Sept. 29, 2016

September 29, 2016 Minutes
Submitted by Tommy Fulton, Contributing Editor
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by John Dukes. Kate Carver gave the invocation, followed by Gordon Korb, who led us in song. Jeff Zoghby introduced our guests along with visiting Rotarians.
Announcements: *** New member orientation will be October 11th.
***Rotary Gala will be October 5th @ Dauphins…Please RSVP.
***The Mobile West event on Oct. 4th has been moved to the Bluegill.
Program: Rick Harvey introduced our speaker, Dr. Tony Waldrop, President of University of South Alabama.
Dr. Waldrop announced the new theme for USA as “Upward & Onward.” This is the kickoff of a $150 million dollar campaign. USA has enrolled 16,700 students and is proud to announce that it has just achieved a record year in academic performance. They have put together a strategic plan which accentuates five major priorities.
1. Athletics. USA won the prestigious Vic Burns Cup, which is given to the best overall sports program in the Sunbelt Conference. The Jaguars also achieved the best academic record in their conference.
2. Excellence in Healthcare. South Alabama is working toward a new facility in Fairhope, which will double their space. They are also building the Strada Patient Care Center, near the Mitchell Cancer Institute.
3. Enhancement of Research and Graduate Education. USA is expanding their focus on the Center of Real Estate and Economic Development. Another example is the partnership with Galapagos Island.
4. Global Engagement. Dr. Waldrop announced a record number of international students at South. They also have developed a Global Certificate Program. South has more than 100 students now studying abroad.
5. University Community Engagement. USA sponsors the Community Engagement Focus Sessions, the Mayor’s Luncheon for all of the mayor’s in Mobile and Baldwin Counties, and an expansion of their volunteer emphasis programs.
Finally, during a question and answer session, Dr. Waldrop expressed interest in a 20,000 seat, on-campus football stadium. They estimate the cost of the facility will be somewhere between $85 million and $115 million to build.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 pm.