University of Mobile Torch Society Announces Director, Will Award First Scholarships at Celebration Dinner April 5

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MOBILE, Ala. – University of Mobile Torch Society, a philanthropic service organization that raises support for college scholarships, has named Lauren McCaghren as its first director.

McCaghren will work with the Torch Society’s volunteer board and members to build on the success of the organization’s first year, which culminates with the awarding of $5,000 in scholarships during the first Torch Society Celebration Dinner on April 5.

UM alumna Dr. Julie Clow, head of Global People Development at CHANEL and author of The Work Revolution: Freedom and Excellemce for All, is keynote speaker for the event. Purchase tickets online by March 29 at or call University of Mobile at 251.442.2201. The Torch Society Celebration Dinner begins at 6 p.m. at Ram Hall on the University of Mobile campus, 5735 College Pkwy.

“I have enjoyed working with Torch Society as a volunteer during this first year and am excited about the opportunity to play a larger role as we grow and impact the lives of many more students in the years ahead,” McCaghren said.

McCaghren joined the university in 2016 as alumni programs and annual giving director. She will continue leading alumni programs in addition to serving as director of Torch Society.

Penney Smith, executive director, said the Torch Society builds on the legacy of the original Mobile College Auxiliary that was founded by Annie Boyd Parker Weaver, wife of the university’s founding president, Dr. William K. Weaver Jr.

When Smith’s husband, Dr. Timothy L. Smith, was named the fourth president of the Christian university, she saw the need for a similar organization, but updated to the interests of today’s women.

“The new Torch Society generation brings its God-given gifts and talents to fulfill our vision, which is ‘Lighting the Way through Scholarships.’ Each year, the Torch Society will award scholarships that have a life-changing impact for University of Mobile students,” Smith said.

The Junior Torch Society, led by UM alumna Morgan Carnley, aims to connect younger members with the organization’s overall efforts, plus add social and volunteer events that appeal more specifically to those ages 22 to 35.

In addition to monthly meetings on topics ranging from overcoming obstacles to design tips from a horticulturist, the organization has hosted a watercolor workshop, silent auction and poinsettia sale.

Membership is open to the community. Information on annual membership, meetings and activities, and opportunities to network and volunteer is online at


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 and master’s degree programs in over 40 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 is assistant vice president for university communications and has helped tell the University of Mobile story since 1993. She is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist. Her husband and daughter are UM graduates. She loves playing in the yard – planting flowers, picking blueberries, pulling weeds and petting her two mini-schnauzers.

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