In 1891 United Way, then called Charity Organizations Society, began changing lives in local communities. According to the United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County, Union’s employee contributions are a crucial part of helping keep that dream alive 118 years later as part of the Leadership Giving program.
Steve Herrera, Union College alumnus, grew up around cars. His father was an auto mechanic and, naturally, one of the first things he began drawing were cars—race cars, classics and street rods. The first pieces of art he sold in fifth grade were of cars.
Students, faculty, and staff can now login to EBSCOhost databases from off campus by entering the five-character barcode located on the reverse side of their Union College ID cards. In order for this feature to work, searchers must access EBSCOhost through the following link: http://sear
For many students with disabilities, college seems impossible and the opportunities offered by higher education seem closed off. For more than 30 years, the Teaching Learning Center (TLC) at Union College has been helping dispel these misconceptions and make college accessible.
Union College Library is currently running a trial to EBSCOhost's Literary Reference Center database. Students and staff may access the database between November 17, 2008 and February 14, 2009. Literary Reference Center is a completely fulltext database containing thousands of literary criticism articles,
He's from Florida; she's from Texas. And although Alan and Rachel Orrison have lived in Nebraska for several years, the surrounding scenery is still new. While traveling through areas such as the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore, a focus on prairie scenes emerged in their photography.
Domestic violence is a war that goes on behind closed doors and causes 2,000 to 4,000 casualties each year in the United States. The American Medical Association states that one in every three women will experience violence from a husband of boyfriend.
On Saturday evening, Sept. 13, students from Union College's international rescue and relief program gathered for a vote. Dr. Michael Duehrssen, associate director of the program, presented the students with two choices: drive through the night to south Texas without specific rescue or relief assignments or wait until morning to hear more from contacts already in the area.
Seeing packed stands cheering at Union's annual dodgeball championship and a sea of volunteers in matching shirts for Project Impact, the college's annual community service event, it might be hard for an observer to believe Union College has fewer students than last fall's 24-year high.
It's rare to hear college students chat excitedly about weeding, cleaning, painting and sorting, but as groups trickled back to the Union College campus from serving more than 50 sites around Lincoln, Neb., those were the topics on everyone's mind. "We washed windows, scraped gum off tables, dusted book covers ... none of it was anything I'd think to do on my own," said Ashley Herbel, a freshman pre-med student from Wichita, Kansas after spending the morning at South Library. "But going with a group of friends can make anything fun."
With more than 800 participants, there were a lot of friends, new and old, to transform the chores into constructive play. This year's turnout included over 80 percent of the student body along with college employees and volunteers from other local Seventh-day Adventist organizations. While attendance isn't taken for the volunteer event, Rich Carlson, vice president for spiritual life, said Union's Campus Ministries distributed more t-shirts to campus volunteers than in previous years. "I think this is the largest group we've ever had," Carlson said.
Begun in 1981 as Project Brush, the original goal of the day was to paint 100 houses in 10 years. After completing the 113th house, the event was renamed and the projects diversified. Now volunteers focus on serving the agencies that serve others, providing helping hands to do tasks over-stretched social service organizations have a hard time keeping up with.
"It amazes me you can take 10 or 12 people and get done in a few hours what would take me days to do on my own," said Huda McClelland, Union's director of admissions who has witnessed most of the event's 27-year history.
"What we've heard so far from the agencies is overwhelmingly positive," Carlson said. "They're always amazed by the quantity and quality of work our students do and the attitude with which it is done."
Listening to students talk under the campus' clock tower as they shared 220 pizzas, the conversations always returned to the same refrain: the work wasn't only fast, it was fun. Erin Webb, a senior business administration major from Greenville, Tenn., told about finding a creative outlet while painting barrels at Goodwill. Beau Snyder, a senior from Culver, Ore., described cleaning at the Lincoln Children's Museum as, "playing with a pressure hose." Even when Jennifer Dovich, a junior pre-med student from Turner, Ore., mentioned getting paint in her eye while painting a ceiling at Mahoney Elementary School, she added, "It was worth it, it was awesome and so much fun."
Some former students who have experienced the spirit of the community service event returned to share in the labor and the camaraderie again. Thang Nguyen, an alumnus now working in Web development at Nebraska Books, told his boss about the event and she encouraged him to take the day off to participate. "I didn't want to miss the fun," Nguyen said.
Since its inception, Project Impact has been student-led. This year Ann Bryant, a senior business administration major from Woodbury, Tenn., organized the event for the third time and trained a new coordinator, Emily Carlson, a junior elementary education major from Mohrsville, Pa. Both students, with the assistance of Ashley Groeneweg, a biology education major from Omaha, Neb., spent the summer organizing site lists, coordinating with sponsors and ensuring transportation and tools were available. "Hearing the enthusiasm from the organizations makes the months of planning worth it," Bryant said.
Bryant added, "The worst thing that happened today was I didn't have anywhere to send the people who finished and wanted to do more." While the chores for the day may be completed, she hopes the contacts made will serve as a springboard for future service. Past Project Impacts have developed into long-term commitments for both individuals and student organizations, such as the volleyball team, the women's basketball team and the Union Scholars honors program. "One day of raking or painting makes the community slightly nicer," Bryant said. "But creating an environment where service is fun and exciting can have a big impact on the world."
Special thanks goes to Suzie Grey and InsideOut A capella for permission to use their songs. You can find out more about these talented artists on their Web sites: Suzie Grey InsideOut A capella
Union College Division of Business and Computer Science welcomes Raichelle "Rai" H. Glover as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Sept. 8-12. Glover, an accomplished executive, motivational speaker, leadership coach and civic volunteer, navigated corporate America as a Christian business woman in her fast-climbing career with Bank of America.
According to Barry Forbes, chair of Union College Division of Business and Computer Science, when funding became available through division's Advisory Board to host a visiting fellow, the group had many intriguing leaders to choose from. The division chose Glover because of her wealth of her experiences and connections between her areas of expertise and Union's learning environment.
"Topics such as 'liberal arts paths to corporate leadership' and 'what corporate diversity means today' are extremely relevant to Union College students," Forbes said. "Rai Glover's experience with work/family balance and strong civic engagement as shown by her many awards exemplify qualities that are important to this generation. We are honored that she accepted our invitation to spend the week with our students."
In her first book release (2007), Corporate to Kindergarten, Rai shares her personal weekly diary of the joys and struggles she faced while being a mom to a kindergartner and managing a thriving corporate career.
While on campus, Glover will be a guest speaker in six classes: Business Communications, Financial Institutions and Markets, Quality Management, Dynamics of Business, Conflict Management, and Nursing Management and Leadership. She will also present for the following free events that are open to the public:
Weekly Campus Chapel
"How to be a Christian in the Business World"
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 10:30 a.m.
College View Seventh-day Adventist Church
4801 Prescott Avenue
Union College Business Awareness Series
"Essential traits of successful leaders"
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m.
Everett Dick Administration Building (amphitheatre, lower level)
Located at the center of the Union College campus—3800 S. 48th St.
"Benefits of a liberal arts background in becoming a corporate leader"
Thursday, Sept. 11, 10:30 a.m.
Everett Dick Administration Building (amphitheatre, lower level)
Located at the center of the Union College campus--3800 S. 48th St.
For more information about these events, contact Union College Division of Business and Computer Science: 486-2521.
Students always want more of three resources: time, money and sleep. So when Union College students are given a day free of classes and other on-campus commitments, it may seem counter-intuitive that 85 percent choose to show up at 8:15 a.m. to spend the day working--for free. But students make up for what they lack with an excess of enthusiasm and altruism. On Thursday, Sept. 4, Union students will once again commit their time and energy to serving the Lincoln community.
"I think everybody wants to help others," said Sara Baptist, sophomore communication major from Canon City, Colo. "When something presents itself like Project Impact, we jump on it. If Union held it more often, people would still go."
Began in 1981, Project Impact has given students the opportunity to change their corner of the world wile establishing lasting connections within the community. An estimated 15,100 volunteers have impacted Lincoln with more than 99,000 hours of voluntary labor since its inception. According to available research, it's the longest running collegiate service day with the highest percentage of participation in the nation.
There's no brownie points, no extra credit--nothing to motivate the mass of students to join the cause other than satisfaction and a free t-shirt. Whether it's raking leaves, painting shelters, serving up soup or helping build a house, Union College students and faculty turn out to do whatever sweaty, grimy work needs to be accomplished for those in need.
Building on the students' energy and 27 years of success, Ann Bryant, senior business administration major and Project Impact coordinator, sees the event as a way for students to connect with agencies they can serve all year. This will be the fourth year Union's women's basketball team will spend the day helping at the Lincoln Children's Museum, a relationship that has grown as the players return throughout the year to help with events.
"I like volunteering. I feel it's important," Baptist said. "It's not easy for kids to just say 'I'm going to volunteer this weekend.'" Students like Baptist can find ways to do more by talking to Union's student volunteer coordinator, Kaylea Blackburn, sophomore international rescue and relief major from Summersville, Mo., or read about a different volunteer opportunity highlighted each week in the Clocktower, Union's student newspaper.
Bryant, now in her third year of planning Project Impact, sees this year's event as a learning experience for her peers. "Of all the pressures you would think could keep students from volunteering--homework, class, extracurricular activities, the price of gas, whatever--the biggest barrier is awareness," Bryant said. "I've learned that the more people I involve in the planning process of this event, the more people understand the purpose of Project Impact and then are able to take on that passion themselves."
During a lecture, presentation or meeting, hands often have a mind of their own. Surrealist artists called the shapes that fill notebooks and scrap paper "automatic drawing." Most people just call them "doodles." From July 24 to Aug. 17, 2008, the McClelland Art Gallery will host "Margins," an exhibition of art created while the mind is otherwise occupied.
Alan Orrison, student financial advisor, helps student Dan Martinez navigate the terms of the Gates Millennium Scholarship that brought him to Union.
It's been a long time since Union College cost $15 per month, 117 years to be precise. Since then, costs at private colleges nationwide have risen to an average of $23,712 for tuition and fees during 2007-2008, not including room and board. Likewise, the benefits of a bachelor's degree have increased to an expected $800,000 more earned income over a lifetime than someone with a high school diploma.1
Though Union's costs are 32 percent under the national average for private colleges, students and families often need help financing a Christian education. After a year of research and consultation with experts and comparable colleges, Union is launching a new, streamlined financial aid policy.
"Our goal has always been to provide an affordable Christian education," said Rob Weaver, vice president for Enrollment and Student Financial Services. "We've kept tuition down largely through the help of our alumni and mission-oriented faculty and staff, but we've been asking ourselves for a while now if we are using our financial aid budget to maximize the benefit it gives students. With the new policy, I think we can answer 'yes.'"
The previous financial aid system loaded almost all of the benefits onto the first two years, and while still front-loaded, the new policy includes a renewable component that guarantees more money than before for up to three additional years. "Families will be better able to plan for all four years, and the greater renewable funds will make it easier for juniors and seniors to continue at Union," Weaver said. "We hope this will improve Union's retention rate."
While grades and test scores have previously played an important role, much of a student's award was based high school achievements, such as holding leadership positions, being involved in their church and many other variables.
Taryn Rouse, Doretha Dale, Alan Orrison and Elina Camarena comprise Union's Student Financial Services team. "Elina and the financial advisors work long hours and weekends when necessary, even taking calls at home," Rob Weaver said. "Their dedication makes financial issues easier for families to deal with."
"A system that encourages leadership and involvement sounds like a good idea until you try to implement it," said Camarena, director of Student Financial Services. "We couldn't verify anything, and it favored the outgoing over the shy. With so many variables, it's no wonder we always had long lines at registration.
According to Taryn Rouse, student financial advisor, the worst-case scenario under the old system was a student who came unprepared. "If someone couldn't remember or just couldn't articulate what they'd achieved, they'd leave with zero financial aid unless their parents stepped in and did the speaking for them," she said. "Under the new system, the questions are really simple: What was your cumulative GPA? What was your ACT or SAT score? Have you filled out a FAFSA?"2
If a student's answers to the first two questions are 3.5 GPA, an ACT score of 30 (SAT of 1980), then they qualify for the highest level of merit awards, $25,000 over a four-year period, and possibly more if their FAFSA indicates high financial need.
Though the focus remains on academic merit and financial need, those with the most to gain from the new policy are average students from middle class families. In the past, a student with average or low grades and test scores, no leadership experience and a family income too high for government grants received little to no financial aid. Now everyone who fills out a FAFSA gets at least $3,000 for the first year, renewable at $1,500 per year for the three years.
"We really have to thank our donors for providing so much help to our students through unspecified donations, gifts to the Union College Fund and named scholarships," said Stephanie Meyer, scholarships and events director. "Without their commitment, we could never approach this level of financial assistance.
It's important to remember also that what a student qualifies for in direct aid from Union under this policy might not be the only help they receive. Some additional sources of funding will continue to include:
Matching church donations. "It says a lot about a student when a church family steps forward to help in their education," Weaver said. "Union will continue to match donations from churches of up to $3,300 at a rate of 50 percent."
Scholarships for missions and service. Union will continue to reward students for participation in mission and volunteer service, summer camp work, literature evangelism and other activities that further the mission of the world church.
Top test scores. National Merit Award Scholars and those with equivalent ACT scores qualify for 100 percent of tuition. "There are some students every college wants because of their academic excellence," Weaver said. "We are proud of our history of attracting top students to Union, and we'll continue to offer them scholarships at a competitive level." Foundation and corporate scholarships. "I encourage all students to apply for outside scholarships," Rouse said. "Just because Union can't provide more help doesn't mean no one can, and putting a little effort into applying can really pay off." Foundation and corporate scholarships. "I encourage all students to apply for outside scholarships,"Ã‚Â Rouse said. "Just because Union can't provide more help doesn't mean no one can, and putting a little effort into applying can really pay off."
Grace from the Union College Fund. "Every year I see students who face extraordinary circumstances and don't know how they will continue their education," said David Smith, college president. "Sometimes just a little extra support from our alumni can make a huge difference in a student's life. The Union College Fund provides for some discretionary aid each year."
While taking the guesswork out of financial aid may make the new system seem less magical to students, God's hand is still evident in funding Union College educations. "It sounds corny, but we do see miracles happen all the time," Rouse said. "Really, it can be frustrating sometimes when I've seen a miracle and can't tell everyone because of privacy concerns."
"Seeing everything fall into place makes our jobs rewarding," Camarena added. "We've seen people come in who think they can't afford anything and leave with a plan that meets their needs."
"I want everyone in Mid-America to know that if attending Union has ever crossed their minds, but they didn't think they could afford it, they should call us, write us, e-mail us or just come visit," Camarena said. "You never know what's possible."
1 Statistics gathered by the College Board. 2 Free Application for Federal Student Aid.