serve in Student Life. He says it showed him how much the faculty and staff care about students and providing a great college experience. He says watching others serve and joining Student Life taught him what it meant to be a servant.
Waters said he thanks God, his family, coaches, professors, friends and mentors for investing in him. He says he would not be where he is today without them.
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.