This globe first rested in the Waterman Building (now SouthTrust
Bank) from 1948 through 1973 and was a major attraction in
Rand McNally Map Company painted the original aluminum exterior of the 12-foot diameter globe, which depicts countries as they were in the 1940's. The reconstructed globe rotates once every three minutes and 50 seconds. The globe's axis is identical to the Earth's.
The Waterman Globe was part of a total display of painted
murals until it was cut into 300 pieces of scrap. Former USA
President Frederick P. Whiddon saved the globe and stored
it for more than 20 years, anticipating its restoration.
USA engineering technician Lanny McCormick completed the arduous task of reconstructing the globe in 1996. Local artist Joe Wilson worked as a modern-day Michelangelo, lying on his back at the globe's new home in the Mitchell Center to restore the paint.
The railing around the globe is original, augmented by new
vertical brass safety bars. The globes steel base was
recycled from an USA campus soccer goal.
The globe made its second Mobile debut at the May 1999 USA
Spring Commencement, which marked the opening of the Mitchell
Center. The University is proud to bring this Mobile landmark
back to life.