After serving as interim president for six months, Dr. Lonnie A. Burnett was, on November 22, 2019, unanimously selected by the Board of Trustees as the fifth president of the University of Mobile.

Shortly after his selection, Burnett noted that “the University of Mobile is a special place. While we have a beautiful campus with great academic programs and facilities, it is our people who make the University of Mobile unique. It’s a place where students are known, educated, and mentored by dedicated faculty and staff who ensure they are gaining more than just a college degree. We truly believe we are advancing ‘Higher Education for a Higher Purpose.’”

Dr. Burnett has a long association with the University of Mobile, going back to his days as an undergraduate student at what was then Mobile College. After completing his Bachelor of Arts in history in 1979, he began a 25-year career teaching in the Mobile County Public School System. Along the way, he earned a Master of Arts in history from the University of South Alabama and the Doctor of Philosophy in history from the University of Southern Mississippi.  While teaching at the secondary level, Dr. Burnett also served as an adjunct history instructor at UM and, upon his retirement from the MCPSS, accepted a full-time position in 2005. Over the next decade, he served as chair of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Vice Provost.  While continuing to teach, Dr. Burnett attained the rank of full professor and was awarded tenure.

Dr. Burnett has compiled an impressive record of scholarly research. He is the author of two books published by the University of Alabama Press and has contributed chapters to several other projects, in addition to articles and book reviews. He has presented many scholarly papers at various historical conferences and meetings. He is an active participant in numerous historical organizations and served as President of the Alabama Historical Association in 2014-2015. He received the Mitford Ray Megginson Research Award from the University of Mobile in 2006.  Although accomplished in research, Burnett acknowledges his first love is teaching. He has the unique distinction of having been named “Teacher of the Year” at different institutions at the middle school, high school, undergraduate and graduate levels. 

An active member of Redemption Church, Dr. Burnett taught an adult Bible study class for over 20 years. He and his wife, Lynne (a UM grad), have been married for 40 years. They have a daughter, Lauren Wetzel (a two-time UM grad), and a grandson, Alexander.

Please use the form link below for Speaking Requests. Thank you!

Speaker Request Form



Please email your request to:
Kathy Dean
Assistant Vice President for University Communications | 251.442.2215
Please briefly outline your request and your deadline. Include your name, email, phone and the media outlet you represent.

Contact Us