Dr. Mark Foley - President, University of Mobile
Dr. Mark Foley has served as president of the University of Mobile since 1998 and is the third president of the university since its founding in 1961. During more than a decade of leadership, Dr. Foley has led the move to intentionally integrate learning, faith and leadership in all areas of university life, while raising academic standards, building new residence halls, establishing outstanding programs such as the College of Christian Leadership and the Center for Performing Arts, and earning the private Christian university national rankings.
His emphasis on the core values of faith, learning, conviction, integrity, stewardship and leadership has extended to all operations of the university, from the classroom to the administrative offices. With these core values in place, the university is committed to graduating confident Christian men and women who have mastered the body of knowledge required by the degree they hold; who know how to think; who know what they believe and why they believe it; who possess the courage to live and work according to those beliefs; who accept responsibility as caretakers of that with which God has entrusted them; and who possess the willingness and skill to use their influence in appropriate and effective ways to change the world around them.
Dr. Foley is a member of the Executive Committee and past chairman of the Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Schools; chairman elect of the President's Council of the Southern States Athletic Conference; a former member of the Executive Committee of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; and a member of the Board of Directors of Volunteers of America, Southeast, Inc.; and a published author.
Previously, Dr. Foley was executive vice president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas; and a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Philosophy in psychology and counseling from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister, a former business owner, and has practiced as a professional counselor. His wife, Marilyn, is involved in many university activities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, and is a former classroom educator.
The Foleys have two children and two granddaughters. Their daughter, Molly, is married to Doug Sawyer, an accounting executive in Georgia, and they have two daughters, Avery and Abby. Their son, Rob, and his wife, Leah, reside in Colorado. Rob is on the staff of Denver Theological Seminary and Leah is a registered nurse.
To read Dr. Foley's recent articles, click here.
Dr. Joe Savage - Director
Dr. Joe Savage is director of the University of Mobile Center for Leadership and the Twelve23 Movement. Founded in May 2010, the Center for Leadership and the Twelve23 Movement are purposed with a clear vision of becoming a transforming influence in the revitalization of Christian faith and character in America.
As president and founder of Winners Influence and Joe Savage Ministries, he ministered to more than 200 coaches and executives in the National Football League (NFL). Joe was a forerunner in training and inspiring professional sports leaders and athletes in maximizing their influence in the community. His weekly inspirational email became the most requested devotion in professional sports.
With a unique ability to organize and equip others toward putting their faith into action, Joe is a leader in focusing large groups and individuals on their ability to make a difference in their community and world. He has worked at both the local and national levels, with 10 years of experience as a senior pastor and more than 20 years in ministry serving in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio.
A motivational speaker, author and evangelist, Joe has personally spoken to more than 1,800 audiences ranging from inner-city youth to corporate events for Aflac, NASA, Diebold Corporation, Alive Festival, and others.
To visit Joe's website, click here.
Dr. Faron Hollinger - Education Alliance Coordinator
Dr. Faron L. Hollinger received his Doctor of Education and Educational Specialist degrees from The University of Alabama and his Master of Education and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of South Alabama. He served the Baldwin County Public School System as a teacher, school psychologist, supervisor, coordinator, and division superintendent from 1976 to 2000. He served as Superintendent of Education for the Jasper City School System from 2000 to 2002 before returning to Baldwin County, where he served as Superintendent of Education from 2002 to 2010.
Dr. Hollinger has been the recipient of multiple honors, including State Superintendent of the Year in 2004 and District Superintendent of the Year in 2008, as well as multiple recognitions for his outstanding service as a superintendent, school psychologist and communicator.
Since his retirement from public education in Alabama, Dr. Hollinger has worked as an educational consultant and is currently President and CEO of Akribos Consulting Group. He also serves the Board of School Superintendents (BOSS) as a Board Chair for Alabama projects and initiatives.
To read more about Dr. Hollinger, click here.
To read Dr. Hollinger's recent articles, click here.
Mr. Quin Hillyer - Writer-in-Residence
Quin Hillyer is a Senior Fellow for The Center for Individual Freedom, a Senior Editor for the American Spectator magazine, and a Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mobile. He has won mainstream awards for journalistic excellence at the local, state, regional and national levels.
He has been published professionally in well over 50 publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, the San Francisco Chronicle, Investors Business Daily, National Review, the Weekly Standard, Human Events, and The New Republic Online. He is a former editorial writer and columnist for the Washington Times, the Washington Examiner, the Mobile Register, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and a former Managing Editor of Gambit Weekly in New Orleans. He has appeared dozens of times as a television analyst in Washington DC, Alabama, Arkansas, and Louisiana, and as a guest many hundreds of times on national and local radio shows.
Hillyer also has worked in professional or volunteer capacities in dozens of political campaigns, and served for five years as press secretary for U.S. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston of New Orleans. He was an original executive board member of the internationally acclaimed Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism, formed to halt the then-meteoric political rise of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.Hillyer also has volunteered in leadership roles for numerous church, civic, and educational organizations. He is a cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, and is a Fellow of the Loyola University (New Orleans) Institute of Politics and of Leadership Coastal Alabama. He is married to the former Therese Robinson of Mobile.
To read Hillyer's most recent articles, click here.
Mr. Nikeland Nichols - RamKids Director
As Director of the Center for Leadership’s Community Transformation Programs, Nikeland is an active community leader and mentor for hundreds of youth and young adults. He serves as Director of RamKids which seeks to develop Prichard, Alabama elementary and high school students into catalytic leaders with Godly character.
With a heart to see hurting young people get the help they need to succeed, Nikeland worked for Minority Behavioral Health / Pastoral Counseling Service as a counselor and case manager in Akron, Ohio. He started a non-profit mentoring organization called P.U.S.H. (Persevering Under Severe Hindrance) in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. P.U.S.H. provides a platform for youth and young adults to experience the presence of God through praise, prayer, and creativity. P.U.S.H. serves the community in service outreach projects and exists to promote the spiritual and emotional well-being of participants and their communities.
Nikeland facilitated a mentoring, counseling, and character-building program for Mobile County Public Schools called Young Leaders Of America. He also became the first African American board president in the Mobile County area for Bethany Adoption Agency. Nikeland serves as board president for the Prichard Youth Arts Council.
Nikeland served as the site entertainment coordinator for the largest compassion festival in the southeast, The Festival of Hope, which met the needs of over ten thousand people in Mobile, Alabama. He was also a part of The Restoring Hope Project, which assisted the needs of families that were affected by the 2010 Gulf Coast oil crisis. He has also coordinated the entertainment for The Festival of Champions in Baldwin County, Alabama.
In addition to many years of financial, investment and accounting work, Nikeland is a gifted vocalist, songwriter and arranger. He has worked with Grammy award winners and nominees, noted political leaders, and influential music professionals including Kyle Bynoe, Kevin Dean, Coretta Scott King, Ambassador Andrew Young, Premier Sibusiso Ndebele of South Africa, Dr. James Orange, Big Daddy Weave, American Idol Ruben Studdard, Kirk Franklin, Deluge, Alicia Williamson Garcia, Mark Harris, and T.D. Jakes.
Nikeland’s passion is to leave people with a sense of hope through Jesus Christ. He holds an accounting degree with a minor in music from Alabama A&M University. Nikeland and his wife Ebony reside in Mobile, Alabama and have five children, Malcolm, William, Donovan, Nikaiya, and KJ.
Ms. Amy Wright - Assistant Director
Amy Wright is the Assistant Director of the Center for Leadership. She is a 21-year-old Master’s of Business Administration student at the University of Mobile and an alumna of the Bunker Hill Society.
Amy's work and ministry experience spans throughout 27 countries across the globe. Her ministry abroad has included teaching English as a Second Language, teaching and coordinating practical evangelism workshops, building networks for church planting, disaster relief, and community and economic development.
A prolific writer, Amy co-authored We Forgot! The 7 Unlearned Lessons of 9/11, with Dr. Joe Savage in 2011. Her work is also published in WORLD online and WORLD on Campus, the American Spectator, the Acton Institute, Baptist Press, the UMobile magazine, and others.
To visit Amy's website, click here.
Ms. Candace Early - Research Administrator
Candace Early is a Research Administrator for the Center for Leadership. She is a 22-year old Early Childhood and Elementary Education major at the University of Mobile and an alumna of the Bunker Hill Society.
Candace has worked with programs at University of Mobile as a mentor, program assistant and facilitator, and as a mentor leader. She has been involved in clubs at UMobile as the president of the Reading Council and SGA representative for the Student Leaders Association for Teacher Education. Candace hopes to move forward in Education as a principal one day.
Ms. Annaclaire Wilbanks - Marketing Intern
Annaclaire Wilbanks is a Marketing Intern for the Center for Leadership. She is a 22-year-old Marketing major at the University of Mobile and an alumna of the Bunker Hill Society. Annaclaire is part of the Voices of Mobile, an elite vocal ensemble that tours extensively worldwide. She is also an event planner for the University's Campus Activities Board.