Ann Bryant, Union College student chaplain and junior business major, gets excited when her peers have big ideas. "I want to start a tutoring program for refugees and immigrants in Lincoln who don't speak English," said senior Katie Carlson when she came to see Bryant in Campus Ministries recently. "And I want to kick it off during Project Impact next week."
Never mind the short notice, Bryant gave the idea an enthusiastic go-ahead. "We'll do it. How can we help you make this happen?" Bryant said.
LINCOLNÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬ÂAt 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 reasonsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âcaring 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."
Nichole Scott, sophomore communication major, had considered going to VW several times, but was unsure what the program involved. Then a friend invited her to attend the VW meeting at which Tanya Cochran was the featured speaker. Seeing as Cochran is her boss, former teacher and friend, Scott decided to check it out.
"I wasn't sure what to expect and didn't know if I would like it" Scott said.
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Spreading literacy is the key reason Joann Herrington, associate professor of education, founded Union's local arm of First Book, an international nonprofit organization that gives new books to low income families. Started in 2004, First Book-Union College has distributed thousands of books to local elementary schools and community centers.
Recently, senior teacher candidates from Union's Education department, coordinated a grant proposal resulting in $500 from Verizon Youth Services. With these funds, the literacy advocates celebrated International Book Day at a local elementary school. The party highlighted Asian culture and featured games, books, food and crafts.
"This was a valuable experience for our teacher candidates," Herrington said. "The elementary kids had a ball at Union's First Book event."
The Union College Unionaires and Octet invite the public to a free
concert at the Nebraska state capitol building. The concert, from
4:30-5:30 on Friday, May 11, will feature acapella versions of the
repetoire the vocal groups have prepared over the last year.
"The state capitol is a beautiful space with beautiful acoustics," said
Dr. Dan Lynn, professor of music. "Singing in a place like that is as
much a reward for the singers as the audience and the concert serves as
a final thank-you before graduation." The annual concert has become a
tradition, with state officials, legislators and the public being
invited to share in the accomplishments of the Unionaires for over 15
The state capitol, the tallest building in Lincoln, lies between 14th
and 16th streets and K and H streets downtown. Parking is readily
Nebraska Commissioner of Education speaks for Union College graduation; first master's degrees granted
On Sunday, May 13, Union College awarded 199 associate, baccalaureate and for the first time, master's degrees during the annual commencement ceremony in the College View Seventh-day Adventist Church. The service recognized 20 graduates from December 2006, 119 May graduates and 46 prospective August graduates for a total of 185 graduates. Among this group, 13 students received two degrees and one student received three degrees. Six of the graduating seniors are Union Scholars, which involves advanced coursework and a research project.
From yard work to roof insulation, approximately 35 students from Union College participated in "Adopt-a-House," during National Volunteer Week (April 15-21). "It's nice to work in the community," said Tina Weston, freshman social work major. "Volunteering makes our community stronger."