JACKSON, Tenn. – March 7, 2008 – Due to the unusual circumstances in the spring semester caused by the Feb. 5 tornado that hit the campus, Union University has announced the cancellation of the 2008 Union Forum, among other events.
The 2008 Union Forum was to have featured Paul Begala, Michael Gerson and Claire Shipman. All tickets that had been purchased will be refunded.
“The Union Forum series has grown into a significant community event in recent years,” said Charles Fowler, Union’s senior vice president for university relations. “We are disappointed that challenges created by the recent tornado have made canceling what was likely to be our strongest Union Forum series to date, along with many other special events scheduled for the spring semester, a necessity.
“We are thankful for our generous friends who help make these events possible,” Fowler continued. “We look forward to spring 2009 when these events will return and be presented in our new Carl Grant Events Center.”
In addition to Union Forum, the university’s annual Global Opportunities mission trips during spring break have also been canceled, as has the May Lunch and Learn program. Jerry Tidwell, Union’s senior vice president for church relations, said the accelerated class schedule was already a challenge for Union students and faculty, and the GO trip travel schedule would have required some of them to miss two more days of class.
“We have also sensed that many of these students need to be ministered ‘to’ over the next few weeks, in preparation for God being able to effectively use them down the road in ministry to others,” Tidwell said.
Ben Dockery, director of campus ministries, said that many students across campus will participate in missions and service projects during spring break, even though the GO projects have been canceled for this spring. He added that GO missions trips will receive even greater emphasis and high priority among Union students in the year to come.