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Mayor Mike Dow to Receive Honorary Doctorate Degree from Spring Hill College

May 2nd, 2005

On Sunday, May 8 at the Spring Hill College Commencement ceremony, Mayor Mike Dow will receive the Honorary Degree Doctor of Laws. Below is the citation to be read:

As the oldest of four brothers, you began serving others at a young age. Later, as a young man, you continued the call to serve—this time to your country—and completed three tours of duty in Vietnam as a helicopter door gunner in the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Responding to an invitation by your uncle in Mobile, you settled in the port city and attended the University of South Alabama under the GI Bill, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics, and later a master’s degree in business administration and accounting. You met and married your wife, Mobile native Patsy Busby, along the way.

In 1977, you co-founded a small, home-based high-tech company with your brother-in-law Jim Busby. Serving on its board of directors and as senior vice-president of sales and marketing, you helped grow the small start-up into the prestigious, global laser printer company QMS, Inc.

But again, you heard the call to service—this time, to serve as the first elected official under Mobile's new mayor-council form of government. Reaching out to all the citizens of Mobile, you led the way to a more responsive and inclusive city government. With unprecedented energy, you set about solving the problems faced by the city, emphasizing the revitalization of downtown. You created an exciting vision of a vibrant city using the metaphor of a "string of pearls," and enlisted the support of city council members, community leaders and the citizens of Mobile to make the vision a reality. One by one, the pearls have been strung, creating a gleaming necklace that includes the Outlaw Convention Center, Exploreum, Cooper Riverside Park, cruise ship terminal, Dauphin Street entertainment district and RSA Tower.

Now, after 16 years in public service, you are ready to return to the private sector, focusing your entrepreneurial skills on enhancing the sales of yet another technology company founded by your brother-in-law and former QMS partner, Jim Busby. Of even greater importance is the opportunity for you to spend more time with your wife Patsy and your three children Shawn, Steele, Anna and their families, as you marshal your energy for the undertaking of future endeavors.

Michael C. Dow, for your commitment to public service, dedication to the betterment of the city of Mobile, responsiveness to the needs of her citizens, and unyielding demand for the best from yourself in the interest of those you serve, Spring Hill College is pleased to bestow on you this day the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.