Sept. 22, 2016

Minutes of the Rotary Meeting – September 22, 2016
By: Henry R. Seawell, IV
Invocation, Song, Music and Pledge
John Dukes called the meeting to order. Paul Giardina gave the invocation. Tommy Blankenship led the Song and Pledge.
Introduction of Guests and Visitors: Tom Martenstein. Claire McCarron introduced Ginger Bedsole, attorney at Phelps Dunbar, and Bob Chappelle introduced Cathy Pope.
Announcements: The Rotary Children’s Foundation Meeting was held the afternoon of September 22, 2016 in the Ashland Suite. Invitations for the Rotary Club Gala to be held on Wednesday, October 5, 2016, at Dauphin’s restaurant have been sent out and members were asked to RSVP. Finally, the most junior members of the organization – of which I am one – were asked to attend a New Member Orientation on October 11, 2016 at 6:55 a.m. in the Rotary Room at Mobile Infirmary. This is the first such orientation since 2013 and all members inducted since that time are encouraged to attend.
Speaker: Dr. Tim Smith, President of the University of Mobile was introduced by Tom McGehee.
Dr. Tim Smith was introduced as the 4th President of the University of Mobile. Dr. Smith, hailing from Greenville, South Carolina, possesses an impressive educational background, which includes two Ph.D.’s and two Master’s Degrees in Christian and Healthcare Education, as well as a career in Anesthesiology.
Upon its inception in 1961, the University of Mobile (the “University”) was first led by Dr. William K. Weaver, Jr. The University is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention, which agreed to build and operate the college if the Mobile community would raise $1.5 million in two years – a goal that was met and exceeded in only one year. Its motto is “Higher Education for a Higher Purpose.” The school has received accolades for its outstanding residence halls and campus beautification. Furthermore, a testament to the continued success of the school is the dedication of its faculty and staff, many of whom have served under all four university presidents.
The University of Mobile has made a concerted effort to partner with the Mobile community to develop programs that will serve the local economy and build a talented workforce for the City of Mobile and beyond through the implementation of quality education and Christian principles. Most recently, sixty teams participated in Project Serve, the University’s annual service project, providing services ranging from visits to local nursing homes to landscaping. A full 1,300 participants, including students, faculty and staff, were involved, which is impressive given a total student body of approximately 1,500 students. Dr. Smith advised that the University is transitioning into a four day academic week beginning in the Spring of 2017, a move designed to encourage students to use their Fridays wisely and engage in service projects, mission work and internships. Dr. Smith invited local businesses to make recommendations for internship opportunities and suggestions as to the manner in which to better involve University of Mobile students in local workforce and economic development. The University of Mobile seems primed for a tremendous amount of academic and spiritual growth under the leadership of Dr. Tim Smith.
The meeting was adjourned.