April 22, 2021

Minutes of Rotary Meeting
April 22, 2021
By Kathy Miller

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Claire McCarron, President of the Rotary Club of Mobile, at 12:00 p.m.

Invocation and Pledge: Virginia Guy gave the invocation and Tommy Blankenship led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Members’ Guests and Visiting Rotarians: Tommy Blankenship introduced Members’ guests and visiting Rotarians.

Student Guest: Garrett Williamson introduced LaTasha Robinson, Senior Counselor at Vigor High School, who introduced JaMiayah Snow as the student guest. After Ms. Snow spoke to the Club, Claire presented Ms. Snow with a certificate.

New Member: Bob Chappelle, standing in for Meg Fowler, introduced new member Tiffany Ginn.

Announcements: Claire reminded members about the Founders’ Day Event on May 14, 2021.

Program: Virginia Guy introduced James H. Shumock, Chair of the University of South Alabama Board of Trustees. Mr. Shumock presented a program outlining developments at the University of South Alabama. He noted that at present there are over 14,000 students and a $1 billion plus budget. He said the University’s economic impact on the region includes the impact of its over 85,000 alumni, 48,000 of whom reside in Alabama. He noted that the medical school is particularly successful in retaining physicians in the state. He gave the statistics for the fall class of 2020 which included an average GPA of 3.7 and 205 members with a 30 or more on the ACT. He described the University’s emphasis on staying engaged with students, which is a major predictor in their success and graduation. He discussed the renovations to the March Library, which has been reimagined as a collaborative space, and the South Cares program. He discussed a number of new academic programs at the University including a PhD in Systems Engineering and endowed program in Marine Conservation and Resource Management. He noted that there are more than 1,700 students involved in the Pathway USA program, which facilitates students moving from community colleges to USA. He described the many new facilities on campus including the McQueen Alumni Center across from the Clock Tower, Hancock Whitney Stadium, and the Jaguar Training Facility. He also discussed the school’s success in the Sunbelt Conference and that USA has the highest academic progress rate in the Sunbelt Conference. He also outlined the growth in USA Health and the new facilities in that division including the new College of Medicine building and the Fanny Meisler Trauma Center which recently opened. He also reported on the status of the Presidential transition. Claire thanked Mr. Shumock for speaking to the Club.

Closing Remarks and Adjournment: Claire announced members’ birthdays and the program for next week. She adjourned the meeting at 1:00 p.m.

Kathy Miller
Contributing Editor

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