The University of Mobile announces the naming of the Grace Pilot School of Business in recognition of the tremendous business success story of Pilot Catastrophe Services Inc. and the Pilot family’s longtime support of the Christ-centered mission of the University of Mobile.
The Grace Pilot School of Business honors Alabama Business Hall of Fame member E. Grace Pilot, the Mobile businesswoman who co-founded one of the nation’s largest catastrophe adjusting firms. In 2005 she was named First Lady of Mobile by Beta Sigma Phi in recognition of “her commitment to others through daily acts of love, friendship and generosity.”
The new name for the School of Business was announced at a dedication ceremony Dec. 1, at the University of Mobile.
‘Example of faith-based leadership’
University of Mobile President Lonnie Burnett said Pilot’s name on the School of Business will remind students of her example of faith-based leadership and generosity.
“Grace Pilot and her family represent a tremendous business success story. More importantly, they represent a Christ-centered view in the way they have handled material blessings. They realize that every gift comes from God, and they have shared generously in so many areas to advance His kingdom,” Burnett said.
Pilot, who was granted an honorary doctoral of humanities degree by Howard Payne University in 1994, said she has always loved the mission of the University of Mobile and its emphasis on training students to be godly leaders.
“God has blessed our family to do God’s work. We must invest in the next generation so they can be leaders of change for good. Our culture needs Christian higher education now more than ever. My hope is that University of Mobile business students will keep God first. If you do this and work hard, you will be successful,” Pilot said.
Pilot Catastrophe Services Inc. was founded in 1983 as Pilot & Associates in Mobile, Alabama, at the kitchen table of Grace Pilot and her husband, Walter. Today, the family-owned business has corporate offices in Mobile with locations across the United States. Since her husband’s passing in 1991, Grace Pilot and the Pilot family have continued to guide the business on its foundational values of honesty, integrity and quality control. As a family, the Pilots put their faith into action through a variety of philanthropic projects such as Camp Grace and Grace’s House of Hope. In 2012 they established the Dr. E. Grace Pilot Endowed Scholarship at the University of Mobile.
Kathy Dunning, dean of the Grace Pilot School of Business, said, “It seems like such a perfect fusion when a business and community leader of the stature of Grace Pilot aligns with the School of Business. Our programs create well-equipped leaders who make a difference in their respective communities by responding to their calling in the world of business, just as Dr. Pilot has done in Mobile.”
Bruce Earnest, vice president for advancement, said the Pilot family has been an integral part of the University of Mobile for decades.
“Dr. Pilot and her family are generous contributors and a testament to hard work and living the faith out every day. Their commitment to our mission and students has played a vital role in our growth and success as a Christ-centered institution of higher education. It is our prayer that the Grace Pilot School of Business will be a center of influence in preparing students for significant careers of service in local, state and national communities,” Earnest said.
To learn more about the Grace Pilot School of Business, visit umobile.edu/schoolofbusiness. For information on giving to the University of Mobile, visit umobile.edu/giving or call 251.442.2917.
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