About The Foundation
The mission of The J. L. Bedsole Foundation is to ensure the continuing health, welfare and prosperity of the citizens of Southwest Alabama by providing greater post secondary educational opportunities for our worthy youth and by supporting expanded civic, cultural, artistic and economic development opportunities for all citizens of our area.
The founder was Joseph Linyer Bedsole who moved to Mobile from Thomasville, Al., in 1919. He was instrumental in the organization of Bedsole-Colvin Drug Company, S. B. Adams Lumber Company, Bedsole Investment Company and Mobile Fixture and Equipment Company. He was director of the First National Bank of Mobile for over 50 years. Mr. Bedsole served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Howard College (now Samford University), and as the first chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Mobile. While serving as chairman of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce in 1926, Mr. Bedsole was responsible for organizing the first Mobile Community Chest, which later evolved into the United Way of Southwest Alabama. He also acted as chairman of the campaign to raise the original $2 million to build the new Mobile Infirmary on the present campus.
In 1943, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, appointed Mr. Bedsole chairman of the Price Adjustment Board of the Birmingham Ordinance District. During this trying period, he gave to the renegotiation procedure the benefit of his business experience and integrity. As a result of the Board’s work, large sums representing excessive profits were refunded to the Government.
J. L. Bedsole was a remarkable businessman with a deep religious faith and a keen social consciousness. Churches, hospitals, colleges, the city of Mobile and the state of Alabama all received his guidance.
His lifelong emphasis on education and economic development led to the formation of The J. L. Bedsole Foundation in 1949 and fully funded after his death in 1975.
Grants are made solely to qualifying organizations and not to individuals. The Foundation does not ordinarily fund endowments or make serial pledges or grants, and does not consider funding organizations, programs or projects outside of the following five counties in southwest Alabama: Mobile, Baldwin, Clarke, Monroe and Washington Counties.
The Distribution Committee considers grants for the uses and purposes that include the following:
- In aid to hospitals, schools, universities, colleges and research institutions.
- In aid or support of welfare agencies, such as orphanages and institutions for the care of the aged, the crippled, the blind, the sick or the needy.
- In the aid or support of health institutions, boys’ and girls’ health camps, playgrounds, and other human beneficent agencies and institutions.
- For the advancement of human knowledge and the alleviation of human suffering.
The Foundation’s primary interests incorporate The J. L. Bedsole Scholars Program, which was created expressly to meet the needs of above average students with leadership potential who demonstrate financial need. Support is also given to the social services, health services and other civic and economic development programs.