LINCOLN—At 10:28 a.m. on the last day registration was open, Serhiy Horokhovskyy became Union College's 1,000th student of the 2007-2008 school year. A senior religion major from Ukraine, Horokhovskyy is the first student since 1983 to help Union College cross the 1000 enrollment mark. By the end of the close of registration on Tuesday, Aug. 28, Union College's official enrollment reached 1,015 students with a full time equivalence of 909.5.
To celebrate the 1,000-student milestone, Union College is invited all students and employees to a free lunch served on the campus Tribute Terrace. In addition to the meal and ice cream from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28, festivities included a short program. Remarks and recognition of the Enrollment Services team by Union College President David Smith were followed by a college-wide sing-a-long of the well-loved school song, "Slinga de Ink." State Senator Tony Fulton joined in the festivities and added his congratulations and support.
"Students come to Union College for many reasons—caring campus family, a Christian atmosphere and for unique programs like international rescue and relief and physician assistant studies," President Smith said. "One thousand is just a number, but the fact that more and more students value Union's campus culture makes me proud of the students, faculty and staff who have invested themselves in Union."
Union's campus has become a home-away-from home for a diverse group of students from 49 states and 26 countries. Four out of five Union students are from outside of Nebraska, that's a higher percentage of non-resident students than any other college in the state.
"When we recruit new students for the college, we don't just sell Union, we sell Nebraska," said Rob Weaver, vice president for Enrollment and Student Financial Services. "On the coasts we get asked 'Where's Nebraska?' and we take every opportunity to tell them about 'The Good Life.'" Of Union's out-of-state students, more than one fifth choose to stay in Nebraska after graduation, contributing to the state's brain gain.
Union College put in place more stringent admissions standards last year and yet has continued its growth. All regularly admitted students must now have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 and an ACT score of 18. While these are not as high as elite universities, they are higher than most of the schools pulling from the same demographic of high school graduates as Union College. "Continuing to attract new students to our campus while simultaneously raising the admissions bar is really exciting," Weaver said.
"While we're delighted to reach this milestone, at Union we've always known that bigger isn't necessarily better," said Smith. "We are grateful for each student here and the opportunities each of them represent for Union and for Christ."