University of Mobile To Reveal New $4.6 Million Renovation for ‘Living Laboratory’ Healthcare & Science Center on Tuesday

Kathy Dean News, Sciences

MOBILE, Ala. – University of Mobile will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 30 for a major $4.6 million renovation that creates a “living laboratory” state-of-the-art healthcare and science learning center.

The university gutted two entire floors of William K. Weaver Hall to create living laboratories that support a new approach to teaching college courses that UM calls “Prac-ademics™.”

UM President Timothy L. Smith, PhD, PhD, said Prac-ademics expands traditional classroom learning into living laboratories where students have practice learning experiences to enrich the learning process.

Classrooms and laboratories in the new center mirror the hospital rooms, operating rooms, intensive care units, science and healthcare settings that graduates will step into as they enter the workforce.

The ceremony begins at 2 p.m. in front of Weaver Hall and will be followed by tours and demonstrations.

Smith said the renovation is part of the Christian university’s mission of delivering an education that goes beyond simply providing the knowledge and skillset needed for a job.

“When we say University of Mobile provides ‘Higher Education for a Higher Purpose,’ we are describing a journey of intellectual development and spiritual formation that integrates faith and learning for the purpose of preparing graduates to fulfill their professional calling,” Smith said.

The 40,000-square-foot renovation encompasses the College of Health Professions and the College of Arts & Sciences – Department of Natural Sciences. Included in the College of Health Professions is the Center for Excellence in Healthcare Practice, School of Nursing, School of Health and Sports Science, and School of Allied Health.

Large windows line the central hallways, providing views into classrooms and labs where students in red scrubs attend to high-fidelity human patient simulators that mimic everything from medical emergencies such as a heart attack to labor and delivery. New technology that enhances learning includes augmented reality, where students can view a virtual 3-D model of the circulatory system and walk around the room to see it from different angles.

The renovation added an operating room, emergency room, gross anatomy lab, health assessment lab, research lab, high-fidelity human patient simulation labs and debriefing rooms, health and sports science labs and classrooms, and high-tech labs for the study of biology, microbiology, anatomy, physiology and organic chemistry.

Both floors include student commons areas, faculty and staff offices, and conference rooms.

Students and families attending an upcoming Preview Day on Nov. 16 will have an opportunity to tour the renovation. To attend Preview Day or schedule a tour, RSVP at or call Enrollment Services at 251.442.2222.



About University of Mobile

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 degree programs in over 90 areas of study. Founded in 1961, 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 University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.


About the Author
Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean

Kathy is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist with a strong background in strategic communications, feature writing/story-telling, copywriting and editing. She serves as assistant vice president for university communications. Kathy joined the University of Mobile marketing/public relations staff in 1993 and has earned awards for writing, public relations and advertising, including twice receiving the grand prize for feature writing from the Baptist Communicators Association. She serves on the board of the John M. Will Scholarship Foundation, awarding scholarships to promising student journalists; and is a member of the Public Relations Council of Alabama, Baptist Communicators Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Kathy lives in Daphne with her husband, Chuck, who earned his M.B.A. from University of Mobile. They have two children and two grandchildren.