Gordon Moulton, whose career spanned most of the University of South Alabama’s first half-century and culminated with 15 years as USA’s president, will retire on July 1 from the institution he helped build.
The announcement was made today at USA’s Board of Trustees meeting, where board members said they would honor Moulton in a special tribute at USA’s upcoming Anniversary Celebration on May 3 – 50 years to the day since USA was founded.
“One cannot overstate the impact Gordon and Geri Moulton have had on the University of South Alabama and on USA’s remarkable enhancement of the quality of life of the Gulf Coast region and beyond,” said James A. “Jim” Yance, an early graduate of USA who serves as chair pro tempore of the USA Board of Trustees.
“Under the leadership of President Moulton, the University has achieved significant milestones in every area, including student enrollment and graduation, academic program development, health care delivery, enhancement of student life and the campus environment, research funding, private sector giving, community involvement and economic enhancement, and the list goes on and on.
“It is fitting that we honor President Moulton’s many contributions during this year when we celebrate USA’s 50 years of service to humanity, because from the beginning he has been such an integral part of USA’s growth and progress. A tribute to the Moultons at the University’s 50th Anniversary celebration will add even greater meaning to the event’s historic importance to the University family.”
In 15 years as president, Moulton has “transformed the University into one of the nation’s finest educational institutions, a community partner that sets the tone of excellence, and he has created an economic development engine at the University that provides countless jobs and resources for citizens throughout Mobile and the region,” said USA trustee and Mobile Mayor Sam Jones.
“The true measure of a great university is ultimately demonstrated through the accomplishments and recognition of its graduates and the contributions of its faculty through the creation of new knowledge and ideas,” Moulton said.
“The quality of the faculty, the staff and the students in any institution ultimately drives this outcome, and I have been privileged to work with the very best.
“We’re a comprehensive University with a huge public service mission, much of which is associated with our hospitals and clinics. Those employees each day focus on the excellent care and treatment of thousands of patients and the easing of disease.
“It has been highly satisfying and a privilege to be a part of an institution that, through its teaching, research, service and health care missions, has made and will forever continue to make a remarkable positive impact on the quality of life of countless people.”
A Donalsonville, Ga., native, Moulton earned his bachelor's degree in industrial management from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his master's degree in business administration from Emory University.
In 1966, at age 26, Moulton joined the faculty of the brand-new USA College of Business. Possessing the versatility needed by the University in its early years, Moulton established the department of computer and information sciences, and later served as founding dean of USA’s School of Computer and Information Sciences (now the School of Computing). He served as director of computer services, dean of administrative services and a 15-year appointment as vice president for services and planning. He has served as president of the University since 1998 and is the second president in USA’s 50-year history.
During Moulton’s presidency, USA has:
• Grown in enrollment by a third to a record 15,000.
• Nearly doubled the number of degrees awarded to 75,000.
• Quadrupled its scholarship program and created the University Honors Program.
• Expanded its academic reputation and degree programs.
• Implemented student life enhancements including football and marching band and new recreation, dining and housing facilities.
• Completed more than a half-billion dollars in construction, supporting every mission of the University.
• Expanded health care through creation of the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute and a major addition to USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital, complementing efforts of the USA Medical Center and the physicians and professionals of the USA Health System, who treat more than 250,000 area citizens annually.
• Initiated the first comprehensive fundraising campaign at USA, generating more than $93.5 million to support all missions of the university.
• Become one of Mobile’s most powerful economic drivers, employing more than 5,600 people, and adding $2 billion annually to the area economy.
• Doubled its contract and grant research program, achieving the same Carnegie research ranking as Auburn University and the University of Alabama.
• Created the USA Technology and Research Park, employing 600 private sector professionals.
• Made numerous enhancements to the art, history and culture of the Mobile region.
One of the most visible transformations at the University during Moulton’s 46-year tenure has been an ambitious $500 million building program to provide a state-of-the-art atmosphere for learning, and to enhance the quality of student life.
Highlights of campus improvements during the Moulton administration include:
• USA Mitchell Cancer Institute
• USA Technology & Research Park
• USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital Expansion
• Student Recreation Center
• Shelby Hall (Engineering and Computing Sciences)
• Health Sciences Building (Nursing and Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions)
• Mitchell Center Arena
• Meisler Hall student services building
• University Library addition
• Gordon and Geri Moulton Bell Tower and Alumni Plaza
• Faculty Club
• Specialized Laboratory Building
• Stanky Field Renovation
• Laidlaw Performing Arts Center (Dramatic Arts and Music)
• Mitchell College of Business Renovation
• Joseph & Rebecca Mitchell Learning Resource Center
• JagTran Campus Transit System
• Geri Moulton Children’s Park
• Alfred and Lucile Delchamps Archaeology Building
• USA Baldwin County College of Nursing Complex
• Student Dining Facility
• Living-Learning Residence Halls, including Stokes Hall
• Campus Entry Portals
• Intramural Fields and Fieldhouse
• Football Fieldhouse and Practice Fields
• Marching Band Practice Field
• Multi-Use Facility — Track, Softball, Soccer
• Bookstore Renovation
• Student Center Bookstore Mall
• Student Center Renovation
• Renovation of PE Building and Old Recreation Center
• Glass Arts Building
• Sorority and Fraternity Houses
In addition to more than 46 years of service, the Moultons have supported USA with
more than $7 million in gifts toward numerous institutional priorities, including the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute, Moulton Tower and Alumni Plaza, Geri Moulton Children’s Park at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital, student scholarships, faculty support, USA’s creative writing program, athletics and many others.
Moulton’s contributions have been widely praised by the community. He was awarded the Civitan Mobilian of the Year award in 2002, and the Moultons’ service was forever commemorated in 2009 with the naming by USA’s Board of Trustees of the new landmark Gordon and Geri Moulton Bell Tower and Alumni Plaza.
USA’s 50th Anniversary Grand Celebration is set for Friday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m. at Moulton Tower and Alumni Plaza and is free and open to the public. It is being held 50 years to the day since the founding of the University on May 3, 1963. In addition to the tribute to the Moultons, the event will feature the Jaguar Marching Band and other special music; memories from the first graduating class, early faculty, students, and civic and governmental leaders who helped found the University, and others who were here in USA’s beginnings; the USA Faculty Senate 50 Outstanding Faculty Members; the official 50th Anniversary video presentation covering USA’s first half century, a complimentary copy of USA’s colorful new 50th Anniversary commemorative book for all who attend; dinner and live music and a fireworks show at Moulton Tower. For more information, go to http://southalabama.edu/usa50/grandinvitation.pdf.
Also during the March 8 meeting, USA’s trustees voted to ask Dr. John W. Smith, USA vice president for student affairs and special assistant to the president, to continue as acting president until a national search can be conducted for the next University president